Help my child get ready for college

Your Path Begins Here


Perhaps the best way to prepare your son or daughter for college is to have a conversation about educational value.

Completing the first two year of a bachelor’s degree at a community college means less debt, more flexibility to change majors, and more support to find and start a career path.

Also know that career and technical training is as valued as four-year degrees in the workplace.

Average out-of-pocket cost for first-time, full-time student

1-2 Years of Career Training

Equal sign

$40+ Starting Salaries in Multiple Fields

Katie Richard

“I needed the extra year before transitioning to a four-year university and no, my education was not any less than my friends at ‘brand name’ schools. I would recommend starting with one or two years of community colleges to anyone.”

—Katie Richárd

Katie began her college career at JWCC, went on to earn her bachelor’s degree and currently working for the FBI.

Finding a Career Path

JWCC faculty and staff are experts in helping students find their path and career services offers job shadows and internships as early as first semester.

Up to 50% of students are undecided on a major or career path.

Five Easy Ways to Find Your Path.

Scholarships to JWCC and after JWCC

Tuition at JWCC is already 1/3 that of four-year schools and it becomes more affordable with academic, leadership and many other scholarships.

Many four-year universities offer scholarships restricted to students transferring from community colleges. Community colleges also offer private scholarships to graduates moving on to four-year universities.

Types of Transfer Scholarships Offered to Community College Students by Four-Year Universities
Transfer – Used to attract upperclassmen, often GPA-based
Phi Theta Kappa – Academic and Leadership-based
Academic Major – Based on students’ chosen academic major
Athletics/Fine Arts – 4 year universities specifically look for athletes, musicians and artists from community colleges

75+ Degrees & Certificates

Classes can be online, open learning and in-classroom, and offered mornings, afternoons and evenings. Most in-classroom courses offered two days a week.

Ten degrees are offered entirely online.

Classes start every eight weeks. No classes on Friday.


in Healthcare • Ag • Manufacturing


Environment/Campus Life

JWCC is known for meeting students where they are on their personal educational path and taking them to the next level. From supplemental classroom support to challenging pre-professional paths, all students are welcomed, supported and challenged.

Student Life offers over 150 annual student-driven activities…including music performances, athletics and art shows.

Music Performance
Men's Basketball
2nd safest college in America
Education Centers

Student Success is JWCC's Number One Priority...and it Shows

Best online community college in Illinois.
Students perform
as well as or better than peers who begin at four-year schools.


of the country’s community colleges in retention, persistence and graduation rates


of students recommend JWCC to family and friends

Community College vs. Four-Year University

Students can take the same quality classes for a lower cost for their first two years of a bachelor’s degree, or choose a shorter path focused on career-specific training.

Community College vs. Four Year University Comparison

Community CollegeFour-Year University
Offers two-year associate degrees designed to transfer to four-year universities as well as career and technical degrees and certificates that help students enter the workforce.Offers four-year bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and some offer doctoral programs.
Tuition ranges from $4000 to $6000 a year.Tuition ranges from $10,000 to $25,000 a year.
Flexible schedules allow students to attend full or part-time and take classroom, online, and self-paced learning.Mostly designed for full-time students with less flexible schedules. Classroom and online options available.
Open admission. High school diploma or GED necessary.Admission requirements may include a specified grade point average, ACT/SAT score.
Students often live at home or in apartments and commute to campus.Provide on-campus housing for students.
Class size ranges from 5-30 students.Class size vary, but can have as many a 300 students.

Four-Year Path or Career and Technical Training Comparison

Four Year Path (Take 2 years at a community college)Career/Technical Training
Bachelor’s degrees are four years in length and include a broad array of courses in the first two years to help students identify a major to pursue in years 3 and 4.Hands-on courses that relate directly to a specified career. Career and Technical training is shorter-term (6 months to 2 years).
Academic majors provide broad knowledge for a wide range of career paths. Internships normally occur in junior and senior year.Quick entry into the job market, which increases earning potential.
Offers many social opportunities through clubs, organizations, athletics and on-campus housing.Certificates often ladder into the next level of certification. Allows students to work for a time, and then return to earn additional certificates that build into an associate degree.
Tuition and fees for four years.Tuition and fees for 6 months to two years.
Provides general foundation for multiple careers.Provides specific skills for current in-demand positions.

Transfer from JWCC to other Colleges

Expert advisors work closely with students to identify transfer schools and map out a plan. Not sure how it works? Sign up for an early personalized transfer guide prior to applying to JWCC.