Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Two Year vs. Four Year Colleges

One primary consideration in choosing a college for many students is the choice between a two-year and a four-year college. Many students decide to study for one or two years at a local community college. While attending the two year school, a student takes care of many of the courses required for any four-year program, and can earn an Associates Degree as well. For some careers, the two-year program is all that is needed.

Applications for those schools are fairly simple, and acceptance (for most programs) is guaranteed to high school graduates. (Please note that some programs are selective. For example, a nursing program may require certain classes or test results.) Some other key advantages include:

  • A college prep schedule in high school is unnecessary
  • SATs are not required for admission (again, this is for most programs)
  • Cost savings are very significant

Students attending a community college must plan their classes there carefully to be sure that most or all of their credits can be transferred to a 4-year college of their choice if they decide to continue their studies.

Many community colleges have articulation agreements with 4-year colleges. Here’s what Rowan College at Gloucester County (a local favorite) has to say about their articulation agreements.
 "Rowan College at Gloucester County has partnered with a number of four-year universities to make earning a bachelor's degree a seamless transition, with cost- and time-saving rewards. Graduates of Rowan College are guaranteed admission at their choice university, provided they meet prerequisite requirements and grade-point-average standards.."
It’s important to note that students must meet certain criteria in terms of achievement while at the community college to be accepted at the four-year institution. As you can see, a community college is a great place for many students to start, or even complete, their higher education.

Student’s who attend a community college most often choose the one closest to home. There are exceptions to this rule though based on the availability of specialized programs. For example, New Jersey students planning to attend a community college and interested in mortuary science will want to attend Mercer Community College, while those interested in culinary arts may want to attend Atlantic Cape Community College.

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