Two-Year & Four-Year Schools

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Two-Year Colleges

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

2 year vs 4 yearFour-Year Colleges

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