Types of Colleges
With over 5,000 colleges in the nation, it can become overwhelming distinguishing one college from another. Below are a few categories to consider.
1) Religious Colleges: Many great and well known schools had religious beginnings. Catholic institutions such as University of Notre Dame in Indiana or Georgetown University in Washington, DC and the Mormon Church's affiliation with Brigham Young University, are such examples.
2) Single Sex Colleges: At the turn of the century many institutions which initially operated as single sex colleges eventually became co-ed. Despite this trend, there are still a few single sex colleges left in the United States. Scripps College in Southern California, Barnard College in in New York, and Wellesley College in Massachusetts are well known as womens colleges, the latter producing such notables as current Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. Wabash College is another example of men's only college in Indiana.
3) Historically Black Colleges: Many of these colleges were originally established because many African Americans were not accepted into mainstream academic institutions as early as the 18th and 19th centuries. Howard University in Washington, DC and Morehouse Colleges in Atlanta are examples of men's colleges created under as a result of previous disenfranchisement.
4) Art Schools: These colleges should be considered by those whose whose aspirations involve the arts. Although students can major in art at many 4 year universities, the primary purpose for "art schools" is to primarily focus on the visual and performing arts. Examples include Academy of Art University in California, Rhode Island School of Design, and Cooper Union in New York City.
5) Military Colleges: These institutions prepares candidates as officers. Institutions include the United States Military Academy (also known as West Point), and United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Many operate as 4 year co-educational institutions and are prestigious and very selective.
6) Liberal Arts Colleges: The primary purpose of these colleges is to focus their undergraduate curriculum in liberal arts as well as offering some of the sciences. Many of the single sex colleges may fit in this category. Typical liberal arts colleges include Amherst College in Massachusetts, Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.