Congratulations! You have earned your high school diploma and are ready to pursue a bachelor's degree. Studying in the US is your goal, but where to earn your degree is the big question. You have heard of colleges and universities, but do not know the difference between them. While the two terms can mean different things in different countries, in the United States, universities and colleges are very similar. They are both post-secondary schools, meaning both follow after high school, or secondary school. A college in the U.S. is not a high school or secondary school. Rather, college and university programs begin after the completion of high school. Scholars are generally 17 or 18 years old when they begin college or university, however, there is no age restriction to enroll at a college or university. Scholars may be 17 or 18, 35, 50, or 75. Colleges are generally either two year or four year schools A two-year college offers an associate's degree, as well as certificates. A four-year college or university offers a bachelor's degree. Any school that offers Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degrees are called "undergraduate" schools.
A "university" is a group of schools for studies after high school or secondary school. Examples of universities that you may have heard of include Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and my alma mater, Penn State University. At least one of the schools in a university is a college where students receive a bachelor's degree. The other schools in a university are "graduate" (also known as "postgraduate") schools where students receive advanced degrees such as Master’s and Doctoral Degrees. Therefore, a university offers both the bachelor's degree and graduate degrees such as the master's (M.A.) and doctorate (Ph.D.). While I earned my bachelor’s degree at Penn State University from the College of Arts and Architecture, I also earned a Master’s degree from Towson University, and my Doctoral degree from Widener University.
Now that we have common definitions for college and university, we can talk about our post-secondary partners. Currently, Scholars' Promise has five college and university partners including Delaware County Community College, Bucks County Community College, Rosemont College, Cairn University, and Valley Forge Military College. Each of these partners offers guaranteed admission to ALL scholars who earn a diploma through Scholars' Promise.
DCCC and BCCC are both 2 year colleges. They both offer a large range of Associate’s degree and Certificate options. Each college also has articulation agreements with hundreds of four year colleges and universities so scholars can transfer the credits they have earned to complete a Bachelor’s degree. Community colleges tend to have the lowest per credit tuition rates of all colleges and universities, meaning they are often the most affordable option for scholars.
Valley Forge Military College is a two year college at which students may earn an associate’s degree and also a commission as an officer in the US military. In fact, VFMC is one of only a few colleges in the US that allow a scholar to become a commissioned officer in two years, most require four years to become a commissioned officer. Students from around the world study at VFMC and either continue to a four year college to earn a bachelor’s degree or return to their home countries to serve in the military, utilizing their extensive training to great effect.
Rosemont College is a four year college that grants Bachelor’s degrees to scholars in a broad range of academic disciplines. Rosemont College is a highly desirable college in the Philadelphia area because of its low, fixed tuition rate, beautiful campus, small class sizes, and proximity to other universities at which students may also take courses. International students who have initially come to the US to attend a large university transfer to Rosemont College in many instances because they receive personal attention from professors and enjoy greater success in a more intimate learning environment.
Cairn University grants both undergraduate and graduate degrees, meaning scholars can earn a Bachelor’s degree and continue to earn a Master’s degree at Cairn. With a beautiful campus just north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Cairn provides tremendous academic flexibility to cost conscious scholars.
The great benefit of studying with Scholars' Promise partner schools is the comprehensive learning pathways that exist. For example, through its partnership with International Christian High School, which is also our high school partner, Cairn University offers dual enrollment courses. Dual enrollment courses allow high school students to take courses for both high school AND college credit. Through Cairn University and ICHS, scholars can graduate from high school with 10, 20, or up to 60 college credits.
Scholars who are interested attending medical school may be interested in the “three +four” fast track medical program with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Through this program, scholars who graduate in the top 25% of their high school class, complete four years of Math, English, and Science courses, have an SAT score of at least 1150, and a 3.4 GPA can begin medical school in what would normally be their fourth year of college. After completing the first year of medical school, students earn their undergraduate degree and continue through three more years of medical school to become a doctor. Students who study with Scholars’ Promise online for four years will take the required Math, English, and Science courses and then receive guaranteed admission to Rosemont College. Graduating at the top of their class gives students the opportunity to take advantage of this incredible learning pathway.
It may seem overwhelming to consider all the available options for university studies. Scholars' Promise will help you. We try to keep the process very simple - you earn the high school diploma and we guarantee your university admission.