Private University Versus Public University Essay Topics

The moment comes, when you need to enter a university and get a higher education. Hundreds of students-to-be face a real academic dilemma: which university to choose, a state or private university?

Since there’s no single, all-purpose answer to this question, the best option is to examine the advantages of both.

The following detailed analysis is based on the highlighted terms. These principles can help to clarify any questions a student may have about making a choice between public and state universities.

The question of payment is a top priority. When choosing a public university, one can save a fortune in tuition and fees. A year’s tuition at a private university can be up to ten times higher than the cost of attending a state university. So, if you live on a low-budget, you won’t likely be able to afford the cost of attending a private university. However, if you are a high-achiever, there are numerous scholarships and financial packages that can be of assistance.

Admission to a state university tends to be much easier. State universities are generally much bigger than private universities and can therefore accept more applicants. Being a citizen of a particular state will help you make the list of admitted students.

Unlike state universities, private universities are usually fairly small; that’s why they only take on a limited number of new admissions each year. This fact explains why private universities often seem so restrictive and why competition to enter private universities is so high.

The level of academic teaching is sufficient enough at both types of educational establishments. Public universities offer the same variety of staff and the level of expertise is almost the same as at private universities. Still there’s some contrast between the two academic approaches. The low number of students at private universities increases the possibility for tutorials and consultations. These types of academic activities usually take place within small groups, and stimulate dialogue between professors and the students. Undoubtedly, this can be regarded as a valid benefit of private universities because this way of academic interaction and communication serves to develop analytic and critical thinking, which are of great importance for any individual’s future career (Drum, 2012).

Also, it must be admitted that private universities are considered to be more prestigious than state universities, so they are more likely to stimulate one’s future success (Nairaland Forum, 2015).

Apart from studies, each university pays attention to creating a student community by means of extracurricular activities. The number of extracurricular activities at private universities can be slightly higher compared to state universities, but the difference is too slight to be cited as a significant disadvantage for public universities (Drum, 2012).

A true benefit of state universities is that you can select the one you need according to the country region or a city you desire.

It’s hard to give one exact answer to the question: “Which is better: Public or Private universities?” The academic goals and financial demands of each are different, and each type of university has strong points and weak points. By choosing a public university, you choose a safe and proven way receive a college higher education at a relatively low price. By selecting a private university, you are sure to get into a privileged circle of students, thus investing into a successful start of your future career. Just be ready to pay for it if you’re lucky enough to be admitted. One certain thing is that the decision to continue studies and get a well-rounded education is always the right one. Luckily, the number of universities is sufficient enough to fulfill demand, so you’re sure to find a university to suit your needs.

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Public vs. Private College – Several Factors to Compare/Contrast

Making the choice to attend a private or public university is a big one. Many students and their parents make that choice based solely upon cost. After all, a college education is a large financial investment, and there may be hefty student loans to pay back after graduating. So, yes, price has to be a big factor in our decision but if you cannot answer the question, “What is the difference between public and private colleges?” then you are not really ready to make your decision. Here are 5 factors of comparison that all students should consider.

Structural Difference

Public Universities

State universities are funded by the taxpayers of that state and student tuitions and fees. Every university has an operating budget which it must submit to an appointed Board of Governors, and that budget must be approved by the state legislature. The amount of tuition and fees charged must also be approved by the state government.

What is a Private University Structure?

­Private colleges and universities have been around longer than state institutions. They were initially founded by religious organizations, although most are not pretty secular. These institutions are not funded by the taxpayer and are therefore free to set their own policies and budgets without state approval. They usually have a Board of Directors or Governors that sets policy and tuition and fee rates. Private colleges are funded by student tuitions and fees, as well as by donors, most of whom are wealthy individuals who graduated from that college.


Public Universities

Because of their state funding, tuition and fees at public schools are much cheaper than at private school, as a rule. And states vary widely on those tuition amounts. Texas, for example, has very high funding for its state universities, so students get a big bargain. Generally, however, students can expect to pay from $7000 - $9000 a year.

Cost of living, whether in a dormitory or an apartment, will not vary much from that in private universities, nor will meal plans that are offered by the schools. The other factor that will remain comparable will be the costs of texts and supplies.

Private Colleges

Tuitions will be significantly higher in private schools, and will generally range from $20,000 - $45,000 per year – the more prestigious the school, the higher the cost. Cost of living and texts, as mentioned will not vary much from those of state schools, but those costs can be significant.

The one offsetting factor in tuition and fee costs is that private schools do have a lot of privately available financial aid. Some of their endowments from donors are earmarked for financial aid to students in need, and the school must give that money out as required each year. So, before you dump the idea of a private school, check out its financial aid programs.


In looking at public university vs. private university sizes, the general rule is that public schools will have much larger student populations. This also means that class sizes will be larger and the personal attention is not great. Some campuses have up to 40,000 students or more, and at least at the general education level coursework, auditorium-style classes are the “rule.”

Student populations in private school really vary. Small schools may have as few as 1800 students. Harvard, by contrast, has 27,000+. As a rule, however, class sizes in private school are smaller and there is more personal attention.

If you do well in very large and more impersonal schooling environments, then you will do very well in a public school. If you do not, however, you should consider a private college


Because of their sheer size, public colleges tend to have more degree programs, so there are certainly more options when selecting a major field of study. And within a state system, some schools are known for their excellence in certain degree fields. If you select a state school, make sure you select one that is known for its department in your major.

Private schools have fewer degree programs, but many have an exceptional reputation in the degree programs they offer. If you intend to go the private school route, make sure that the degree program you are choosing has a department with a great reputation.

Social Life

This is the final factor to consider. Big schools offer a great deal of diversity of population and a huge number of clubs and organizations to join. Most are also known for their “party weekends” especially when there is a “home” sporting event.

Private schools, with some exceptions, may be less diverse and offer fewer opportunities for you to branch out and widen your social horizons. If there are fraternities on campus, there will be parties, for certain. But in general private schools tend to have less of a reputation for being “party” schools.

These, then are the factors to look at. Finding the right balance of cost, size, programs and social life for you to be happy takes time and careful thought.

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