Quick Facts


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Quick facts: US Higher Education System


What is the difference between a university vs college? Public vs Private University? Arts vs Science degree? Early Decision vs Early Action? How do you calculate your GPA? What are your job options? Get the answers to these and many more questions. If you are a prospective international student interested in studying at a university or college in the USA, then this section is for you. Quick & Easy!


As an international student it is important that you have an understanding of how the US higher education system works – both during the application process and as an enrolled international student. The term “higher education” refers to education taken at university/college level, generally after completing high school (12 years of schooling). Our experience as admission officers and international student recruiters has allowed us to identified key areas about the US higher education system that most international students are not sure about.


The different quick facts are presented in a clear and easy-to-follow format and covers key areas of the US higher education system that any international student should know about. The information will help you both during the application stage and once you are an enrolled international student studying for a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate (PhD) degree in the USA.


Learn more about US university classes, such as what is the difference between general education classes, electives, and major classes? What are credits and units? How does students buy college textbooks in the USA? Click the green box for answers. Find out the difference between a public and private university and college, the difference between a science and arts degree, and the difference between a college and community college? See the red box for answers. Read about what a scantron is, how to calculate average grades (called grade point average or GPA), what the format are for US exams and multiple-choice tests, and how you can cheat at US university tests and exams without getting in trouble. See the orange box for answers. Finally, click on the blue box to learn about the difference between university admission requirements and program admission requirements, the difference between early decision vs early action, and learn how and when students pay tuition fees, and what employment (jobs) opportunities are available for international students in the USA.


Click on one of the boxes to learn more about the US higher education system.

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