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Public vs Private Colleges: What Is the Difference?

Lafayette

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From here: Public vs Private Colleges: What Is the Difference?

Prestige
Public Schools: Though there are some schools that can rival the reputation of private colleges, the public universities tend to fall a little short ... for various reasons. Though the education received at public schools is not less than what is provided by a private school, the recognition is not always there. It tends to be a little easier to gain acceptance at a public university, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable an education.

Private Schools: People tend to attach greater prestige to private colleges. They often (but not always) have some of the best professors working for them. The fact that most classes are taught by tenured faculty rather than graduate students or adjunct professors helps people feel more comfortable about the quality of their education. When it comes to academics and research, most people recognize private institutions by name: Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Stanford, John Hopkins, etc. It’s harder to get into schools like that, which enhances their reputation as being the best. It can also lend their graduates an air of credibility.

The principle fact of the matter is that at the post-secondary level the educational-capacity of a public-school is as good as a private-school. Private schools may indeed have public-recognition of being better. Who wouldn't like to tell the world that their degree is from Hah-vahd?

But the fact of the matter remains this:
*A post-secondary education has become the principle means to assure one's employment at a decently good salary. (Largely due to the fact that lower-end Manufacturing jobs have since the 1990s gone to China and Central America.)
*A nation that prefers to spend billions of dollars "protecting the nation" when there is no war rather than provide a public-option nearly-free post-secondary education will never reduce the far too large percentage of the population that remain at the lower-income level.

As shown here:
ep_chart_001.png
 

Napoleon

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Well, here’s the reality. Nobody cares where your bachelors is from. The benefits of attending private schools are the networking opportunities, school resources, and access to the leading minds of every field of study. It often boils down to this: do you want to go to some community or public college where you’re assigned Mr. Bigshot’s book and taught by grad students and Professor Nobody? Or do you want the opportunity for Mr. Bigshot himself to be your professor and mentor?
 

gbg3

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Well, boy am I ever getting a taste of this topic right this second. My oldest grandchild is a very high achiever who just received extremely high SAT scores and their family spent their vacation this summer touring 5 of the 8 Ivys. So, in recent weeks, I've gotten a play by play of visits to Penn, Harvard, Brown, Yale and Columbia - along with Georgetown, Tufts, MIT, and several other non Ivys of this category.
Acceptance can be quite different between these schools and most public schools (so I think the "little easier" is quite off). An "average" student accepted at an Ivy League school will have a GPA above 4.0 and an SAT score in the mid 1500s - and that will be an "average" student for acceptance into one of these schools.
Academic scholarships are not given out due to all admitted students being in almost identical academic categories. But, needs based aid is quite generous (to even nearly complete) for students with family incomes of less than $60,000 annually. So, of the students having the ability to be accepted, the poorest and the richest will be able to attend. The middle class will struggle with the very lofty (about $70,000) annual cost.
The practical/frugal (and politically conservative) sides of me thinks this all a bit crazy (value vs price and the liberal indoctrination of these types of schools). I agree that public schools can provide an equally good education at a MUCH lower price. But, that name recognition is "heady" and important to some.
 

JasperL

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Well, here’s the reality. Nobody cares where your bachelors is from. The benefits of attending private schools are the networking opportunities, school resources, and access to the leading minds of every field of study.
I'd just amend that to point out that the benefits you list are only available at a relative handful of elite private colleges, and there are several elite public colleges/universities with similar opportunities for networking, top quality leading researchers in their fields, etc.

There are hundreds of private colleges that serve all kinds of students, from religious, to schools that have one or two outstanding programs, and a bunch of mediocre at best ones, to smaller regional schools with very specialized curriculums, etc. Many private colleges are smaller, emphasize faculty teaching versus faculty research, and so are great for some kids who aren't qualified for the elite private schools, but would be overwhelmed in big state public colleges.

The OP starts IMO with an impossible task, which is to explain the differences between about 1,500 very different public colleges that range from elite to basically terrible, with about 1500 very different private institutions with the same range in quality, approaches, faculty expertise.....
 

tshade

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THE DIFF IS IN THE INDIVIDUAL, NOT THE DEGREE
 

Lafayette

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THE GREATEST DEBATE

Well, here’s the reality. Nobody cares where your bachelors is from. The benefits of attending private schools are the networking opportunities, school resources, and access to the leading minds of every field of study. It often boils down to this: do you want to go to some community or public college where you’re assigned Mr. Bigshot’s book and taught by grad students and Professor Nobody? Or do you want the opportunity for Mr. Bigshot himself to be your professor and mentor?

Our post-graduate degree puts us on a grid that is very well known and it affects whether or not one gets a job from a good number of companies that consult information regarding comparative schooling. There is this silly notion that some "specific post-secondary institutions of learning" have a "better teaching staff".

This is a non-sequitur that prevails in America today, which is a great shame. Some very find minds have come out of ordinary state-universities. Going to "Hah-vahd" is no real guarantee whatsoever that you will get a better education than elsewhere.

Education is the process of edifying the human brain to "know how to think" - the first purpose of which is "where do I go to find valid information". And, "Just what is valid-information?"

It is perhaps the greatest debate we have going on earth ...
 

Lafayette

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MOST APPROPRIATE

It often boils down to this: do you want to go to some community or public college where you’re assigned Mr. Bigshot’s book and taught by grad students and Professor Nobody? Or do you want the opportunity for Mr. Bigshot himself to be your professor and mentor?

Really quite superficial as regards what you learn, from whom you learn it and how well it is learned. Because the key ingredient for those three outcomes are embedded in one's family "upbringing". Which is why it takes a long, long time to educate a nation, since parents typically decide the fate of their children by means of only one question: What am I doing to assure that my child obtains an adequate level of education?

And parents who have been into a post-secondary degree program most often assure that their children do so as well. This is no great miracle, but it does stimulate the question: In some instances perhaps the state should be asking why any child nearing secondary-schooling graduation is not thinking about future post-secondary education/training?

So it would be most appropriate were the cost of that education be inexpensive (state/federal funded) that all children will be afforded the opportunity to obtain an educational enhancement that clearly will determine the financial level of their future existence on earth ...


PS: Which is simply an extension of secondary-schooling into tertiary-level post-secondary education the funding of which should rightfully be both state-and-federal combined. (Meaning what? Perhaps the DoD-budget must be halved in order to help fund low-cost post-secondary education in America.)
 

Lafayette

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THE KEY IMPORTANCE OF TERTIARY-LEVEL EDUCATION

The practical/frugal (and politically conservative) sides of me thinks this all a bit crazy (value vs price and the liberal indoctrination of these types of schools). I agree that public schools can provide an equally good education at a MUCH lower price. But, that name recognition is "heady" and important to some.

Heady or not, the country must be made to understand the trade-offs. A costly education simply diminishes the number of students that apply and obtain post-secondary education. After all, it's your tax-dollar that is supporting both the DoD (in case that happens) and financial-assistance for post-secondary education.

Is that money well spent? Believe me, it is. From here: National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

Question:
What are the graduation rates for students obtaining a bachelor's degree?

Response:

The overall 6-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at 4-year degree-granting institutions in fall 2012 was 62 percent. That is, by 2018 some 62 percent of students had completed a bachelor’s degree at the same institution where they started in 2012. The 6-year graduation rate was 61 percent at public institutions, 67 percent at private nonprofit institutions, and 25 percent at private for-profit institutions. The overall 6-year graduation rate was 65 percent for females and 59 percent for males; it was higher for females than for males at both public (64 vs. 58 percent) and private nonprofit (70 vs. 64 percent) institutions. However, at private for-profit institutions, males had a higher 6-year graduation rate than females (26 vs. 25 percent).
Six-year graduation rates for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at 4-year degree-granting institutions in fall 2012 varied according to institutional selectivity. In particular, 6-year graduation rates were highest at institutions that were the most selective (i.e., those with acceptance rates of less than 25 percent) and were lowest at institutions that were the least selective (i.e., those with an open admissions policy). For example, at 4-year institutions with an open admissions policy, 34 percent of students completed a bachelor’s degree within 6 years. At 4-year institutions with acceptance rates of less than 25 percent, the 6-year graduation rate was 90 percent. (Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2020). The Condition of Education 2020 (NCES 2020-144), Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates.)

It is clear from the above that numbers shown are greatly insufficient. We must pay particular attention to the fact that an unacceptably low-percentage of our children are obtaining the degree-certificates that will assure them well-paid work throughout their lives and into retirement ...

When are we going to learn as a nation that both Education and Healthcare are the two key-attributes necessary to our sustained well-being ... ?
 

Lafayette

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FUNDING-FUNDING-FUNDING

Well, here’s the reality. Nobody cares where your bachelors is from. The benefits of attending private schools are the networking opportunities, school resources, and access to the leading minds of every field of study. It often boils down to this: do you want to go to some community or public college where you’re assigned Mr. Bigshot’s book and taught by grad students and Professor Nobody? Or do you want the opportunity for Mr. Bigshot himself to be your professor and mentor?

I cannot deny the truth above.

But the problem remains that regardless of the "schooling" (presumably post-secondary), the cost is far too high for the poorest Americans who need the degrees most! Uncle Sam must do what Europe has done - the cost of post-secondary education to be assumed by government funding. (Which is why, yes, Europe has higher personal-taxation than the US.)

Uncle Sam needs that additional funding to make post-secondary degree-costs assumable by the nation's poorest families - and it will recuperate the funding by means of higher-taxation of those graduating and obtaining better-paid jobs!

Lest we forget: The DoD is a Cost-Cesspool! A lot of public-schooling costs are already assumed by the DoD for its staff. This should stop and the total-DoD cost be reduced to find the funding for independent post-secondary education funded by the US government for all who need it ... !
 
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Monica33

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Education is the process of edifying the human brain to "know how to think" - the first purpose of which is "where do I go to find valid information". And, "Just what is valid-information?"

It is perhaps the greatest debate we have going on earth ...
Sublimely accurate .
So like me , what are you doing here ?

Because no answers to that conundrum will ever come from' this bunch' of troglodytes .

And, as you can see, hardly any will even dare post in such rarified air .Unless wanting to shout out, Rhubarb .

P.S. Got any good answers to that question that improve on something like --- Time , as measured by consistency when repeatedly examined over defined and full variables ?
 
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