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Private vs Public College

There are many factors that go into the choice of a college that have nothing to do with whether the college is a private or public one. However, there are distinct differences between private and public colleges.

Private colleges typically are smaller than public colleges and offer a smaller student to teacher ratio, while larger public colleges offer a variety of degree programs not offered at smaller private colleges. Some students may feel lost at a larger public university where lecture halls can have several hundred students in them. College choice is deeply personal and impacts everything about the student's life so it is important to make the right choice.

What is the typical financial impact of choosing a private college vs a public college?

If we assume the room and board cost of attending public and private colleges are the same and factor them out, the cost of attending school averages $34,730 per year for tuition and fees at private colleges versus $10,880 per year for tuition and fees at public colleges(1). This difference in net expenses corresponds to about 2 years worth of wages for for both a bachelors as well as an advanced degree. Here the expected wages for a bachelors degree is $57,155 and for an advanced degree is $73,408(2)(3).

In the overall scheme of things, 2 years difference in wages is a factor but should not be the overriding factor in choosing a college.






The information presented here is the opinion of the author and may quickly become outdated and is subject to change without notice. All material presented in this article are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, however accuracy cannot be guaranteed. No person should make an investment decision in reliance on the information presented here.

The information presented here is distributed for education purposes only and is not an offer to buy or sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or participate in any particular trading strategy.

Performance data showing past performance results is no guarantee of future returns.

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