The state of Maryland, to date, boasts of fifty six colleges and universities which can rightly and legally be defined as accredited, degree-granting, post secondary institutions. With the exception of United States Naval Academy, St. Mary's College and Morgan State University, which are public, but are not part of the university system, the state's public universities are part of the University System of Maryland. Maryland's oldest institution is St. John's College, formerly King William School, founded in 1696, and it is also the third oldest college and/or university in the United States. The infamous author of the Star Spangled Banner, is an alumnus of St. John's- Francis Scott Key. Whereas the most brand new in the state is University of Maryland, Hagerstown, has been founded in 2008.
The characteristics and features of each of the Maryland colleges and universities varies from small, intimate, liberal arts colleges such as Washington College to large, public, research universities such as the University of Maryland, College Park. According to the statistics, approximately 310,689 students (undergraduate, graduate, & professional) are enrolled at Maryland universities and colleges. Universities and colleges in Maryland are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Each of the Maryland colleges and universities offer and are much popular in excelling and producing quality professionals by the end of their offered degrees and each institution is best at their field. For example the Art Institute system of schools in Maryland which is located in Baltimore and is also ranked as number twelve within the state offers real-world education in the areas Fashion, Design, Media Arts, and Culinary Arts whereas the IT Technical Institute is there to help men and women develop the skills and knowledge to pursue many opportunities in today's fastest growing career fields, including electronics, web development, computer programming, computer networking, computer drafting and design, criminal justice, business and health sciences. The community colleges in the state of Maryland are also commendable some of them which include Allegany College of Maryland, Anne Aroundel Community College, Baltimore City Community College, Carroll Community College and College of Southern Maryland. The number one institution amongst the Maryland universities and colleges is the University of Maryland, situated in College Park. John Hopkins University, which pioneered the concept of the modern research university in the whole of United States and has also ranked among the world's top such universities throughout its history is also counted amongst the Maryland colleges and universities, The place has also been ranked as number one among U.S. academic institutions in total science, medical and engineering research and development spending for 31 consecutive years by the National Science Foundation.
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Maryland colleges and universities also offer the students an extensive array of financial aid programs in the form of grants, scholarships and other awards for students who want to further their education beyond high school. International students are also given priority, based upon their deserving merit, also financial assistance for them is also provided given their well deserved results. If one is considering to move forward within their educational career somewhere in this region, they should carefully analyze each of their options which excel and are known for their commendable programs in the field they want to specialise in.