There are many different ways people can seek knowledge through formal education, but many of them choose to go to college. Obtaining a degree might be their goal, but not everyone is interested in hanging a sheepskin on their wall. Some people attend simply to take a class or two that will help them with their current employment, and they are uninterested in spending the time it takes to complete an entire degree program.
The majority of people who attend college are seeking a degree, and most colleges now offer a wide variety of different programs so they can attract as many students as possible. Degrees have become almost necessary to obtain anything other than entry level work, so they are now sought by those who never considered higher education to be an important goal. There are many different types of colleges people can attend, but it depends upon why they are seeking more education.