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 timeforall
Joined: 8/26/2012
Msg: 1
Public University vs. Private UniversityPage 1 of 1    
My oldest is applying to college here in Florida. He can go to a public University and save a ton of money for him and myself, or attend a private University, with supposedly smaller and more quality courses, for as much as five to ten times the cost of a public education. I say graduate with no debt and worry about Grad School . that where you go undergraduate does not make that much of a difference. He thinks otherwise, that the private schools will give him a leg up. Anybody been through this decision making process and have any recommendations.
 timeforall
Joined: 8/26/2012
Msg: 2
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 6:47:06 PM
And by the way, I am appalled at the cost of a private education. Private colleges that are far from the Ivy League charging up to $1600 per credit hour (university of Miami). Are they kidding?
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 3
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Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 6:55:58 PM
The thing to investigate, is who in his chosen field is hiring what sort of graduates. I have read occasionally that there is great variation from one field of study to another, as to how much difference the source of the first years education make.

And there is a secondary consideration: if your student hopes to go to a certain second level school after completing their bachelors, it would be wise to ask that school if they respect one school over another when accepting or rejecting applicants.
 OMG!WTF!
Joined: 12/3/2007
Msg: 4
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Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 7:20:20 PM
Is he good at getting good grades? (Ok, honestly, how smart is he? Not street smart. Not funny, personable smart. Not, he's a wonderfully talented musician, smart. How well can he read a text book and spew back the information? Can he do that while hungover and party crazed for the first two years?) If grades and focus are not much of an issue for him, then off to the public diploma mill for undergrad and on to bigger and better things later. If he's not the Fulbright type, then it's possible the cheaper education, though cheap, may prove to be a waste of money. If he needs a bit of guidance, a little extra help and some direction, the more expensive private route may help him get there. It's more about value than bottom line cost.
 timeforall
Joined: 8/26/2012
Msg: 5
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 7:28:17 PM
He is actually very smart, but unmotivated. Gifted program since Kindergarten. Very good scores on SAT's. top scores in critical reading. Grades not as good as they could be because sometimes he doesn't bother doing his homework or studying. I'm hoping as school gets more challenging for him, that he will perk up. I suppose if he is not going to be motivated in college, a public university is just as good as private. I guess that is my question, is there truly more value in the more expensive private colleges. That's what I am trying to get a handle on.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 6
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 7:43:27 PM
My eldest chose to go to a private college/university in the States.
The cost was atrocious!

After the first year he realized that the money was not worth the "Private" status
So he moved over to a State University and did just as well ... if not better.
And saved a sh1t load of money.
When he was done he ended up with an amazing job working for the University.

My daughter-in-law (whom he met at the private college/university) finished her education at the private school.
Luckily her education was a full grant, so money was not a concern.

End result ... the education was the same.
They now BOTH work for the State University.

My thought ... go with the cheaper price.
 Yule_liquor
Joined: 12/7/2011
Msg: 7
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 8:06:11 PM

I guess that is my question, is there truly more value in the more expensive private colleges. That's what I am trying to get a handle on.


Unless he is going to Harvard; Yale, or Brown, then the short answer to your question is NO! The big myth perpetuated by these "private" schools is that a small size class is more rewarding and more effective in learning and achieving! This is closer to being a lie. I've been in classes that were big & small, and that was not what made it good or bad. What makes a worthwhile learning experience is: a) the effectiveness of the teacher in making a subject interesting. b) the aptitude & motivation of the student.

If your child lacks motivation then its a red flag! You should ask if he is truly interested in his chosen field of study; or if there are other things occupying his mind. Drug use (which is very common); mainly Marijuana has a big impact on reducing one's motivation. One needs to be mentally energized before entering college! Its important to remember that school debt will NEVER be forgiven, no matter how many time one files for bankrupcy!
 OMG!WTF!
Joined: 12/3/2007
Msg: 8
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Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 8:47:54 PM

He is actually very smart, but unmotivated


Perfect. There could definitely be more value in the right private school then. I think the best program for unmotivated smarty pants kids would be one that is self directed. There are universities that allow students to direct their own learning. Students create the curriculum, design the course work, achieve their own goals. They can even go outside of the university to find their own teachers. I'm not sure what Florida has to offer, but nothing, absolutely nothing, motivates someone more than creating their own curriculum. Who wouldn't want to do exactly what they want to do?

Short of that, it may be time to sink or swim in a state school.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 9
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Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 8:56:23 PM
It all depends on what he wants to do with his degree, and if he's motivated enough to finish college. I wouldn't waste a private college on him, from what you have posted, he'll waste your money. Now if he was going to make enough money to pay off all his loans and worked well with a closer relationship with his professors, then it might be worth it. I went to a private university and I loved it, it was sort of like high school, but the cost has pretty much ruined me financially and the education has really done nothing for me other than I had fun learning. Other people will differ. Unless your son needs the higher priced name of the school for his career and you are sure he'll come out with a career, just send him to the cheaper school. It's not like it's a bad school.
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 10
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/29/2012 9:45:52 PM

is there truly more value in the more expensive private colleges. That's what I am trying to get a handle on.


I'd say no. I've attended both, and so have ( are) my children. I found it best to take the core courses at a public college and then transfer to a private one if desired, or if the degree program offered was a factor, etc.
Due to the fact that he's unmotivated, I would definitely start him in a public college for many reasons.

My son and daughter are working on their Masters degrees at a private university. Both are very intelligent and have good grades and made the effort to gain scholarships and grants. It's still expensive, but they did all they could to save on tuition.
 SingleGuy4912
Joined: 7/25/2006
Msg: 11
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Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/30/2012 7:47:05 AM
OP, this might be helpful:
http://www.usnews.com/education
They rank colleges and universities in different categories so you can determine for yourself if it's worth going to a private vs public school. Some schools do have better reputations for particular courses of study.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 12
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Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/30/2012 8:09:27 AM

I say graduate with no debt and worry about Grad School . that where you go undergraduate does not make that much of a difference.


You are right.
 lotustemple
Joined: 10/23/2011
Msg: 13
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/30/2012 11:22:43 AM
I think it would be important for him to find a university with a curriculum and professors that inspire him. I went to a private and a state and found both to be boring and uninspiring in my field and never finished. 2 classes short of a bachelors.
 timeforall
Joined: 8/26/2012
Msg: 14
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/30/2012 6:36:33 PM
Thanks All for you input. I am probably going to strongly suggest public school for at least the first year. If he can prove himself he is serious and does well, he can always transfer.
 brisco414
Joined: 4/20/2012
Msg: 15
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 8/30/2012 6:55:18 PM
Both my son and daughter are saving tons of money (me as well) by going the public route for their career path. They won't have much debt to deal with when they finish. But do agree it does depend on their chosen field.
 MacInOC
Joined: 2/19/2012
Msg: 16
Public University vs. Private University
Posted: 9/3/2012 4:18:51 PM

Unless he is going to Harvard; Yale, or Brown, then the short answer to your question is NO! The big myth perpetuated by these "private" schools is that a small size class is more rewarding and more effective in learning and achieving! This is closer to being a lie. I've been in classes that were big & small, and that was not what made it good or bad. What makes a worthwhile learning experience is: a) the effectiveness of the teacher in making a subject interesting. b) the aptitude & motivation of the student.


This would be my answer. Thank you for posting my thoughts exactly.

I've been down this road. What I have found is a student can party and coast through as easy at a private college as a public college (they both have bars, fraternities, and girls). A student can study and learn the same at a public college, as a private college (they both have libraries and labs). Both private and public colleges have good and bad teachers - the teachers are individuals.

In general it's not the price that determines the quality of education or effectiveness of a teacher.
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