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COLUMBIA - With graduation season in full swing, high school seniors are preparing for the future.

With an increasing amount of options every year, the graduates have a difficult decision on their hands.

In the last five years, two-year colleges have become much more popular around the state, and especially in Columbia. A Department of Elementary and Secondary Education study shows that since 2007, the amount of students choosing community colleges has increased five percent.

Columbia Public Schools guidance and counseling coordinator Betsy Jones said the increase is due to the current economic situation.

"You're spending less money, but you're still knocking out all those requirements," Jones said.

Even though the number of students choosing community colleges is growing, Jones says a traditional four-year university is still the most popular choice.