You’re nearing the end of your senior year. You’re trying to choose a college. But you’re stuck in a bit of conundrum; that conundrum is, of course, private vs public college.

Both have their upsides but their downsides as well. Need help making a choice? Then read on!

How Do They Compare on Cost?

Generally speaking, public college is much cheaper than private college. Whereas the average private college tuition for the 2018-2019 school year was $35,676, the average public college tuition for the 2018-2019 school year was around $9,500 (for in-state students) and around $21,700 (for out-of-state students).

Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t find private colleges that are cheaper than public colleges (Full Sail University is priced reasonably). It’s just, in general, public schools are a much more affordable option.

How Do They Compare on Education?

In terms of education, results vary. Some private universities (like Harvard) are considered to be at the top of the educational totem pole. Others aren’t even properly accredited.


The best public colleges may not stand with the Princeton’s and the Yale’s, but they generally still provide a good level of education. And what’s more, even the lowest-rated of them are accredited. This makes them a safer option overall, though both are safe if you do the necessary homework.

How Do They Compare on Lifestyle?

This is where you’ll notice a huge difference: lifestyle. Typically speaking, a public university will offer much more variation in student lifestyle than will a private college.

There are two reasons for this: 1. public universities typically have bigger student bodies, allowing for a greater chance of variation, and 2. public universities market to the general student body, meaning that individuals from all walks of life end up going to them.

Private schools, on the other hand, are typically marketed toward a specific niche of students. For instance, one private college might be associated with the Catholic Church while another might be associated with engineering.

So, if you’re looking to attend school amongst only like-minded individuals, you should consider private college. If you’re looking for some variety on campus, a public college is a more viable option.

How Do They Compare on Major Offerings?

Typically speaking, public universities provide more major offerings than private universities. This is true not only because private schools are niche-oriented but because public schools have greater funding (and therefore can afford to hire more professors).

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Note, though, that this only affects you if you either haven’t chosen a major yet or think you might change your major in the future. Apart from these scenarios, it shouldn’t influence your experience in any way.

Have You Decided on Private vs Public College?

Well, what do you think? Have you made a choice on private vs public college? Regardless of the choice you make, you have a bright future ahead of you. Give it your all and you’re sure to come out in a good position.

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