Sampson Community College is known for its wide array of offerings — everything from basic college courses to programs that train students to enter into the industrial workforce.
Clinton High School graduate Sophie Miller has taken advantage of the opportunities at the local community college, and is now better prepared for continuing her education at a four-year institute.
“Towards the end of high school, I was unsure about my path,” Miller explained. “I was honestly afraid of going to a big college campus and being in that type of environment.”
By starting her college career at Sampson, Miller said she was able to take her time deciding what career path she wanted to pursue, allowing to her to be certain about the decisions she made.
“By starting at Sampson, I had a whole two years to figure out what I wanted to do,” Miller said.
Miller will graduate in May with an associate’s degree in science, and she now knows that she wants to attend N.C. State University or the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in biology or biochemistry.
“Now that all my general education courses will be covered when I graduate, I’ll be able to enter whatever college I choose as a junior and immediately begin working towards my degree,” Miller added.
Like many of her peers, Miller said she always assumed she had to go straight into a four-year college or university after graduating from high school. When she made the decision to attend Sampson, Miller says many of her friends and classmates questioned the decision.
“I had people say to me, ‘but Sophie, you are so smart. Why are going to Sampson?,’ and truly understood their concern,” Miller said.
Being at Sampson, Miller says she has had access to a one-on-one relationship with her teachers, and has taken advantage of the open door policy and convenience to visit in their offices.
“At a four-year school, you don’t really have that option,” Miller said. “You are lucky if you are sitting among less than 300 people, and the professors definitely don’t know you by name. Here, at Sampson, I can raise my hand and be called by name and have my questions answered.”
Another benefit to Sampson, Miller said was cost. Through scholarships and work study programs, the Clinton High graduate says she has virtually received her two-year degree free, thus saving her thousands of dollars. Additionally, she says she has been able to work a part-time job and save money to apply towards the cost of college the last two years.
“It’s almost like I have gotten my first two years of my degree for free,” Miller said.
Miller works 25-30 hours per week, in addition to tutoring students on campus.
Studies show that the average tuition for a public institution is $23,600 per year. By 2029, that figure is expected to increase to $102,900. Miller says that is why she is glad she made the decision to save that money she would have spent on tuition at a four-year college, especially since she was uncertain about her path.
“Attending Sampson was the best fit for me,” Miller added. “I really encourage people to consider Sampson as an option after high school.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.