Choosing a University: Private vs. Public College

It’s hard enough to choose a career path for your future, let alone the college that can help you on your way to the success you want. Finding the right college for your needs does not have to be a Herculean test of stress and patience, though the stress is understandable: the college you choose can have a significant impact on your future career.

Before making any major decisions, there are a few things you should know:

·  Take a little time on school websites to look at the requirements and courses for your major.

·  Create a list of colleges that have degrees you are interested in and passionate about.

·  Understand the difference between public and private colleges.

Look at Potential Schools

Finding the right college is about knowing what you are interested in before you go. Visit the websites of the colleges you may be interested in and just browse. Get to know the campus life, the majors available, and the requirements for admission and graduation. Many colleges maintain their course schedules online and update them consistenly, so you can browse through the classes that are required for your major and see what they are all about.

By doing this, you hone in on your own interests and skills. Just don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new as well. While overall you should enjoy what you learn, a strong education is also about expanding your knowledge and horizons.

Creating the List

Once you’ve taken the time to look through the sites of the schools you were interested in, make a list of the schools you want to apply to. Make a note of their admission requirements and schedule a visit to the campus. If the campus isn’t comfortable when you visit, odds are you do not want to commit years of your life to living there to get your education. After you have it narrowed down, apply to the remaining colleges.

Don’t limit yourself to one or two options. Select five to 10 and make your final decision based on your preferences after you get the acceptance letter. Yes, that means you have to spend extra money on the college applications. But in the long run, a few hundred dollars spent solidifying your future is money well spent.

Public vs. Private

A lot of prospective college students are not even aware that there is a difference between public and private universities. A public university gets its funding from the state. In some cases, the public colleges do not have prestige, making it harder to get a job after graduation. There are a handful of public colleges that are well-known enough to be recognized by employers, but they are harder to get into and the student to teacher ratio is significantly high.

Private universities get their funding from tuition, which is why it can be more costly to attend a private university. That does not mean you should avoid them though; the price tag comes with its own perks. For example, students who attend a private university have a better chance at getting a job directly after graduation. It’s a bit of a trade-off in the long run.

Unlike flagship public universities, private colleges have smaller classes, allowing you to have a more direct and personal interaction with the instructors.  One private college, Gwynedd Mercy University, boasts class sizes with a 13:1 student to teacher ratio as well as more then 40 majors to choose from. For more information about the benefits of a private university, visit

Weigh the differences between the public and private colleges when making your decision, but do not discount private colleges too quickly based upon what others have told you. Choosing the right college for your future doesn’t have to be a frustrating challenge. Take a little time to research the schools you are interested in, then take the leap and apply.