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For many students, community colleges are cheaper, better academically and safer

For many students, community colleges are cheaper, better academically and safer
Los Angeles Trade Technical College near downtown L.A. on Feb. 21, 2018. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Your article, “This list helps minority students find a college with a solid graduation rate,” is based on a distortion of what it’s like attending the first two years of college.

Four-year universities brag about their low acceptance rates and how many students they reject. Community colleges accept everyone. With this type of inclusion, graduation rates will be different.

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When comparing identical groups of students who arrive to community colleges with high school GPAs like 3.98, you will find as many graduates within the six years, but certainly with a lot less debt. Additionally, community college courses are taught by professionals who want to be in the classroom (not the research lab) with advanced degrees (not graduate students) in smaller classes (not large lecture halls).

Many of the parents of teenage girls I have spoken with think community colleges are safer from sexual assault since the goal of far too many university students is to “party every weekend,” as one young man in your article said.

Gary Rybold, Mission Viejo

The writer is chairman of the communication studies department at Irvine Valley College.

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To the editor: High schools should be more truthful with their students as to what their future might be like at a particular college. If a student’s test scores are not roughly equal to the average scores at a competitive school, then that student should think twice about going there.

For the lower and middle classes, debt is a bigger issue than brains or ability. High school graduates should ask themselves a question before they go off to some “fancy” college: Is my major worth the debt when I can get the same education at a local institution at a fraction of the cost?

Mark Walker, Chino Hills

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