Plan for College

Learn how to prepare for the education and training that will get you your dream job.

A Quick Guide to College Types

Learn what colleges offer

Narrow your college search by understanding what higher education institutions provide and how they differ. Here's a table summary of school types describing general programs and other information. Once you know the kind of school you want, then consult an online college search tool like College Navigator, which can help you find schools by institution type, location, and more.

What degree or certificate do you want? Consider Offers Provide these benefits Keep in mind

Certificate of specialization in a career field

Vocational training schools

Training in varied fields such as computer technology, cosmetology, mechanical repair, court reporting, paralegal services, office administration, and medical assistance

Open enrollment (most students are accepted however certain programs may be competitive or there may be a waiting list)

Program can last from five months to three years

Associate degree or certificate

Community and junior colleges

  • Coursework in varied programs of study
  • Specialized training in career fields
  • Open enrollment
  • May transfer to 4-year institutions
  • May be less expensive than 4-year institutions
  • Can prepare students to enter workforce immediately

If transferring, make sure credits will be accepted at 4-year school destination. To do that, contact the community college

Bachelor's, master's, doctorate or professional degree

Four-year public colleges and universities

Varied coursework from liberal arts to many specialized fields

  • Can prepare you for a career or graduate school
  • Generally less expensive than private colleges

Low tuition usually only available to state residents

Four-year private colleges and universities

Varied coursework from liberal arts to many specialized fields

  • Can prepare you for a career or graduate school
  • May offer generous financial aid package that makes cost feasible

Cost of attending can be high

 



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