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Private colleges are worth the bills

The ongoing debate of whether private colleges are a waste of money continues

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As difficult as it is to transfer, it’s a process many community college students go through. When applying for transfer, students have to weigh out the many schools to choose from. For some, a public state college like San Francisco State University should suffice, while others aim for a private college like Dominican University.

The term “private college” has been stained with such a negative connotation, though. Some students say that private schools are a complete waste of money, but contrary to popular belief, this stigma is wrong. Private colleges are not a waste.

Upon meeting new students at Skyline, the most common questions to ask are “what’s your major?” and “where do you plan to transfer?”

A majority of the time, the responses include colleges such as UC Davis or CSU Long Beach. Rarely do students choose to attend private colleges. If anything, they spit at the word “private” and transition into a rant on how private colleges aren’t worth attendance.

One of the main reasons people frown upon private colleges is because of the high tuition rates. According to the College Board, the average tuition in the 2015-2016 school year for private colleges was estimated to an average of $32,405, while public colleges totaled to $9,410. These numbers are high enough to scare students away from applying, but the outcome of attending a private college is well worth the bill.

Attending a private college has many benefits. Due to the high tuition, students are supplied with greater and higher quality resources. Private colleges also tend to have a smaller population, an estimated average of about 1,920 students, according to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU).

This small size shows lower student to faculty ratios, giving students more access to their professors and a higher chance of personally communicating with them. This is opposed to a public college, where lecture halls are composed of 200 students and one professor, where a student may hardly know anyone else’s name.

Furthermore, the faculty at private colleges work closely with their students to ensure they’re on the right path to graduate on time. It is shown that 79 percent of students graduate from private schools in four years, compared to the 49 percent that graduate from public state universities.

Upon researching about the transfer process myself, I, like many others, limited my search to public state campuses. After researching graduation rates, degrees offered and extra curricular activities, I found that some CSU’s were a perfect match for me, while none of the UC’s fit my interests. Some lacked the programs I needed, and others lacked environmental appeal.

This led me to immerse myself in the world of private colleges. Anyone would love to save thousands of dollars by attending a public college, but the thought of whether or not you’ll be happy at the school you choose is most important.

The debate of private colleges versus public colleges was born long ago, and there ultimately isn’t an answer of which college is better. There will always be arguments between the two, but the ultimate argument comes down to money. While the cost of college is one of the main aspects in determining where to apply, it shouldn’t govern the entire decision. There is nothing wrong with attending a private college and the negative stigma associated with them is only an opinion of others.

1 Comment

One Response to “Private colleges are worth the bills”

  1. Sam on March 28th, 2016 8:22 pm

    This article does not make a solid case for why private colleges are worth more than public universities. Let us also remember that for-profit private colleges are there to make money, not do research, or transfer knowledge. They achieve this by using grade inflation, easy courses, and fast graduation rates.

    The few weak arguments are based on myths. The average class at CSU Long Beach is 24 students per faculty, for example. It allows for personal class contact. There are very few classes with 100 or more students at CSU Long Beach, mostly because there are no class rooms that have the capacity; most other CSU compare similarly. Also, Californian public universities provide excellent hands-on research opportunities with faculty and the fields of specialization are broader – all for a reasonable prize. Professors at CSUs and UCs must be involved in research and know the current state-of-the art in content. Thereby, public universities do good for the broader public at the same time as transfer of knowledge happens.

    I agree with the author that in the end it comes down to money and how much debt you can tolerate. If you have enough money and want to study in a non-diversified environment of other well-off students, then private institutions will fit the bill. In most cases, a public university is far superior, more diverse, effective and just worth it.

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Private colleges are worth the bills