Fountain Valley graduating seniors Carissa (Mylinh) Lam, left, Oskar Hua, center, and Taylor Le, right. (Image courtesy of Avrena Ghatas)

Education

Roaming Reporter: How do seniors feel about attending a community college or a four-year university?

“I’m planning to go into a four-year university to pursue an accounting degree in the business field. I’m really interested in my major and I feel as though it’s something I want to continue into my future. Right now, I’m planning to go to Cal State Fullerton, but I might consider transferring to a private…
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/amghatas100/" target="_self">Avrena Ghatas</a>

Avrena Ghatas

June 8, 2021

With the school year drawing to a close and the class of 2021 preparing for graduation, the next thought on the many soon-to-be Fountain Valley High School graduates is college. For many FVHS Barons, their whole educational career of grades, standardized testing scores, extracurriculars and applications has been leading up to this point.

While some choose to take a gap year or start to work right away, some students have decided whether they will be attending a community college or a four-year college. With the different benefits both types of colleges have to offer, here’s what seniors have to say.

(Taylor Le)

“I plan on participating in the [Orange Coast College] Transfer Admission Guarantee program, which means that I’ll be attending OCC and pursuing an associate’s degree for transfer and then transferring to a [University of California] school … One of the major factors that helped me decide on a community college is finances. Attending OCC is much much cheaper than attending a [four-year] university, and it puts less stress on my family if I attend a community college. I also decided on community because of the pandemic. To me, it seems silly to pay so much money for a [four-year] university if classes are just going to be online. I’m under the impression that attending a [four-year] is for the experience and to make connections, neither of which you can do meaningfully online. Although many schools are going back to fully in-person instruction, 2020 has very clearly taught me that nothing is a guarantee. Coronavirus cases can spike unexpectedly, mental health is plummeting as a result of the pandemic, anything can happen. I’d rather not have a large sum of money dependent upon life proceeding normally…My choice of college wasn’t really affected by any sort of bias or pressure, but there is still a stigma around community colleges and [four-year] universities. Even though more and more people are taking advantage of community college transfer programs, I still feel a sort of shame whenever someone asks me where I’m going to college. I make sure to mention that yes, even though I am going to community, I plan to transfer to a UC,” senior Taylor Le said.
 

(Emily Le)

“I’m planning to major in Mathematics Education at Cal State University of Long Beach this upcoming fall. Luckily, I knew what I wanted to do at a young age, so there wasn’t much doubt [about] what my major would be. Often, we look at community college as a great way to start looking at your options as you get to experience so many classes at very low prices. Because I knew that I was going to take the teaching route, I wanted to go straight into a [four-year] college to get my education started. I’m lucky enough to be financially stable thanks to my parents so there wasn’t much worry in that department. Although, I did doubt about going to a Cal State at first because of the stigma that people who take Cal State weren’t good enough for anything higher. Seeing all my friends go into a UC definitely made me embarrassed to be going to a Cal State, but all in all, at least I was getting my education. I honestly don’t think my choice of college won’t affect me as much as a lot of people make it out to be. Maybe socially it’ll be a different experience, but we’re all taking the same courses just at different places. Personally, I think getting a bachelor’s degree is the bare minimum of my education so there isn’t much worry there, I’d be more concerned when I start aiming for a Master’s or Ph.D. From this experience I learned that it’s not the greatest concern on where you’re going, as long as you get the education you want,” senior Emily Le said.
“I’m planning to go into a four-year university to pursue an accounting degree in the business field. I’m really interested in my major and I feel as though it’s something I want to continue into my future. Right now, I’m planning to go to Cal State Fullerton, but I might consider transferring to a private university such as [University of Southern California]. A factor that helped me choose a [four-year] university was my major because I knew that Cal State Fullerton is a good school for business along with other good programs. In addition, CSUF was also in my financial capabilities along with help from other financial aid that I applied for … I think my choice of college was affected by my parents and family members because my parents always wanted me to go to a [four-year] university over a community college. In my Asian family, they look down on those who go to community college which I believe is unreasonable because it saves a lot of money but I would feel as though I let them down if I went to a community college since they’ve always put so much pressure on me to go to a university. I think that my choice of college can affect my career in the long term, but at the same time, I don’t think it makes a big difference as many people think it does. My step-brother went to CSUF and is now an accountant at a very big company along with other people who went to better business schools. This just shows that although college could affect your career and where you are in the future, your attitude and work mainly determine how successful you’ll be. However, I think that going to a school that is known for business would be better than for a school not for business because it might set you up better for finding a job relating to your field after college. I would [also] like to add that I don’t see anyone differently whether they choose to go to a [four-year] university, community college or no college at all. It’s all up to what is best for them,” senior Nancy Vu said.

(Nicole Rimdusit)

“I’m planning to attend college at OCC for two years, and then transfer to a university. I personally plan to major in business marketing to find a job that will pay more than average because I want to help my mom out and make my dream items come true. Also, the business area makes me interested in how economics can change frequently. I think OCC will affect my career in the long term because it’s technically a glimpse, not the real deal of a future, that I want to pursue. In a university or Cal State, they will most likely treat the major as a realistic job,” senior Nicole Rimdusit said.

(Nancy Vu)

“I’m planning to go into a four-year university to pursue an accounting degree in the business field. I’m really interested in my major and I feel as though it’s something I want to continue into my future. Right now, I’m planning to go to Cal State Fullerton, but I might consider transferring to a private university such as [University of Southern California]. A factor that helped me choose a [four-year] university was my major because I knew that Cal State Fullerton is a good school for business along with other good programs. In addition, CSUF was also in my financial capabilities along with help from other financial aid that I applied for … I think my choice of college was affected by my parents and family members because my parents always wanted me to go to a [four-year] university over a community college. In my Asian family, they look down on those who go to community college which I believe is unreasonable because it saves a lot of money but I would feel as though I let them down if I went to a community college since they’ve always put so much pressure on me to go to a university. I think that my choice of college can affect my career in the long term, but at the same time, I don’t think it makes a big difference as many people think it does. My step-brother went to CSUF and is now an accountant at a very big company along with other people who went to better business schools. This just shows that although college could affect your career and where you are in the future, your attitude and work mainly determine how successful you’ll be. However, I think that going to a school that is known for business would be better than for a school not for business because it might set you up better for finding a job relating to your field after college. I would [also] like to add that I don’t see anyone differently whether they choose to go to a [four-year] university, community college or no college at all. It’s all up to what is best for them,” senior Nancy Vu said.

(Nicole Rimdusit)

“I’m planning to attend college at OCC for two years, and then transfer to a university. I personally plan to major in business marketing to find a job that will pay more than average because I want to help my mom out and make my dream items come true. Also, the business area makes me interested in how economics can change frequently. I think OCC will affect my career in the long term because it’s technically a glimpse, not the real deal of a future, that I want to pursue. In a university or Cal State, they will most likely treat the major as a realistic job,” senior Nicole Rimdusit said.
“The path for college I plan on taking is going to a community then transferring after two years to a UC. I personally chose this path because I liked the idea of having more options for college in the future in case my mind changes, Plus it’s a better way to test out if you like a certain major or not while also saving money … I personally only applied to UC schools and they were all pretty much the top ones and I only got accepted into UC Davis but I got waitlisted into UC San Diego and rejected from UCLA and UC Berkeley … I do not believe my choice was affected by bias or pressure as most people who I asked seemed to be as uncertain as I was in my personal decision of either going to UC Davis or going to OCC then transferring. I do think my choice of college will affect my career in the long term in terms of connections with others as I’ve heard many stories of people making connections at UC schools. Though this certain aspect may be different because of the college I chose, it is not necessarily a negative aspect and I’ve also heard many connections are made within the last two years of college rather than the first two … Don’t stress too much about what choice you make and if you’ll regret it, life will happen either way,” senior Oskar Hua said.

(Carissa Lam)

“I plan on attending community college at OCC then transferring to one of the schools I’ve been accepted to this year …  A majority of the schools I was accepted to were out-of-state, private schools that cost a lot of money. Some of these schools were: New York University, University of Washington and Seton Hall University. Even with scholarships, each school offered me, I would have to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans. I felt that student debt was going to become a huge burden in my life. I also had acceptances from schools like California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach to choose from … As a first-generation Asian American, I felt a lot of pressure to go straight to a four-year university. There is a stigma that revolves around community college. Therefore, I never planned to attend community college and it’s still hard for me to accept that I will be. In the long run, community college will give me more flexibility and help me financially … In the end, I don’t think community college will affect my career as a speech-language pathologist. No matter what path I take, I feel confident that I will end up where I need to be successfully,” senior Carissa (Mylinh) Lam said.

(Nancy Vu)

“I’m planning to go into a four-year university to pursue an accounting degree in the business field. I’m really interested in my major and I feel as though it’s something I want to continue into my future. Right now, I’m planning to go to Cal State Fullerton, but I might consider transferring to a private university such as [University of Southern California]. A factor that helped me choose a [four-year] university was my major because I knew that Cal State Fullerton is a good school for business along with other good programs. In addition, CSUF was also in my financial capabilities along with help from other financial aid that I applied for … I think my choice of college was affected by my parents and family members because my parents always wanted me to go to a [four-year] university over a community college. In my Asian family, they look down on those who go to community college which I believe is unreasonable because it saves a lot of money but I would feel as though I let them down if I went to a community college since they’ve always put so much pressure on me to go to a university. I think that my choice of college can affect my career in the long term, but at the same time, I don’t think it makes a big difference as many people think it does. My step-brother went to CSUF and is now an accountant at a very big company along with other people who went to better business schools. This just shows that although college could affect your career and where you are in the future, your attitude and work mainly determine how successful you’ll be. However, I think that going to a school that is known for business would be better than for a school not for business because it might set you up better for finding a job relating to your field after college. I would [also] like to add that I don’t see anyone differently whether they choose to go to a [four-year] university, community college or no college at all. It’s all up to what is best for them,” senior Nancy Vu said.

(Nicole Rimdusit)

“I’m planning to attend college at OCC for two years, and then transfer to a university. I personally plan to major in business marketing to find a job that will pay more than average because I want to help my mom out and make my dream items come true. Also, the business area makes me interested in how economics can change frequently. I think OCC will affect my career in the long term because it’s technically a glimpse, not the real deal of a future, that I want to pursue. In a university or Cal State, they will most likely treat the major as a realistic job,” senior Nicole Rimdusit said.
“The path for college I plan on taking is going to a community then transferring after two years to a UC. I personally chose this path because I liked the idea of having more options for college in the future in case my mind changes, Plus it’s a better way to test out if you like a certain major or not while also saving money … I personally only applied to UC schools and they were all pretty much the top ones and I only got accepted into UC Davis but I got waitlisted into UC San Diego and rejected from UCLA and UC Berkeley … I do not believe my choice was affected by bias or pressure as most people who I asked seemed to be as uncertain as I was in my personal decision of either going to UC Davis or going to OCC then transferring. I do think my choice of college will affect my career in the long term in terms of connections with others as I’ve heard many stories of people making connections at UC schools. Though this certain aspect may be different because of the college I chose, it is not necessarily a negative aspect and I’ve also heard many connections are made within the last two years of college rather than the first two … Don’t stress too much about what choice you make and if you’ll regret it, life will happen either way,” senior Oskar Hua said.

(Carissa Lam)

“I plan on attending community college at OCC then transferring to one of the schools I’ve been accepted to this year …  A majority of the schools I was accepted to were out-of-state, private schools that cost a lot of money. Some of these schools were: New York University, University of Washington and Seton Hall University. Even with scholarships, each school offered me, I would have to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans. I felt that student debt was going to become a huge burden in my life. I also had acceptances from schools like California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach to choose from … As a first-generation Asian American, I felt a lot of pressure to go straight to a four-year university. There is a stigma that revolves around community college. Therefore, I never planned to attend community college and it’s still hard for me to accept that I will be. In the long run, community college will give me more flexibility and help me financially … In the end, I don’t think community college will affect my career as a speech-language pathologist. No matter what path I take, I feel confident that I will end up where I need to be successfully,” senior Carissa (Mylinh) Lam said.

(Nancy Vu)

“I’m planning to go into a four-year university to pursue an accounting degree in the business field. I’m really interested in my major and I feel as though it’s something I want to continue into my future. Right now, I’m planning to go to Cal State Fullerton, but I might consider transferring to a private university such as [University of Southern California]. A factor that helped me choose a [four-year] university was my major because I knew that Cal State Fullerton is a good school for business along with other good programs. In addition, CSUF was also in my financial capabilities along with help from other financial aid that I applied for … I think my choice of college was affected by my parents and family members because my parents always wanted me to go to a [four-year] university over a community college. In my Asian family, they look down on those who go to community college which I believe is unreasonable because it saves a lot of money but I would feel as though I let them down if I went to a community college since they’ve always put so much pressure on me to go to a university. I think that my choice of college can affect my career in the long term, but at the same time, I don’t think it makes a big difference as many people think it does. My step-brother went to CSUF and is now an accountant at a very big company along with other people who went to better business schools. This just shows that although college could affect your career and where you are in the future, your attitude and work mainly determine how successful you’ll be. However, I think that going to a school that is known for business would be better than for a school not for business because it might set you up better for finding a job relating to your field after college. I would [also] like to add that I don’t see anyone differently whether they choose to go to a [four-year] university, community college or no college at all. It’s all up to what is best for them,” senior Nancy Vu said.

(Nicole Rimdusit)

“I’m planning to attend college at OCC for two years, and then transfer to a university. I personally plan to major in business marketing to find a job that will pay more than average because I want to help my mom out and make my dream items come true. Also, the business area makes me interested in how economics can change frequently. I think OCC will affect my career in the long term because it’s technically a glimpse, not the real deal of a future, that I want to pursue. In a university or Cal State, they will most likely treat the major as a realistic job,” senior Nicole Rimdusit said.

(Oskar Hua)

“The path for college I plan on taking is going to a community then transferring after two years to a UC. I personally chose this path because I liked the idea of having more options for college in the future in case my mind changes, Plus it’s a better way to test out if you like a certain major or not while also saving money … I personally only applied to UC schools and they were all pretty much the top ones and I only got accepted into UC Davis but I got waitlisted into UC San Diego and rejected from UCLA and UC Berkeley … I do not believe my choice was affected by bias or pressure as most people who I asked seemed to be as uncertain as I was in my personal decision of either going to UC Davis or going to OCC then transferring. I do think my choice of college will affect my career in the long term in terms of connections with others as I’ve heard many stories of people making connections at UC schools. Though this certain aspect may be different because of the college I chose, it is not necessarily a negative aspect and I’ve also heard many connections are made within the last two years of college rather than the first two … Don’t stress too much about what choice you make and if you’ll regret it, life will happen either way,” senior Oskar Hua said.

(Carissa Lam)

“I plan on attending community college at OCC then transferring to one of the schools I’ve been accepted to this year …  A majority of the schools I was accepted to were out-of-state, private schools that cost a lot of money. Some of these schools were: New York University, University of Washington and Seton Hall University. Even with scholarships, each school offered me, I would have to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans. I felt that student debt was going to become a huge burden in my life. I also had acceptances from schools like California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach to choose from … As a first-generation Asian American, I felt a lot of pressure to go straight to a four-year university. There is a stigma that revolves around community college. Therefore, I never planned to attend community college and it’s still hard for me to accept that I will be. In the long run, community college will give me more flexibility and help me financially … In the end, I don’t think community college will affect my career as a speech-language pathologist. No matter what path I take, I feel confident that I will end up where I need to be successfully,” senior Carissa (Mylinh) Lam said.

(Nancy Vu)

“I’m planning to go into a four-year university to pursue an accounting degree in the business field. I’m really interested in my major and I feel as though it’s something I want to continue into my future. Right now, I’m planning to go to Cal State Fullerton, but I might consider transferring to a private university such as [University of Southern California]. A factor that helped me choose a [four-year] university was my major because I knew that Cal State Fullerton is a good school for business along with other good programs. In addition, CSUF was also in my financial capabilities along with help from other financial aid that I applied for … I think my choice of college was affected by my parents and family members because my parents always wanted me to go to a [four-year] university over a community college. In my Asian family, they look down on those who go to community college which I believe is unreasonable because it saves a lot of money but I would feel as though I let them down if I went to a community college since they’ve always put so much pressure on me to go to a university. I think that my choice of college can affect my career in the long term, but at the same time, I don’t think it makes a big difference as many people think it does. My step-brother went to CSUF and is now an accountant at a very big company along with other people who went to better business schools. This just shows that although college could affect your career and where you are in the future, your attitude and work mainly determine how successful you’ll be. However, I think that going to a school that is known for business would be better than for a school not for business because it might set you up better for finding a job relating to your field after college. I would [also] like to add that I don’t see anyone differently whether they choose to go to a [four-year] university, community college or no college at all. It’s all up to what is best for them,” senior Nancy Vu said.

(Nicole Rimdusit)

“I’m planning to attend college at OCC for two years, and then transfer to a university. I personally plan to major in business marketing to find a job that will pay more than average because I want to help my mom out and make my dream items come true. Also, the business area makes me interested in how economics can change frequently. I think OCC will affect my career in the long term because it’s technically a glimpse, not the real deal of a future, that I want to pursue. In a university or Cal State, they will most likely treat the major as a realistic job,” senior Nicole Rimdusit said.

 

(Grace Haroun)

“I’ll be attending a four-year university in the fall. I’m pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in biology…I chose a four-year university for several reasons. One, I wanted the college experience of living in the dorms and having the opportunity to become more independent. I was also intrigued by some of the programs [University of California, Los Angeles] offered, including various academic programs like the clusters and fiat lux courses. I also want to get involved in research at some point in college and the school I’m attending has plentiful research opportunities. Finally, I want to become ingrained in the school community, and personally, I know I would be more successful in that regard if I knew I was going to be at the same school for four years … As much as I tried to ignore any pressure I felt to choose one path or another, I think I would be lying if I say I wasn’t affected by any outside pressures. My family was not opposed to me attending community college by any means, but they were hoping that I would choose to attend a four-year university … I don’t think my choice of college will affect my career in the long term as I plan to attend graduate or professional school, and I think that will play a greater role in my career than where I obtained my undergraduate education…I honestly don’t think one college path is better than the other. There were numerous factors that played into my decision to attend a four-year university, but I think that I would still be able to achieve my goals if I chose to attend a community college first. Everyone has different goals and experiences they want to gain from college, so I think both community college and four-year universities are viable options,” senior Grace Haroun said.

(Oskar Hua)

“The path for college I plan on taking is going to a community then transferring after two years to a UC. I personally chose this path because I liked the idea of having more options for college in the future in case my mind changes, Plus it’s a better way to test out if you like a certain major or not while also saving money … I personally only applied to UC schools and they were all pretty much the top ones and I only got accepted into UC Davis but I got waitlisted into UC San Diego and rejected from UCLA and UC Berkeley … I do not believe my choice was affected by bias or pressure as most people who I asked seemed to be as uncertain as I was in my personal decision of either going to UC Davis or going to OCC then transferring. I do think my choice of college will affect my career in the long term in terms of connections with others as I’ve heard many stories of people making connections at UC schools. Though this certain aspect may be different because of the college I chose, it is not necessarily a negative aspect and I’ve also heard many connections are made within the last two years of college rather than the first two … Don’t stress too much about what choice you make and if you’ll regret it, life will happen either way,” senior Oskar Hua said.

(Carissa Lam)

“I plan on attending community college at OCC then transferring to one of the schools I’ve been accepted to this year …  A majority of the schools I was accepted to were out-of-state, private schools that cost a lot of money. Some of these schools were: New York University, University of Washington and Seton Hall University. Even with scholarships, each school offered me, I would have to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans. I felt that student debt was going to become a huge burden in my life. I also had acceptances from schools like California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach to choose from … As a first-generation Asian American, I felt a lot of pressure to go straight to a four-year university. There is a stigma that revolves around community college. Therefore, I never planned to attend community college and it’s still hard for me to accept that I will be. In the long run, community college will give me more flexibility and help me financially … In the end, I don’t think community college will affect my career as a speech-language pathologist. No matter what path I take, I feel confident that I will end up where I need to be successfully,” senior Carissa (Mylinh) Lam said.

(Nancy Vu)

“I’m planning to go into a four-year university to pursue an accounting degree in the business field. I’m really interested in my major and I feel as though it’s something I want to continue into my future. Right now, I’m planning to go to Cal State Fullerton, but I might consider transferring to a private university such as [University of Southern California]. A factor that helped me choose a [four-year] university was my major because I knew that Cal State Fullerton is a good school for business along with other good programs. In addition, CSUF was also in my financial capabilities along with help from other financial aid that I applied for … I think my choice of college was affected by my parents and family members because my parents always wanted me to go to a [four-year] university over a community college. In my Asian family, they look down on those who go to community college which I believe is unreasonable because it saves a lot of money but I would feel as though I let them down if I went to a community college since they’ve always put so much pressure on me to go to a university. I think that my choice of college can affect my career in the long term, but at the same time, I don’t think it makes a big difference as many people think it does. My step-brother went to CSUF and is now an accountant at a very big company along with other people who went to better business schools. This just shows that although college could affect your career and where you are in the future, your attitude and work mainly determine how successful you’ll be. However, I think that going to a school that is known for business would be better than for a school not for business because it might set you up better for finding a job relating to your field after college. I would [also] like to add that I don’t see anyone differently whether they choose to go to a [four-year] university, community college or no college at all. It’s all up to what is best for them,” senior Nancy Vu said.

(Nicole Rimdusit)

“I’m planning to attend college at OCC for two years, and then transfer to a university. I personally plan to major in business marketing to find a job that will pay more than average because I want to help my mom out and make my dream items come true. Also, the business area makes me interested in how economics can change frequently. I think OCC will affect my career in the long term because it’s technically a glimpse, not the real deal of a future, that I want to pursue. In a university or Cal State, they will most likely treat the major as a realistic job,” senior Nicole Rimdusit said.