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Choosing a College or University:
Which school will be a good fit for me?

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Difference Between Community College & University

Community College


  • Less expensive (typically half the price per credit).


  • Open admissions (not selective)

  • Students can apply for any academic term (fall, winter, spring, summer)

  • To qualify for admission, students must be at least 18 years of age or possess a high school diploma or GED.

  • High school students can take college classes through concurrent enrollment programs

  • Adults can take community college classes without their GED or high school diploma; however, a GED or diploma is required for financial aid. Prospective students are encouraged to complete a high school diploma or GED to access financial assistance.

Class Size:  

  • Smaller classes (the student to faculty ratio at COCC is 16 to 1)


  • Certificates of Completion (1-2 years)

  • Associate Degrees (2-3 years)

  • Transfer degrees, such as the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT): prepares students to transfer to an Oregon public university to complete a Bachelor's degree

Oregon Promise: 

  • Oregon Promise grant can only be used at an Oregon community college

  • Students must start community college within 6 months of completing their high school diploma or GED.


Tuition:  More expensive


  • Selective admissions: not all students who apply will be accepted

  • Admissions based on a variety of factors:  grade point average (GPA), high school transcripts, essays, test scores, interviews, extracurricular activities, etc.  

  • Students need to research admissions requirements for each university

Class Size: 

  • Class sizes are variable (some classes may be over 100 students)


  • Bachelor degrees (4-5 years) and graduate degrees (completed after a Bachelor’s degree).

  • Students may also pursue a transfer degree (such as the Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer -AAOT) at a community college (about 2 years) and then transfer to a university to complete a Bachelor’s degree. This allows students to take advantage of lower tuition costs and financial aid opportunities such as the Oregon Promise while completing their lower-division general education requirements at a community college.

  • COCC & OSU-Cascades Degree Partnership Program:  Students in Central Oregon can be concurrently enrolled in both schools allowing them to take advantage of courses and advising at both schools.

Oregon Promise:

  • Oregon Promise grant cannot be used at a university

Choosing a College or University

I am interested in a specific school...
What can I study there?

If you already know where you want to go to school, you can simply look for the programs of study that school offers and explore your options from there (look under the "Academic Programs" tab on the school's website). 

I am not sure where to go to college...
How do I choose a school that will be a good fit?

There are a variety of factors to consider in terms of deciding if a school will be a good fit for you:

  • Location, weather, urban vs rural, size

  • Academic programs

  • Extra-curricular options (sports, clubs, activities)

  • Student life, housing, student support

  • Admissions requirements

  • Cost and financial aid


Explore the tools below with excellent information about finding a school that is a good fit for you:

Central Oregon Community College

Explore the degree and certificate offerings at COCC

What Can I Do With This Major?

Explore careers aligned with different college majors

Oregon State University - Cascade

Explore the undergraduate and graduate degree offerings at OSU-C. Check out Careers aligned with OSU-C majors.

Oregon Career Information System

OCIS - Look up careers of interest and learn about the educational requirements.


Oregon Higher Education

Explore academic programs at Oregon colleges, universities & trade schools

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Click on a career cluster and then a career of interest to find information about "How to Become..."

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