As both students and parents continue to endure the escalating cost of higher education, many examine whether attending a private university, where tuition is much higher than a public university, is worth the expense.
Deciding on a college, public or private, often turns on more than just money, but with the circumstances the economy is in the decision has been made for perspective students. Currently private universities are the only option for higher education.
One must consider, where will the quality of the education better? Will students be able to register for classes they need or have to spend an extra semester or two trying to graduate?
The key difference between public universities and private universities is how each one is funded. The reason is, that how much funding a university receives affects tuition prices.
The citizens of California founded public universities and colleges in order to give residents the opportunity to receive a public college education. Today, state government pays for most of the cost of operating public universities and oversees these institutions through appointed boards and trustees. The state funding is why tuition is lower at a public university and is also the reason why students at a public university have trouble with class overcrowding. These public universities have to enroll more and more student’s each year to compensate for the cost of running the university.
Meanwhile, private colleges don’t receive funds from state legislatures. They rely heavily on tuition and private endowments. This means tuition rates are generally higher, but the number of students that are enrolled is much lower.
During the fall semester Loyola Marymount University receives over 11,000 applications, accepts 6,100 and enrolls around 1,300 students, according to their website. Meanwhile UCLA receives over 60,000 applicants, admits over 15,000 and enrolls almost 6,000 students according to their website.
The average class size at USC is 26 while at a CSU or UC it can be anywhere from 100-200 students for a general education course.
With a smaller class size, students generally build stronger, more personal relationships with their professors and instructors, whereas students in larger classrooms fall through the cracks more easily.
According to LMU, 80 percent of students graduate in four years, at CSU Long Beach, the graduation rate is around 50 percent with students graduating in five to six years according to their website.
In the 2013 spring semester, the California’s State Universities will not be admitting new students in efforts to recover from a $750 million cut in funding made during fiscal year 2011-12. This has put a major road block in the educational plan of many transfer students who probably had their goal to transfer in the Spring of 2013 set goal for many semesters.
The smart decision now is not where you can afford to go to school but where can you actually finish your degree and not spend a decade trying to achieve it. Most of the students at PCC have already been here from two to four years are scrambling for classes.
The UC and CSU systems are failing to provide students the education they need in the appropriate amount of time, and with the CSU enrollment freeze that will happen in the Spring 2013, semester the private system is looking better and better each year.
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