It may not be an initial deciding factor when choosing where you will apply for college, but the distinction between private and public colleges is important to understand. Public colleges receive state and federal funding, which often times makes them more affordable. Here are some other differences between public and private higher learning institutions:
Public colleges vary in their offerings. Public colleges can include four-year degrees programs, to two-year degrees from community colleges. Public colleges generally have a larger student population and often specialize in liberal arts degrees. Because of this, many students choose to enroll in public college for the first years of their college career and transfer to a more exclusive private college.
Private colleges are some of the highest ranked higher education institutions. Private colleges are more selective in who they accept as students and as a result are looked upon as prestigious.
Some private for-profit colleges offer vocational and technical training. These colleges also can offer online degrees that are geared towards those already working full-time or have familial obligations.
Weigh the other benefits and considerations of a private versus a public education. Consider that the class size of a public college course will be a lot larger than that of a private organization. Also, amenities like dorm offerings may be more desirable in a private, more expensive university. Does the college excel in your area of study? Do they offer the degree specialization you are interested in? Dont let price be the only deciding factor when choosing a college. Weigh the pros and cons of a private AND a public education to make the best choice for you.