Top-ranked Delta College overlooked by area students

Alex Bussey, Opinion Editor

As seniors work tirelessly to perfect their college applications and prepare to move throughout the country, many fail to realize that one of the nation’s best community colleges, San Joaquin Delta College, is located right here in Stockton.

In August, the financial web- site Wallethub published a comparison of over 700 community colleges across the nation based on 19 different measures, including the cost of attendance and quality of education.

Each of the 19 metrics was rated on a 100-point scale and grouped into three categories: cost and financing, education outcomes and career outcomes. These metrics were then weighted and averaged to determine each school’s overall score.

In the three main categories, Delta was ranked 11th in finances, 249th in education outcomes and 83rd in career outcomes.

Overall, Delta College came out near the top of the leader- board, ranking fourth in the nation and first in the state of California.

According to the Delta College website, “Most students at Delta qualify for fee waivers and pay no tuition at all.”

This affordability makes Delta an appealing option for students whose families are unable to afford tuition for a four- year college.

Senior Alex Rubio plans to attend Delta to save money and help his family at home.

“Why pay $40,000 for the exact same education that I can get at Delta for free?” Rubio said.

In addition to the financial and educational benefits of Delta, the community college is also a part of the Big 8 athletic conference, which provides athletes with the opportunity to compete

with other community college teams across the state.

Many student-athletes attend Delta for these athletic opportunities, as well as the benefits that being a student-athlete at Delta provides. This was the case for Bear Creek alumna Heidi Wright, who currently plays for Delta’s Wo“men’s Water Polo team.

“If you are an athlete [at Delta], you get so many benefits,” Wright said. “Delta has given me many opportunities, [including] priority registration. With this, you can be in and out of Delta within two years, and it makes it so much easier to transfer to the school you want.”

While some Bear Creek students consider Delta to be a good school, many still feel that community colleges, including Delta, are not the right path for them.

“I want to go to a four-year college because I want to live on campus and fully experience college for all four years,” junior Sid- ney Banks said. “Living at home and going to Delta would make me feel like I was still in high school.”

While the community college route is not for everybody, many who attend Delta find it extremely rewarding.

“Delta offers so many opportunities for students to learn and succeed in their classes,” Wright said. “Going to Delta was definitely the best decision I’ve ever made.”