In the United States a student who has finished high school may want to continue in higher education. There are several ways to do it: universities, colleges, community colleges, and technical or vocational schools.
A university in the United States usually has several different colleges in it. Each has a special subject area. There may be a college of liberal arts where humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics are taught. There may be a college of education and a college of business. A program for undergraduates usually takes four years. University students get an undergraduate degree in the arts or sciences. If they complete a course of study they get Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. Students may leave the university at this time. They may also go on for a graduate or professional degree. The university always has programs for graduate and professional study in many subjects.
The university may get money from several different sources. A publicly funded university gets some money from the state government. A privately funded university gets money only from private sources. Or the university may be funded by a religious group.
College students usually spend four years at school, too. A college does not have graduate or professional programs. If a college student completes a course of study in arts or science, he or she gets Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. If college students want to continue for a graduate or professional degree, they must go to University. The college is usually funded in one of the three ways already described.
The program of study in the community college usually lasts two years. Not all of the subjects taught there are the usual school subjects. The community college may give courses in the regular academic subjects or subjects like dental technology, sewing and other non-academic subjects. Not all students of the community college have a high school diploma. They may then go to a college for two more years to get the bachelor's degree. Community colleges are nearly always publicly funded.
The technical or vocational school has only job training, it has no academic program. Students may have a high school diploma, or not. Programs may take from six months to two years and more. The technical or vocational school gives training for work in areas such as electronics, carpentry and others.