Private Colleges: Better or Worse?

Caitlin Husted, Staff Writer

High school seniors all around the world spend countless hours trying to figure out which university is the best one to attend. One of the larger debates going on in their mind is: private or public?

Each type of school has its advantages. For example, public schools tend to be a little cheaper because they are largely supported through state funds. Private schools are more expensive because they rely on tuition, endowment and donations to keep them afloat. However, private schools are more likely to give out scholarships than public schools.

According to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, NAICU, because of the large amount of student aid packages offered, private colleges are affordable to students from all backgrounds. It was also stated that the average net tuition and
fees at a private four year college is $29,056. However, most financial aid packages that are awarded are around $15,680 to students, making the average tuition cost at a private college $13,380. For more information on these facts and figures, visit www.naicu.edu.

At Millikin, 99 percent of students receive some sort of financial aid. Millikin itself offers 11 different scholarships annually that total up to over $20 million. This financial help can cut down the cost of a private college drastically.

Another benefit of a private college is that the class sizes are usually smaller. For the students that like to blend into the background, this may not be an attractive statement. However, for the students that want more attention from their professors, a smaller class size is great. It’s a lot easier to interact with the professor and students in a class where there are no more than 20 students rather than no less than 200. This way, students can be able to speak more freely in class and professors can make sure that their students are learning and responding.

Private colleges also allow students to be more than just a face in the crowd. With a smaller campus and class size, it’s more common to walk through campus and be able to know people from all different sorts of organizations. When going to a larger public college, students can walk by people that they have never met and may never see again. When walking across campus at a private college, students are able to recognize the guy who’s in their biology class, the girl who is in the Italian club with them and the professor who they have psychology with. At a public college, it’s harder to pick out the people you know in such a large crowd.

While many people’s opinions differ on which type of school is better, it can be seen that both have their advantages. The decision is really up to the student and what kind of environment they prefer.