UGO – Pathways – USA – Types of Institutions

Types of Higher Educational Institution in the USA

Liberal Arts Colleges in the USA

A liberal arts college is one with a primary emphasis on undergraduate study in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Students in the liberal arts generally concentrate their studies in a particular field of study, while receiving exposure to a wide range of academic subjects, from the sciences to humanities subjects.

Encyclopaedia Britannica defines liberal arts as a “university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum.” Liberal arts institutions can be either private or public.

Private Universities

Private universities are universities not operated by governments, although many receive public monies, especially in the form of favorable tax considerations and governmental student loans and grants. They receive private funding through alumni donations, faculty research grants, and tuition fees. American students enjoy studying in private institutions in the USA for their technological resources, research facilities, and small class sizes. Private universities are able to attract and retain teaching staff well-known in their academic fields. The teaching experience is enriched by the staff’s varying experiences outside of the classroom. Unusual and innovative academic programs may be found on private university campuses. Some of the most competitive and selective institutions of higher education in the United States are private. For example, U.S. News & World Report ranks the top ten universities in the United States for 2012 (in numeric order) as: Harvard University, Princeton University, Yale University, Columbia University, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and Duke University.

Public Universities

A public institution, often referred to as a state university, is one that receives funding from the state and/or federal government, although tuition revenue and private funding also contribute to its financial stability. These institutions may follow state-wide admission requirements, or have their own individual requirements. Faculty research grants typically are important to state university teaching staff and bring numerous practical research opportunities to you. These public universities often have large departments which offer numerous degree options. Public or state universities generally are less costly than private institutions, but still offer outstanding learning opportunities.

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