What Are 2-Year Schools?

Every state has 2-year schools in the form of community colleges, technical colleges or junior colleges. These schools are less expensive than 4-year schools, can be more convenient and can be a jumpstart to your college education. Read on to learn more about these 2-year institutions of higher learning.

What is a 2-Year School?

According to the University of Texas at Austin, 2-year schools are available in every state. These institutions include community colleges, junior colleges, city colleges and technical colleges. They primarily award associate's degrees, certificates and diplomas. Many 2-year schools offer general education courses and programs in the humanities, arts and sciences that can help students eventually transfer their credits over to a 4-year institution. However, 2-year schools also offer vocational and technical programs that can prepare students to enter the workforce.

Important Facts About 2-Year Schools

Degree Fields of Study Engineering technology, medical imaging technology, dental hygiene
Degree Levels Some schools offer bachelor's degrees and master's programs that are partnered with other universities.
Online Availability Full diploma, certificate, and associate programs are offered.
Possible Careers Construction manager, nuclear technician, radiation therapist, diagnostic medical sonographer, electrical/electronic engineering technician

Benefits of Attending a 2-Year School

The U.S. Department of Education, www.ed.gov, states that 2-year schools offer plenty of learning opportunities to students. As compared to 4-year schools, most 2-year schools have some advantages. In general, they:

  • Are less expensive
  • Have fewer degree options
  • Are easier to get into
  • Can prepare you for a career

Affordability of 2-Year Schools

According to the ED, 2-year schools are less expensive than 4-year schools, even for students who continue their education to complete a bachelor's degree. Students who are unsure about college or who don't know what they want to study exactly, might find it useful to start their college education at a 2-year school. They may complete their general education courses while deciding on a major and their future education plans (i.e. continuing on to a 4-year degree). Scholarship opportunities can make 2-year schools even more affordable. According to CollegeBoard.com, annual tuition for 2-year schools was $3,435 in the 2015-16 school year as opposed to $9,410 for a year of public university tuition (not including room and board).

Quality of Education at 2-Year Schools

Though some people feel that 2-year schools provide substandard education, in reality, the quality of the education is comparable to that of a 4-year school, according to the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), www.eric.ed.gov. However, 2-year schools typically have fewer major options than 4-year schools, though some schools have transfer programs. Transfer programs allow students to transfer their earned credits from a 2-year school to a 4-year institution.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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