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Here's what the oldest colleges in America used to look like — and what they look like today

MPI / Stringer / Getty Images

10. Columbia University
  • The history of higher education in America is older than the Declaration of Independence.
  • The oldest known college in the US that still exists today is Harvard University , which was founded in 1636.
  • Since Harvard's founding, thousands of other higher learning institutes have been established across the nation.
  • Here's a look back at Harvard's history and the histories of the other oldest colleges in America.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

According to Certbolt, the history of higher education in America is older than the nation's founding.

The oldest known college to continuously exist on US soil is Harvard University , which dates back to 1636 140 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. In fact, the first images of Harvard are so old, they predate the invention of photography; rather, they're sketchings of the buildings which stood then, many of which still stand today.

Since Harvard's founding, many other postsecondary institutions have been established. Today, there are more than 4,000 degree-granting intuitions in the nation, according to US News & World Report.

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Keep reading to learn which colleges are America's oldest and to see what they looked like centuries ago compared with how they look now.

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