Online course and research material.
TYPES OF SCHOOLS
Public institutions are state supported. Private for-profit
institutions are businesses. Private not-for-profit institutions are independent
— for instance, the school might have been established by a church
or through local community donations rather than by the state government.
Four-year institutions offer bachelor’s degrees, and some offer
advanced degrees. Two-year institutions offer associate's degrees. Less-than-two-year
institutions offer training and award certificates of completion.
Use the U.S. Department of Education’s search tool to find
information about schools in all these categories.
Here’s a more detailed description of the kinds of schools you might
hear about as you plan for your post-high-school education:
- College – A four-year college grants bachelor’s degrees
(Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Science). Some colleges also award master’s
- University – A university grants bachelor's and master's degrees,
and sometimes includes a professional school such as a law school or
medical school. Universities tend to be larger than colleges, focus
more on scholarly or scientific research, and might have larger class
- Community college – A public two-year college granting associate’s
degrees and sometimes certificates in particular technical (career-related)
subjects. Some students start their postsecondary education at a community
college and then transfer to a four-year school, either because a community
college tends to be cheaper than a four-year college, or because admissions
standards at community colleges are often less stringent than at four-year
- Junior college – Similar to a community college, except that
a junior college is usually a private school.
- Career school, technical school, or vocational/trade school –
These terms are often used interchangeably. May be public or private,
two-year or less-than-two-year. Career schools offer courses that are
designed to prepare students for specific careers, from welding to cosmetology
to medical imaging, etc. The difference between technical schools and
trade schools is that technical schools teach the science behind the
occupation, while trade schools focus on hands-on application of skills
needed to do the job.
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