I think that a diploma from a university has more value than a diploma from a college (at least in the U.S. - other countries might have different standards). It's just that going to a university would cost more money.
This is what I found on dictionary.com -
College: an institution of higher learning, esp. one providing a general or liberal arts education rather than technical or professional training.
University: an institution of learning of the highest level, having a college of liberal arts and a program of graduate studies together with several professional schools, as of theology, law, medicine, and engineering, and authorized to confer both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Continental European universities usually have only graduate or professional schools.
Personally, I'd rather go to a university, like Yale or Harvard (for example), than to a state college.
Hope this helps somewhat.
Generally colleges focus on teaching, while universities have a mixture of teaching and research. Only a very small number of colleges award doctorates, and these are mostly places that are really universities, but have kept the name college for historical reasons.
A college usually is for 2 years study and a university is for 4 years and beyond.
A university may have several colleges, and most often offers graduate level degrees. That's the only difference.
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