A: A land-grant university is an institution of higher education in the United States designated by a state to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. These two federal laws aimed to encourage the teaching of agriculture, science, engineering, and all those subjects up to then neglected in higher education in favour of the liberal arts. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is an example of a land-grant institution. Most land-grant colleges became large public universities which today offer a full range of subjects. There are some land-grant colleges which are private, including Cornell University and MIT.