How Are Non-Profit Colleges Different From For-Profit Colleges?

What's the difference between nonprofit vs for-profit colleges?

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As you read reviews and write-ups of different colleges you will find that all colleges are categorized as either ‘for-profit’ or ‘non-profit’. So what exactly does this mean and how does it affect you? Take a look at the differences between nonprofit vs for-profit colleges.

What Is A Non-Profit College?

A non-profit college’s sole purpose is to create a learning environment that serves students’ interests. The main focus of a non-profit college is to help students complete their college degree as a launchpad for career success.

Non-profit colleges are publicly owned, and as with most other non-profit organizations, they are managed by a board of trustees. There are no owners or shareholders in a non-profit college. That leaves the management free to focus on providing quality education to their students.  Moreover, because they are publicly owned, these institutions receive substantial financial aid in the form of federal and state funding. They also receive funding from individual donors. All of this helps them operate efficiently while still keeping the tuition fees lower.

These colleges also offer students better financial aid packages and scholarship programs.

What Is A For-Profit College?

A for-profit college is essentially a business. The college is in the business of providing a service, which in this case is education for college students. Owners and shareholders launch and manage these colleges to make a profit from their business venture.

For-profit colleges also focus on providing quality education. They cannot afford to compromise on the quality of education they provide or their rankings will go down, which will ultimately affect their enrollment numbers. However, for these institutions, a profitable bottom line remains a priority. In order to keep the college running, they have to balance quality education with providing satisfactory returns for their investors and shareholders. This often means periodic increases in the tuition fees.

Cost Of Education In NonProfit vs For-Profit Colleges

Non-profit colleges are the more affordable of the two. Not only are their tuition fees lower but all of the other expenses, from boarding to books, are lower than for-profit colleges. The federal, state and private funding they receive allows them to keep their fees more affordable.

This helps them operate efficiently while still keeping tuition fees low. For-profit colleges, on the other hand, have to focus on earning enough revenue to pay off shareholders. To keep the business afloat and profitable, they regularly raise the cost of tuition.

Should You Choose A Non-Profit Or For-Profit College?

Students looking for a  lower total cost of education should definitely consider non-profit colleges. Enrolling in a non-profit college means you can complete your higher education with a lower loan and you will graduate with lower student debt.

However, while that is a compelling enough reason, it should not be your only criteria for choosing a college. You must also consider all the other factors that go into ensuring that you receive a rich educational experience, from the choice of programs to the facilities offered and the campus environment.

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