Although the arguments for attending a community college immediately after high school are numerous, it doesn’t benefit anyone to deny that there are distinct advantages that come along with going straight to a traditional institution. Before listing these advantages, it must be noted that it is always the wrong decision from a financial perspective to avoid community college. The reasons to attend a four year university are mostly philosophical and subjective to an individual’s value system.
The main argument for skipping community college is extremely contextual in that it relates to one’s upbringing and home environment. Growing up in a religious household, in poverty, or in generally poor conditions will make anyone wince at the thought of moving away from home as soon as possible to attend school. This is especially true for people that grew up in very small towns and without much diversity or outside influence. In order to find one’s place in the world it is important to have a wide variety of experiences, and attending a university as soon as one can, can assist in doing this. Meeting new people and experiencing new things can give you a whole new perspective on the world, something that can be of great value to a developing mind.
Of course, one may make the argument that there is no sane reason to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to ‘expand your mind’. This is absolutely true, which brings up the next point – putting off academia altogether (both community college and university). Why not take a road trip with your friends out west and see what this country has to offer? Getting drunk with a bunch of other twenty year olds, having sex for the first time, and living on your own are certainly valuable experiences in the context of human psychological development – however, one doesn’t have to pay tuition fees for these things.
A blogger named James Altucher has done a great series on this very dilemma even publishing a list of forty great alternatives to attending university: http://www.slideshare.net/JamesAltucher/james-altucher-40-alternatives-to-college. James is an ivy league graduate himself, who instead of protecting his ego like the majority of elite students, openly admits that attending college was a waste of his time and resources.
So, before you sign that tuition check, remind yourself that there is a whole world that exists outside of academia, and that exploring this world may be of great value to an inexperienced young person.