Heading off to university means a lot of new experiences – taking classes and managing expenses for fees, housing food, books and more. Budgeting for this new stage of life can be challenging, no matter how long you have planned for it – whether you are parent or a university bound student.
Higher education, which includes four-year universities, trade schools and two-year institutions, is one of the most important investments that you can make. Yet it’s a choice that must be carefully considered.
While many students pursue higher education, the cost for some may be too high.
But even with a university education, a better life is not a given – student loan commitments can be costly and difficult to pay off.
Deciding to pursue higher education and the path to a successful career varies from person to person. There are three general types of post-secondary educational institutions to consider:
- Trade school – A trade school is exactly what it sounds like; a school that provides job-specific training for a particular skilled trade. Classes are meant to develop a student’s specific skill set and knowledge base for a career, rather than to impart a general education. Trade schools are best suited to hands-on learners who are interested in starting work immediately after high school.
- Two-year university – Also known as community colleges, technical colleges and junior colleges, a two-year college is a way to complete two years of college-level course work at a lower cost than at a four-year college or university. Graduates who use their two-year education credits to transfer to a four-year college or university can then complete a bachelor’s degree program in two additional years.
- Four-year university – A four-year university requires students to take a broad range of classes and awards degrees that can be used for a wide spectrum of jobs. Four-year institutions are significantly more expensive than two-year colleges and offer student housing. Costs can vary depending on whether it is a public or private university.