More High School Students Going To Community College First

Parkland Community College

Parkland Community College in Champaign

Travis Stansel/Illinois Public Media

A Champaign School District Unit Four guidance counselor says a growing number of students are choosing the community college option to help keep higher education costs down. 

Aaron Chun helps students at Champaign Centennial High School apply to colleges. He says even through the state has a higher education budget this year, several college recruiters for state schools have repeatedly had to reassure him and parents that state university finances are going to be OK and financial aid will be there.

"But the idea that families have of how are we going to pay for college; I think that is still lingering amongst a lot of people in the community," Chun said.

A typical high school plan for the college application process

Wikimedia Commons CCO 1.0 Universal (CCO 1.0)

As a result, Chun says more students are choosing to go to community colleges for two years, then transfer to a four-year college. It is less expensive that way, and the Parkland Pathways program allows local students to attend the community college while also getting University of Illinois credit.

Students have until November 1 to apply to colleges and universities for next fall.

Story source: WILL