Public vs. Private College: What’s Best for You?

There are currently over 17 million undergraduate students in the United States. If you’re on the way to joining them, you’ve got some major decisions to make.

There are countless factors to take into consideration, from location to cost to program offerings. Do you want to commute or live on campus? Are you interested in exploring the country and going out of state, or do you want to stay close to home?

More importantly, are you trying to decide between public vs private college? Read on for the information you need to make a decision.

Public College

Public universities are schools that receive most of their funding from the federal and state governments.

One of the top benefits of public college is the decreased cost. Private college tends to be much more expensive than private colleges. If you’re concerned about the cost, make sure you read more about college tuition and other possible expenses before you commit.

Public universities are usually bigger than private universities, which means that you’ll have more options when it comes to the classes you take and your major. And, because of the size, there tend to be more extracurricular options at. If you like sports, public universities tend to be a better bet.

The same is true if you want to join a fraternity or sorority, since public schools tend to have more options. Other extracurricular activities you can try out at public universities include:

  • School newspaper
  • Honor societies
  • Language-focused clubs
  • Quiz competitions
  • Theater productions
  • Religious-based clubs
  • Clubs for students of particular backgrounds
  • Charities and volunteer organizations
  • Political groups
  • Activist organizations
  • Student radio or television stations

Plus, if you’re into research, you’ll definitely want to consider attending public college. They tend to have more research facilities and labs than private schools.

Private College

Private colleges are ones that don’t receive government funding, and therefore entirely rely on money from other sources.

While it can be more expensive, there are still significant benefits of private college that make it worth considering. The class sizes tend to be a lot smaller at private schools. This allows for a lot more individualized attention.

Because private colleges are closer knit, they offer more opportunities for networking. This can give you a head start when you join the workforce, since when people know your name, they’re more likely to hire you.

Plus, private universities tend to be more prestigious than public ones. This will help set you apart from the rest of the crowd when you start applying to jobs. The name of a top-ranked private university can really catch an employer’s eye!

Public schools sometimes have more barriers to joining specific programs and majors. You often have to apply to them separately, and hope you get in. In private universities, you may be able to enter them straight out, so you won’t have to settle for your second choice of room.

Public vs Private College: Decide Today

Hopefully, you now have enough information to work through whether you should choose public vs private college.

Do you need more advice about your education and more? Read through some of our other great sections for more of what you need to know.