Two-Year College and Four-Year College: What You Need to Know

Story by Carly Baker, Reporter

There are many differences between a two-year college and a four-year University. There are many factors to consider when deciding between the two choices.

To start, going to a Community College may be the right “next step” to choose. Attending a two-year college you are able to earn an associate’s degree.

It also allows students to see what college life is like, if they are unsure about even wanting to attend college.

According to, “Aside from offering students a low-cost education, community colleges can give them more personalized attention and be a steppingstone toward a four-year institution,” said Alexandra Pannoni.

Since they are smaller colleges, you will have smaller classes and have more one-on-one opportunities with the professors.

Pannoni also mentioned, “teens considering attending community colleges after high school should be aware that the community college environment is often different from that of a typical four-year college.”

Some downfalls to attending community college is you don’t get to experience living on campus, as there isn’t on campus housing at most.

In addition, many of the students are uninvolved. Most don’t have any plans for an academic future outside of what they receive at the community college level.

Now, onto four year universities and what it’s like to attend. There are many noticeable differences compared to community colleges.

First, the class size is noticeably different. According to, “Since the student-to-faculty ratio at most community colleges is lower than at most four-year colleges and universities, community college students often spend more time working directly with their professors.”

At four year colleges, “it is not uncommon for classes to be held in large auditoriums where one professor may lecture several hundred students at a time. Consequently, some university students tend to feel that they’re never able to develop a personal relationship with their professor.”

Lastly, the financial cost is exceptionally different. According to the College Board, “the average cost of tuition and fees at a two-year school is only $3,131, just over one-third of the cost for a year at a four-year public institution.”

And “the average cost of one year of in-state tuition and fees at a public four-year school is $8,655. Tack on another $9,205 in room and board costs and you’re looking at an average yearly bill of $17,860.”

As you can see there are many differences between community college and four year universities, and there is no right or wrong choice. It just depends on what is the right fit for you.