Community College Best Value Says Report

Sampson Community College is a well-kept secret that is not much of a secret anymore. It’s hard to live in this area and not see or hear about new programs, new facilities or be touched someway by the college.

Those who already attend SCC know its value and see it every day but for those who still don’t know, the US News & World Report publication issued a report last month detailing its top ten reasons why community colleges are the best value going and the biggest bang for the buck. US News & World Report is an American media company that has published news, opinion, consumer advice, rankings, and analysis for more than 85-years.

SCC President, Dr. Bill Starling explains why he agrees with the report. “Economists point to the collective amount of college debt, over $1.5 trillion, as an economic headwind for growth, not only for the students that have accumulated it, but for the national economy as young people delay important life decisions to address their student loan debt,” Starling says. “Increasingly community colleges are recognized for their ability to lower the cost of acquiring a college degree or developing occupation skills.”


Hundreds of students attended orientation last week at SCC

As a matter of fact, affordability was listed in the report as the number one reason that community colleges are so attractive to new students. The report states that “the average cost of annual tuition and fees at four-year institutions in the 2018-2019 school year was $35,676 at private colleges, $9,716 for state residents at public colleges and $21,629 for out-of-state students at state schools. In contrast, community colleges charge about $3,660 on average per year for in-state students.”

Other top ten reasons cited in the list are academic flexibility, school-life balance, STEM education and opportunities, personalized attention, elements of traditional college, online class options and the offering of professional certificates.

Two of the top reasons Starling felt needed emphasis to parents and students are financial aid options and transfer agreements. “SCC now enjoys transfer agreements with UNC-W, ECU, Fayetteville State and a special cooperative admission program with NCSU,” Starling points out. “These important agreements are supplemented by a number of transfer agreements with other regional and private colleges and universities providing SCC students a range of opportunities for transfer.”

“Beginning this fall, SCC offers additional financial aid support to Sampson County high school graduates through Sampson Promise,” adds Starling. “This program assures each graduate that their unmet cost of attendance beyond federal financial aid will be met by the College.  We’re excited that we have been able to bring these assurances to our high school students that are wondering how they might pay for college.”

An additional perk just announced by SCC this week is that the college is adding intramural sports beginning this fall to students who attend. Sampson Community College has long promised its students that they can “begin here and go anywhere” and the reason the college can successfully make that claim are detailed in the U.S. News & World Report article. For more information about where to begin, visit