Private VS Public: Are private universities worth the money?

Lucas Hamilton/Entertainment Editor

Throughout senior year, no one can escape the stress of a rapidly approaching future. With so many options of what college to go to or even to go to college, too frequently people get caught up in the hurry of it all. One decision of a college-bound high school senior is to go to a state school or private school.

Private schools are able to aid their students more than people think. Many people get so thrown off by the giant “sticker price” of a private college, when in reality, state schools can leave just as much of a student debt to pay off as any other college. Look at it this way, when going to a private college, less students attend, meaning more chances to earn scholarships from the university as opposed to public colleges where thousands of students compete for very limited amounts. If private colleges want a student, they are willing to help in any way possible. The problem comes from the individual students not willing to put forth the work to get those scholarships or seek out need-based aid.

Private colleges allow students to pursue their educations as more focused and independent learners. Private universities can offer a better pursuit of a specialized career, more one-on-one experience with professors who don’t just teach their subject but advocate it to their students, and closer sense of community. In a private, smaller setting, the teachers can teach and actually personally assist anyone who is struggling, which is better than having to go to a peer tutoring account. Teachers will get to know their students on a personal level and learn how to teach to be most effective. In other words, skipping class becomes a problem when there are only about 20 people in it.

Some people have the preconceived notion that more people automatically means more friends. But that is where the problem of quantity versus quality comes in when looking at private and public universities. It is mainly up to the individual though, if one would like more less-close friends or less more-close friends. In a private college, more unique friendships form, and everyone can find their own way amongst the crowd.

No one can completely discredit the public or community universities, though. They serve different people and purposes, but one must not simply ignore the benefits of a private college with successful programs because of a price tag. That’s something that should be taught in schools.

Meg Lane/Editor-in-Chief

With the idea of college looming over me, I can’t help but feel stress. And the biggest stress of them all, paying for college and picking one.

So how does a broke high school student pay for school? Well, of course scholarships and financial aid; but there are definitely other factors to consider.

Where you go and how much that school costs can also be a factor. With the average cost of a private college being $30,000 to $ 40,000 a year, after aid, that cost averages somewhere around $12,000 to $17,000 according to Kiplinger Personal Finance for 2010.

However, students who chose to go to an in-state university will have an average tuition price of $12,000 to $19,000. And after aid, those students could be paying from nothing to $6,000 a year. Note however that this doesn’t apply for students who chose to go out of state.

Why would you want to pay basically an arm and leg to go to a private school when you can get the same education at an in-state public school at cheaper cost?

Let’s face it. The job market is a tough place right now and paying loans until we’re 60 just doesn’t sound appealing to me.

And, yes, while state universities have this ominous stereotype attached to them of being big and unfriendly, it’s certainly not the case. In fact, bigger universities are making a big deal out of making sure students don’t just get lost in the crowd. They have set up learning communities and smaller classes to do this.

At private colleges, while they may offer smaller classes sizes and more scholarship opportunites in some cases, it is almost too similar to being in high school.

One of the major points of college is learn to do things for yourself. So while a class of 20 and small campuse may be nice and all, that’s not how the real world works. Private colleges don’t offer the same competitiveness as state universities do because of their size.

What it comes to, though, is you need to chose what’s best for you. Whether it’s public or private, you need to make sure that that school is going to get where you want to be in the next four years. Because who wants to pay for another four years because they didn’t get all the first time? This is your time; chose wisely.

Class of 2014

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