RESOURCES FOR EDUCATION: University Vs. Junior College

Many individuals face the decision between attending a university or a junior/community college. In this article at, Susan Stafford (author of Community College: Is It Right For You? Practical Answers. Practical Options) compares the differences and similarities of both institutions in the following areas:


  • Community college may have more open admissions. They accept a diploma or GED, and many non-credit courses are open to anyone.
  • Universities are more selective, and have various admissions policies, such as: SAT/ACT scores, Grade Point Average (GPA) requirements, admissions essays, letters of recommendation, and other components that they gauge before acceptance. Universities are more competitive.


  • Community college is open to anyone, especially those who are obtaining their degree part-time, or at their leisure while maintaining other responsibilities like employment, or raising a family. Because of this, the culture is more “non-traditional” consisting of different ages, and backgrounds.
  • Universities tend to have more students who are going straight into their Baccalaureate program, and start right out of high school, and fall into the “traditional” age range of 18-22. There also tends to be more foreign and out of state students than at a community college.


  • Community colleges usually only offer associate degree programs. Many people attend for two years so that they can transfer to a university and only spend two additional years at a university to obtain their Bachelor degree. This can save a lot of money.
  • Universities offer bachelor degrees, master’s degrees, and some offer PhD degrees.

For more information about how the two types of colleges differ, please click here.