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More than half of all recent high school graduates in the United States pursue some type of postsecondary education. In many other countries, a smaller percentage of students go on for more schooling after high school. However, in America, recent surveys show that most parents want their children to get some college education. There are many higher education options in the United States. For this reason, your child is likely to find a college well-suited to his or her needs.

There are two basic types of post-secondary education institutions:

  • Community, Technical, and Junior Colleges

    Many kinds of colleges offer programs that are less than four years in length. Most of these schools offer education and training programs that are two years in length or shorter. The programs often lead to a license, a certificate, an associate of arts (A.A.) degree, an associate of science (A.S.) degree, or an associate of applied science (A.A.S.) degree.

  • Four-Year Colleges and Universities

    These schools usually offer a bachelor of arts (B.A.) or bachelor of science (B.S.) degree. Some also offer graduate and professional degrees.

Community, Technical, and Junior Colleges

Colleges with programs that are less than four years in length are often called community colleges, technical colleges, or junior colleges:

Community Colleges: These are public, two-year colleges. They mostly serve people from nearby communities and offer academic courses, technical courses, and continuing education courses. Public institutions are supported by state and local revenues.

Technical Colleges: These are generally colleges that have a special emphasis on education and training in technical fields. However, although some technical colleges offer academic courses and programs, not all technical colleges offer two-year programs that lead to an associate of arts or science degree. Technical colleges may be private or public. Junior colleges and community colleges that offer many technical courses are often called "technical colleges."

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