I recently asked some high school girls what questions they have in regards to their education and several of them said that they just didn’t know much about the different kinds of schools and which they should go to. There are a lot of options for what type of school to attend and different ways they can be categorized. It can seem pretty daunting! Here’s a basic run-down of different types of schools and what they offer.
I love me a good community college! Students have the opportunity to receive an Associate’s degree, usually in about two years. They may also grant certificates or diplomas in certain fields. The community college I attended had a nursing program, dental hygienist program, and technology certificates that allowed the recipient to start working in their field right away. Many times community colleges have articulation agreements with universities, which makes it easier to transfer credits. They are super cheap too, so it is a great option to earn a lot of credits for a good price before transferring to a university.
Colleges & Universities
Most of us probably don’t realize that there is a difference between the two. A four-year college allows students to earn a Bachelor’s degree, but may or may not have any advanced degrees. A university offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctorate degrees. They can also have professional degrees like medical, dental and law programs.
Public schools receive funding from the state government. Due to that, in-state students get cheaper tuition rates than out-of-state students. Private schools do not receive government funding, so usually the tuition is the same regardless of where students come from. Private schools can be non-profit or for-profit. Don’t rule out private universities thinking they’re always more expensive! I transferred to a non-profit religiously affiliated university after I received my Associate’s degree. It was cheaper for me to go out-of-state to that university than to pay in-state tuition at one of the local universities where I grew up. Do your research!
I had a roommate once who had gone to culinary school–I highly recommend that if you have the opportunity! Career colleges are awesome and underutilized, in my opinion. They are exactly as they sound–they prepare students for specific careers. They can be public or private and prepare for work and licensing exams. They can even be done in high school and count towards high school credits. I had friends who went to our school in the morning for a couple of hours and then went to their vocational school for cosmetology, dental assisting, HVAC, medical assisting and mechanic programs. The nice thing was that our high school helped pay for the programs while the students were in high school. I knew a girl who did cosmetology school while in high school, but also had such good grades that she got a scholarship to a university. She was able to have a good paying job while working on her degree. Smart. You know what one of my college jobs was? The cafeteria. For minimum wage.
There are pros and cons to each of these schools, so it is important to research and have an idea of what you want to do. They vary in price, admission standards, degrees, time for completion and locations–all things to take into consideration as you plan. Even if you’re not 100% positive of what you want to study, knowing what the different types are can help you make a good choice.