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2020 Hawai‘i College Guide

(Sponsored) Your guide to navigating the admissions process, financial aid applications, preparing for college, building a network and more.


(page 10 of 17)

Types of Colleges

There are nearly 5,000 postsecondary schools in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But that doesn’t mean they all fall into the same category. Let’s take a look at the differences.

by kathryn drury wagner and Shinae Lee


For-Profit Universities

• Often, their education is in specific disciplines; they are owned by private corporations that run the universities like businesses.

• The bulk of their funding—up to 90%—is via federal student aid.

• They often have flexible programs designed for people working or taking care of family, and are designed to help students finish their degrees quickly.

Examples: Remington College and Argosy University.


Trade Schools

• They specialize in training students in one specific job area.

Examples: Hawai‘i Professional School of Bartending and Hawai‘i Medical College.


Hawaii Tokai


Community Colleges

• Serve many reentry and nontraditional students.

• Funding comes from taxes and tuition.

• Performance standards are the same as for public four-year institutions, so general education credits will transfer.

• Low tuitions often attract students who aren’t sure what to study.

• Classes are smaller.

• Community colleges award certifications and two-year associate degrees.

Examples: Honolulu Community College and Kapi‘olani Community College.


Private Four-Year Universities

• Funding comes from student tuition and endowments.

• Leadership is a board of trustees.

• These schools can develop their own institutional plans.

• They have higher average costs than public nonprofit schools.

• Class and campus sizes vary widely.

• Award bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral degrees.

Examples: Chaminade University and Hawai‘i Pacific University.


Public Four-Year Universities

• Funding comes from state or local taxes, tuition and endowments.

• They have performance standards set by the state.

• They are mostly state-run and offer lower tuition for in-state residents.

•  Classes usually include large lectures and smaller upper division seminars.

• Award bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral degrees.

Examples: UH Mānoa, UH Hilo and UH West O‘ahu.


Kamehameha Schools


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