When I was in high school I wondered whether or not college would be any better.

Overall, my college years were some of the best years I ever had and in this post I will show you a number of reasons why.

So, how is college better than high school? The main way that college is better is that you have more freedom. You choose your classes, schedule, professors, whether or not to go to class and your major this allows you to tailor your college experience to be exactly how you want it to be.

There are actually many more reasons why college is better than high school. Below, I will explain a number of ways that your college experience will be better than high school.

You decide what you learn

One of the best aspects of college life is that you have a lot more freedom over the classes that you take. In high school, many of the classes will be mandatory and you have little say over the classes that you take. This will likely mean that there will be many classes that you find to be boring.

Whereas, in college, you get to choose what classes you want to take. This means that you will have a lot more freedom to choose classes that you want to take and avoid the classes that you do not. This will likely mean that you will likely enjoy learning about the subjects that you are taking a lot more than in college.

With that being said, the classes that you can choose from will be controlled by the major that you pick and the classes that are available. However, this is not such an issue since you get to choose your major. Many universities will also allow you to create your own major if you want to.

It will boost your earning potential

One of the biggest arguments people make for going to college is that it will boost your earning potential.

Over a 40-year working life bachelors degree holders are expected to make 66% more than those without a bachelors degree.

This means that, by going to college and sticking through with it right up until the end, you will be able to boost your earning potential drastically.

Protip: not all majors are created equal. Some majors will give you a much higher earning potential than others so take this into account when deciding on your major. Generally, majors in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field will give the highest earning potential and the most abundant job opportunities.

A more flexible schedule

Another advantage that college has over high school is that it gives you the freedom to fit your schedule to be the way that you want it to.

If you don’t like getting up early then you will be able to choose afternoon classes. If you want to bunch all of your classes so that you can get through them all quickly and possibly have an extra day with no classes then you can. While if you would prefer to have a gap between classes then that would be an option as well.

However, this is assuming that there are multiple offerings of the same class for you to choose from. Less popular classes will likely only be offered at one or two times. This will be less likely to happen in your freshman year but more likely in your senior year.

It will also be necessary for you to fit all of your classes so that they don’t overlap with each other. This could mean that you will have to pick times that you don’t like. But, you will still get a lot more freedom to structure your schedule when compared to highschool.

You can also skip classes if you want to since attendance is not always mandatory. However, This is not something that I would recommend since you might miss out on homework being scheduled, exam hints being given and you’ll have to catch up on what you miss. Sometimes, attendance will also be a small percentage of the grade that you get.

You get to choose the professor

Another reason that college is better than high school is that you are, often, able to choose the professor in college.

This means that, unlike in high school, you will be able to avoid the professors that you do not like. This, combined with the fact that you’ll likely be taking classes that interests you, will likely mean that you will have a much more pleasant time when in class.

With that being said, this is assuming that there are multiple professors for you to choose from. Less in demand courses will often only have one professor teaching them. In this case, if you don’t like the professor, then you could either swap that class with a different one if your major requirements let you or you could take the class in a later semester.

Protip: use https://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ to select professors with the best reviews. Not all professors are created equal. The difficulty, demandingness and learning experience, of the same course, will be largely dependent on the professor.

You get more independence

Unlike in high school, in college, you will be largely on your own in determining how to go about your business. This means that you will have a lot more freedom to do the things that you want to do and to optimize your day to be how you want it to be. This is not something that you are able to do in high school where your schedule is largely decided for you.

Assuming that you move out as well, then you will also be able to do what you feel like doing in your free time as well. It will also give you a chance to get used to living by your own means before going on into the real world.

The professors have a good understanding of the subject

Another advantage that college has over high school is that professors will normally be experts on the subject that they are teaching.

This will mean that you will be able to learn from them more efficiently, you’ll be able to learn the aspects of the subject that actually matter and they should be able to simplify complex aspects more easily.

You’ll also, usually, have access to the professors in office hours where you’ll be able to get expert help on the parts of the subject that you are struggling with.

If you take a STEM subject then you will also, often, have access to a teaching assistant which is usually a graduate student. The TA’s will often have a good understanding of the areas that you’ll likely get tripped up on and they will be another very helpful source of information to get help from.

There is more support

In college, there are usually many resources available for you to get help from.

You’ll usually have an academic advisor that will help you in ensuring that you are on track to meet your degree requirements. You’ll generally need to meet with academic advisors at least once per semester.

Many colleges will also, often, offer free tutoring for certain subjects. The tutors will often be either graduate students or students that have taken and done well in the class already.

There will also, usually, be a financial services department where you will be able to go to ensure that you are meeting scholarship and grant requirements.

You’ll also likely have access to a much larger library, computers for you to use, the college will usually have wifi for students to use and there will be many more forms of support available to you.

It can be more of a challenge

Even though, you will spend less time in class at college than you would in high school, it will be necessary for you to spend more time overall on the classes you’re taking.

The reason for this is that the classes, in college, when generally be more demanding than the classes that you will take in high school.

You might consider this as a drawback of college. However, it means that you will have a good understanding of your subject area. This means that you will be better able to contribute when you’re looking for a job which should help you in getting a better salary.

It will also mean that the classes should be more intellectually stimulating which should help you to enjoy them more.

The other students want to be there

Another reason that college is better than high school is that the other students want to be there.

In high school, many of the students don’t want to be there and so act immature and disruptive. This is not something that happens much in college.

The reason for this is that the other students are paying to be there and the students that were disruptive in high school often won’t have made it to college. Additionally, when students do misbehave, it is often frowned upon by the other students who want to be learning. Also, the university will usually only give one or two warnings to a disruptive student before they’re removed.

This means little time will be spent on disciplining students and most of it will be spent teaching. So, your time in class will be much more productive than in high school.

You’re treated as an adult

In college, you will generally be treated with more respect by your teachers and fellow students than you would be in high school.

There are many reasons for this. Some of the main reasons are that, if you are in college then it is expected that you will be somewhat serious about your studies and that you’ll be expected to be self-disciplined more so than you would in high school.

It opens you up to new opportunities

Another key reason that college is better than high school is that it opens the door to many new opportunities for you.

There are many jobs that will only hire college graduates, the pay for them will usually be higher and they will often be more enjoyable.

This is also why it is important for you to consider the types of things that you would like to do after you graduate when you pick your major.

There are lots of social events

Colleges usually will have many more activities going on than you will have in high school.

The dorms will often have social events so that the residents can meet each other, there will be freshman orientation events, sports tournaments and many more things.

Colleges will also usually have many different clubs that you can join in areas ranging from languages to dance to finance and many other areas.

You can choose the college that suits you best

The culture of colleges will vary greatly between them. This means that you will be able to pick the college that suits your personality best.

Colleges that have a large student body will often be able to provide you with more resources, there will be more majors and classes for you to choose from and the student life will often be more vibrant.

Whereas, colleges with a smaller student body will generally have smaller class sizes and you will know a larger percentage of the people around you.

The size of the university will not be the only thing impacting its culture. Other aspects that you can consider would be the location, the type of college that it is and the entry requirements.

Choosing what high school that you go to will not usually be an option for you. So, you should be able to pick out a college that will be much better suited to your personality and goals.

It will teach you to be more self-disciplined

You are expected to manage yourself in college unlike in high school. This is a good thing since it means that you will get the chance to get used to managing yourself before you have to go out into the real world.

If you go into the workforce straight out of high school then you won’t be able to get that opportunity. This means that college will better prepare you for life in the real world.

Things to consider

While there are many reasons that college is better than high school there are also many things that you should consider.

College can be more difficult

The classes that you take in college will likely be a lot more demanding than the classes that you are used to taking in high school. This means that you will need to spend more time studying than you normally would in high school.

Since you won’t have your parents or teachers telling you what to do it will also mean that you will have to look after yourself. While this will give you more independence it can also be a challenge, initially to get used to managing yourself.

It will cost a lot more than high school

Unlike in high school, you will likely need to pay for college.

If finances are tight then this can cause you to become more stressed and this could cause you to struggle with classes if you also need to work on the side.

With that being said, colleges will often charge less if you are an in-state student. They will also often give need-based financial aid and a number of other types of grants and scholarships that you can use to offset the cost.

Many colleges will also give academic scholarships which award students with high grades for going to their college. This is why it is very important that you get the best grades that you can while in high school and that you do well on the ACT and SAT even if you are not looking to get into the selective colleges and universities.

Speaking from experience, even if money is tight, it doesn’t mean that college is out of the question. I was personally able to get $80,000 in athletic and academic scholarship money spread out over the course of four years which completely paid for my degree.

It doesn’t guarantee that you will get a job

Another thing to consider is that going to college won’t guarantee that you will get a well-paying job upon leaving. It will also be necessary for you to pay off any debt that you incur when in college.

Whereas, with just a high school degree you will not rack up any debt and you won’t need to make as much money to support yourself because of it.

With that being said, depending on the major that you choose, having a college degree will generally allow you to get a better paying job than you would get without one. Over the long run, you are also, statistically, likely to make more money than you would without a college degree.

The earning potential that your college degree will give you will depend a lot on the degree that you choose and the college that you go to. So, make sure to do well in high school and think carefully before making a final decision on your major.


I created and currently manage College Corner. I received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. My goal is to help current students do better in college and to help future students plan for college. You can read more about me and my website here.