Navigate Up
Sign In

NBC Chicago: How to Rein in the Cost of College

12/15/2013 6:00 AM

City Colleges' Director of Transfer Programs Ellen Goldberg appeared ​on NBC 5 Chicago's morning news show on Sunday December 15th to explain how students can save tens of thousands on tuition by attending a community college for two years before transferring to a four-year school to earn a bachelor's degree.  

​ANCHOR: Well, the rising costs of college looms large over many parents, so this morning we've brought in Ellen Goldberg, the district director of transfer programs and services at City Colleges of Chicago, for some help on this. Good morning to you, Ellen. You've got a strategy that a lot of parents and students, particularly high school seniors that are getting ready to graduate, may not consider. tell us about that.  

GOLDBERG: You know, it's really interesting. A lot of people don't know that the first two years of a bachelors degree, you can do it at a community college for a fraction of the cost. You can literally save tens of thousands of dollars.

ANCHOR: And with the average student debt now being almost $30,000, that's a huge amount. So you're really saving a lot of money just by doing it. And correct me if I'm wrong, but a lot of those first two years, the curriculum, no matter whether you go to a state school or a college, it's similar.

GOLDBERG: It's practically the same. The first two years, most students are taking general education classes, and we've sent students with an associate's degree to schools, local schools such as UIC and DePaul, and also to schools across the nation, such as the Ivy League. 

ANCHOR: And what about the process of getting those survey course credits transferred to the eventual school that end up in?

GOLDBERG: You know, i'll be honest with you, we've sent students all over the United States, and most schools will take the entire associate's degree as a package, the entire first two years.

ANCHOR: And you say that there are also some benefits to going to a City College that are kind of unexpected for some students. 

GOLDBERG: Honestly, a lot of students coming out of high school really need a chance to reinvent themselves and transfer to the top schools in the nation. A community college gives you that opportunity to start over.

ANCHOR: So, if they graduate from high school with maybe not so ideal grades, they can really push the reset button, attend a City College or a community college and really start concentrating on their grades. 

GOLDBERG: Definitely. A lot of people don't realize that often times, four-year schools won't even look at your high school grades once you have an associate's degree. ...

Watch the entire interview at