• Here are a few examples of the types of secondary learning institutions available for students wishing to continue their education beyond high school.


    Liberal Arts Colleges

    Liberal arts colleges offer a broad base of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Most are private and focus mainly on undergraduate students. Classes tend to be small and personal attention is available. (Examples: Hope College, Hillsdale College, Alma College)


    Generally, a university is bigger than a college and offers more majors, research facilities, and social opportunities. Class sizes may be large and some classes may be taught by graduate students (especially for introductory level classes). The number of students in class is often commensurate with how large the university is as a whole (Examples: Michigan State University, Saginaw Valley State University, Central Michigan University)

    Community or Junior Colleges

    Community colleges offer a degree after the completion of two years of full-time study. They frequently offer technical programs that prepare students for immediate entry into the job market. (Examples: Lansing Community College, Delta College, Rochester Community College)

    Agricultural, Technical, and Other Specialized Colleges

    Specialized colleges emphasize preparation for specific careers. Students who enter these colleges directly out of high school have made a tentative decision that this career is for them.  (Examples: Kendall College of Art & Design, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Regency Beauty School)

    Public vs. Private Colleges/Universities

    Public colleges/universities are primarily funded through state governments.  They are usually less expensive if a student is an in-state resident.  Out-of-state residents are charged more to attend. (Examples: Western Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, Grand Valley State University)

    Private colleges/universities rely on tuition, fees, endowments, and other private sources for funding. While the cost is generally higher than public colleges/universities, most private schools offer financial aid and scholarship packages. Private schools tend to be smaller and offer more personalized attention. (Examples: Albion College, Calvin College, Kalamazoo College)