Higher education is provided by institutions of various types including general and technical universities, specialized institutions, professional universities, military institutions, medical schools and colleges, independent colleges, and adult higher education institutions of various types. Entry to university depends primarily on how well the students perform in the entrance examinations. Students with outstanding academic performance in their secondary schools can also possibly be granted an exemption from the entrance examination and be recommended directly to the university of their choice through a method called (baosong 保送). In addition, some private institutions are exempted from the NCEE (gaokao) and accept all students who can afford the tuition fees. Prestigious universities (key institutions) maintain higher admission standards, and therefore require higher NCEE (gaokao) scores than other institutions. Entry to higher education in China is highly competitive.