The difference between public and private schools

January 15, 2013

The cost of college can be prohibitive for some students. Those who apply for college scholarships can get some alleviation from the overall expense, but unless they receive a prodigious amount of funds, some schools cost so much they might still be carrying a huge debt from the day they graduate. This could dissuade some people from getting a secondary degree, but there are options available that are comparable in value yet less expensive to procure.

Private institutions typically cost more than their public alternatives, but some people are hung up on the prestige attached to the former genre of education facilities. Understanding the other differences in these two kinds of colleges can help those stuck on scholarship applications pick the right school to attend.

Private schools
These institutions are more expensive on an annual basis, as Campus Explorer wrote, running anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 for two semesters. The 2011 College Board report showed that private schools far outstripped public institutions by overall cost of attendance, the average cost of attendance at$38,500. These schools offer generous money for college, Campus Explorer reported, with nearly three-fourths of all private school attendees receiving financial assistance and more than $30 million in grants and scholarships being given away in total.

However, price doesn't dictate the overall quality of education. As the news source pointed out, the prestige that comes with attending an ivy league or private institution can add weight to a professional resume, but some schools are more renowned than others. On the other hand, class size tends to be smaller at private colleges, meaning more attention is given to each pupil, so better academic outcomes could be expected.

Public schools
Public colleges are usually less expensive than private ones, backed by money from local governments and far more affordable concerning attendance costs. The New York Times wrote that many of these options are reasonably priced and produce successful public figures and persons of note, meaning it's not just the most elite private schools with a claim to fame.

The amount of savings is one of the biggest things that draws people to public institutions, US News noted. With larger class sizes and much less one-on-one time with professors in some cases, public schools for in-state students are usually $8,000 or less, not including room and board. This figure goes up for out-of-state students, but the figures are still much less than private schools would run.

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