State university system

A state university system in the United States is a group of public universities supported by an individual state, territory or federal district. These systems constitute the majority of public-funded universities in the country. Each state supports at least one such system.

Ilah Dunlap Little Library, the main library at the University of Georgia

State university systems should not be confused with federally funded colleges and universities, at which attendance is limited to military personnel and government employees. Members of foreign militaries and governments also attend some schools. These schools include the United States service academies, Naval Postgraduate School, and military staff colleges.

A state university system normally means a single legal entity and administration, but may consist of several institutions, each with its own identity as a university. Some states—such as California and Texas—support more than one such system.

State universities get subsidies from their states. The amount of the subsidy varies from university to university and state to state, but the effect is to lower tuition costs below those of private universities for students from that state or district. As more Americans attend college and private tuition rates increase well beyond the rate of inflation, admission to state universities is becoming more competitive.


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