Universities in USA are known for being the most prestigious institutions for higher learning. Built mostly over the last two centuries, the universities have established themselves good in providing research and education much better than any other system of universities anywhere in the world. The universities are of two types depending on the nature of the funding they draw upon. The first type, Public universities get a majority of their funding from the taxpayer dollars. The other type , private universities draw upon an educational corpus contributed by an individual. Each state has a university system by its own name which is always a public funded institution. Typically, these university systems have multiple universities working under a common umbrella with a great deal of autonomy. Private universities do not have to depend upon the conditions posed on taking public money and thus always enjoy great autonomy. Both types have been able to throw up some really good institutions. An example of a really good private university is MIT , whereas an example of a really good public university system in the University of California system.
Federal and state aid towards education flows in varying amounts to different universities. This results in a large amount of money that universities can devote to research. This research has helped in the invention of a considerable amount of technology which has in turn helped in creation of jobs. The best of the best listing of universities always contain a disproportionate amount of American institutions. Indeed , attending an university from the Ivy League is seen by many to be prestigious and preparation to attend such an institution begins much before the student reaches university going age.
Of late, the University system in USA has faced with a serious resource crunch. This is due to the recession that is currently afflicting the economy. Student financial aid which is one of the major draws for students in USA and elsewhere, has seen a steep decline. However it is unlikely that this will continue for a long time. The fundamental thing that is correct about the universities in USA is their emphasis in general on research and academics. As long as this emphasis remains, they are destined to hold on to the position of the best places to go for a quality higher education.