Private vs. Public Schooling

By Shivani Padhi (Posted 4-12-16)

I. Funding

As the college decision making time is approaching, many students start to wonder the difference between private colleges and public colleges. The major difference between these two colleges is their funding. The funding is also a major difference between public and private universities. While public universities receive funds from the state government, private schools obtain their money from donations and private contribution. Private schools rely on tuition prices, which are usually higher and more costly.

II. Size, Demographics, Class Offerings

Public schools usually have more students due to their bigger size. In addition to a bigger size, public schools offer a wide range of majors, so students have a sophisticated variety to pick from. Public schools have large classroom lecture halls because of the influx of students. In contrast to public colleges, private colleges are much smaller in size and offer a lot less majors. Private schools have a small range of classes, leading to a small classroom sizes. A difference between the schools lead to a huge demographic changes. For example, public schools have a greater amount of in-state student. On the other hand, in private schools, in-state residency is rarely seen and more full of out-of-state students.

III. College Cost

College is mostly notorious because of its high prices. Colleges have an expensive tuition rate that many students have to pay. These high tuition rates leave many scholars in debt after their four year undergraduate or master's degree. However, one of the many benefit of going to a public school is its cheap college prices. Public schools usually offer a rate lower than private schools. The average tuition cost according to College Board in 2012-13:

public four-year in-state: $8,655

public four-year out-of-state: $21,706

private nonprofit four-year: $29,056.

More information about public school rates can be found in

The high prices of private universities come with a benefit as well. Because of the small sizes of private schools lead to personal attention. The student teacher ratio is very miniscule which allows student to have a closer relationship with the teacher. In addition, to the autonomy in coll, private schools offer more resources that are available to students.
The debate for public versus private is an ongoing journey. In order for a student to pick its perfect college, he or she should make a list of things they want to see in a college. Start by making a checklist and take college campus tours. It is imperative to identify your goals before taking a step toward college decision. For any further questions, comments, or concerns, please email our college and career editor at