Where Should I Attend College? Strive for Fit.
We at MyPath.Global™ want students to succeed. But what does student success mean? To us, it means “fit”. Fit is a subjective term and all the power lies with you, the student. MacLean’s Magazine made a number of great points in its Annual “College Guidebook”, 2022. So too did US News and a few other reliable publications. We’ll summarize them here, and then add to them. Treat this as a “cheat sheet”, a legal one! No side doors, no back doors.
College versus University.
There are more than 135 publicly chartered colleges across Canada and thousands of private career colleges. In Canada (but also in the US), “college” more typically refers to a non-degree-granting institution which grants diplomas or certificates. Programs are shorter in duration, designed to be far more nimble (a huge plus for single mothers or persons re-skilling and re-training in mid-life), train someone in a specific vocation or skill (welding, flight training, nursing), and less about becoming “well-rounded” or the “campus experience” that defines many universities (although such experience has sadly been compromised during COVID).
Universities grant degrees, are longer in duration, and are generally far more expensive than colleges. But there are some exceptions, including some pleasant surprises: One in five families send their child to Harvard free of charge. The alumni are so well-endowed, that if you have the GPA and the profile to be admitted, there’s a good chance you’ll find funding.
Canada has more than 100 public and private universities (the former being much more the rule than the exception. By contrast, the United States had almost 4000-degree granting institutions in 2019-2020, according to US News: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/how-many-universities-are-in-the-us-and-why-that-number-is-changing
Physically Visit A Campus and sit in on a class or two if you can. It will give you a better sense of whether this is the school for you.
Cost of Tuition
Our view is that no student should be denied the opportunity to attend college or university because of money worries. While the reality is otherwise, MyPath.Global™ will make this a common theme of its own platform. Here’s a starting point: the Campaign for Free College Tuition is a wonderful initiative. Go to the following page to see the depth and breadth of talent behind this campaign in the United States: https://www.freecollegenow.org/who-we-are. Currently, this campaign is focused only on domestic students living in the United States, and not international students. However, as inflation rises and students face increasing barriers to post-secondary education, we believe this movement will catch on. We applaud Harris Miller and others associates with the campaign.
It is noteworthy that the labour market demand in Canada and the United States clearly warrants ensuring open access – especially to programs in demand. In the vocational training sector and the trades, there are existing programs in both the Personal Service Worker (PSW) sector and the transport training sector (to name a few), whereby students can study for free. Canada currently needs 25,000 truckers, and the United Statements needs almost ten times that number (about 225,000 last we checked) in order to get grapes to your table. So when you think about supply chain problems, also think about labour shortages and not just COVID19.
…stay tuned for Part II of V next Saturday, February 24, 2022.
Harris Rosen, B.A., M.A., J.D.