Public vs. Private Universities

—Sydney Gaff, Co-Editor in Chief—

When it comes to college there is an abundance of choices and decisions that have to be made throughout the process of applying and accepting. Working through the mess of college there are some details that people can overlook, such as whether or not a public or private college would be best for them.

The first and most major difference between private and public universities is the price. Public universities are funded by the state, so therefore if a student is a resident of that particular state they will be eligible for a significant cut on their tuition.

However in private universities cheaper tuition is not the case. Private universities rely on tuition and donations as opposed to receiving money from the state.

There is also another significant difference between the two and that is between their class sizes. In public universities classes can be full of students. Especially in the general education courses there can be about 200 students enrolled in a class.

In private colleges it is easier for them to access professors therefore their overall class sizes are smaller than that of a public university. This smaller class size means there is more of a chance of getting to work with your professor and ask questions after or outside of class.

Not every student knows exactly what they want to do when they get out of school, and with different types of universities comes different amounts of classes offered. Public universities would be helpful for people still unsure because they offer numerous different types of degrees. If a student wanted to switch from being a liberal arts major to a engineering major then public schools will be more likely to be able to offer the best of both worlds.

Private school tend not to always have as many majors to choose from. In many private universities they can commonly lean towards a certain direction whether it’s liberal arts or STEM. However, there are private universities that have a variety of majors they just need to be searched for.

While there is a larger price tag on private colleges there also tends to be a larger chance to get aid to pay for it. Since private universities have higher tuition they tend to have more money that can go towards financial aid and scholarships for students. While there initially may be a big price on a private university there is a chance that it could end up possibly being even cheaper than a public university.

University of Richmond, for example, “commits to meeting to 100% of (their) students’ demonstrated need”. This could make a significant difference and allow someone that wouldn’t normally be fiscally capable to attend a private university, now able to.

While there are pros and cons of both set ups everyone will prefer one to the other. With this added variety, there is a better chance for there to truly be a college for everyone.