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The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price, Second Edition by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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28. What’s The Difference Between a College and a University?

When teenagers evaluate schools by size, they are missing a much larger factor that should go into their college admission decisions. When teens and parents ask how big a school is, they rarely ask what is its educational mission.

—The College Solution blog

What is the difference between a college and a university?

I’ve posed this question many times during presentations to parents and teenagers, and the simple query has stumped nearly everyone. It’s rare that even one person raises his or her hand when I search around the room for someone who knows.

Why is this a tough question? Here’s one explanation:

In this country, we use the words college and university interchangeably, so it’s ...

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