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6 Common Myths About College

6 Common Myths About College

You can go to college.

Don't be fooled by these common myths about college!

Myth: College only means a 4-year degree.

There are many types of colleges and degrees—college is just a shorthand way of saying education or training after high school. Certificate and training programs at community colleges and trade schools can take less than a year. Associate’s degree programs usually take two years. Many schools now offer courses online, so that students don’t even have to be on campus. The common element: learning and training keeps going after high school!

Myth: College is unaffordable.

You can pay for college—in fact, most students don't pay full price. Students and families can use a Net Price Calculator to get an estimate of what they will actually pay after including some types of financial aid.

Most students pay for college in a variety of ways including financial aid, earnings from part-time or full-time jobs, savings and money from parents and family.

Myth: Planning for college starts junior year of high school.

It’s not too early to start thinking about college and career! Middle school is a good time to begin exploring options and practice positive habits—colleges will be looking at classes and grades as soon as students starts 9th grade. No matter what grade students are in, there are things they (and their educators and families) can do to get ready for college.

Myth: Students need to know what they want to study before they go to college.

College is a time to explore. The majority of students end up changing their major or program during their college career. However, it's still valuable to explore interests and potential career fields while in middle and high school.

Myth: College is only for the smartest students.

There are many different colleges and postsecondary programs available. Some colleges require specific classes or high grades to be accepted, while others have no requirements beyond graduating from high school or earning a GED. College is an option for everyone—but the more challenging classes and the better grades students get, the more options they will have, in addition to greater access to scholarships.

Myth: There is one perfect college for everyone.

There are over 100 colleges, branch campuses and centers in Oregon and over 4,000 colleges and universities across the U.S. so students will have many options for schools that are a good fit. Students should consider a variety of characteristics when exploring colleges, especially focusing on their academic, social and financial needs.


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