The Variety of American Colleges

On this week’s episode of College for Christians, I took Sam on a tour of the four thousand-some accredited colleges, universities, and other postsecondary institutions that make up the crowded higher ed landscape in the United States.

As Sam observed, this means that American students have vastly more college options than citizens of similar countries, even when allowing for population size. And what a range of choices! We talked about everything from community colleges to art schools, enormous land-grant universities that spend millions on research (and much more than that on sports) to a tiny two-year school in California that charges its students no students to work on a ranch. Plus private, sometimes religious four-year colleges like the one we both work at.

Part of the University of Minnesota’s East Bank campus in Minneapolis – Creative Commons (Ben Franske)

But precisely because there are so many options, higher ed can be overwhelming. And it doesn’t make things any easier when the different types of institutions intentionally try to look and sound like each other.

So if you’re trying to make sense of all the differences and similarities, spend half an hour with us — this and other episodes can be downloaded or streamed from Podbean and Spotify, among other sources.

Next week we’ll survey a different kind of variety — the many ways that Christianity and higher education combine in the United States.