The simple answer to this question is yes. The college you attend could have a significant impact on the course of your career and your life, so you should take the time to explore all of your options carefully before deciding which college to attend.
That said, you might wonder just how different attending a public college is versus a private one. Is the level of education the same? How could the cost difference impact your financial future? What’s in a name?
Before you pooh-pooh the idea of attending a private college or dismiss public schools out of hand, you need to understand the pros and cons associated with each. Here are a few factors to consider when determining whether a public or private college is right for you.
Private colleges tend to be a bit more exclusive than public, with smaller campuses. This can make gaining admission difficult, but if you pass muster you’ll enjoy much smaller class sizes and more individual attention from professors.
Also interesting to note is that private colleges don’t typically offer benefits like preferential admittance or reduced tuition to in-state students. As a result, their campuses tend to have a much more diverse student body, despite the fact that there may only be a few thousand students in attendance.
Many college students enter college undecided about the type of degree they want to pursue. They may want to dabble in a variety of disciplines as a means of sampling possibilities and learning what they like and what they’re good at.
This is something larger public schools can offer in spades thanks to a wide variety of degree programs designed to cater to a massive student population. Private schools generally offer fewer degree programs. Because of their specializations, private schools are often more attractive to students that already know what they want to study.
This is always a big consideration for students. Whether you’re interested in NU’s online MBA program or attending classes at Adelphi University, the cost will certainly factor into your final decision.
If your parents are footing the bill, they’ll definitely have something to say about where and how their money is spent. If you’re going it alone, you have to consider the amount of student debt you’ll shoulder when your time in college is done.
Although private colleges are often more expensive than public, the cost could be offset by scholarships. Most private schools offer significantly more scholarship opportunities to their students thanks to the support of private donors.
You might not care which letterhead is on your diploma, but the relative prestige of the school you attend could have a marked impact on your job opportunities. For one thing, private schools tend to have higher rates of job offers following graduation, partly because they have better job placement programs.
In addition, however, employers that see you have a degree from a prestigious private school may be more inclined to grant you an interview or offer you a job over other candidates because prestige implies quality education and preparedness for the job market. A name is not everything, but it could help you to get a foot in the door.