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2-year vs. 4-year schools

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

This is a question that many families come across in the recruiting process. However, players should only wrestle with this decision once they actually have schools to choose from. A mistake some families make is getting absolute before options have even been presented.

Such lines as “my son has worked too hard academically to go to a junior college” or “we cannot afford a 4-year school, so we will only be looking at junior colleges” are limiting beliefs that may or may not be true the more closely you examine different options.

Below are some factors you should consider, and which type of college may have the edge and why. These are not 100% true 100% of the time. There are many moving parts in the college selection process, but these are worth considering:

Playing Time: Junior College - Yes, sometimes freshman can play right away at a 4-year school, but it’s not the norm. Many times players forget they will be at the bottom of the totem pole again, similar to how it was when they were a freshman in high school.

Cost: Junior College - The sticker price is usually significantly lower at a 2-year option than most 4-year schools. But, this doesn't mean a player couldn’t get funds through academic, athletic or need-based aid at a 4-year school to make it more affordable.

Development: Equal - JUCO allows for fall games against other schools and less regulated active allowances. 4-year schools usually have more full-time, higher paid coaches on staff, which can mean a little better quality of coach. (But not always!)

Continuity: 4-year - Some families hate the thought of going through the college selection process again, and that’s what will happen if you go to a 2-year school. It is much easier to build bonds and friendships with players over the course of 4 years rather than as a JUCO, which has a much higher rate of roster turnover.

Academics: 4-year - Some doctors started their academic careers at a JUCO, so attending one doesn’t mean the student-athlete is doomed for a “lesser” degree or education. However, sometimes student athletes want to start getting into the core classes early and not just take general education classes right away. Plus there is the fact that some classes might not transfer to a 4-year school, and you may end up losing credits that you worked (and PAID) for.

Town/Area: 4-year - Many universities are in “college towns” vs. many JUCOs that are in remote areas. Some student athletes may like the smaller town feel, but many students want the full “college experience,” and that is more likely to happen at a 4-year school.  

Professional Baseball: Equal - While more MLB players have come from 4-year schools than 2-year schools, a player can get drafted out of a JUCO after either season, while the 4-year school player has to wait until after his junior year to go into the MLB draft.


For more information about the College Athlete Advantage Recruiting Program please call Mike Orchard @ 407-489-7509 or email: mike@collegeathleteadvantage.com.



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