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US Higher Education System
Olya Bezvushko

In the United States there are a number of different types of higher educational institutions. In accordance with the length and type of the degrees they offer, they cab be divided into such catagorie:

     - Two-year community or junior college
     - Four-year college, university or professional school
     - Graduate studies and beyond

Usually, all higher education institutions require that students have completed high school before attending.

The term college in most means the same as university and refers to educational institutions offering four-year degrees.However, a junior or community college, offers only two-year degrees or individual classes. A two-year degree is referred to as an associate degree.

Even though you are pursuing a four-year degree such as a bachelor’s degree, a community college could offer several advantages. Among them: lower price and comparatively easy admittance.

It is usually easier to get accepted into community colleges. They are often cheaper and the competition there is not so tough. Community colleges could be a good supplement to regular university classes. For example, if you take classes that are specific to your major at the university and some general education (GE) classes at the community college. This way you could often save quite a bit of money but also obtain your degree. All places at most GE classes are usually getting occupied very quickly at the university since most students have to take them at some point. This means that you might have to wait until the next semester to take the GE classes that you need. It is easy to locate community colleges once you have arrived at the university.

There is also such notion as open university, You wont get a degree there, you can just take individual classes.

A university, unlike a junior or community college, can offer more advanced degrees such as undergraduate bachelor degrees, master degrees, and sometimes even PhDs.

Before taking any classes outside the university, you should make sure that you can transfer courses completed from other institutions. To transfer a course means that the class count towards your degree.
There are also specialty or professional schools are quite different from regular universities. International students interested in attending i.e. law or medical school will have to consider several factors, such as: either the education be accepted and what is required if you return home? The completion of a bachelor degree is required before attending professional schools.

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