College is any type of education and training beyond high school.
This includes community colleges, universities, career and trade schools and on-the-job training like apprenticeships – any type of education or training that gives you a certificate, license, or degree.
You may also hear people refer to these options as postsecondary education or higher education.
Types of degrees
After you pass a series of courses and/or tests, a college grants you a degree. Your career field determines what type of degree you will need, and therefore, what type of college you should attend.
Other ways to categorize colleges
Most colleges and universities fit into many categories.
Public colleges are partially funded by local and state governments. They charge residents lower tuition than students from other states.
Private colleges rely on tuition, fees and other forms of funding. Private colleges can be not-for-profit or for-profit.
What classes are taught
Liberal arts colleges encourage or require students to take classes in a wide range of subjects.
Some colleges focus on specific subjects, like art or music. Other colleges focus on classes specific to a job, such as truck driving or medical assisting.
How classes are taught
Some colleges offer classes only online or only in-person. Others may let you take a mix of class offerings, or offer hybrid options.
Most colleges in Oregon are on the quarter-term system. There are four quarters each year and classes are 11 weeks long. Other colleges may be on semesters or teach classes in shorter periods.
Some colleges focus on a specific population, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and tribal colleges.
There are also single-sex schools that only enroll female-identifying or male-identifying students.
Colleges may be affiliated with a specific religion or denomination. At some schools, this may mean you need to sign a statement of faith and/or attend chapel.