Types of Colleges

Most people use the words “college” and “university” interchangeably.  Do you know the difference?  And what’s the difference between a Liberal Arts College and a research University?   The following definitions should help clarify some of the terms you’ll hear in the college search. 

Four-year colleges offer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor's degree. These include universities and liberal arts colleges.

Two-year colleges offer programs that last up to two years that lead to a certificate or an associate degree. These include community colleges, vocational-technical colleges and career colleges.

http://careersin2years.com/york/ (York County careers in 2 years)http://www.techschooldirectory.com/ (Technical School Directory)

Public colleges are funded by local and state governments and usually offer lower tuition rates than private colleges, especially for students who are residents of the state where a college is located.

Private colleges rely mainly on tuition, fees and private sources of funding. Private donations can sometimes provide generous financial aid packages for students.

Liberal Arts Colleges offer a broad base of courses in the liberal arts, which includes areas such as literature, history, languages, mathematics and life sciences. Most are private and offer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor's degree. These colleges can prepare you for a variety of careers or for graduate study

Universities often are larger and offer more majors and professional programs—bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees—than colleges. Most universities contain several smaller colleges, such as colleges of liberal arts, engineering or health sciences. These colleges can prepare you for a variety of careers or for graduate study.

Community colleges offer two-year associate degrees that prepare you to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor's degree. They also offer other associate degrees and certificates that focus on preparing you for a certain career. Community colleges are often an affordable option with relatively low tuition.

http://www.hacc.edu/ (Harrisburg Area Community College)

Vocational-technical and career colleges offer specialized training in a particular industry or career. Possible programs of study include the culinary arts, firefighting, dental hygiene and medical-records technology. These colleges usually offer certificates or associate degrees.

Some local options:

Pennsylvania College of Technology - https://www.pct.edu/

York County School of Technology (YCST) Adult Education http://www.ycstech.org/adulted  

York Technical Institute (YTI) http://www.yti.edu/?utm_expid=863447-17.sDDkQWESQfWrh-nMQvHxlg.0

Pittsburgh Institute of Technology (PTI) www.pti.edu

Consolidated School of Business (CSB) www.csb.edu

Empire Beauty School http://www.empire.edu/cosmetology-schools/pennsylvania/york

American Beauty Academy http://beautyacademy.edu/

York Technical Institute (YTI) http://www.yti.edu/paschoolofculinaryarts/

Pittsburgh Institute of Technology (PTI) www.pti.edu

Academy for Media Production http://www.academyformediaproduction.com/    

Some colleges focus on a specific interest or student population. These include:

Art or Music colleges and conservatories

Single-sex colleges

Religiously affiliated colleges (Note: Some colleges are historically affiliated with a particular faith, but you would never know it while visiting campus.  Others actively integrate religion into day-to-day student life.  Research individual colleges closely to see how much their level of religious affiliation matches your needs)

Specialized-mission colleges Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) focus on educating African American students. Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) are colleges where at least 25 percent of the full-time undergraduate students are Hispanic. Other colleges are specifically designed to support students with disabilities (students with learning disabilities, deaf students, etc.)


You can join the military any time after you turn 18 years old.


Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a multiple choice test used by all branches of the U.S. military to determine job qualification of new service members. The ASVAB can be taken by all 11th and 12th grade students (FREE!) each year (typically early December) at SWHS.  Interested students should register in the counseling office and contact Mrs. Dennis for more detailed information. 

Students may find the following resources helpful in preparation for taking the AVAB test:




This path is for those students who are ready to accept a position/job right out of high school.

It is strongly advised that you schedule an appointment with Mrs. Dennis if you plan to join the workforce immediately following high school.  The following are a list of resources you may find helpful in the job search process:


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