The University “Wheel Of Fortune”

Choosing the right college or university is just as important as deciding to attend.

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Choosing the right college or university is just as important as deciding to attend. A study done by the ACT in 2013 revealed that 50% of high school seniors selected their college or university based on their desired major. Of those very same students, 60% reported a need for more support with their educational and occupational decisions.

In response, we have created a list of several different types of universities that students choose from. Why? Because although choosing a major dictates what career a student will pursue, an institution’s philosophy and focus impacts the nature of the graduating student to an extent that high school seniors may not fully grasp. In our list, we’ll look at these types of institutions: liberal arts, vocational, community, and conservatory. Each type approaches education differently based on mission and vision.


Liberal Arts

Receiving a liberal arts education usually equates to attending a small four-year university where students take courses in the humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences. Because these schools usually have fewer than 5,000 students, strong relationships between the student and professorial communities likely exist. Liberal arts schools put their community-centered missions at the forefront, and students are often reminded of the universities’ values in their core classes. Core (required) curriculums often include classes in religion, philosophy, literature, math, science, psychology, and sociology. Liberal arts schools focus on teaching their students to be well-rounded and well-versed in a variety of fields, and experts in their own.


For students who are interested in getting into the workforce quickly, vocational schools are great options. Sometimes called career or trade schools, students at these institutions can expect one or two year programs where they take classes specifically related to their fields of study. Often times these schools are privately owned, and may partner with high schools to give juniors and seniors in high school the opportunity to graduate with recognizable trade certificates. Common programs include: cosmetology, carpentry, hotel and restaurant management, automotive studies, culinary arts, and medical billing and coding. This form of education assures students a certification that successfully propels them into the workforce.


Often times used as a gateway to four-year institutions, community colleges can help students save money and explore different concentrations, and also provide flexible schedules for busier students. These colleges are usually open enrollment with the exception of programs that may require placement or entry tests such as law enforcement, nursing, engineering technology, and computer technology. According to the Community College Survey of Student Engagement, about two-thirds of community college students do so with the intent to transfer to a four-year institution, making this option great for students who are seeking a transition between high school and a four-year institution. Additionally, these schools strive to work around busy schedules and are great options for pursuing education even if time doesn’t seem to allow.


For students hoping to become professional performers, the best curriculum may be one dedicated specifically to the arts. Conservatories may have students take classes such as music history and art theory in place of typical general studies courses. Although majors are not limited to those in the arts, students can expect to be engaged with the arts in many of their courses, aside from those for their specific degrees. Conservatories have rigorous curriculums and are typically selective, however, offer unmatched experiences for students seeking careers in the performing arts.


This list provides just an overview of the variety of university types that there are to choose from. While there are other factors to consider when choosing the perfect college, such as size, religious affiliation, location, selectivity, and others, we hope this information serves as a resource for those who are hoping to offer guidance to students, or are students themselves and are not quite sure what differences exist between the different types of higher educational institutions.













About Education at Work

We are a non-profit organization helping college students graduate with less debt by partnering with our clients to address their customer service needs through a high-achieving, millennial workforce. Learn more about us: www.educationatwork.org.

About Laura Forero

Laura Forero is currently a junior at Xavier University studying Public Relations and Advertising. She enjoys reading, writing, and following a PR crisis as it unfolds. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Hear Their Stories

Below, you can hear from Scott and Anjanisse, who both attend the University of Cincinnati.

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At our recent #ThanksAMillion celebration, which celebrated our student employees’ having earned $1,000,000 in tuition assistance, two students shared how their jobs at Education at Work and their tuition assistance have impacted their lives. Below, you can hear from Scott and Anjanisse, who both attend the University of Cincinnati.

To learn how our tuition assistance can change your future, check us out at www.educationatwork.org and apply for a position!


7 Important Things I Learned In College

As a college graduate, I realize I learned so much from my alma mater, Kentucky State University.

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As a college graduate, I realize I learned so much from my alma mater, Kentucky State University. I learned my strengths, weaknesses, and other things about myself that I possibly wouldn’t have found out if I hadn’t gone to college. I have evolved into the current woman I am today and I have to thank my HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Kentucky State University is one) for that. I have decided to write seven significant things that I’ve learned from college because I want others to gain knowledge about surviving their institution and what they can learn through the journey. I wish someone had made a list for me to reference throughout college. That would have helped me a lot. However, I had to learn for myself. So, here it is: a list of things I’ve learned from attending college. I hope this list is relatable and helpful to current college students and can be shared by many.

1. Live life without being apologetic.
Life is too short. Like my mom used to tell me, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” If you are hesitant to do, say, or look a certain way because you fear what people may say, then you are not truly living. You can’t please everyone with your choice. Be-“you”-tiful. Do things that make you and only you happy.

2. There is a difference between compromising and being a doormat.
In all relationships – from roommates, to a love interest, don’t bend yourself back too far because you could very well break. Know your limits. If you don’t know your limits, you need to get acquainted with them. People will take advantage of you if they are given the opportunity. Be smart. Guard your mind, feelings, and your heart.

3. Get an internship.
It has taken me almost a year to finally have an occupation that allows me to utilize my undergraduate degree. I strongly believe that what held me back from not getting a job in my field after graduating was the fact that I had not had an internship while at school. Employers want their employees to have experience and skills to bring to the table. An internship will help you stand out from the stack of resumes that they have to sort through. It will help give you that experience you need to go into the work field with confidence. If your college doesn’t give out much information about internship opportunities, you can always search for them online. You have the resources, and it’s up to you to use them.

4. Apply for the FASFA early.
The early bird catches the worm! Use that same mentality when it comes to applying for your FASFA. The earlier you apply, the more aid you could be offered. When I was in school, work study opportunities came at a first come, first served basis. Once the FASFA became available, I applied. I did this so I could have a better chance to receive more financial aid and possibly a work study job.

5. Join an extracurricular activity at school.
I strongly recommend joining an extracurricular activity. It is a great way to meet new people, network, strengthen your resume, and experience new things. I was in the concert choir while attending college and I got to experience traveling, meeting new people, and creating friendships. Whether it’s joining a fraternity or sorority, a club, or a group, putting yourself out there socially could make a difference in your life and leave you with wonderful memories.

6. Don’t pursue romantic relationships at work.
When it comes to having work relationships (in any job setting), it can get a little sticky. Most companies have a no fraternizing policy, which means you could get fired if you were to start a relationship with a co-worker. Also, some people can’t separate personal and professional with their significant other. It’s like salt and sugar – impossible to separate once they are mixed together. Focus on doing your job – finding someone (who doesn’t work at the same place you do) will happen in due time.

7. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the same thing applies to earning your degree.
Patience is key when obtaining your degree. It seems like four, five, or six years is a long time, but trust me, that timeframe goes by very quickly. Soak in everything you can while you’re in college. Don’t aim to take easy classes just so you can get A’s and move on with your life. Challenge yourself! Find classes that can challenge you intellectually. Don’t close yourself off from people, either. Find friends who encourage you to become a better you. These same friends could teach you a thing or two about life from their unique perspectives. If it wasn’t for the friends I have now, I don’t know where I would be in life. They have taught me so much about myself and life. I couldn’t get this valuable information from a classroom. College is supposed to be the best time of your life, so don’t count the days down to your graduation. Live in the moment and if you do that, after you graduate your degree will have more meaning to you than any framed piece of paper.