9 reasons to choose a four-year college

chemistry experiment bottlesCommunity colleges can be a great option, but there are a few reasons why you might want to attend a four year college from the get-go:

More areas of study. Bigger schools will offer more classes and a wider range of majors. Of course if you choose a community college just to get your gen eds out of the way, this might not be a big deal for you.

Depth of study. If you are very advanced in any area of study, you might only find a handful of classes that meet your level at a community college. Some may have what you’re looking for, but they just aren’t designed to have a wide offering of advanced courses. So if you want to jump right into Calc IV or Advanced Photography, a four year college might be the way to go.

Academic rigor/environment. If you’re the type of student that needs a challenge or you’ll get bored, you might want to start off in a four year college. They can offer advanced and honors programs that you won’t find at a community college.

Research opportunities. Many professors at four year colleges have their own research projects, and they hire undergraduates to help them. Even if you can’t land a job during the school year, there might be summer internships available only for enrolled students.

Facilities. If you’re looking for state of the art research labs or concert halls, it’ll be easier to find those at four year colleges. They have the money and the space to have those kinds of facilities on campus.

Extracurricular activities. Community colleges generally don’t have a wide range of extracurricular activities. Unlike four year institutions, if you want to get involved (which I encourage you to), you’ll have to look for opportunities outside of the college.

Teams. If you’re a star athlete or a first chair musician, you might be able to get scholarships at four year colleges. These types of classes and activities are things you probably won’t find at community colleges.

College experience. Living  next door to your friends, going to class in your pajamas, having everything you need within a 10 minute walk… all those things are part of the unique college experience. And it doesn’t hurt to have those things available in the middle of the semester when the work gets hard.

All the extras. Whether it’s free yoga classes, discounted concert tickets, or access to all the events on campus, some four year colleges are loaded with extra perks. But of course, you’ll probably be paying for it later.

Take these things into consideration, but don’t forget to consider why community colleges are a good option too. You have to decide what the tradeoffs are worth to you. Remember that if you do ultimately choose to start off at a community college, all of this will await you when you transfer. So maybe it’s not something you’re missing out on after all, but rather something to look forward to.


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>>9 reasons to choose community college