You know private colleges are quite different from state schools but how do you decide which one is the better choice for you? Each one has its own merits and downsides that make them a good fit for some students but not so good a fit for others.
Understanding the pros and cons of going to a private college can help make the decision easier for you.
Pro: Academics Above All Else
If you are the kind of individual who puts learning above all else, then a private college is a great option for you. With a good, sound curriculum in place, the focus tends to be on the learning and application of the curriculum. It also means that assignments, quizzes, and course-work are all very rigorous. That makes the course well-suited for students who have their sights fixed on academic excellence.
Pro: Close-Knit Community
Private university students are known to develop close bonds with other students and alumni of their colleges and form long-lasting connections. This is among the most enjoyable aspects of a private college education. These contacts usually help a lot of people later on in life as well.
Pro: Favorable Class Sizes
Private schools have a smaller student body, which means that there are fewer of students in individual courses. This means that professors can afford to focus on the progress of individual students. They can offer one-on-one helps to students who need it.
Pro: Financial Aid Packages
Though private colleges tend to have larger sticker prices, they also dole out bigger financial aid packages so students pay a fraction of the cost. You can potentially reduce your tuition and other expenses significantly and gain a premium education for less than you’d think. If you have a good GPA and great test scores, or outstanding extra-curricular activities, you should consider applying to private schools.
Many colleges offer grants, scholarships, and special concessions for students.
For many students, the sticker price is the single most important deterrent enrolling in a private college. Unless the family income is above-average, or the student is receiving a substantial scholarship or financial aid packages, private colleges can be expensive to a fault.
Con: Lack of Diversity
Private schools generally do not enjoy the diversity that public colleges do. Interacting with people from different backgrounds, that hold different beliefs, or follow different religions is an important aspect of college. This is definitely something to keep in mind when applying.
However, while public schools might have more diversity in number, it’s often reported that private schools feel more diverse because diverse students interact with each other more regularly, given the smaller nature of private schools.
Con: Limited Majors
Larger public colleges tend to offer more in terms of majors and programs than their private counterparts. So if your heart is set on a particular major, especially a niche one, you might have better luck searching for public schools.
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