A couple of weeks before MU’s Move-in Day, I had what some would call a short-lived existential crisis. I was questioning all of my decisions, pondering over my current place in life, and even fearing that I didn’t know who the real me was. I didn’t think I could get anymore overwhelmed than I already was, but of course, I received my first MU bill. I have to pay for the majority of my college education by myself, and while I knew that college is expensive, reading the price of just one MU semester made my stomach hurt. The thought of being in such an extensive amount of college debt made me want to drop out of college before the semester even started.
Before I could withdraw from my classes and notify my roommate of the unfortunate news, I found out about the MizzouMACC program. MizzouMACC is a co-enrollment partnership that MU has with a community college in Columbia called Moberly Area Community College. The program began last fall with 30 students and due to an outstanding first year, was able to continue on to a second year. Now, any number of students can be admitted. The purpose of MizzouMACC is to establish an easier, quicker, and more affordable way to transfer from and attend community college by allowing students to take classes at both MACC and MU. Students are a full-time non-degree seeking MACC student and need to take at least 24 hours in a 12-month window, with at least 18 hours at MACC and six hours at MU. I'm currently taking only four credit hours at MU and the rest of my general education courses at the community college.
I grew up in a small-town with limited opportunities, and transitioning from its equally small school to a college like MU resorted in a loss of confidence. However, taking most of my classes at MACC soothed some of the self-doubt and worries. I'm also able to use my A+ Scholarship, which is arguably the best part about being in the MizzouMACC program. The A+ Scholarship allows recipients to pay for a sufficient portion of their two years at a community college or technical/vocational school in Missouri. MU does not take the scholarship, so I was incredibly happy to find out that as long as I follow the scholarship criteria, most of my tuition at MACC will already be paid for.
Although the program has a great deal of benefits, it also has its fair share of drawbacks. My biggest complaint is having to drive to and from the university and community college. Driving to MACC sometimes feels like an unwanted interruption in my weekly schedule, especially since I have to walk 10 minutes to my parking spot and then drive about another 10 minutes to MACC. Luckily, I attend my MACC classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have my MU classes on the other days, so I don’t have to drive back and forth every day. Since the program recommends living on campus, study groups at MU are a lot easier to create and meet up with than MACC study groups. Numerous students at the community college live outside of Columbia, which eliminates the opportunity to have impulsive study sessions with those students or even simply hang out. Most of my friends are from MU because of that.
Not being able to pledge to a fraternity or sorority is also a huge downside to the program. I can join student organizations and participate in extracurricular activities but only full-time MU students are eligible for Greek life.
While my spontaneous decision-making can lead to some rather unfortunate mistakes, joining MizzouMACC is turning out to be one of the more positive additions to my life. It isn’t something that every MU student would want to join, especially if you’re someone without access to a car or want the stereotypical college experience, but if you’re struggling to adjust to college or want to save money, the MizzouMACC program is something to look into.
Edited by Siena DeBolt | firstname.lastname@example.org