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10 Completely False College Myths

These rumors are about as real as unicorns, mermaids and other fantastical creatures.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

February 24, 2021

Separate fact from fiction as we tackle these 10 common college myths.
10 Completely False College Myths
Whether you believe them or not, these myths are always lurking around the corners of college discussions. Generally, they do more harm than help. It’s time to stop the lies and start getting real. We’d like to put some of these rumors to rest so that you can sleep soundly in knowing the truth. Check out these ten completely false college myths:

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1. Most Students Graduate in Four Years Nearly 58 percent of college students take six years or more to graduate. Now that’s what you call the majority! The college years are full of change, and sometimes, uncertainty. Students may find a new major halfway through that is more appealing. They also may opt to take an internship opportunity that lasts an entire semester or year. Essentially, things come up, and it’s ok if it takes a little longer to complete your college degree. In fact, it’s normal! 2. Majors Set Your Future

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Most college students have no clue what they want to do with their lives, which is OK because college is the time to explore your interests. Most likely, you’ll end up with a job that doesn't fall under your designated major. Your major is, however, more likely to determine your career path if it’s in a math or science field. You’re not just learning how to do the tasks in one particular field while you’re in college, unless you have a very specialized major. Rather, you are learning how to learn. Those skills will transfer to any job, regardless of your major. 3. The “College Experience” is a Rite of Passage Many students forgo the on-campus college experience for a variety of reasons, whether it’s cost, family-related or a personal decision. It doesn’t make the college experience any less significant for those students. In fact, living off-campus, or living at home with parents, sets those students up for real-world success. Through that experience, they have had to learn to truly budget not only their money, but their time.

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4. Cost and Value are the Same Just because a college costs more doesn't mean that it’s a better school. There are so many factors that go into the cost of a school – including aspects other than academics. So make sure you don’t equate expensive with academics. In fact, try not to look at cost at all initially. Look at academic offerings, quality of student life, and extracurricular opportunities. Finding the right college isn’t about finding the most – or least – expensive; it’s all about the best fit. 5. Community College Is Lesser than Traditional College The degree earned is what matters, not the school it was earned at. In the end, as long as a student earns a degree at a legitimate college or university, no degree is “better” than another. Community college is a great option for those students that either know exactly what they want to do – or would like to take some general education courses to see if college is right for them. 6. American Schools are the Best Believe it or not, it just isn't so. Actually, American schools are ranked 14th in the world in the percentage of young adults (25-34 year olds) with higher education. As you consider colleges, it’s not a bad idea to look at institutions abroad as well. How amazing would your college experience be if you didn’t just study abroad for a semester – but your entire college career? 7. Teachers are Smarter than Students With technology being an ever-changing field, it’s difficult for faculty to keep up with the Elon Musks of the world. In fact, they may very well have the next Elon Musk in their classroom. Don’t let egotistical professors get you down; you’re bound to have one or two while you’re in college. Also, give grace to those professors who seem more old school. Though they may be scrawling on the chalkboard instead of using a SMART board, they still have wisdom to impart. 8. Private Colleges are More Challenging than Public Some of the most prestigious and challenging universities are public institutions. Students should determine a school’s value by what they get out of it, not by its exclusivity. Again, students need to let go of preconceived notions when trying to find the right college. Don’t just go by a college’s reputation; it should be all about the right fit for you. 9. There Isn’t a Lot of Help Available to Pay for School Well, this simply isn’t true and Fastweb proves it on a daily basis! There are millions of scholarships available for all types of students, as well as financial aid availability. Many assume these are just available for the top percentile of students, however, that just isn't the truth! There is aid for those who need it financially, and there are scholarships for students just for being left-handed. Essentially, there is a wide range of funding available and students should explore all options! 10. All Great Colleges are Well-Known There are so many great colleges and universities in the world that it’s unlikely you’ve heard of all of them. In fact, you may not hear about some of these fine institutions until you’re well into adulthood. We know you're brilliant but, sorry, just because you don’t know about it, doesn't mean that it isn't great. If you want to explore some lesser-known institutions, check out our college search feature for more information!

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