There are, according to one estimate, 1600 institutions of higher learning in the United States. Unlike other nations, many of America’s colleges and universities are privately run in addition to the government-supported schools. Since public schools often have tuitions far lower than their private counterparts, thus consequently impacting financial aid, the question of how to tell public and private schools apart is an important one. For that matter, what’s with the whole “college” versus “university” thing, anyway? It’s all easy, if you keep some simple principles in mind.
- A college does not offer degrees beyond the BA/BS level.
- A university1 does offer degrees beyond the BA/BS level, including law, medicine, and MBA degrees.
- An institute or a polytechnic offers vocational-technical degrees in fields like automobile or appliance repair. They may be public or private (see below).
- A college or university named after a city is a public school operated by that city.
- A college or university named after a state is a public school operated by that state.
- A college or university named after a person is a private institution.
I hope this has been instructive and useful.
1 Leland Stanford Junior University (CA) is currently attempting to meet US Department of Education guidelines for qualifying as a full university. This status is expected to be reached as of the 2016-2017 school year.
2 New York University is operated by the City and the State of New York in tandem.
Plagiarized Reblogged from /r/college/