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Public Postsecondary Schools (Colleges & Universities)

(4-Year Public Colleges and Universities in the US)

US Public Colleges and Universities (4-Year Public Colleges and Universities)Each US state administers its own system of higher education, known as public colleges or universities just as local governments and cities operate their own public K-12 school systems for local residents. These institutions receive most of their funding from the states they are located in. Private schools, on the other hand, do not receive the same primary funding from the state and federal government as public colleges, but often receive financial support from benefactors in the private sector. Aside from funding, what make public colleges and universities unique. Also see types of postsecondary schools & education that explain the difference between a private college and a public college?

Attending college can be one of the most important life decisions that a young person ever makes, and narrowing down college or university options makes the choice even more difficult for many people. There are a number of factors that go into the colleges and universities students choose, from admissions standards to athletic programs, areas of expertise to location, social life opportunities to cost of attendance, and more.

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What make Public Colleges and Universities Unique

Aside from funding, what make public colleges and universities unique:

  1. Most states operate at least two tiers of public colleges: community colleges, which grant associate degrees and provide adult and vocational education, and so-called "four-year" colleges which award bachelor's and master's degrees. Some states now have a third tier of research universities.
  2. In general, all the campuses in a statewide system first accommodate the citizens of that state, giving them priority in admissions and charging relatively low tuition and/or fees.
  3. Public college systems have published admission standards, which are usually the same for all colleges within a tier.
  4. Public colleges tend to have larger enrollments than private colleges, as they serve a larger group of people, the citizens of the state.
  5. Public colleges generally provide less financial aid to students than private colleges. It's not uncommon for the net cost to attend a private college to be fairly close to the net cost to attend a public college, after factoring in financial aid.
  6. By definition, public colleges have no religious affiliation.

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