How to choose a college (Practical Advice)

Shane Hummus · 37,552 views
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So it's that special time where you're trying to figure our how to choose a college... This is one of the most important and stressful situations you will ever have to make but there are a few secrets that will pretty much guarantee that you make the right decisions for you



Before I start breaking this down I think its important to distinguish between the different types of colleges and why the differences matter:

The first one on the list is the for profit universities like Devry or Phoenix university and these are purely businesses and there are all kinds of horror stories about going to these universities of how people never hire graduates from these places and the degrees are worthless like nurses who never even practiced in a hospital but somehow got their degrees. They are also way more expensive than other types of universities. So let me make myself very very clear. Never, ever ever go to a for profit university. Ever. They are a scam

So now that we have that out of the way…

The next one on the list is a community college or junior college which is where you can go for you first 2 years after high school to get the lower level classes out of the way. They are extremely affordable, the class sizes are usually much smaller so you get more one on one time with the professors and you don’t have to deal with professors that are mainly researchers and they do the whole teaching thing on the side

The next one on the list is state colleges. These would include UCLA, UM and my alma mater KU. They are funded by the state and so they are pretty cheap as long as you live in state and you don’t have to pay the out of state tuition. However, there are usually ways of getting around this which I will discuss later

Next is the private non-profit US universities such as MIT, Harvard Yale etc and these tend to dominate the top of the national and international rankings. They are much more expensive than state university but theres also usually more scholarships available which lowers the sticker price a bit. They are also usually smaller than the state schools and one of the big issues that people don’t talk about is that it’s difficult to transfer credits from a private university and you have less rights than you do at a state college. They can basically kick you out for any reason.

So first of all, I went straight from highschool to The University of Kansas. I was lucky in that i knew exactly what i wanted to do which was pharmacy and stuck with it all the way. This doesn’t happen for most students as a lot of them end up switching majors several times. I did a video on this if you want to check that out so that you can choose the perfect major for you.

So the first thing I would have changed is I would have went to a community college for the first two years of college. This would have saved me a ton of money and the community college experience is probably just straight up better for someone coming right out of highschool. Most people don’t know what their major is going to be and so they take a bunch of general classes so why not take cheaper classes at a community college than a state university?

Next, I would have gone to the cheapest pharmacy school possible instead of going to an accelerated non profit private school, this would have saved me a lot of money and the extra year I saved wasn’t really worth it considering the extra money that I paid.

Now your situation might be a little different than mine. If you have the opportunity to go to an Ivy League school or a school that’s ranked really highly in whatever major you’re pursuing then I would take it. The clout is real and the doors that will open for you are no joke. The problem is, most people don’t know what they want to do, so in that case I highly recommend for most people to go to a community college first.

The only thing that’s important about this, is you need to make sure that the credits transfer to the school you want to go to next and the easiest way to do this is to just call them to find out.

So just to illustrate the difference in how much you will pay

Lets say you went to a private non profit university for 4 years that would be about $130k
Contrast this with going to a community college for 2 years which would be $7k and then an in state college for 2 years which would be about $19k and the total would be around $26k instead of $130k which would save you over $100k.