Community College. This includes classes that focus on college-level reading and writing, mathematics, science and social science. Although community colleges do have some clubs and organizations, extracurricular opportunities will be much more plentiful at four-year colleges and universities. The most expensive universities also tend to have generous financial aid. Nearly all community college students commute to school, and traditional college age students are likely to miss out on the experience of leaving home for college. What is a College? However, universities in the U.S. are often larger and have a wider range of courses than those schools which call themselves colleges. On the other hand, universities generally offer programs that result in bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees and take longer to complete (4+ years). A four-year residential college would not be on option in such situations. There are even community college and junior colleges that provide students with two-year degrees. Sticker price, however, does not tell the whole story. Four-Year College . It is rare for a university to offer two-year associates degrees, although you will find a few two-year programs at regional public universities. There is also the term "community college" — or less commonly, "junior college" — in the U.S., which refers to a two-year school that offers certificates, associate's degrees, and lower-level tertiary education (i.e., half of an undergraduate's degree, which can be transferred and continued at a full, four-year college or university). By their nature, community colleges and universities necessitate two different types of professors: those who focus primarily on teaching and those who spend more time researching. Community colleges are almost always commuter campuses, so students live at home where they can save money on room, board, and many fees associated with residential campuses. Some of the nation's most expensive private universities have a total price tag close to $80,000 a year. The 7 Best Online Colleges for 2020 Enrollment, The 7 Most Affordable Online Degree Programs of 2020, Public Health Major: Courses, Jobs, Salaries, Understanding Different Types of Colleges, What Is a Communications Major? Tuition is also significantly lower than at a university. Receive a 2 month free trial by going to https://skl.sh/jubilee2Get your goodhuman crewneck (limited stock)! Universities tend to focus on teaching students how to think and solve problems whereas a community college will often be more focused on training a student for a particular profession. You'll want to register and enroll early to guarantee your seat in a class. This does not mean that students cannot study fields like theater, music, or communications at a community college, but often students will use these programs as a starting point before transferring to a four-year college or university. While costs are varied and depend upon a myriad of factors, it is … So, if your college applications are looming, here are four key reasons to put community colleges versus universities on your academic radar: Cost: Community colleges are usually less expensive. Community colleges give students the chance to start with lower student debt with lower tuition requirements. Most colleges offer bachelor’s degrees, and some colleges also have associate degrees. Perhaps the most fascinating starting point for all musicians looking into college for music is deciding between the conservatory and university. The debt that you acquired to attain the degree was more than offset by your increased lifetime earning potential. They offer two- and/or three-year programs and award associate degrees. Now its your turn to make an important decision. Flexible Schedule. Community colleges have open admissions and award two-year associate's degrees as well as offer some certificate and one-year programs. If you enjoy one-on-one teacher attention, this can have a huge impact on your school decision. Due to these huge price differences, many students choose to complete a two-year degree program at their local community college and then transfer to a university to complete their studies and earn a higher degree. Bear in mind, however, that an open admissions policy does not mean that programs and classes won't fill up. A smaller institution that usually offers undergraduate degrees is considered a college. College vs. university; In American English, college and university are generally used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences between them. Tuition and fees at an elite private university such as Duke is close to $60,000 a year. College vs. University: What's the Difference? Tuition and fees can be expensive, and students frequently live on campus. College vs. University. One of the most difficult decisions facing college-bound students is the choice to attend a community college or a university. However, some community college students must move closer to school, which leaves them in charge of rent and food. Stony Brook University Typically, a community college is nonresidential and supported locally, regionally, and/or by the state government. If you have a high school diploma or have earned a GED, you are eligible to attend a community college. If you attend a “standard” college or university, then your class schedule typically follows a 9-5 day, much like a job would. Of course, community college students have other costs to consider tuition and fees. Most universities, on the other hand, offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Remember to keep in mind the differences between degrees, cost, admission requirements, living arrangements and class sizes when making your decision. Many students don't realize that if they plan on working while attending school, community college is hands down the best option. Tuition, room and board, and meal plans all add up to thousands of dollars a year that community college students don’t have to spend. A community college, (sometimes referred to as junior college), is a 2-year school that provides inexpensive, post-secondary education to students. Community College vs. University. The University of California system charges over $13,000 for in-state students. Keep reading to get the lowdown so you can make an informed decision about the next step in your education. That can make it difficult for parents, working adults, and students who are trying to get through college without debt to make it to class. Many community colleges have articulation agreements with four-year colleges and universities. Community colleges tend to be smaller than universities and offer more interaction with faculty. The workload at a community college is significantly lighter than at a state university or a private college. Students who attend community college often live at home and drive to school, which can save money. Similarly, if you’re looking for a rah-rah environment with team sports and school pride, a four-year college is the place for you. Class size is also something to consider when deciding on a community college or a university. After graduating from a community college, most students [citation needed] transfer to a four-year liberal arts college or university for two to three years to complete a bachelor's degree. What Classifies a College? Community College Pros and Cons . That is the core of the community college vs. university debate. The community and junior colleges provide students with two-year degrees. Community colleges offer traditional academic classes like math and history that will transfer to a four-year college or university but also offers community programs like resume help to job seekers, or swim classes to children. College is more suitable for those interested in more technical and vocational expertise, while university is better for those who are research-oriented and want graduate opportunities. For many students, choosing their next steps after high school can be difficult. Community College vs University: What’s Right for You? Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education defines a university as a group of schools that typically offers many academic programs for undergraduate students, and advanced degrees such as master’s and doctorate degrees. In fact, according to an infographic created with information from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the average class size at community colleges ranges from 25-35, while classes at universities can have 150-300 students! Important Stats: There are probably a few community colleges near you. Before the 1970s, community colleges in the United States were more commonly referred to as junior colleges. Community colleges are almost always commuter campuses, so students live at home where they can save money on room, board, and many fees associated with residential campuses. Community colleges and universities each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and they have significant differences when it comes to admissions, academics, costs, and student life. Some colleges do offer graduate studies as well. That said, community colleges are much cheaper than universities; in fact, the College Board reports that the average annual cost of tuition and fees for a public 2-year college is $3,440 for in-district students. One of the biggest decisions you'll make is choosing between a community college and a university. Strong research universities will have doctoral (PhD) programs in some fields. College vs. University. Tuition is low, and students tend to be local and commute. With all the educational options out there, from two-year career colleges and community colleges to four-year liberal arts colleges and universities, finding the school that suits you best can be a challenge. Community colleges usually have flexible schedules. A university student majoring in electrical engineering will take a dozen or so engineering courses, numerous science and math classes, and also courses in areas such as writing, ethics, sociology, and business. Weighing the pros and cons of each can help you pick the best fit. Private vs. public, junior college vs. four-year university, for-profit vs. non-profit; this college jargon is enough to make anyone’s head spin! That’s great! Receive a 2 month free trial by going to https://skl.sh/jubilee2Get your goodhuman crewneck (limited stock)! There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to choosing liberal arts college vs. university or vice versa. College and University: two words with similar meanings that are often used interchangeably. Depending on location, this may or may not be higher than room and board at 4-year universities. Students attending community colleges are also able to live at home or remain in their local community while receiving their education, while most university students end up relocated to attend college. In university vs. college, which one takes precedence? Save on Tuition. Community colleges usually are not research hubs like universities because they have different missions. For students unsure about going to college, community colleges offer them the luxury of giving college a shot without having to move to a distant campus. The highest degree offered by community colleges is a two-year associate's degree. The college vs. university decision can be a tough one. Universities tend to be much pickier when it comes to admissions, which means you better be ready to do more than just submit an application. Beyond that, though, you may be faced with quite a few choices when it comes to your education. First on the list of differences between community colleges and universities is the type of degrees and programs offered. College vs. University: The Actual Meaning. According to the College Board, you can expect for room and board to tack on about $10,000 per year at public 4-year universities and roughly $11,500 per year at private 4-year universities. Most universities are largely residential—students live on or near campus for the entire academic year. Most four-year colleges offer bachelor’s degrees with some also offering associate degrees. In every story the protagonist must make a decision that will change his or her life forever, from Neo choosing between the red and blue pill, Luke Skywalker between choosing the light side or the dark side, or even Lebron James choosing to go to Miami or to stay in Cleveland. • Those looking to start with a job soon after completing their course can join community college instead of a university. To put it into perspective, community college tuition can be as little as around $3,500 per year, compared to up to around $35,000 for out of-state-students attending a public university. Community college tuition is usually thousands of dollars cheaper than tuition for … Community colleges tend to specialize in career-focused fields such as engineering technology, computer information systems, nursing, radiography, physical therapist assistant, and security systems technology. A university degree in electrical engineering will almost always lead to a higher paying job than a community college degree in electronics engineering technology, and the four-year degree is also more likely to lead to oversight and management positions. This on-campus living adds another dimension to the overall cost of school and is known as room and board. In this post, we'll take a look at the big differences between these two types of schools so you have the information you need to make a smart decision about your future. Since most community colleges are publicly funded, they’re often accredited by the same institutions as the local four-year schools. These agreements allow for a smoother transition from a two-year community college to … Making the decision between the two is exceptionally important to your future – after all, the four years you spend at college shape your future perhaps more powerfully than any other investment in your life. Here’s a rundown of what some of these terms mean to help you with your college search. In fact, many have open admission policies, meaning any person who graduates high school and applies gets accepted. Universities tend to have much larger class sizes due to the amount of students that attend the school, and this can mean less one-on-one attention from teachers for you. Community colleges (also known as junior colleges) offer a two–year degree called an associate's degree. Now that you have the major differences between community colleges and universities laid out in front of you, you should have a clearer idea of which type of school will work best for you and your individual needs. Community colleges used to be regarded as less academically challenging than traditional four-year universities. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Community College vs University: Pros and Cons of Cost, Class Size, and Student Experience; For many students, the choice between matriculating into a community college versus a university is a difficult choice to make, with many details and implications to consider. At the same time, many community college students are adults returning to school who may be balancing school with jobs, family, and other commitments. College vs. University in the U.S. More One difference, experts say, is that universities offer both undergraduate and graduate programs, while many colleges focus solely on undergrads. For a private 4-year university, you can expect to cough up $32,410 per year in tuition and fees. University usually denotes a school that offers full undergraduate and graduate programs, while colleges usually offer more narrow programs and may have no graduate studies at all. Another big way community colleges and universities differ is in living arrangements. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. So what is the real difference between a college and a university? Community colleges typically have much less strict admission requirements than universities. There are even community college and junior colleges that provide students with two-year degrees. Sometimes called junior colleges, community colleges usually offer associate degrees, though some also offer certificate programs. For 50 years, a four-year degree has been the first prerequisite to the American middle class. Although the amount of groups and clubs at community colleges are limi… However, community colleges are changing the game of higher education and offer students many more options in pursuing their dreams. Community College vs. In some cases, they also offer advanced degrees in … 1. Community colleges are usually much easier to get into (the national average acceptance rate is 76% vs. 59% at a four-year institution). Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal In general, if you value highly involved students, an active social scene, and a lot of school spirit, a university is going to have more to offer than a community college. According to several recent studies, students attending community colleges often participate in classroom discussion and experience one-on-one interaction with professors at a much higher rate than university students. That means you won’t see many classrooms with 200-300 students, and your professor might actually know you by name! Community colleges are founded on the idea of access, and any student who has earned a high school degree can attend. All rights reserved. A student whose family earns $50,000 a year could go to Harvard University for free because of financial aid. At a four-year residential university, the great majority of students will be involved in multiple clubs, and the options for getting involved in athletics will be far greater than at a community college. Some universities have extremely selective admissions. Most community colleges also offer short-term certificate and diploma programs that train you for a specific career. Tuition is also significantly lower than at a university. While a four-year school may offer Bachelor's degrees, many community and junior colleges only offer two-year or Associate's degrees. Resource: 25 Best Value Colleges. Community college is a lot less expensive than university. Universities can have selective admissions, and they award four-year bachelor's degrees and graduate degrees. According to 2011 statistics , the average tuition for public two year institutions was only $2,713, making a total of a little over $5,000 in total owed, not to mention the $1700 in Pell Grant Aid money offered to community college students. For example, Williams College, Amherst College… Programs are typically two years long. First on the list of differences between community colleges and universities is the type of degrees and programs offered. • Community colleges prove cheaper than universities. Many universities have holistic admissions policies and look at more than grades and test scores. • Community colleges are flexible and allow one to pursue specialized education adapted to suit their needs. In the U.S., \"college\" and \"university\" are frequently interchangeable and simply refer to a school at the tertiary level. This is not a problem with community colleges, as nearly all have open admissions. Community colleges usually don't offer housing to students, but universities almost always do in the form of dorms and on-campus apartment complexes. Harvard University, for example, has a sticker price around $80,000 a year.A low income student, however, will attend Harvard for free. Commuter campuses tend to have far less going on when it comes to student life since students leave school when their classes are over. Just remember that if you're thinking of doing this, always check to make sure your credits and degree will transfer when the time comes. Services, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. The average cost of tuition and fees at a community college averages just over $3,000 a year. Meal plans are also offered at most universities. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our, 10 Best Colleges for Environmental Science Majors, SUNY vs. CUNY: Comparing New York's College Systems, Open Admissions at Colleges and Universities. As you decide whether or not a community college is right for you, be careful not to confuse the sticker price with the cost. The decision to attend a community college instead of, or before, a four-year college is complicated and based on many factors. For example, in-state tuition in the University of North Carolina system is around $7,000 a year. In recent years, community colleges have raised their academic standards as well as qualifications for teachers, making community colleges a more affordable way … Law schools, business schools, and medical schools are almost always connected to universities, so MBA, JD, and MD degrees are awarded by universities. University VS College: Which one is better? Across the country, community colleges have worked to ensure that their associate's degrees matc… A smaller institution that usually offers undergraduate degrees is considered a college. However, certain community college programs may have stricter admission requirements, such as those in nursing, law enforcement, allied health and engineering technology. A college (Latin: collegium) is an educational institution or a constituent part of one. If students are torn between the two, they should visit the campuses and sit in on classes to get a feel of what they feel comfortable with. Universities are much larger than community colleges; some universities in the United States have over a hundred thousand students. Most of the Ivy League schools, for example, have acceptance rates well below 10%. “There is sometimes very little course work aside from major exams but keep in mind that college is what you make it - putting in the time is entirely up to you” (The Pros & Cons of Community Colleges). However, according to the same source, the average annual cost for a public 4-year university is $9,410 for in-state students and $23,890 for out-of-state students. July 02, 2020 You’ve decided you want to go to college. The Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University, has been conducting research on community colleges since 1996 to identify barriers to students' post-secondary access and promising solutions. Universities Choosing a college means going to a new, unfamiliar world of immense possibilities. Flexibility: Class schedules can be more flexible. Article Type: Fight Club. That's what these schools are all about: offering local students the opportunity to study in a way that's accessible to them. As a prospective college student, you probably have an idea of what field you want to enter and perhaps which degree you'll need. Of course, community college students have other costs to consider tuition and fees. We'll explore the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Community College vs University. The College Board estimates that when room and board is taken … Community colleges are sometimes referred to as '2-year colleges' and mostly offer associate's degree programs that you can typically complete in two years or less, depending on enrollment status (i.e., full or part time). Community colleges also cost less than universities so it is a good option for students with limited economical means. What is the difference? The cost variation between attending a community college as opposed to attending a university can vary widely, and is typically the biggest difference between the two entities. Since community colleges do not have as many students on campus this means there are less students to meet and fewer organized campus groups and activities. If you want to earn a bachelor's degree, you'll need to attend a four-year college or university. For many jobs in technology and healthcare fields, an inexpensive community college degree is the way to go. These general credits can then be transferred to a four-year college to earn a bachelor's degree. University: A Brief Overview. A college may be a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, a part of a collegiate or federal university, an institution offering vocational education, or a secondary school.. Most will live in the residence halls, but depending on the school, some may live in fraternities, sororities, theme houses, or nearby off-campus housing. There is also the term \"community c… This point is worth reemphasizing: an extremely expensive private university can actually cost less than a community college for a student from a family with modest income. Along with access, low cost is one of the greatest benefits of community college. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education defines a university as a group of schools that typically offers many academic programs for undergraduate students, and advanced degrees such as master’s and doctorate degrees. The average cost of tuition and fees at a community college averages just over $3,000 a year. The first step to attending college is getting in. If you are wondering whether to attend a community college or a university, you should have a solid understanding of the major differences between the two. Besides the time-frame needed to complete a degree, another big difference between a community college and a university is campus size. Considerations include cost, which schools you can get accepted to based on your grades, the kind of learning environment that works best for you, and your desired career path. As community colleges grow in popularity they are serving more individuals both locally and from around the world. However, for many careers in industry, education, and government, you're going to need a minimum of a four-year degree from a college or university. What’s the Big Difference Between Public and Private? University VS College: Which one is better? However, a college and a university can often mean very different things depending on the context and the country. The differences are crazy, aren't they?! In contrast, community colleges charge about $3,660 on average per year for in-state students, according to the 2018 Trends in College Pricing report released by the College Board. Also, for those of us planning to attend universities, this is the perfect place to get your feet wet. We'll explore the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Community College vs University. Articulation agreements with four-year colleges offer undergraduate degrees is considered a college means going https! Sense of community, a community college is a lot less expensive than.. Fact, many community and junior colleges often offer short-term programs, and of! Often live at home and drive to school, which one takes precedence that provide students two-year! Bad, and any student who has earned a GED, you need to attend four-year. Is complicated and based on many factors feet wet on option in to... It is rare for a university responsibility of living on their own for the entire academic year high school applies! 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