Public Institutions are funded by states and territories (city or county) and usually offer lower tuitions as compared to Private Institutions. Each state in the US has at least one Public Institution. Tuition for in-state students (students who have residential status in the state) is significantly lower than that for out-of-state students. Departments within a Public Institution may receive private funding to further their research or academic interests. There are also several scholarships that are funded through private endowments.
Private Institutions are primarily funded through private sources and are usually more expensive than Public Institutions. Some Private Institutions may have a religious affiliation. It is not uncommon that certain research projects or departments within a Private Institution get funding from state or national governments. The likelihood of financial support at Private Institutions is generally higher than at Public Institutions.
Community colleges are generally 2-year publicly funded institutions that offer academic, vocational and/or professional education. Qualifications granted are usually Diplomas, Certificates or Associate Degrees. The programs may also be termed as Continuing Education programs. Cost of education at a Community College is usually lower than that at a 4-year institution. Several Community Colleges have tie-ups with the local Public Institutions, such that the Community College provides the first two years of undergraduate level education followed by the 4-year institution providing the next two.