Counting the number of colleges in the United States can be difficult, because some Universities have multiple “colleges.”
The best estimate I can offer is based on the financial aid programs. According to The National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES, 6,896 post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges, two-year institutions, and non-degree conferring institutions such as trade schools) participated in Title IV federal student financial aid programs for the 2008-2009 school year. This should be a fairly close number to the number of colleges in the United States.
For more information, see the report in the attached link.
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