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Transferring from a 2-year College or Going Directly for Four Years in University



School systems vary from country to country. However, in the United States students can use different paths after secondary education to acquire the certificate of higher education. Higher education includes two systems which are college and university. Colleges are community schools that last from two to four years depending on the course. In most cases, the context of a college class is identified by its size. However, this is not true since there are many colleges of the same size as universities. For example Boston College is a huge school with a variety of programs but since there is already Boston University it has maintained the status of the college. College’s issue certificates, diplomas and associate degrees (Pope, 2012). Colleges offer specialized classes and technical education for students who want to earn an associate degree. But they also offer basic classes for students who want to earn a degree in various fields. Credits earned can be transferred to graduate programs in universities. But the universities must have an articulate agreement with the college to allow the credits transfer. The articulate agreement looks at the specific subjects taken at the University and whether a standard performance by the community college is met (Cohen, Brawer, & Kisker, n.d.). According to the National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES), a student qualifies for bachelors after attending a community college if the student has done two to four-year full-time studying and has achieved between sixty to one hundred and twenty semesters during his study in a recognized and accredited college. After attaining the associate degree with all qualifications met a student can join the University. University offers bachelor’s degree and postgraduate honors in various fields. Bachelor’s programs run on average for four years, but it can last more depending on the course. Postgraduates run from a year to three years depending on the course. The paper discusses if it is worthwhile to go to a two-year community college and then transfer to an undergraduate program or pursue a four-year course directly at the university and identify the benefits and disadvantages of both variants.

Advantages of Completing a Two-year College

The community college has great benefits despite the hyping media universities. It is noted that more people attend community colleges and then transfer to universities for undergraduate programs. A visit to Diablo Valley College established it was the size of a university but offered associate degree programs. The public community college has an enrollment of 22,000 students on its two campuses. The majority of the students are doing basic classes to join universities. After a brief engagement with Dean counseling and enrollment services Elizabeth Hauscarriaque established the main advantage of high enrollment in community college due to the lower expenses when compared to universities. She cited that the majority of students who have gone through community college do not have debt or manageable loan to kick off their higher education (Diablo Valley College, 2008). They save a lot from the university boarding fees which they will use for their two or three years university education. They find it educative to start at the technical school before acquiring their bachelor’s degree. Also students with a blemish, transcripts have a launching point to earn their bachelor’s degree (Bailey, Smith Jaggars, & Jenkins, n.d.). However, despite the benefits of attending a two-year community college, there are numerous disadvantages.

Disadvantages of Completing a Two-year College

The primary disadvantage of community colleges is that they offer general prerequisite courses creating a problem when it comes to transfers. Some colleges offer the course a student wants, but it does not have an articulated agreement with a university of the students’ choice. A student’s choice maybe based on the course they want to pursue, job conditions for working students and cost of the university enrollment compared to others. Laws in some states have not made it easy for students to transfer. Restriction arises from conditions such as a student can only transfer to a university within the state. Housing is another major challenge in colleges. Universities offer houses for its students although at a high cost compared to college which requires students to commute daily from school. Students have to look for accommodation outside of campus, which might be expensive depending. If the college is situated in a city, students pay high housing charges compared to those who are located in the countryside. Since there are no in-house accommodation agreements between the landlord and students outside of the campus, it is always skewed against the student due to their less bargaining power. On average, the housing costs might equate to paying boarding fees in a university. Attending colleges reduce the earning potential of individuals because some students after getting the associate degree find jobs and fail to pursue their initial objective of attaining a degree. Class offerings in colleges tend to be smaller and are not flexible compared to universities. They follow a certain sequence of courses to award an associate degree in a given time hurriedly. Most community colleges lack resources that are an equivalence of universities. They usually have small libraries and limited funding due to their programs. It is not possible due to do in-depth research in a community college apart from a few. Universities tend to receive better funding from the government and private sector due to the many research programs in the school. It is not that discouraging for students attending college since there are benefits of transferring to a university.

Advantages of Transferring from Two Years to 4-year University

Surprisingly it is noted that one third of the students in the United States transfer from colleges. There are many reasons why students prefer to advance to university from college. When transferring from a college to a university a student acquires broader experience unlike the limited one in college. A student experiences different academic environments that include a school with all the facilities, in addition to the flexibility of the universities to do many courses in the same department or school. A brief interview with the University of California President Janet Napolitano revealed that the school enrolment department concluded that the high number of admissions from college was due to students’ wish for broader experience in education and a desire to become more competitive in employment (The Center, 2007). The technical aspect of college that has being impacted in students, they end up performing better at the university due to the vast availability of resources the school provides. After finishing two-year college, students set clear goals of what they want to pursue. The break reveals the market and personal needs. Thus, when applying for a degree, students are acquainted with the course they are pursuing. Life at times gets in the way of achieving set goals. Transferring to University gives a student an opportunity for a fresh start in education where the errors committed in college like recklessness can be repeated. The opportunity to redefine your goals gives a student greater satisfaction and establishes a true sense of accomplishment. The President further stated that college students preferred transferring because of the financial aid and scholarships degree they are offered. She added that apart from the online choices and studying transferring to university offers a lot of career opportunities. Though transferring from colleges to universities have many benefits there are disadvantages of transferring.

Disadvantages of Transferring from Two-year to 4-year University

An interview by Boston College President William P. Leahy expressed the challenges students face when transferring from colleges to university. The most dangerous challenge is that credits don’t always transfer to universities. Many students have had an experience where most of their credits did not apply for the admission, and they ended starting from the first year instead of being exempted for at least two years. A person leaves the people he is used to and most notable are the landmarks that one gets attached to bring a recurrent feeling of nostalgia to a student in the new environment. Leaving friends puts a lot of strain on social lives of students, and they take time adjusting to the new system and get new friends. But the President notes that transferring postpones the stability of an individual too much. It ends up wasting years and resources, and after that, it creates some feeling of uncertainty, which he says stretches up to employment where an employee will always be seeking transfers. It is not necessary for a student to go through college but attend a four-year university direct.

Advantages of Four-year University Direct Entry

Students who attend the high standards university, the school offers them a broad range of benefits they could comprehend. Students pursue a career they enjoy and develop their expertise and knowledge critically. The degree enhances their career objectives that are attractive to employers. Attaining a degree directly enhances a resume on many employers who considered that graduates who didn’t go to college are smart students. Four-year programs offer strengths to individuals in using tailor made programs to meet the changing market needs. University offers new skills to students every academic year and not on a constant basis like colleges; their flexibility is not restricted to district boards or state laws. The four-year programs have great disadvantages that are stressful for applicants like cost (Peterson’s four-year colleges, 2017).

Disadvantages of Four-year University Direct Entry

The cost of completing a four-year university program is costly regarding tuition and boarding fees that leaves students with the huge amount of loans taking years to repay. One year in the university cost on average $8700 in tuition, $10,000 on boarding plus other activities totaling to $20,000 on average in public schools. In private, the situation is worse and overwhelming with tuition fees of up $29,000 and boarding fees of $10,000 plus other activities totaling to $43,000 on average. University students have to do jobs to cover the huge cost thus reducing their concentration on studying.


Attending a two-year college or transferring to a university is not an easy decision to make. But education is essential no matter what methods are used. Many American students prefer college then transferring avoiding the huge cost of debts in the university. However, this is not entirely true since some credits might not be considered even after attending a college. College advisors advise on the cost, benefits, and means but overlooking one component the main decision rests with the University. It is, however, advisable for high school graduates who wish to pursue high education and have qualified to attend the four-year university program since the cost will be replenished by the career opportunities that degree holders earn in the job market.

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