The most important decision many high school students make is where to go for college. There are so many options! Large school versus small, close to home versus distant, urban versus suburban versus rural, extracurricular activity offerings, public versus private, etc… it can be hard to decide
Private college is more than just the Ivy League and other “elite” schools. In fact, 21% of all college students in the United States attend a private college or university.
There are numerous benefits that private college provide that many students and families may not be aware of. Here is a partial list:
About Published Tuition Costs: The average published tuition of private college is much higher than public colleges. However, the sticker price is not the price most students will have to pay. Except for approximately 60 extremely selective schools that award financial aid only on the basis of need, most private colleges provide merit scholarships, often reducing a family’s out-of-pocket costs to a level competitive to major state universities.
This is the cost to a student who spends an extra year (or more) in college, not earning income. Think of it this way: it’s better to earn an income of $40,000 after four years of college than to pay $20,000 — or more — for a fifth year of college. If you take this into account, the cost difference between private and public higher education can almost disappear.
The table below illustrates the idea:
|Private College||Public College|
|Room, Board, Etc.||$15,000||$15,000|
|Net Cost for 1 year||$40,000||$23,000|
|Total at Graduation||$160,000
|Plus: Opportunity Cost
(One-year wages lost)
Private colleges and universities are a crucial part of the American higher education system. They offer a crucial alternative to the vast public higher education system, allowing students to get a more intimate education with better long-term results at a reasonable price.