School is what you make of it. It just so happens that two-year programs can be made into a lot. Also called "junior colleges" or "community colleges," two-year colleges are a smart start for many online students.
Think a two-year school is right for you? Here are some possible indications:
You're unsure about your academic abilities and your long-term goals
You're very concerned about cost
You are pursuing a degree for the first time, and it's been a few years since you were in a classroom
Still interested? Check out some of the two-year advantages:
Most two-year schools have an "open" enrollment policy, so you don't have to worry about getting accepted
Two-year schools usually cost less than four-year schools
Less time to a degree means you'll be ready for the job market sooner
If you want more schooling later on, you may be able to advance through a transfer program that ushers associate's degree grads into bachelor's programs
Granted, four years sounds like a long haul — like going to high school all over again. Luckily, this time around, you get to pick what you study. Plus, even though we may call certain schools "four-year" schools, if you choose a self-paced program, you can often finish a bachelor's degree in less than four years.
A four-year school is a great option for professionals, or soon-to-be professionals, who know their career paths will require at least a bachelor's degree. If you already have a bachelor's degree, a four-year school is where you need to go to obtain an advanced degree, like a master's degree or a Ph.D. (although these won't necessarily take 4 years to complete either.) Besides offering advanced degrees, four year colleges and universities usually have the widest variety of majors and class options available.
If you match the following descriptions, a four-year school is probably what you're looking for:
You're confident about your study skills, dedication and career goals
You're planning a professional career in law, health sciences, education, business, or engineering
You feel it's important that people recognize the name of your school