is there really much difference between the two or is it just the price?
There is a HUGE difference between a MIA fender and a squire, however, the squire VM series, in particular the jazz bass are IMO as good as if not better than many MIM Fenders, whilst being a reasonable bit cheaper.
Quote by the humanity
I'm just joking Moog. you know nothing can tear our friendship apart, not even the fact we are miles apart, I am right there beside you, yelling, "Chug it, ya little wimp!"
Quote by ashlew
is there really much difference between the two or is it just the price?

yeah! why do Mercedes Benz cars cost so much? i mean a KIA has four wheels, too!
i think pro's buy Fenders just to make themselves appear smarter.
Oh no, Fender is exactly the same quality as Squire, they just bumped up the price because changing the name on the headstock gets really expensive.
I'm a Fire, and I'll Burn.Burn.Burn.
Fenders are made of better wood, with better electronics and are better built as a general rule. For an American (MIA) fender this is especially true, for a mexican (MIM) this is less true, but still there should be a noticeable difference in quality. So, no it's not just the price, but if you're looking for a good, affordable bass, squiers are certainly worthwhile.
Fender > Squier on pretty much all counts but the Squier Vintage Modified series, which are EXTREMELY close if not equal to the MIM build quality, for a considerably smaller amount of money. The Jazz's at least. The VM P's are still very nice but are made of basswood which many people are averse to as they equate it with low quality and lifeless tone. Not necessarily a hard fact but a common opinion.

The Classic Vibe series soon to be brought out by Squier appear to be of similar quality to the VM's.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.
Go to a shop and play a few without looking at the headstocks. You'll probably manage to figure out which is which.