When Anthony Scandariato, of Randolph, was a senior in high school, two events took place that shaped where he would go to college and what he would study. First, his father lost his job and remained unemployed for six months. During that time, Scandariato started his own business from home, teaching guitar and piano.
"Before my dad lost his job, we were looking at colleges with tuitions of more than $20,000 a year," he says. "But with his being out of work for so long, that was hard to afford. So I decided to take the community college route and save some money."
His decision is not an uncommon one.Recent statistics show that 6.2 million students – 35 percent of all post-secondary students – chose community colleges, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.
The experience of running his own business, which now boasts a clientele of 15 students, shaped his decision to major in business administration. "Everywhere you go, there’s some aspect of business," he says. "I was interested in just getting a sense of how businesses are run."
At County College of Morris (CCM) Scandariato also plunged, full-throttle, into campus activities. "There are many clubs on campus and if you get involved, it makes the CCM experience a thousand times better," he says. He is currently the president pro tempore of the Student Government Association, president of the Alpha Beta Gamma business honor society, treasurer of the Student Activity Program Board and a representative on the CCM Judicial Board. He also started his own club, the Young Entrepreneurs of America, an educational club to develop business skills.
Scandariato has no regrets about attending a community college. "I’m glad I went to CCM because I don’t think I was prepared for a four-year school.My grades in high school were not that good." He’s now maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
In 2012, he intends to apply to Cornell to continue his business education.He eventually would like to own a retail music store selling guitars, keyboards and drums.
"Hopefully, with my two- and four-year degrees, I can earn an income by doing the things I love," he says.