Knowing the difference between college and university to identify your options
Many students would hardly know the difference between a college and university for they seemed to be used almost interchangeably. The difference may vary depending on where you live or wish to go to school.
The general definition of a college is as an academic institution that offers a collection of degrees in a particular field or discipline. On the other hand, a university typically consists of a collection of colleges. When you graduate in a university, you would be doing so from one of the colleges like the liberal arts college.
It can be deduced from this example alone that the difference between a college and university seems to rest on size. A collection of colleges would mean double or quadruple the number of students and teachers. Hence, a university is much bigger than a college not just with the student’s population but the size of the campus as well. Did you know that for some graduating high school students, the size and the student population of the school matter in making their decision? There may be a good reason for this because big may be synonymous to great and excellent. However, not all big schools are automatically the best. A college may seem smaller in scale than a university but there are highly prestigious colleges like Oxford Colleges in the UK or the Dartmouth College in the US. Undoubtedly, these two colleges are great schools and you should be so lucky if you are admitted to either one.
The Difference is in the Usage…
What is the difference in college and university is not just semantic or how the terms are defined. The difference lies in the usage. Various countries may use the terms differently as you can see:
Factors to Consider in Choosing Between College and University
We all know that education is a key factor in getting a lucrative employment. However, not all people will fare well in a university and may be successful with a college program that is non-degree. If you are having trouble deciding, consider these factors, namely, time, cost, quality of education and value of education. As to time and cost, these are pretty self-explanatory with a longer time and higher cost in favour of a university education. With regards to the quality of education, a university will be more academic or abstract while a non-degree college program may be more practical and hands-on. There are various pros and cons to these differing approaches to education. However, there is no denying that the value of what you have learned in school can only be tested or appreciated depending on the business or employment you entered into.
Here, we are not saying that a non-degree college program is inferior to a university education. Again, the answer is always it all depends on many factors. Although, generally speaking, a university education is widely accepted as higher in value. Though unsupported by statistics, people with a university degree are believed to be more gainfully employed and earn more than their fair share. In truth, a university education seems to have more perks. However, the real truth about the value of education is not just where you go to school, but how you were as a student. The likes of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did not have any kind of degree but they were brilliant with the things that they love doing. In the end, it is their love for their craft that made them successful. Hence, as a student, find the thing that you love most and you are good at. It is from there that you should start as you contemplate studying again after high school.