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Types of Colleges

College can include two-year or four-year programs. The school can be public or private.

College means different things to different people. Do your research to pick the right type of school to meet your education or career goals.

Public technical colleges are schools that offer hands-on, career-specific training. Students typically complete their programs and are ready to work in their chosen careers within six months to two years. Some students transfer their credits to a four-year college or university. Technical colleges offer many career fields and small class sizes.

Community colleges are public schools that offer general-education courses and two-year programs in many career fields. Students typically graduate with a certificate or an associate degree. Some students transfer their credits to a four-year college or university.

Private career schools provide short-term programs (three years or less) to prepare for specific careers like massage therapy, truck driving, or computer animation. Most schools offer small class sizes and assist students with job searches. Students typically graduate with a certificate or an associate degree.

Public state universities offer bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and sometimes doctoral or professional degrees (like medicine or law). Most university programs are four or more years. On-campus housing is often available.

Private colleges and universities can be for-profit or nonprofit, and some are religiously affiliated. They offer bachelor's programs; many have master's and professional degree programs. Most schools offer on-campus housing.

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