Despite what many might think, being accepted to university without completing and passing an ACT or SAT examination, as some people have done it and successfully graduated. This goes for both Baccalaureate and graduate students.
How is this done? One might ask. Well, the primary way (sssssh, don’t tell anybody) is a means indigenous to North American educational systems called the junior college or the community college.
Now, readers are liable to gasp in unison when scanning this, but they need not fear or feel shame or disgust, as this transitional institution has more to it than meets the eye. First, and most importantly (I know a lot of readers have been waiting for this part), the community college is not for “losers” or the “less-intelligent” or “less-talented” (yes, readers, if they wish, may ridicule the truly unfounded belief behind all three of those terms), nor is it an “extended high school,” which is another term that has been applied by the less-informed (“ignorant” sounds too harsh). This institution of higher learning is very respectable and has a lot to offer many who aspire to go into . . . whatever! That includes everything from working in a greenhouse to becoming a doctor or a lawyer, among a vast multitude of other occupations. As a matter of fact, those who have graduated from universities have actually enrolled in community colleges to complete smaller but meaningful programs. This isn’t only a so-called “stepping-stone” school; it is a milestone in itself.
The junior college requires no entrance or exit examination; prospective students are only expected to have a high school diploma (although the necessity of this depends on the particular school, as each one has its own set of guidelines). As it goes with a university, students register themselves and enroll in courses of their choosing. Yes, the junior college has a wide range of programs and degrees (which are called “associate degrees”) in a vast array of fields which include science, law, social studies, liberal arts, medicine, psychology, pharmacology, health, automotive, robotics and computers. These degrees generally take two years to complete at full-time.
Some community colleges have programs that allow students to transfer to the university when their associate’s degree is complete. This program will serve as the first two years of the baccalaureate so that when students arrive at the university, they enter as a junior (third year). This is done without the involvement of any ACT or SAT examination whatsoever, presumably because of the reasoning that one’s attainment of an associate’s degree serves as evidence of the student’s scholastic aptitude.
One should keep in mind, too, that not all courses offered at the community college hold the same value as those at the university. Quite often, students at the former will need to complete two or three interrelated courses to satisfy a one-course requirement at a four-year institution.
The only setback with the junior college is that time is extended before one enters the university. However, because the associate’s degree serves as the first two years of a baccalaureate, the time it takes to finish will be the same, considering that the student persists at full-time from beginning to end.
Another advantage to the junior college, and perhaps the most important one, is that tuition and course cost are cheaper than at the university level. This facilitates those having a lower economic status, and is manageable. Financial aid, such as Pell Grants and student loans, are also available.
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