Although most students choose a two-year versus a four-year college degree based on the career interested in, sometimes the decision is based on money. Yes, it is true that the amount of money needed to earn a two-year Associate’s degree and a four-year Bachelor’s degree is different but the most important thing to remember is that with a four-year degree, more than likely career opportunities and salary potential would be greater. However, even with an Associate’s degree, you would have the chance to secure a great job and then move up as you continue your college education.
We wanted to provide some information about the cost of a two-year versus four-year degree so you can make plans that suit your needs best. Now, the field you want to enter may not require anything more than an Associate’s degree so in that case, the cost difference does not matter but if you have your heart set on getting established in a particular career field and then advancing over the years, you can be 100% certain the cost to finish a Bachelor’s degree would be a great investment.
The first thing is that because you would be attending college four years instead of two, there would be the additional cost of textbooks. Although this may not be significant and you have options for saving money, such as borrowing, renting, or buying used books over brand new books, this would be an added expense. The same would be true for room, board, clothing expenses, parking, transportation, lab time, and so on. Again, this is to be expected but well worth paying.
However, the greatest expense of course would be tuition. Basically, whatever the amount of tuition is for two years would be doubled. In other words, if you had chosen a college or university that charged $15,000 a year tuition, then you would pay approximately $30,000 for a two-year Associate’s degree but if you decided to earn your Bachelor’s degree, which would take four years, you would be paying somewhere around $60,000. Of course, even for this there are some amazing ways to save.
For instance, you may want to consider earning your degree online. Today, there are many accredited colleges and universities that offer online education, which overall is a great cost-saving solution. For one thing, often curriculum is downloaded, which would eliminate or at least reduce the expense associated with textbooks. Then, rather than paying to stay in a college dorm or off-campus apartment, you would be at home, which would save on room and board, as well as parking and the cost of transportation. The key here, regardless if you want to pursue an Associate’s degree of Bachelor’s degree is to make sure the online school is fully accredited.
The bottom line is that the price of earning a four-year degree is going to be greater but considering the long list of benefits that come from an earned Bachelor’s degree, it is an expense worth making. However, with so many government grant programs, scholarships, gift money, and other possibilities, you could save no matter how many years you attend college. One great option if you have your heart set on attending a traditional on-campus school would be to get all your prerequisites such as math, science, speech, and so on finished at a local community college where the cost of tuition is considerably lower than a university. With that out-of-the-way, you would have the credit hours mandated for an Associate’s degree and have the chance to go to a four-year school for the remaining two years. That way, you get the higher education but at a reduced cost.