So a big announcement was made earlier this week at St. John Fisher. They are making a historic move and switching from a college to a university. They made this announcement as they approach their 75th year as a higher education institution.

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St. John Fisher is towards the Rochester area and only a few hours away. I know a couple of people that attended there and I'm curious about their thoughts on the change.

So why are they doing this? Is there really a big difference between a college and a university?  I've heard the two terms used interchangeably before but does it make a difference. Believe it or not, there is.

When I think of a college, I think back to the days of Broome Community College (BCC). When I think of a university, I think of Binghamton University. So what are the real differences between the two terms?

Difference Between A College And University

What is a College - According to, a college usually has a smaller student population, the campus is more intimate with fewer programs than universities. Most colleges are private and get little or no state funding.

Many colleges put less emphasis on the research and have a stronger religious affiliation. Some colleges offer bachelor's degrees but most colleges offer only associate degrees and certificates.

Pros Of Colleges

  • Colleges are usually more devoted to undergraduate teaching and less to research.
  • Community college tuition costs a lot less than a four-year university.
  • A two-year college gives the student more time to figure out their degree options.
  • The smaller class size gives more personalized instruction and help from the faculty.

Cons Of Colleges

  • A two-year college usually has a limited curriculum and doesn't offer as many different courses and programs to choose from.
  • A small college might not have the same resources as a larger university.
  • Smaller liberal arts colleges usually have less financial aid to offer and could be more expensive that a larger university.

Pros Of Universities

  • You have a wider array of course and program offerings that fit you. This helps you to align your career goals and desires.
  • Classes are usually taught by respected, highly known professors.
  • Getting a bachelor's or a graduate degree can help you towards better professional opportunities.

Cons Of Universities

  • The costs of a four-year university including books, fees, room and board, and tuition can be substantial and lead to heavy student loan debt.
  • Because of tenure responsibilities by the respected, highly known professors, they may focus more on their research efforts than on teaching the class.
  • Larger public universities could have limitations in classroom availability and could make it hard for students to register for the desired course before it is closed out.

My daughter, Tara is going to begin her post-high school education by going to a college. Mostly for the reasons that have been stated above, including saving money while figuring out what she wants to do next.

Those are just some of the differences and you can see more by going here.

Take A Look At Binghamton University's Mascot Timeline

You know the Binghamton Bearcats, but they've only been the Bearcats for a relatively short period of the university's history. Take a look at the mascots the Southern Tier forgot about.

Binghamton University Baseball Stadium

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