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“For the first time in my life, I know what I want to do! And for the first time, I’m going to DO IT! Whether my father wants me to or not! Carpe diem!”
- Neil Perry, from the movie ‘Dead Poets Society’
Seize the Day!
I’ve always believed that there are no such things as coincidences. The reason you’ve landed on this site, which is one of a million other sites on studying abroad, is not a coincidence. The reason you’ve thought of pursuing an education abroad is not a coincidence. The reason you’re considering going to the United States to pursue your academic career is not a coincidence.
You’ve thought of these thoughts because you were meant to think them. You’ve arrived at this site because you were meant to arrive at this site.
Seize this opportunity to learn more about these ‘non-coincidences’ as I relate to you the difference between colleges and universities, which will hopefully lead you to lean towards a certain option or choice.
So - what is the difference between a college and university?
At times, these terms are used interchangeably. But, generally, colleges tend to be smaller than universities. Also, universities offer graduate courses while colleges don’t. This, however, does not connote that colleges are inferior institutions compared to universities.
There are different types of colleges, as well as different types of universities.
Types of Colleges :
(*taken from EducationUSA)
1. Community Colleges
Community colleges provide two-year associate degree programs, usually called the associate of arts (A.A.) or associate of science (A.S.) degrees, as well as excellent technical and vocational programs. As the name suggests, community colleges are community-based institutions with close links to secondary schools, community groups, and employers, and many U.S. students live close to campus with their families. Community colleges can be public or private institutions and are sometimes called junior colleges or two-year colleges. A growing number of international students are choosing to study at community colleges. Tuition costs are often lower at two-year than at four-year institutions, and many have agreements to allow students on transfer programs to move easily into the third year of a bachelor’s degree at the local state university.
2. Technical and Vocational Colleges
These institutions specialize in preparing students for entry into, or promotion within, the world of work. They offer certificate and other short-term programs that train students in the theory behind a specific vocation or technology, as well as in how to work with the technology. Programs usually last two years or less. There are several thousand technical and vocational colleges across the United States, and they may be private or public institutions.
Types of Universities :
(*taken from EducationUSA)
1. State Universities
State universities are founded and subsidized by U.S. state governments (for example, California, Michigan, or Texas) to provide low-cost education to residents of that state. They may also be called public universities to distinguish them from private institutions. Some include the words “state university” in their title or include a regional element such as “eastern” or “northern.” State universities tend to be very large, with enrollments of 20,000 or more students, and generally admit a wider range of students than private universities. State university tuition costs are generally lower than those of private universities. Also, in-state residents (those who live and pay taxes in that particular state) pay much lower tuition than out-of-state residents. International students, as well as those from other states, are considered out-of-state residents and therefore do not benefit from reduced tuition at state institutions. In addition, international students may have to fulfill higher admission requirements than in-state residents.
2. Private Universities
Private institutions are funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees, research grants, and gifts from their alumni. Tuition fees tend to be higher at private universities than at state universities, but there is no distinction made between state and non-state residents. Colleges with a religious affiliation and single-sex colleges are private. In general, private universities have enrollments of fewer than 20,000 students, and private colleges may have 2,000 or fewer students on their campuses.
Learn what you really want out of your education abroad!
Seize this opportunity of learning more about the options available out there for you.
About the Author: Graduating in 2004 from Ateneo de Manila with a major in AB Communication and a minor in AB History, Nikki Alfonso lives for the written word. Her passion for writing began with a poem she composed about an elephant and a red rubber ball when she was 7 years old. From then on, she became fixated with words, using them to move readers, to expressively get her message across and to make up stories with her friends about imaginary rendezvous with matinee idols and boy bands. She had her first taste of being a salaried writer in January 2004 when she began writing for Eversun Software Corporation. Prompted by the need to find a job after graduation, her love of putting pen to paper and entertainment, she decided to take on a full-time job in television as a creative staff member and writer wherein she would be paid for daydreaming and telling stories. Wanting to give back to a cause close to her heart, she also writes for JADE -- an online magazine seeking to showcase English-speaking Asian women as intelligent and well-accomplished movers and shakers in their respective fields. Nikki believes that in order for one to be truly called a writer, the ability to empathize and the potency to create with heart are pre-requisites. Flunk in those departments and you don't get a diploma.
Check out her Studying Abroad blog.