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As higher ed continues online classes this fall, PCC emerges as best choice for new students

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Yvonne Sanchez Perez

Yvonne Sanchez Perez.

In this era of remote and online operations for higher education, new students enrolling in college this fall are facing a new reality. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no campus visits or in-person appointments for recent high school graduates. All of the typical admission points of interests – from information sessions to orientations to tours – are now done virtually.

With Portland Community College’s robust virtual admissions resource, incoming students are experiencing a smooth transition. And with most colleges and universities all online or remote, many students are choosing PCC for its affordability edge over four-year institutions.

“PCC is the smart choice for students looking for an affordable option,” said PCC Director of Admissions & Recruitment Matt Ogawa. “Why pay thousands of dollars more in tuition at a four-year college or university for the same transferable courses that will lead you to the same degree and same career? When comparing PCC’s current resident tuition rate of $123 per credit to that of other public and private institutions that are hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars more, families can save significantly.”

Virtual Admissions

PCC helps students reach their goals. Get started by connecting with the college’s admissions team virtually! From one-on-one appointments and group info sessions to recorded sessions and steps for new students, Virtual Admissions has it all.

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Choosing PCC is a strategic decision for many students. According to the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion, PCC’s yearly costs for tuition and fees is about $5,681 per year, which is roughly half of most public universities in the state and a fraction of the yearly tuition for private four-year institutions.

On top of this affordability advantage, PCC provides many avenues for students to cover the cost of tuition, fees and books, such as federal financial aid, grants, loans, work study and scholarships.

For first-year PCC student Yvonne Sanchez Perez, it was a no-brainer in choosing a community college. She chose PCC because it costs less and will support her academic journey from start to finish. The 18-year-old recently graduated from Creekside Community High School, an alternative school in the Tigard-Tualatin School District.

She is starting the first two years of her college career by taking general education classes and other required classes needed for her transfer degree. Sanchez Perez hopes to transfer to Portland State University to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education.

“Yes, absolutely, affordability did factor into my decision,” Sanchez Perez revealed. “As a low-income, first-generation student, college cost was the first thing I looked into.”

Her story is a familiar one for first-generation students who come from an immigrant family background. Sanchez Perez’s mother came to the U.S. searching for a better life and has worked hard to provide her family with what they need. However, her mother struggled to save for the future working in a minimum wage job and provide for Yvonne and her siblings.

“I am extremely grateful that I have the opportunity to attend an affordable college and hopefully move myself and family upwards,” Sanchez Perez stated. “I want to pursue a career that I am passionate about while serving others.Affordability graphic

“I’m following in my sister’s footsteps in going to college,” she added. “I want to continue my studies because I want to be passionate about my career and make a difference in people’s lives. My family has been very supportive, and they are proud that I graduated high school and want to continue pursuing higher education.”

Even though the first-year student couldn’t visit PCC in person for tours or meetings, the virtual admissions experience and the live meetings were impactful.

“What struck me the most was having a video admissions meeting along with other new college students,” she said. “I appreciated seeing other faces and knowing we were all starting from a similar place. We were told what to expect and what to do on the first day of class, and this made me have more confidence as I began my journey at PCC.”

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Public Relations Manager at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic, Wo... more »