Public Vs. Private Colleges

While researching colleges and shopping around for the best “fit” for you as a student, you may have come across public and private colleges.  Now, you’re wondering what the difference is between the two and if there are any advantages?  Let’s take a quick look at Public vs. Private colleges…

Public Colleges and Universities 

Public colleges and/or universities are basically categorized as “public” because they are founded, and often partially funded, by state and government entities.  You can find a public college in every state in America, and most have more than 10!  One big difference you’ll notice about Public vs. Private colleges is the price tag associated with tuition.

Most public colleges are state universities, which is good news for you when it comes to tuition!  These schools receive funding at the state level making tuition somewhat more affordable for students that reside in that state.  As a result, prospective students that would like to attend a public school in another state will be paying a higher tuition rate.  This is due to the fact that you pay taxes that support schools in your state, so you are somewhat rewarded if you attend public college in-state.

Private Colleges and Universities

There are numerous private colleges and universities in the United States.  Generally speaking, these institutions are not operated by any governing body.  Some may receive public subsidies and funding, but no where near what the public and state universities receive.   Also notable, some of these private universities do not have accredited degree programs which means they’re degrees aren’t formally recognized.  Many of them are, but please do your research before continuing your interest with a Private college.  As an example, one of the biggest and most known private universities is The University of Notre Dame, which has an outstanding track record for educational excellence.

So What’s The Difference?
The major difference in terms of attending a private college usually comes down to money.  Private Colleges are expensive when you compare their tuition rates to that of the public colleges.  However, don’t let that deter you!  Private Colleges have more money from endowment to give away in scholarship money, making them competitive with the state school rates.  As long as you have done well for yourself in high school, you could qualify for a yearly “tuition break” that is renewable over the course of your education.