The U.S. education system is the most diversified and flexible in the world. Most private schools in the U.S. are controlled by independent organizations, whereas the authority of public schools is shared between local and state governments. A major difference between private and public schools is the cost. Usually private schools are more expensive than public ones because they must receive funding from outside of the government. All higher education institutions offer degrees, diplomas, and certificates depending on the status of the institution and the nature and length of the program.
Education standards and requirements vary considerably from state to state or district to district. In order to ensure that higher education meets the acceptable level of quality, institutions must receive regional or national accreditation through a private accrediting agency.
In addition, accreditation ensures that the degree will be recognized by other educational institutions, both nationally and internationally.
Post-secondary education is divided into three main categories: state college and university, private college and university, and community college. The biggest difference among them is the cost of study and the degree level rewarded upon satisfactory completion of the program.
There are more than 4500 accredited degree-granting institutions in the United States, and the most popular states for international study are California, New York, and Texas.