The Trend of Four-year Universities

Why do students choose a 4-year University over other forms of education?

Could it be because Universities are now the “trendy’ way to further one’s education?

If so, then what’s behind this fascinating trend?

(Facts from National Center for Educational Statistics)

I graduated high school just six months ago, and after tremendous thought, guess what I ended up doing after high school? Yup, I decided to go to a four-year University….

At the time, my reasons for going to a four-year University where for a specialized program the school (I currently attend) offers. But, as I look back now at the way I chose a school and the way I saw others choosing what to do after high school, it makes me think twice about it all. How did having this social trend of going to a Four-year Universities effect peoples choices? If four-year universities weren’t so popular, would I along with others have gone to one?

The number of kids that attend college each year has gone up immensely since 2000. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics there has been an increase of 5.2 million students between 2000 and 2014. And out of the 20.5 million American college students, 13.3 million attend four-year Universities, and 7.2 million attend two-year colleges. It seems that the trend to go to a four-year University is nationwide and is also increasing year to year.

But WHY is it such a trend to go to a four-year University now-a-days?

Well first of all, economically it just makes sense. According to Beth Braverman of the Fiscal Times The employment rate for people with a degree is 5.9 percent lower than those without a degree. Why wouldn’t people capitalize on the option to make more money and better their chances of getting a job?

Along with this, a lot of people out of high school don’t exactly know what they want to do with their lives; Intern people hope college can help them find a path they want to follow. Currently attending a four-year University, I have seen this a lot. The question “what are you wanting to study?” is constantly brought up between people. The most common response I hear is “not sure” and then the person will ramble on about something they might be interested in or some degree they are hoping to find, or they will straight up admit they have no idea what they are going to study. Whatever the case is, four-year Universities definitely open up a lot of different areas of interests for people searching for what they want to peruse in their future. With larger budgets, more resources, and commonly more students, four-year Universities offer greater exposure to new things compared to community colleges.

Part of this exposure is the last reason I think four-year Universities are a trend in America. On the side of social exposure, Four-year Universities have a special atmosphere and experience associated with them. Whether it’s the party stories you’ve heard growing up, the movies you’ve watched,

John Belushi from the movie “Animal House”

or the happily married couples you know that met in college, a lot of people want a taste of the “college experience”. College is a unique place, with the dorms, the party’s, the different people you’re exposed to, the sports and clubs you can be in, and all the different social events you can go to, it’s gathered quite the social image around itself. A social image that draws heaps of people in each year. This part of four-year Universities is what sets it apart from other types of school, It doesn’t just educate a person but helps to form a well-rounded individual by giving them not just educational exposer but life experience as well.

This is one trend I hope America doesn’t ever “get over”, like mullets in the 80’s or bell-bottoms from the 60’s. This trend is positive to America and for once it’s a trend that will help our nation become stronger and more educated. A lot of people like to go against trends, I even naturally tried to when I started this article, but not every trend is bad. I’m not saying everyone should go to a four-year University, but I am saying that there are real reasons so many people choose to attend Four-year Universities. Reasons everyone should think about when facing educational decisions in their life.

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