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U.S. Education System

The United States does not have a national school system. Nor, with the exception of the military academies, are there schools run by the federal government. But the government provides guidance and funding for federal educational programs in which both public and private schools take part, and the U.S. Department of Education oversees these programs.

In the United States, a college is an institution of higher learning that offers courses in related subjects. A liberal arts college, for example, offers courses in literature, languages, history, philosophy, and the sciences, while a business college offers courses in accounting, investment, and marketing. Many colleges are independent and award bachelor’s degrees to those completing a program of instruction that typically takes four years. But colleges can also be components of universities. A large university typically comprises several colleges, graduate programs in various fields, one or more professional schools (for example, a law school or a medical school), and one or more research facilities. (Americans often use the word “college” as shorthand for either a college or a university.)

Every state has its own university, and some states operate large networks of colleges and universities. Some cities also have their own public universities. In many areas, junior or community colleges provide a bridge between secondary school and four-year colleges for some students. In junior colleges, students can generally complete their first two years of college courses at low cost and remain close to home. Unlike public elementary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities usually charge tuition.

You can find more information on U.S. education on U.S. Department of Education web site.