University vs. College: What's Different?

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Difference between University and College

Colleges are often called community colleges in the U.S. They are more affordable than universities and generally offer more night classes for student’s who have day jobs. Tuition loans and other financial aid dollars go much further in this type of school and degrees specializing in job skills or specific job focused curriculums are common. Universities vary greater in terms of cost. However, students who are keen on winning a scholarship for a myriad of combinations are always available and waiting for applicants. Kids who don’t have the tuition funds readily available are encouraged to investigate as many scholarships as possible to find out what is required to win them during their high school years.

Any adult will tell you how important higher education is when it comes to survival in the world. Educated people get the best jobs and are paid enough to live a prosperous life. An education helps develop our intellect and informs us on how to think and how to make important decisions. Higher education is provided by universities and colleges, they are different in terms of where you live and in some countries a college is a part of a university, whereas in other countries secondary schools, junior high or middle school can be called colleges.

Accreditation and Distinctions

In the U.S., a college is a four year advanced educational institution and it doesn't have the accreditation to offer more than a graduate degree (associates & bachelors). Whereas a university is an institution of higher education and research, which has the accreditation to give out academic degrees in various subjects in both undergraduate and post graduate course work. University, which basically means a community of teachers and scholars, are a sort of corporation in the U.S., functioning as a part of society and being involved in the community in which it is located. Whereas in countries like New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, Ireland and India secondary schools may be called colleges. It really depends on where you live.

Campus Size

Colleges and universities are different in terms of campus size. Colleges don’t have a dormitory, so a college isn’t known primarily for its size. However a university is normally usually so large that it becomes a large presence in its community and is noticed easily. It offers residency to its students and usually has large dormitories.  Some universities even have their own sporting facilities and sometimes facilities that are helpful to the local residents as well.


  • With education becoming increasingly important, it is vital to gain knowledge. And to gain knowledge at a higher level one must attend a college or a university.
  • Universities and colleges have different meanings depending on where you live, in the US a university is the larger body that encompasses colleges, whereas in some Asian and eastern countries colleges are referred to secondary education.
  • Universities in the US have the accreditation to offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in various subjects, whereas a college can only offer an undergraduate degree.
  • Universities are much larger in size than colleges. Universities offer residency to their students whereas colleges don’t.


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