PRIVATE VS. PUBLIC COLLEGE…WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

There are actually several types of colleges or institutions of higher education out there. Which type is best for you? Most young people think they should attend a public institution, or community/junior college to start. Not necessarily. You might have a specific need in life. Kids, jobs, bills and other important things in your life might keep you from pursuing a degree, or finishing. It’s easy to not go or go back and use that as an excuse.

At least it used to be.

Nowadays you can’t get away with that excuse of not being able to coordinate your schedule. There are schools out there that provide so many alternative scheduling methods and ways to take courses and get the degree you need to make the money you want.

So, I thought I would provide you with a quick list of all the types of institutions that are out there and see which ones might match your needs. There is no excuse anymore. Get the degree. Make the money. Do what you want because you deserve it.

Career College-

Career colleges are schools that teach students a particular specified instruction, course of study with experience and for certain period of time. Schools that provide a culinary arts, fashion design, criminal justice, or various other degrees that provide career-specific education. forget about the general electives. More hands-on educational approach. These are schools that are specifically geared toward educational training so you don’t have to mess around with courses that you may not need.

Private Colleges-

A private college is an independent school that sets its own policies, goals, mission statement and is privately funded. Private colleges are generally smaller than public or private universities with an average student enrollment of about 1,900 students. Although not many, but there are private universities that have a large number of students as well.

Many types of private colleges are liberal arts colleges, fine arts colleges and religious affiliated colleges.

Community Colleges-

These types of schools primarily provide two-year Associate degrees. These schools can serve as a great in-between high school and another institution to attain your Bachelor’s degree. Most people would start at a community or junior college and get their associate’s degree in general studies, or specific field of study. Then that degree would transfer to another institution where you can complete your Bachelor’s degree. These schools are easy to get into and usually pretty inexpensive.

Distance Learning and On Line Degree Programs-

The fastest growing opportunity in higher education. Students can obtain a degree merely from their home or library. Distance learning or online degrees are becoming more and more popular. These are provided by traditional accredited colleges as online and you can earn a certificate award, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree or complete your degree via the Internet. Some students obtain entire degrees, or take courses to complete a degree. These programs assist students with the choice to attend school in person AND online.

Nursing schools, Culinary, schools, etc.-

These kinds of schools teach just that! Want to be a beautician? Go to beauty school. Want to learn to cook? Go to culinary school. And it goes on and on. You know the degrees it offers and the type of school it is when it has the name of the degree in its name.

Public Universities-

Public universities are large institutions that provide students with many choices in terms of degree programs and student activities/involvement. With some exceptions, public universities have large enrollments. Ohio State University has 63,000 students. Public colleges, however, can be considerably smaller. With size, comes choice. Students at public universities also have access to a variety of academic programs. Large universities typically have a school of engineering, school of arts and sciences, medical school, law school, and dozens of other types.

State Universities-

These schools are typically the most diverse and although similar to public universities, these schools are large and small, but typically smaller in size and state supported.

What’s the difference between private and public?

The major difference between public universities and private colleges lies in how they are funded. This affects students because funding is tied to tuition prices. Most public universities and colleges give residents the opportunity to receive public college education. State governments pay for most of the cost of operating public universities. They also oversee these institutions through appointed boards and trustees. Private colleges don’t receive funds from state legislatures. They rely mainly on tuition and private contributions. This means tuition rates are generally higher.

Another difference between private and public colleges is their size and the number of degrees they typically offer. Private colleges tend to be much smaller and offer less variety of degrees than public universities and may have only a few thousand students. Public universities and colleges can be pretty large. Private colleges keep classes small, with easy access to professors. At public universities, 200 students may be enrolled in some classes, especially in lower-division courses.

The culture and environment of each type is much different. In order for you to make the best and most sound decision would be to visit each type and get a feel for yourself.

Make sure to check on details of each of these types. Gather in formation from these schools, conduct online research and gather the information you need for you to make the best decision. Always be sure to check on accreditation status. Most institutions follow by the US Department of education policies and curriculum standards. If you have questions, please ask!

Your Success is My success,

Keith Lipke

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Keith Lipke is a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at The Career Closet. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people who need it upon their search for the right career and college.

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