The Main Difference Between College And University

The Main Difference Between College And University - studentmajor

Back to Uni season is here! Whether You are a high school student or a senior, your parents want you to go to Uni after high school. As a Graduate, I am guilty of pressuring my younger cousins to attend a four-year, traditional University.

Since more discussions and arguments have surfaced on Education in the past year, I have wondered what makes a college different from a university?

And just like most seeking a higher level of education in the United States from a younger age, I have used both interchangeably to depict the same place as a high institution for Learning. 

And when I came to class to further my learning after High School, I researched the next level of Education, my parents and like most of You, soon found ourselves confused about whether what I needed was College or University.

Colleges And Universities; The Major Difference

Colleges are often smaller foundations that focus on undergraduate training in a broad scope of academic fields, and in comparison, “Universities” are usually more extensive foundations that offer both undergraduate and advanced education programs.

Though the meaning may differ by country or region, I found this difference most relevant in the United States. For example, “what is the difference between college and university in Canada” could significantly differ from “what is the difference between college and university in Ireland.”

History On College

Wikipedia says, the word “College” is from the Latin action word “lego”, ‘legere”, “legi”, “lectum”, “to gather, assemble, pick”, in addition to the relational word “cum”, “with”, subsequently signifying “chose together”.

While the Dictionary says College is an institution of higher learning, especially one providing a general or liberal arts education rather than technical or professional training or a part of a university, offering guidance in the liberal arts and sciences, normally prompting a four-year education.

What Is College?

A College is an educational institution or a part of one. It can be a degree-awarding tertiary educational institution, a part of a collegiate or federal university, an institution offering vocational education or technical schools, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges.

Either way, you need to know that College is a more modest foundation that commonly offers undergraduate degrees. A few colleges, like junior colleges and junior colleges, may offer just two-year degrees. Most colleges provide four-year certifications, and a few colleges likewise have partner degrees.

Pros And Cons Of College

  • Colleges typically teach undergraduates and less frequently research topics.
  • At many community colleges, educational costs represent little more than a small part of the expense of attending a four-year college, so these institutions are smart choices for those who can’t afford to attend them.
  • People graduating from two-year colleges have more opportunities to consider degree alternatives as they complete their overall instruction prerequisites.
  • Smaller class sizes mean more opportunities for 1:1 time and individualized attention, as well as more opportunities to participate and engage with staff and other students.

Cons Of College

  • Community colleges, in general, will not offer the same range of courses and opportunities as a University, so stick to Universities if you want to get the most out of your education.
  • Quality of education varies substantially across colleges. And there are two main sources of variation in college quality: the first is which colleges you apply to, and the second is how good those colleges are.
  • You need to be aware also that even though they have a lot of power, teachers don’t have a lot of motivation. Teachers might get a lot of grief from students or even the administration, but the truth is that they are also underpaid and overworked.
  • Also, College degrees are no longer guaranteed channels to higher-income because if technological advances continue to increase, the employment opportunities offered may no longer be there.
Best College In Us

Based on Academic Quality, Affordability, Reputation, Program Offerings, and Online enrolment Score, as measured by, the following are the best valued College in the US

  • Berea College, Berea, Kentucky.
  • Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts
  • The United States Air Force Academy, Air Force Academy, Colorado
  • United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland
  • United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
  • Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts
  • Pomona College, Claremont, California
  • Scripps College, Claremont, California
  • Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
  • Principia College, Elsah, Illinois
  • Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington
  • Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana
  • Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Ventura County, California
  • Haverford College, Haverford, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania
  • Boston College, Chestnut Hill, downtown Boston, Massachusetts
  • Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York
  • New College of Florida, Sarasota, Florida
  • College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Grinnell College, Grinnell in Poweshiek County, Iowa
  • Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, California
  • Hamilton College, Clinton, New York
  • The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
  • College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Wesleyan College, Macon, Central Georgia

Brief History Of University.

One of the earliest Western institutions regarded as a “University” arose in the 9th century and was the famous medical school at Salerno, Italy.

Founded in 1088, the University of Bologna was one of the first modern-style universities in the world. It has been consistently ranked as the best “University” in Italy for over twenty years and got popular in those days for its legal Education.

I found on Britannica that some of the first Western universities were inspired by the medieval European schools popularly known as “Studia generalia”, which educated students from all across Europe.

And while some of the oldest colleges in the country are modeled after the original universities, these prestigious schools are dedicated to providing a high-quality education for every student.

So majorly, You need to know that historically, Colleges were original “communities of teachers and scholars” and that it is still evident in the name of many schools: “University, College, and Community.”

What Is A University?

My University was a lot of things for me: a place for learning, a place to grow and it was the heart and soul of my community during my time there.

When people thought of me, they thought of my campus. My campus was the center of activities that kept me linked, relationships that last till now and will last a lifetime, and the opportunities to discover what to do next. It was also my home for new experiences and endless possibilities.

A university is an institution that supports both undergraduate and graduates education and research, known for their large grounds and ample facilities, these institutions generally contain extensive grounds and a wide variety of program options.

Universities are publicly or privately funded organizations, and most of them highlight high grounds and a wide variety of extracurricular programs. And whether you want to learn a new skill or play for a chart-topping band, there’s a university out there with your name written all over it.

Pros Of A University

  • A college education can equip you for a specific career path, but it is no guarantee. Students who usually think that since they went to a University, they are automatically going into a job for which they are “qualified,” will usually be disappointed. Many educated workers find their careers take them in unexpected directions. (Source: PayScale, Inc.)
  • You can become an expert in a course or field you love, and many do. But not all people get the chance to attend a University and take advantage of the courses and lectures there. This is one of the benefits of having a degree from such a university – you can become an expert in your field.
  • You might think of a university as little more than a place where you can get a degree and get on with your life, but it is significantly more than that. A university provides many opportunities for students to hone their skills and develop personal and professional development.
  • People with a University degree typically earn higher than those with only a College Degree, according to Statistics Canada.

The median household income for those with a university degree was $80,900 in 2015, compared to $75,000 for those with only a high school diploma. In the same year, those with a university diploma earned about $66,000, while those with only a high school diploma earned around $49,000.

But the gap is shrinking. In 1996, the median household income of people who had a university degree was more than three times that of people who had only a high school diploma. In 2015 it was still nearly twice as much – but that difference had shrunk to 2.4 times.

CONS OF A University

  • When you study in a college, you get job oriented skills and learn more practical and specific things. Like how to use a machine, how to do some programming etc. but in a University you get less job oriented training and more theoretical knowledge. So if your purpose is to get ready for the job market then go for a college and not a University.
  • You will be committing at least three years of your life to the University. It is a crucial time so don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. You will be joining a new group of friends, and you will also develop a strong sense of pride in who you are and what you have accomplished.
  • Leave school with a better-paying job, but be prepared to pay back thousands of dollars in student loans. The average college graduate leaves school owing more than $26,000 in student loans.
Best Universities In Us
  • Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
  • Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Stanford University, Stanford, CA
  • University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • University of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
  • California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  • Duke University, Durham, NC
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
  • Brown University, Providence, RI
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
  • Rice University, Houston, TX
  • University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
  • University of California–Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
  • Emory University, Atlanta, GA

The average cost of tuition at a four-year public college is nearly $20,000. That means You owe about $40,000 once he or she graduates. Worse, there are other costs associated with college even after you’ve graduated — dorm fees, books, food and other miscellaneous expenses all add up.

If you go to a private college or University, the costs can be much higher. According to the College Board, the average sticker price for tuition and fees at a private college is around $43,000 per year.

The world is changing, and universities and colleges are adapting to meet the needs of their students and graduates. Colleges and universities offer a diverse range of programs at all levels — undergraduate, postgraduate, vocational training, professional development, continuing Education — many of which combine academic study with the practical skills needed in the modern workplace.

Frequently Asked Question

Is A College And A University The Same Thing?

A University majorly focuses on delivering research and publications per Faculty than Colleges.

Is A College Or University Right For You?

Before making this decision, after considering your budget and time limit, I strongly suggest you weigh the PROS and CONS I highlighted in this right up.

Is College Cheaper Than A University?

College education usually costs thousands of dollars less than the educational cost for private and public four–year universities.

The average cost of tuition at a four-year public college is nearly $20,000. That means You owe about $40,000 once he or she graduates. Worse, there are other costs associated with college even after you’ve graduated — dorm fees, books, food, and other miscellaneous expenses all add up.

If you go to a private college or University, the costs can be much higher. According to the College Board, the average sticker price for tuition and fees at a private college is around $43,000 per year.

Can Colleges Offer Graduate Degrees?

Colleges are not obliged to have graduate degrees, but there are rare cases. They are generally more focused on one kind of degree, so they have smaller class sizes, which gives students more customized consideration from teachers and staff.

Is Harvard A College Or A University?

Harvard has a College and a University. Both run simultaneously and independently of each other.

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