Going to College or University

This notion doc is meant to act as a mini guide for Buildergroop members thinking of going to college or university and not being sure what questions to ask or how to get started.

What’s the difference between college and university?

from Best Colleges

Colleges and universities primarily differ in program offerings and degree types. "University" refers to larger institutions offering both undergraduate and graduate programs. "College" refers to community colleges, technical schools, and liberal arts colleges.

Check out this article to learn more about the difference between college + university and the pros and cons of each.

What’s the difference between an Associate’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree?

from Northeastern University

  • Program Length: Most full-time associate degrees will take 2 years to complete, while most full-time bachelor’s degrees will take 4 years to complete.
  • Program Focus: Because bachelor’s degrees consist of additional coursework, they tend to explore a particular field of study more deeply than a comparable associate degree.
  • Earning Potential: Bachelor’s degree holders earn an average of $19,000 more per year than associate degree holders.
  • Program Costs: Earning a bachelor’s degree will typically cost more than earning an associate degree, due to the required course load.
  • Career Opportunities: Earning a bachelor’s degree will typically open a greater number of career opportunities.

Check out this article to learn more about the difference between an Associate’s Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree.

Universities in the U.S cost lots of money

from Best Colleges

“Why is college so expensive? There are a lot of reasons — growing demand, rising financial aid, lower state funding, the exploding cost of administrators, and bloated student amenities packages. The most expensive colleges — Columbia, Vassar, Duke — will run you well over $50K a year just for tuition. That doesn't even include housing! The cost of college is out of control. So what can you do to fix it? Well, nothing really, but if you’re smart, you can work around it, especially with the opportunities afforded by the growing online college sector. We'll find out why college is so expensive, and we'll tell you how you can cut costs.

The cost of college is crazy. Take it from us. This is all we do and we’re constantly blown away by the eye-popping price tag for some college degrees.”

Luckily, state colleges and universities are available at a much lower cost than private schools or out-of-state schools. Additionally, almost all schools offer generous merit-based as well as need-based scholarships. For example, Wharton, an Ivy League school within UPenn, starts off at $79k a year. 9/10 first-gen students are awarded $50k+ scholarships on avg per year. Household incomes less than $75k a year pay no tuition or fees.

Check out this article to learn more about why higher education costs so much.

Ivy League vs Community Colleges

from Education Corner

“Community colleges used to have a reputation for being less academically serious than traditional four-year universities. But a lot has changed in the world of community college. Most importantly, academic standards have risen, as have the qualifications of the teachers.

The choice of community college vs. university really depends on your overall plan for higher education. There are many benefits to beginning your college career at a community college. The quality of education is comparable to traditional institutions of higher education, tuition is more affordable and the schedule is more flexible.

Some students are still drawn to four-year universities, which offer many things a community college does not, including campus facilities, sports, and more robust student life. But as you'll see, community colleges are changing the landscape of higher education and offering students many more options in pursuing their degrees.”

Check out this article to learn more about the difference between Ivy League schools and Community Colleges.

Questions to ask yourself

from ay#7798

  1. What is this major like? Does this school have any specialized programs that help me really get into the thick from the jump? Maybe a co-op experience?
  1. What is the extracurricular scene like? Are there incubators, really active and high-achieving organizations on campus? Is there an active campus body outside of the classroom?
  1. What are the students like? Is this a party school? Is the environment conducive to who I am, and aid in my learning/experience?

Links & Resources

Supplemental Essays Suggested Approach

Top Business Schools of 2023 by US News

List of Ivy League Schools by US News

Twitter thread on Minerva University, by TheBlapse#0904