Why is attending college so scary? The choice to attend college is often most difficult choice students must take. In fact, over 75% of grade 12 students experience anxiety over the decision to attend college (Melchiore, 2013). The reason for this difficulty is that many students are unfamiliar with the college education system. This unfamiliarity is due to the fact that high school and college are different in many ways.
The first difference between high school and college is the cost involved. In many Western countries such as Canada, high school education is primarily funded through government taxes (Smith, 2002). Therefore, the cost of high school education to the individual is minimal. Unless the students are attending private high schools, they do not have to pay tuition fees. In addition, they do not have to buy textbooks. The main resources they are expected to pay for are uniforms and school supplies such as pens, pencils, paper, and binders. On the other hand, college education is only partially funded by the government. Therefore, students must pay tuition fees that range from $3,000 to $6,000 per year (Canadian Textbook Fees). Students must also purchase several textbooks which range from $50 to $150 for each course they take (Education Fees, 2013). Furthermore, students must also pay for general and course specific supplies such as drafting or make-up kits.
Another main difference between high school and college is the facilities provided. Due to the public funding of high schools, few student facilities are provided. High schools often have small gymnasiums and may have swimming pools. Also, although most high schools have cafeterias, they are often small and provide limited food options such as hamburgers and French fries (Morrison, 2009). However, due to high tuition fees, colleges provide a wider range of facilities. Colleges often have large gymnasiums used for inter-college competitions, swimming pools and fitness centres. Moreover, they provide large cafeterias with a variety of restaurants. For example, various restaurant chains such as Mr. Sub, Pizza Pizza, and Tim Horton's can be found at Humber College (Getting to Know the North Campus).
The final main difference between high school and college is the assistance services provided to students. In high school, students are provided with limited services. Every high school provides guidance counselors to help students with problems or decisions (Douglas, 2002). Furthermore, most high schools also provide assistance to students with disabilities through personal assistance workers and to all other students through peer-tutoring (Arnold, 2012). In some multicultural high schools, limited ESL classes are provided. In contrast, colleges offer a much larger amount of services. There are several counseling services provided through program coordinators and grief counselors (Franklin, 2004). In addition, students with disabilities are provided with various services such as note-takers through specialized disabilities offices (Blair, McGregor, & Pulzer, 2007). Moreover, most colleges offer a variety of ESL classes as well as tutoring services through peer tutors, writing centres and math centres.
In brief, the differences between high school and college can be seen through the cost, facilities, and assistance experienced by students. Although many students are frightened by the thought of choosing a college education, they must realize that sometimes the scariest choices are the best choices.
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.humber.ca/north campus/services
Arnold, S. (2012, February 21). Educational Support Workers. Education Weekly, 24(14), pp. 15-17.
Blair, T., McGregor, V., & Pulzer, S. (2007). Education in the 21st Century. Prince Edward Island, Canada: Velocity Press.
Douglas, V. (2002). A Guide to College Life. Victoria, Canada: Page Turner Books.
Education Fees. (2013, February 23). Retrieved March 3, 2013, from http://eduwiki.ca/wiki/educationfees
Franklin, J. (2004, April 19). Providing Services to Students. Milwaukee Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.milwaukeetrib.com
Melchiore, R. (2013, January 14). Anxiety at the Post-Secondary Level. Toronto Times.
Morrison, J. (2009). Eating Healthy at School. Retrieved March 6, 2013, from http://healthylivingmagazine.ca/?p=456
Smith, A. (2002). Canadian Education Funding. London, UK: Primrose Press Ltd.
What to Know. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.whattoknow.com/education/college/fees
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