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College vs. School: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on December 12, 2023
A college is an institution for higher education often providing degrees, whereas a school is an educational institution for various grade levels.

Key Differences

Colleges typically refer to institutions offering higher education, often at the undergraduate or graduate level. While, schools are educational institutions that can range from primary to secondary levels.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023
Colleges usually offer degree programs leading to bachelors, masters, or doctorates. However, schools, particularly high schools and below, focus on a general education curriculum without offering degrees.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023
The student age range in colleges is typically older, starting from late teens to adult learners. Whereas, schools cater to a younger demographic, from children to teenagers.
Huma Saeed
Dec 12, 2023
Colleges often specialize in certain fields like arts, sciences, or professional studies. Schools provide a broader, more generalized education covering a wide range of subjects.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Comparison Chart

Educational Level

Higher education (undergraduate and graduate)
Primary to secondary education
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023
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Degree Programs

Offers degrees like bachelor’s, master’s
Does not offer degrees
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Student Age Range

Older students, from late teens to adults
Children to teenagers
Huma Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Specialization

Specialized in specific fields or studies
Broad, general education across various subjects
Harlon Moss
Dec 12, 2023

Autonomy

More autonomous in curricula
Follows standardized curricula
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

College and School Definitions

College

A college can be part of a larger university.
The business college is one of the many colleges at the university.
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Nov 20, 2023
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School

A school provides primary or secondary education.
She teaches math at the local high school.
Harlon Moss
Nov 20, 2023

College

A college is a place for advanced learning and skill development.
He went to college to study computer science.
Janet White
Nov 20, 2023

School

A school follows a standardized curriculum.
The school curriculum includes science, math, and language arts.
Huma Saeed
Nov 20, 2023

College

A college grants academic degrees.
After four years in college, she earned her degree.
Harlon Moss
Nov 20, 2023

School

A school is a place for foundational learning.
The school offers a diverse set of subjects for all students.
Harlon Moss
Nov 20, 2023

College

A college is an institution for higher education and research.
She received her bachelor's degree from a prestigious college.
Sara Rehman
Nov 20, 2023

School

A school is an institution for educating children.
The new elementary school in town has a great reputation.
Sara Rehman
Nov 20, 2023

College

A college offers specialized degree programs.
The college offers a renowned program in marine biology.
Sara Rehman
Nov 20, 2023

School

A school caters to the developmental stages of children and teenagers.
Their school has excellent programs for early childhood education.
Janet White
Nov 20, 2023

College

An institution of higher learning that grants the bachelor's degree in liberal arts or science or both.
Sara Rehman
Nov 19, 2023

School

An institution for the instruction of children or people under college age.
Sara Rehman
Nov 19, 2023

School

An institution for instruction in a skill or business
A secretarial school.
A karate school.
Sara Rehman
Nov 19, 2023

FAQs

What is a school?

An educational institution for children and teenagers.
Huma Saeed
Dec 12, 2023

Do colleges offer degree programs?

Yes, colleges offer various degree programs.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

What is a college?

An institution for higher education and research.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Are schools part of the higher education system?

No, schools are for primary and secondary education.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Can colleges specialize in certain fields?

Yes, colleges often have specialized fields of study.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

What age group do colleges cater to?

Colleges cater to late teens and adult learners.
Harlon Moss
Dec 12, 2023

Do schools offer degrees?

No, schools do not offer degrees.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Are college students older than school students?

Typically, yes, college students are older.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Do schools provide general education?

Yes, schools provide a broad general education.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Are college and school used interchangeably?

In some contexts, but they generally refer to different education levels.
Harlon Moss
Dec 12, 2023

Can a college be part of a university?

Yes, colleges can be part of larger universities.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Are colleges autonomous in their curricula?

Often, colleges have more autonomy in curriculum design.
Harlon Moss
Dec 12, 2023

What age group do schools cater to?

Schools cater to children and teenagers.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Can schools specialize in certain subjects?

Some schools might specialize, but they generally offer a broad curriculum.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Can someone go to college after school?

Yes, college typically follows after completing school.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Do schools prepare students for college?

Yes, schools aim to prepare students for higher education.
Harlon Moss
Dec 12, 2023

Do schools follow a standardized curriculum?

Yes, schools typically follow a standardized curriculum.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023

Is a college the same as a university?

Not exactly; a college can be part of a university.
Sara Rehman
Dec 12, 2023

Do colleges have a wider range of courses than schools?

Yes, colleges offer a wider and more specialized range of courses.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 12, 2023

Is the social environment different in colleges compared to schools?

Yes, colleges often have a more diverse and mature social environment.
Janet White
Dec 12, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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