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QCC Freshman Decides QCC is the Smarter, Safer Option this Fall

August, 2020

For many incoming college freshmen, the excitement of moving away from home into a dorm and starting a new chapter in their lives has been stopped short due to COVID-19. Today, more and more four-year colleges and universities are pulling back from their initial “bringing students back to campus” for the Fall semester. Locally and nationally students are rethinking their options as their plans to take in-person classes, attend social functions and sporting events, has been radically changed.

One student who found himself in this situation was recent Shepherd Hill  Regional High School graduate and new college freshman, Andrew Stefanik, of Dudley.

“The college search, for me, seemed to work out all too perfectly in the beginning. I went on multiple tours to colleges such as Framingham State University, Salem State University, and finally, Westfield State University. I quickly realized that Westfield State seemed to be the ‘perfect’ college for me. I loved the campus and the staff seemed incredible,” he said.

Mr. Stefanik applied to his dream school and was accepted for the Fall semester. He got his dorm assignment, coordinated with his new roommate and “hit the ground running,” excited to begin his freshman year.

“Then, the COVID-19 pandemic began to raise concerns for going back to college. I had all of my classes scheduled and I was ready to go, when I realized that all of my classes had been changed to remote learning. I would be sitting in a dorm room paying multiple thousands of dollars to just sit there,” he said.

It was a wake-up call for him, as he realized this was not at all what he was paying for or wanted.

“I decided to open up my options to Quinsigamond Community College, which was going to be all off-campus and remote anyway. For the price difference alone, QCC seems to be the much smarter choice for this year,” he said, adding that the biggest contributing factor was the price difference. “It makes more financial sense to stay at home and get the same education I would have gotten otherwise.”

He recognized the many additional benefits attending a community college could offer him.

“I believe Quinsigamond will also help me to get acclimated to the college workload, which I would have struggled with while living away from home at Westfield. If I were to give advice to anybody going to a four-year college that is going completely remote this upcoming semester, I would suggest to always have an open mind! Everybody wants the ‘college experience,’ but that doesn't exist if you are sitting in a dorm room for 15 hours/day, not being able to eat at the dining commons, and not being able to hang out with friends outside of your residence hall.”

Mr. Stefanik said this Fall semester many not be what he was initially planning for, but he is looking forward to his new college (he is a history major) and taking classes in the comfort and safety of his own home.

“There is no shame in going to a community college. It is a stigma that must be broken because, in the end, you will get the same amount of education while saving thousands of dollars! It was a no-brainer for me, and I had my heart set on Westfield. I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to attend Quinsigamond this upcoming fall, even if it isn't in a traditional classroom,” he said.

It’s not too late to register for the Fall 2020 semester. Visit Admissions to learn more.

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