When searching for where to obtain higher education, you might come across a few different types. The first is private colleges. Private colleges are financially supported by donors and tuition. The second is public colleges. These live and die by government support. Between the two of these exists a subtype called community college. Community colleges offer diplomas, certificates, and associate degrees. They can be either private or public.
What’s the skinny on the cost?
Simply put, public colleges cost less. They just do. This isn’t to say that public colleges lack good education systems. Private colleges merely need to charge extra in order to survive. On average, a public college will cost around $10K annually. That might sound expensive, but let’s compare that to a private college. On average, you’d be dropping $37K annually. That’s a difference of 115%. Sounds like an easy choice, right?
Well, actually it is. No matter how you slice it, public will always be cheaper than private. According to College Raptor, private institutions will offer more grants and scholarships, so that hefty tuition may be more manageable. Be that as it may, that doesn’t mean it’ll make a significant enough difference to outweigh going to a public college.
According to an article on CNBC, the average cost for a private school after grants, scholarships and other money awarded, is $14,610. The average amount of money provided to the student is around $21K. That’s nice, but that still doesn’t beat a tuition of $10,000. In fact, after grants and whatnot, the average tuition for a public college ends up being closer to $4,000. You’re still looking at a 114% difference.
Public colleges are cheaper than private colleges. That doesn’t mean private colleges are better. At the end of the day, it matters what your individual needs are. Research schools and make sure you’re making the best possible decision. Money should be a factor for practical reasons, but it shouldn’t be the only factor.