We often hear the terms college and university and think that they are the exact same thing. However, there are some huge differences between the two that most high school students and their parents should be aware of. It just might change your preference on which one you want to attend.
Student Enrollment Is Different in Size
It is quite common to find colleges that have a student population of only a couple thousand. In fact, private colleges may have less than a thousand students enrolled in their school. If you are looking to not get lost in the crowd, this is where colleges have universities beat. They can offer you much more private attention than universities can as there are some universities out there that have a student population of more than 50,000 students. If you prefer smaller schools, colleges are the way to go. If you want to experience the big city life with people around every corner, attending a university may be more to your liking.
How Far Do You Want to Take Your Education?
In general, colleges offer two-year degrees (associates) and four-year degrees (bachelor’s). If you are looking to get your bachelor’s followed by a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. and don’t want to change schools in the middle of it all, attending a university would be more ideal. They offer numerous additional programs that colleges usually do not. If you are after a law degree or a medical degree, a university will usually have you covered. Colleges, on the other hand, most often do not have a variety of programs to choose from. If you are looking at taking your education further than a bachelor’s, there are some colleges that offer a master’s degree, but not many.
The Cost of Attending Is Drastically Different
Universities are usually funded by the state government. This is why, for instance, Illinois’ universities are named Illinois State University and Western Illinois University and so forth and so on. Because of this, the price to attend a university is much less than attending a private college that is not funded by the state government.
If money is no object (I want your life) and you are ready to spend the big bucks for attending your dream college, by all means, follow your dreams. However, if you have a budget and don’t want to owe a $100,000 once you finish getting your degree, then a university would definitely be more budget-friendly. The U.S.Newsshowed that attending an in-state public university cost 73 percent less than attending a private college. The exact comparison for the 2018-2019 school year was $9,716 for a year at a state university and $35,676 for a year at a private college.
All Things to Consider
If you enjoy small class sizes and individual attention, you might prefer attending a college instead of a larger university. However, the final price tag may give you a bit of sticker shock. If you would like to take your education about as far as you can go without having to switch schools in the middle of it all, universities are more suitable to your needs. Plus, they are much more cost-friendly. It all depends on what your goals are and the finances that you have at your command.
On the Other Hand
If you know you want to attend a private college, but you don’t want it to cost an arm and a leg, you can always apply early and see if they have any scholarships available that you might be in the running for. In fact, iAchieve may be able to help with this. We offer specialized tutoring, test prep packages, and practice tests for both the SAT and the ACT and one very good score could net you a scholarship at a private college in the process.
Written by Ryan Crawley