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Types of colleges

Choosing the college or university you want to go to involves more than picking the same school as your friend.

There are different types, sizes and locations. There are schools that specialize in certain subjects. You also have to think about the differing costs and how you will pay for your college education.

College Types

  • Liberal Arts College - This type of college offers a wide variety of courses in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences. Many are private and focus mainly on undergraduate students.
  • Community College - This type of college offers a degree after the completion of two years of full-time study. They frequently offer technical programs that prepare you for immediate entry into the job market. Many people also attend two-year colleges to save money so that they can transfer to a four-year university.
  • Public College/University - This type of college/university is supported by state money, and therefore may be less expensive to attend if you live in the state where the college is located.
  • Private College/University - This type of college/university relies on tuition & fees and contributions of private donors, and therefore may be more expensive than state-supported public colleges/universities. Do not forget, there is financial aid available to help you if you are interested in a private college or university.
  • Special Interest Colleges - Students have a variety of choices depending on their interests, including single-sex colleges and religiously affiliated colleges.
  • Vocational Schools - This type of college emphasizes preparation for specific careers. Examples are colleges that specialize in business, computer technology, and health science.
See a complete list of colleges and universities that operate in Virginia.
Please click each step on the menu below to access resource toolkits and to learn about how to Go! to college.
Prepare for College Apply for College Pay for College Go! Section of 123 Go

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