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 degree programs usually take two years. 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. Use a Net Price Calculator to get an estimate of what you 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 practicing positive habits — colleges will be looking at classes and grades as soon as students start 9th grade. No matter what grade you are in, there are things you (and your families) can do to get ready for college.

Myth: You need to know what you want to study before you 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 worthwhile to explore interests and potential career fields while in middle and high school.

Myth: College is only for the smartest students.

College is an option for everyone. 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. The more challenging classes and the better grades you get, the more options you will have, plus more scholarships available to you.

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 you have many options for schools that are a good fit. Consider a variety of characteristics when exploring colleges, especially focusing on your academic, social and financial needs.

Sign up for our Top Stories newsletter

This information was provided by Oregon Goes To College, a statewide initiative of Oregon GEAR UP.

Recommended for you