Main Difference – College vs. High School
Both college and high school are two educational institutions. However, the meaning and educational levels provided at these educational institutes can vary according to different countries. Nevertheless, the main difference between college and high school can be identified as the type of education provided; colleges often provide post-secondary education whereas high schools provide secondary education.
What is a College
College is an educational institution, and the meaning of college can vary according to the country you are in. College can refer to an institute that offers vocational education, a part of a collegiate university or a degree-awarding tertiary educational institute. In some countries, the term college can refer to a secondary school or high school as well. Some secondary schools and High schools can have “college” as part of their titles.
In the United Kingdom, college can refer to an educational institution where students aged 16-19 study for their advanced level qualifications. This is called a sixth form college. A sixth form college only provides secondary education. In higher education, college refers to a part of a university. A college does not have the power to award degrees, it only provides tuition, accommodation, and other facilities; it is the university that conducts examinations and award degrees.
In the United States, college is defined as a part of a university, but in usage, the term college is associated with post-secondary undergraduate education. Colleges are essentially undergraduate institutions and provide associate or bachelor’s degrees. Community colleges or technical colleges are institutions that provide higher education and lower-level tertiary education. The highest education qualification granted by a community college is the associate’s degree.
In India, the term college refers to institutions that provide degrees at year 12 and those that offer bachelor’s degrees. It is an affiliated institution of a university.
In Sri Lanka, college refers to professional and vocational institutions that provide post-secondary education. In addition, college also refers to a secondary school as many popular schools carry the word college in their names.
Having read the different usages and meanings of the verb college, it must be clear to you that the term college can refer to several types of institutions; institutes that offer vocational education, a part of a collegiate university, a degree-awarding tertiary educational institute or a secondary or high school.
What is a High School
A high school is an educational institute that provides secondary education to adolescents. It is usually preceded by the primary school or middle school education and followed by higher education or vocational training. At the successful completion of the high school, a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate, which is necessary further studies is issued. However, the age levels, the precise level of schooling might vary from country to country and sometimes within the country.
In the United States, the division of school levels can vary according to states, counties and school districts. High schools can be further categorized as general high schools, vocational schools, magnet schools, and college preparatory high schools, etc. But most of the high schools belong to the general high school category. In most cases, a high school consists of grade 9 or 10 through 12.
In Britain and many Commonwealth countries, the general term for this kind of school is secondary school.
Difference Between College and High School
College can be an institute that offer vocational education, a part of a collegiate university, a degree-awarding tertiary educational institute or a secondary or high school.
High School is an educational institute that provides secondary education to adolescents.
Type of Education
College mostly provides higher education.
High School provides secondary education.
College students are adults.
High School students are teenagers.
“Medina High School” by Editor5807 – Own work. (Public Domain) via Commons