Celebrating Community Colleges

Amy Jenkins
April 24, 2024

It is the last week of community college month, and we are thrilled to spend this time celebrating the incredible work of the community colleges with whom we partner. These schools play a vital role in our education system, serving a diverse student population and providing them with opportunities to improve their lives through higher education.

The community colleges we work with serve a total of 65,000 students, helping them to enhance their enrollment, payment, and retention outcomes.  Today we celebrate all of them and spotlight just a few of them!

We interviewed a few community college leaders earlier this month. Check out the spotlights on Glendale Community College, Truckee Meadows Community College and Western Nevada Community College  and keep reading for some highlights. 

What is the best thing about working at a community college?

When asked what she loves about working at a community college, Leslie Anne Jia of Truckee Meadows Community College said she  loves the size of working at a community college - it's got that Goldilocks not too big, not too small feel. Another perk? Free parking. It's the little things in life.

JW Lazzari, of Western Nevada College, said "The best thing about working in a community college is our students! Community College students are diverse, unique, and are full of grit! Connecting with these students on a daily basis, inspires us all to do better.” 

And Christina Tangalakis of Glendale College told us, “[the best thing is] the emphasis on student-centered service. At a community college there is a shared commitment to student service; our only constituent is the student."

How do Community Colleges use net price calculators differently than traditional 4 year schools?

According to Christina, In CA there are no registration fees so students access the NPC to understand what funding may be available to cover their living expenses and other indirect college costs. This is still a big part of the equation for students.

Leslie told us, The total degree cost will typically be less since community colleges offer two year associate and transfer degrees which typically are 60 credits compared to a 4 year school or university which is 120 credits to earn a bachelor's degree. But cost still matters.

JW said one key difference is that an NPC at a community college is aimed to help educate vs potentially as a recruitment tool. He continued, “Our job at the community college is to help students understand the cost of education and find the tools to help them fund their education. Many of our students have lots of outside commitments and want to make sure that they understand what they are signing up for.  The NPC helps students understand the important financial decisions they make when deciding to enroll.”

Why did you want a new NPC?

The reasons for switching were pretty similar!

JW said that WNC had a home grown tool that didn't provide any value to students. It was clunky and not user friendly. 

Christina told us that they were looking for a better user experience, with a more robust pay out for students and prospective students. Also, they wanted assurance that our calculator was always up to date.

And for Truckee Meadows, Leslie wanted a more mobile experience (the federal template didn’t provide that), an NPC that was available in Spanish and, again, a better user experience!

Why Meadow?

Christina said, “Meadow was the solution to a problem I didn’t know I hadæ ì I was under the impression that the NPC was always a DOE delivered product. When I learned that we could do better for our students, and have a tool that was actually useful and engaging, Meadow became the obvious choice.”

JW echoed her sentiments, “Meadow was modern, user friendly and just what we were looking for.  And we were happy to find that Meadow has an easy to work with team that allows the college staff to meet with students and not be stuck working on refining web resources!

Leslie concluded, “Meadow's net price calculator is simple to use and visually provides a better breakdown of student's expenses by semester, year, and the completion of a degree. It has been a great tool to use to engage students and families in conversations about going to college, and how to pay for college.

Well now, we are certainly blushing…we love working with all of you too!

At Meadow, we are proud to partner with community colleges and support their mission to provide accessible and affordable education. We believe in the transformative power of community colleges and their ability to empower individuals and strengthen communities. Our collaboration with these schools allows us to contribute to their efforts in improving outcomes for students.

Join us in recognizing, celebrating, and supporting community colleges! By doing so, we can continue to uplift students and communities across the nation. Thank you for being part of this important conversation and for valuing the impact of community colleges in our society.

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