- There are colleges that call themselves universities and universities that refer to themselves as colleges but the difference is determined by the academic programs offered.
Two-Year College - Most offer vocational programs as well as the first two years of a four-year (academic or transfer) program.
Community College - A public institution / college on a not-for-profit basis offering two-year programs leading to an associate degree.
Junior College - A private institution / college on a not-for-profit basis offering two-year programs following high school that lead to an associate degree.
Apprenticeships - View a list of available occupations in Registered Apprenticeships, compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Active Trades - View a list of active apprenticeship trades in NY, compiled by the New York State Department of Labor.
Four-Year Colleges & Universities vary from state to state. All accredited colleges and universities (public and private, for-profit or not-) are entitled to receive public funds from the federal government in the form of direct grants and loans for eligible students, support for student work-study programs, and competitive grants to support research or campus programs. In exchange for this support, these institutions undergo a peer-reviewed accreditation process by a regional accreditor authorized by the federal government's Department of Education. If an institution is accredited it's students are eligible for all available federal financial aid.
In addition to federal financial aid Accreditation status provides you with assurance that the school operates in a fiscally responsible manner and that the academic programs offered have been deemed sound by an outside group of educators from peer institutions. - Peterson's Four-Year Colleges (2017).
Whether an institution is public or private, you will want to ask questions about campus climate (social) and academic programs in order to help determine if a school is right for you.