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Choose the College That's Right for You

What kind of college fits you?

There are many types of colleges. Consider them all and choose the type that's the best fit for your personality, learning style, and situation.

Two-Year Community or Junior Colleges

A two-year college offers you a degree after two years of full-time study. Four out of 10 graduating high school students start their college careers at community colleges.

Attending a community college has lots of advantages.

  • Tuition and fees at public community colleges are less than half of those at public four-year colleges and about a tenth of those at private four-year colleges.
  • The faculty at community colleges tends to focus more on teaching than research, which means you'll get more help. And classes are small, so you'll get more personal attention from your teachers.
  • Community colleges are good places to explore fields that interest you before committing to a major. You'll save money by paying less than you would at a four-year school exploring your options.
  • Taking classes at a community college can help improve your GPA. Community colleges have an open-door admissions policy — all students are accepted regardless of past academic performance.
  • Since many communities have community colleges, you can save money by living at home.

Check out careers that you could have with an Associates Degree.

Public and Private Colleges and Universities

A four-year college usually offers a bachelor’s degree in the arts or sciences once you've completed a program of study. 

Universities are generally large and offer many majors. State Colleges are usually less expensive than private colleges and universities. State colleges are usually large as well.

Private colleges are generally more expensive, but tend to be smaller and may offer more personal attention. There are many types of private colleges including women’s colleges, men’s colleges, religious colleges and military colleges.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities usually offer programs, services and activities relevant to black students. Learn more.

Hispanic-Serving Institutions are colleges in which at least 25 percent of total full-time undergraduate enrollment is made up of Hispanic students.

Don’t exclude more expensive colleges from your list. There are many grants and scholarships available.

Check out careers that you could have with a Bachelor’s Degree.

Vocational/Trade/Technical Schools

Vocational schools, also known as trade or technical schools, teach skills necessary to perform a particular job.

Vocational schools offer a variety of programs that are two years or less. Typically you earn a certificate or diploma for a skill or trade once you've completed a program of study.

Check out careers that you could have with vocational school training.

Apprenticeship Training

Apprenticeship allows you to train for a occupation through hands-on training and classroom instruction.

You generally can earn money while working for your employer. You’ll also be required to attend some classes, which are usually held in the evening. Training varies from one to six years, depending on the occupation you choose.

Occupations include appliance repairer, auto body repairer, mason, barber, bus or truck mechanic, electrician, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), plumber, welder and teacher's aide.

Openings are listed in the NYS Department of Labor Job Bank. Start by typing apprenticeship in keywords box, and hit search.

Check out a list of occupations available through apprenticeship

Online Degrees and Classes

Online degrees are offered by online universities, traditional colleges and universities and community colleges. More programs are becoming available.

Many colleges offer online classes as well. This lets you take classes based on your own schedule and in the comfort of your own home.

Check out popular degrees offered at many online universities.

Youth In Care Corner

Did you know College graduates earn $1 million more than a high school graduate over a lifetime.

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