There are lots of decisions to make once you graduate from high school, including what kind of college to attend. When it comes to selecting a two-year or a four-year institution, there are a few crucial factors you should consider.


Students walking around the WSU campus

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


Unsure if you should attend a four-year college? Check out these four perks of doing so at Winona State University.


1.  High Financial Value


College is an expensive investment no matter where you go. You may be wondering, why go to a four-year college when a two-year institution is much lower in cost? At WSU, our students are provided with a variety of incredible services and resources that ensure they get their bang for their every buck.

WSU has been named one of the “Best Colleges for Your Money” by Time Money Magazine based on price, average student debt and yearly earnings.

Promote Physical and Mental Health at the Integrated Wellness Center

WSU’s on-campus triple-decker fitness center offers students a variety of equipment and machines for them to achieve their healthiest selves, including:

  • Free weights and squatting platforms
  • Treadmills and elliptical machines
  • Multiple open basketball courts
  • Running track

Students may also improve their strength with the help of an approved personal trainer. Feeling sore after an intense workout? Students can show their bodies some love by getting a massage from WSU-approved massage therapists.

Because WSU knows that not all students choose to bring a car with them while in attendance but may need to visit a clinic, Health and Wellness Services are available on the second floor of the fitness center:

  • The clinic provides students access to our on-campus physician, three licensed nurse practitioners and on-site lab.
  • Students may receive immunizations as well as the flu shot year-round.
  • Have questions about a symptom you are experiencing? Reach out to the Ask a Nurse Message Line for quick access to a nurse who will give you feedback regarding treatment!
  • Students may also seek mental health counseling with our professional staff. Whether you are in need of personal or career counseling, crisis intervention, or suggestions for outreach programs and groups, WSU has your back.
Dream, Discover and Succeed at the Warrior Success Center

Through the Warrior Success Center, students are provided with a wide range of free and helpful Support Services:

  • WSU Warriors can seek Advising Services to meet with an advisor who will work with them to explore their options with fields of study and to ensure they are on track to graduate.
  • In Career Services, students can feel more confident with their intended career path by attending yearly career and job fairs, as well as receiving assistance with writing resumes and cover letters.
  • All students at WSU have access to Tutoring Services, which promote academic success via certified student tutors. If interested, you can also become a tutor yourself and take advantage of a great student employment opportunity.
  • Finally, in Access Services, qualified students can utilize multiple academic accommodations meant to help them better succeed in their collegiate endeavors. These services include extended exam time, low distraction testing environments and alternate textbook formats.
Become Technologically Equipped with the eWarrior Digital Life and Learning Program

With technology becoming an integral part of education, the eWarrior Digital Life and Learning Program is especially unique to WSU because it was the first college in the nation to offer every student their own personal computer.

Students get the choice of either a PC or Mac model, which will be a fully configured and supported device. Additionally, students may select their laptops based on departmental recommendations to achieve their best potential in their intended major field of study.

The best part of all: you get to turn in your device after two years for an updated model, and you can even buy your device upon graduation!

Moral of the story: it is highly unlikely that a two-year institution will offer these programs and services to their students. See what you will be missing?


Laptops offered to WSU students

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


2.  Great Academic Value


Many incoming students ask, what is the purpose of General Education Program (GEP) courses? The GEP consists of 10 goal areas, as coordinated with the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), and four additional requirements to successfully graduate. The objective of WSU’s GEP is to provide “a broad base of skills and knowledge to prepare students for informed, responsible citizenship in a changing world.”

Translation: the GEP ensures that students at WSU are both well-rounded—which is attractive to future employers—and ready to take on adulthood post-graduation.

While students who attend two-year trade institutions gain insight into a particular job, their skills are unfortunately pigeon-holed and they will likely need to be retrained in the future as technology continues to develop. However, GEP courses at WSU widens the spectrum of skills students can walk away with.

Professors at WSU have doctorate degrees and have been teaching in their industries for decades. WSU professors also produce yearly research to stay on top of their game in their fields.

Additionally, WSU offers undergraduate students over 100 major and 70 minor departmental programs, as well as 13 pre-professional programs. The possibilities for chasing after the field of study you have a passion for are endless!


Student writing in notebook

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


3.  Gain Independence


Another important question incoming students have is, what is the benefit of attending a four-year college that is away from home? While two-year institutions may seem like a valid choice due to their proximity to your hometown, you will be missing out on major opportunities to obtain more independence as you would at a four-year college.

With distance separating you from your parents or guardians, you will become a more responsible and self-sufficient individual—which is also attractive to future employers—as a student at WSU.

You will develop more skills regarding how to care for yourself in multiple ways (such as socially, academically and physically), and you will even gain more knowledge about who you are as a person.


Student gaining independence at WSU

Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


4.  Easily Create Friendships


Last but not least, the biggest concern of any incoming college student is, what if I do not make friends? Having a close-knit community of like-minded people is important to anyone, but especially for freshmen who have just begun the newest chapter in their lives. However, this experience varies between two-year and four-year institutions.

Even though freshman year is considered a fresh start no matter the college you attend, friendships are more concrete at four-year schools because those connections have been present from the very beginning.

Students who attend a two-year institution are at a disadvantage because upon their graduation and transfer to another college, it will likely be more difficult for them to become a part of friend groups that have already been established.

If students transfer from a two-year institution to WSU, though, it is not impossible to make friends! With the help of over 200 clubs and other on-campus organizations, leadership programs and even intramural sports, students have many opportunities to create friendships that will last a lifetime.


Friends sitting together and eating lunch

Photo by Amy Nelson ’20


Although two-year institutions would be lucky to have you as a student, there are much more opportunities waiting for you at a four-year college—especially at WSU. Enroll today and take advantage of the amazing benefits of being a Warrior for life!

Explore the Perks at WSU