Split blue image, woman with tablet, man at laptop, words Ask the Experts

Should I Attend a Two- or Four-Year School in the US?

It's common for international students to attend four-year US colleges, but if you're thinking about two-year schools, here's some expert advice on it.

Thomas B. HassettThomas B. Hassett
Director of International Admissions

Gannon University
The answer to this question largely depends on your goals and circumstances. Two-year schools come in two types or dimensions: vocational and academic. If you intend to pursue a vocational program such as culinary arts, automotive, or one of the major trades, then you will most likely go into a two-year, terminal program on an M visa. If you intend to get a bachelor’s degree, then a two-year school should be selected only after making several considerations:

  • First, you will need to be certain all your courses will transfer the way you intend. Despite a common belief that courses readily transfer from two- to four-year schools, this assertion has little relevance if your real goal is to get your degree in four years; instead, you need to find out how many courses will transfer into your intended degree. 
  • Second, two-year schools are often community colleges, which are publicly funded by residents of a county, a subdivision within a state. Students who come from outside the county will have to pay out-of-county tuition, which may be considerably higher. 
  • Third, consular officers are wary of two-year schools as a precursor to a bachelor's degree. Certain regions of the world are not good contexts for obtaining your F visa if the consular officer believes that your intention to transfer is in question or that you need not be spending time at one school when you intend to go to another. 
  • Finally, two-year schools have open admission in their selection of applicants. This term means one needs only to attain a secondary school diploma as a basis for acceptance without regard to academic profile or test scores. Under this context, you could be in class with students who will need remedial or extra support.

Learn more about your higher education options by reading our article on the Types of Higher Education Institutions You Could Attend After High School.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Do you have a question for our experts?
College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

High Point University

High Point, NC

Ohio University

Athens, OH

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX