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Community College vs University vs Online College: The Pros and Cons of Each You Need to Know

community college vs university

If you’re chasing after a college degree, then you have several different ways to proceed.

With choices such as attending university, community college, or enrolling in an online college, it can be hard to know which one is best for you. Everyone is different.

The smartest thing to do is compare each. Line them up on a piece of notebook paper and write down the pros and cons of community college vs university vs online college. That, or read through this helpful article.

In order to help you make an informed decision, below are some of the biggest differences between each type of college. Consider the pros and cons of each in order to find the right fit for your needs.

Attending a Community College

Millions of students make the decision each year to attend a community college to seek an Associate’s Degree in their preferred field of study.

Community college makes a lot of sense for several reasons. Depending on your situation, community college can be a much more viable option.

The Advantages of Community College

When you walk on the campus of a community college, you’ll see many different people in many different stages of life. That’s because community college makes so much more sense for many of them over a university or online college.

One of the biggest advantages of community college is the price. Depending on the community college you attend, you can expect to pay half of what you’d pay at a four-year university or college.

Also, as the name would imply, community colleges are in closer vicinity to your home than many of the colleges you’re considering.

For those of you in situations where you need to maintain a full-time job while you attend college, community college can help you achieve that. It’s more flexible than a four-year college schedule but still offers the on-campus experience.

The Disadvantages of Community College

The largest disadvantage to a community college is the range of subjects for you to study.

It used to be that if your living situation forced you to attend the local junior college, you were at the mercy of whatever majors the school provided.

There are now online colleges that offer even more schedule flexibility and subject range than a community college.

Attending a University

This is always the preferred choice among young students fresh out of high school, and for good reason.

Attending a four-year university can help young men and women step out of their comfort zone and slowly ease you into the real world.

Below are some pros and cons of attending a four-year college.

The Advantages of Universities

If you have a specific major that you’re looking to graduate in, then universities will offer you the most in-depth programs to learn as much as you can.

Better yet, you can advance your knowledge of that major by chasing degrees such as a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or even a doctoral degree.

Universities can also help provide more financial aid to student-athletes and those heavily involved in other school programs such as the robotics team.

Those of you looking for the real college experience, attending a university is the right choice for you. They come in all different sizes, so you can choose the size of the school you’d personally prefer to attend.

The Disadvantages of Universities

The biggest disadvantage of attending a four-year college or university is the hefty price that comes with it.

However, with so many options for financial aid, you can receive the degree that you desire and pay it back after you have a career.

With so many expenses such as tuition, books, room and board, and meal plans, the cost can start to stack up pretty quickly!

Attending an Online College

Perhaps you simply want to receive a degree on your own time without changing up your lifestyle.

If so, then attending an online college will make a lot of sense for you. It offers the most flexibility of any option in this article.

The Advantages of an Online College

Possibly the biggest advantage of attending an online college is the amazing flexibility that it can offer you.

You can easily balance a full-time career while taking online courses that will help you receive the degree that you’re looking for. Your classes will literally be available whenever you’d like to work on them.

It also helps you learn to prioritize and schedule your time accordingly. You can study from home, Starbucks, the library, or wherever else you want to set up shop.

Obviously, with an online college, you also avoid the cumulative price of things like room and board, gas to drive to class each day, textbooks, etc.

The Disadvantages of an Online College

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of online college is having to force yourself to actually perform the necessary studying and school work. Yes, we’re talking procrastination.

With everything else in your life that you might be balancing, it can be hard to prioritize schoolwork above all else.

Make sure that you have an allotted time during your day/night that you could focus on your classes before financially committing yourself to an online college.

Community College vs University vs Online College: How to Choose

Now that you’ve seen the pros and cons lined up, community college vs university vs online college, try to find the advantages that best fit with your current lifestyle. You’ll be sure to find something that works for you.

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About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.