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University vs. College: Difference?

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Colleges tend to have smaller classes, creating a more intimate learning environment for students. This leads to greater student-teacher interaction. University lecture halls are often huge, and can be very impersonal and intimidating.

Colleges are quite a bit cheaper than universities. However, this does not mean that the quality of teaching is lower at a college.

The transition from high school to college is not as drastic as the change to university. Most colleges don't provide residence so this gives students the option/necessity to continue living with their parents for a few more years. Living on your own in a puke-infested dorm room before you're even legal can be a very drastic change from the high-school lifestyle.

Colleges are generally easier to get into, and require a lower GPA (grade point average) for their admission requirements. This puts less stress on grade 12 marks, making college a good option for students who are balancing demanding jobs or participating in extra-curricular, non-academic activities.


For those who choose to study away from home, university is definitely a great option because almost all of them provide residence for out-of-region students. Living in residence allows students to make friends on campus and adjust to university life more easily.

Universities also tend to have more extra-curricular activities for students, such as orientation week, varsity and intramural sports, as well as a variety of student clubs you can join.

Universities offer degrees, so those interested in professions such as medicine or law must attend university. That said, you could still start your schooling at a college in a university-transfer program and then head to university to carry on with professions like medicine or law.

Attending a university with a good reputation will pay off. Having a BA from a university does tend to look more prestigious on a resume than a diploma or certificate from a college, but it's important to note that this also depends on your intended career; a degree might not be necessary.

Deciding to go to university or college is a tough decision, but one that can always be revisited. There are many colleges with transfer programs in which you would carry on to university in second or third year. Don't feel that your entire future lies in the decision you make right after high school; however, keeping all your options open is always the smartest thing to do in the long run.