More than 4,000 U.S. institutions of higher education now offer degrees in every subject area. Not surprisingly, this diversity of American universities attracts students from all over the world.
All U.S. universities and colleges are divided into public and private, depending on their funding sources. Every state has at least one public university funded by state taxpayers. In large states the number of public universities can reach several dozen.
Higher Education Higher education in the United States includes the following institutions:
- Universities, which differ from colleges in that they have a broader research base and graduate programs;
- vocational schools;
- Two-year colleges, after which students can transfer easily to a third-year, full-time institution for further study;
- Master’s/MBA/postgraduate programs.
The higher education system includes several stages, upon completion of which students are awarded certain titles:
- Associate – an intermediate academic degree awarded to students after completing two years of higher education;
- Bachelor – the first degree, awarded after 4-5 years of study, depending on the major;
- Master – Master degree, awarded upon completion of a master’s degree or MBA, that is, after postgraduate education;
- Doctor – doctoral degree, awarded after the conferral of a master’s degree.
The presence of multi-level education in the States ensures a differentiated approach and allows students to choose for themselves the most suitable amount of knowledge and the amount of time spent on eduaction at the institute.
Institutions of higher learning are the most popular with international students, since American universities are widely recognized as the world leaders among institutions of higher learning in various countries.
The educational field in the United States has the following obvious advantages:
The inseparable link between learning and science in higher education sets the U.S. educational system apart from other educational systems in the world. U.S. universities are research centers, firmly integrating academia with research. This provides students with a solid foundation of knowledge and research skills. Students are often taught by the nation’s top scientists, who teach and research at the same time.
Teachers in U.S. schools have an extensive, tried-and-true arsenal of teaching methods.
College graduates, oriented toward preparation for real life and work, are equipped with a broad range of practical skills that allow them not only to quickly enter the workforce, but also to have a fast-paced professional career upon graduation from college. At the same time, valuable practical skills allow a graduate to find a job with decent pay right away and quickly recoup the financial resources spent on the institute. Statistics show that the national median wage is approximately $54,500 per year, placing America among the nations with the highest pay levels.
The graduates of the USA’s various institutes after graduation have a real chance to live and work in the country with the most highly developed economy in the world. For example, foreign graduates have fourteen months to find suitable employment within the country after they graduate from any institution of higher learning.
Studying various disciplines in America is based on an individual approach and development of independent thinking. Cramming is not welcome, even in general education courses, let alone in specialized subject areas. Graduates of higher education institutions gain valuable skills of independent analysis, thinking, and competent development of instructional materials.
Institutional students have broad freedom of choice. College and university programs are structured so that students can decide for themselves which courses to take during any given semester. They can also choose the number of hours they wish to study individually. Studying in this way at a university is both comfortable and challenging. So two tasks are solved simultaneously: developing responsibility and developing a positive attitude toward the learning process.
The flexibility of the educational process allows students to customize standard curricula. A university student can choose an individual program that best meets their educational goals, as well as their abilities, interests, and current educational level. Students can usually transfer from one college to another without complicated bureaucratic procedures.
The country has the highest concentration of top universities in US which have produced many famous students (presidents, founders of the world’s largest corporations, politicians, etc.). Studying in America is certainly prestigious and promising. And in addition to direct study in an educational institution, students have the opportunity to acquire useful acquaintances and connections for life.
Both domestic and international students are free to choose the institution of their choice, since the United States has more than 3,000 different types of institutions of higher education. Among the 18 million students at U.S. universities, about 1 million are international students, reflecting the popularity of the U.S. education system among international students. Each applicant can choose the right college for his or her financial possibilities, abilities, and goals.
The relevance of the U.S. system is confirmed by many international rankings. For example, according to Best Global Universities Rankings and Round University Ranking, eight American universities are among the top 10 universities in the world. These figures clearly show the dominance of local institutions at the top of rankings that examine the performance of the world’s best colleges.
The United States has a strong economy and a decent quality of life. Numerous well-known rankings rank America among the top 10 nations in the world today. These rankings take into account both the political international influence and economic parameters of the countries being evaluated, as well as other diverse factors, including the value of the cultural sphere of the country. Thus, in 2015 the United States ranked third in the top 30 states of the world according to the criterion of “soft power”, which implies the country’s ability to influence the world community not by weapons and finances, but by its civic and cultural values
The degrees and diplomas of American institutions are recognized and quoted almost all over the world.
American colleges, when compared with institutions in other countries, have the highest levels of funding from a variety of sources. Such financial security of public and private institutions in the academic field results in amazing facilities, which, in turn, provide excellent opportunities for student development and high quality education.
The deep integration of institutions with employing companies is another advantage of earning a degree in America. Representatives from large organizations regularly visit colleges to share their experiences and industry insights, as well as to exchange contacts. And this is important for both practical skills and potential employment opportunities. Most other countries that are now major competitors in the academic field cannot yet boast such close ties with employers.
The Price of Education in the United States
Higher education in America is divided into three levels:
- Undergraduate. At this stage students study general disciplines and a few subjects corresponding to the chosen profile. Studying lasts 3-4 years; an academic year costs from $16,000.
- At the Graduate level students are required to constantly work on their own and prepare research projects. The period of study is 1-2 years and the cost ranges from $20,000 a year.
- Postgraduate studies are designed for students who plan to continue their research activities. The duration of the doctoral degree is 4-6 years, the price for the annual course – from $30,000.
Higher education can be obtained in universities or colleges. The difference is that universities offer only master’s and doctoral programs, and colleges educate bachelors. Private universities offer different conditions for foreigners, which determine how much it will cost to study in the USA.