Here's a question we are asked frequently:
What's the difference between a college and university?
The short answer:
There's not much difference unless you're in the UK system (make sure you aren't applying to a high school!).
The long explanation:
In the US and Canada, a university is an institution that offers undergraduate (BA/BS), graduate (MA/MS), and doctoral (PhD) degrees and has a scientific research program. A college may only offer undergraduate and/or graduate degrees and does not have a scientific research program (think Barnard or Amherst College). At the undergraduate level, these distinctions aren't really that important unless you want to be a science, math, or engineering major and want to do undergraduate research. Common, the terms university, college, and school are interchangeable. In the UK and Europe, the term "college" may also refer to high schools.
Need help applying to university? If you're a high school student, check out our Comprehensive Packages and Essay Editing if you can handle the process on your own. Be sure to call 04 311 6830 to schedule a FREE consultation to find out more about how APPLY ME can help you.
In your quest to find the perfect university for you, you'll need to do more than just look at rankings and university websites. Take a look at these awesome websites that can help give you insight into the process, estimate your chances of getting in, and let you know what current students think about the university.
1. Common Application. The Common App website is a great resource for students applying to one of the more than 450 universities and colleges that use the Common Application. A useful aspect of the site that people often overlook is the College Search. In a few clicks, you can search for more universities accepting the Common App based on location, deadline, and major as well as see a quick profile of their requirements. You can even request application and SAT fee waivers.
2. EducationUSA. EducationUSA is a government sponsored U.S. based organization with on a mission to help international students interested in studying in America. Their site has a lot of great advice and information about the overall process to help you define your education goals and understand general requirements.
3. Facebook. Just about every university now has an official Facebook page. Many admissions departments maintain separate sites, as well, to keep prospective students interested in and informed about the admissions process. You don't have to become the admissions department's fan on Facebook; just check it periodically to see if anything interesting gets posted.
4. College Board. The College Board, administers of the SAT, have completely revamped their website to provide students with more information about college. The site features a great CollegeMatchMaker (a nice starting point for short lists) and allows you to save your list so you can receive updates from the university or track the application process. There are also helpful essay writing tips and, of course, you can register for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests.
5. Cappex. Cappex is a typical college search website with one amazing added feature: you can see admission scatter plots. What is this and why is this important you ask?
The Cappex scatter plot at the left includes information submit by students who were accepted, denied, or waitlisted based on two critical numbers: grade point average (GPA) and SAT score. While there are a number of factors that influence the admissions process, you can see the trends and think about where you might fall.
6. College Prowler. This site is probably the most all inclusive of awesome college research websites. It includes a college search, articles on applying, and the Cappex scatter plot for various universities. It's absolutely most important features are the grades and reviews given in many different categories by current and former students. You can learn exactly what they thought. It's like TripAdvisor for universities!
Now that you know which sites to use, go get your research on!
Since application season is in full swing, we've been meeting with many students around Dubai interested in studying overseas. Some have come with a pre-made university short list of schools recommended by friends and family or directly from the U.S. News Top 10 list. Although other people are good and rankings are good starting points for university selection, don't decide your list solely on the recommendations of others. To prevent you from selecting universities that aren't a good fit for you, we've compiled a list of 5 ways NOT to pick a school. Avoid these pitfalls and you're more likely to attend a university you'll love.
1. Don't pick universities based on rankings only. University rankings from U.S. News and Financial Times are good starting points to learn about more universities than you've heard of. However, there are more than 3,400 universities and colleges in the U.S. alone and the rankings may only identify 10% of them. Some students argue they are only interested in "top schools," but just because a university is ranked doesn't mean it's the best for your major. Major specific rankings, research on the university's website, information sessions or web chats, and a college visit will tell you more than any ranking can.
2. Don't pick universities based on word of mouth. Support from friends, family, and teachers is important throughout the college or MBA application process, but that doesn't mean you have to put all of their recommendations on your short list. Research the university for yourself. Visit the university website and make sure it has the major, extracurricular activities, and environment you are interested in. Check out student photos of the college campus on Flickr to get a real idea of the campus setting. Above all, know yourself. Prefer a small town to the big city? Hate cold weather? Want to study game design in its creative hub? Then, only put universities on your list that fit these requirements. Remember, you'll live there for several years.
3. Don't pick universities based on where your parents or siblings went. It's great if your family went to a particular university or region to study. That doesn't mean it's the best fir for you as well. Universities change and evolve, guaranteeing that you won't have the exact same experience that your parents had. Besides, "legacies," or students whose parents attended the same university, can be unfairly scrutinized during the application review process. Unless your doing more and scoring higher than your parents did, you may want to add a few other schools to your short list. (Note: Acceptance rates for legacy students are typically twice as high as for regular students. However, this statistic doesn't guarantee your admission.)
4. Don't pick universities based on one information session. Colleges and universities pay lots of money to send representatives to the Middle East to interact with you or, worse, to get educational consultancies to recruit you. (Note: APPLY ME is not a recruiter. We work for you, not universities). Although some great universities have ties to the Middle East, many more not-so-good universities have affiliations in the Middle East. If you're going to pay US $20,000+ for your education, make sure you attend a reputable, accredited university. Attend information sessions only after you have researched universities and decided they belong on your short list. You can confirm information you read on the website or heard from other students during the info session and get some face time in front of recruiters so they can tell admissions departments about your interest and enthusiasm.
5. Don't pick universities based on meeting one person you liked. Met a guy who was cool during a campus visit? Exchanged emails with your friend's friend on Facebook and they went to a particular university? Met your dad's friend who is really successful and went to a certain college? Cool. Great. Awesome. None of this means you should apply to the same universities these people went to. Universities do have the power to help you be successful or shape your personality, but these characteristics are still unique to the individual. Instead of assuming the university was the secret to their success and coolness, ask these people questions about their time at university, what they learned, and why you should attend.
Don't make these mistakes and you should be just fine!
Need help deciding where to apply for university? Call us at 04 311 6830, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click the Free Consultation link in the corner of this page to talk to us about how we can help you decide.
Although some websites may not specifically list the GED as an acceptable qualification, APPLY ME tutors have worked with students that have been successfully admitted to these universities and institutes. Be sure to check the requirements with the particular university or institute.
American College of Dubai
This American based 2-year college accepts the GED and requires some students to take the SAT and TOEFL as well. Students at the American College of Dubai complete their first 2 years of university in the college's supportive environment then transfer to a 4-year university locally or abroad to complete their degrees.
Read more about specific requirements >>
This UK based university accepts students with a total score of 2,250 on the GED for their International Foundation Programme. The 6-month program helps students transit to the university environment. Many students applying to Middlesex University must also take the IELTS or TOEFL. Read more about specific requirements >>
As a career based institute, SAE offers Bachelor's of Arts in Audio Production, Film Production, Interactive Animation, and Web Development. Students should have a GED to apply. Read more about specific requirements >>
Although not specifically stated, Murdoch University may accept students who have passed the GED into their University Preparatory Course. Students complete the 8-month preparation program and then enroll in university level courses. Be sure to contact the university directly to confirm.
Read more about specific requirements >>
Heriot-Watt's Degree Entry Programme Bridging Course is designed to ensure that incoming students have met the university requirements prior to taking undergraduate programs. Admission is made on a case-by-case basis so students should contact the university to find out if their GED, high school grades, and professional experience is acceptable.
Read more about specific requirements >>
Please note that we no longer offer GED preparation.