What’s Next, Seniors? P1 Colleges: Universities, and Private vs Public Schools.

Gillian Ward

For many high school students, just completing their final assignments to graduate requires major mental effort. So the question of what comes after can be extremely intimidating. There are many paths to consider for after high school. Post- high school options include trade school, the armed forces, the workforce, a gap year, a community college, or university; It is important for a blossoming adult to weigh the advantages and disadvantages that come with all post- high school options.

Colleges and Universities
Many people don’t realize that there is actually a difference between college and university. A college is an institution that is usually limited to providing only undergraduate education. Colleges are often smaller than universities as well, which can actually be beneficial for a student. An article on Parent Toolkit titled “A Guide to Continuing Education After High School” claims that “…smaller class sizes may be a good reason to choose a college over a university, as they can provide more personal learning opportunities.”
A community college (a junior college) is also great for saving money on tuition. An article from The Princeton Review titled “4 Reasons to Consider Community College” states that “…community college tuition is usually thousands of dollars cheaper than tuition for private and public four-year universities. The average in-state tuition at community colleges for 2014-2015 according to the College Board was just $3,347—two-year schools represent an outstanding way to save money. ” Community colleges also allow you the freedom to live where you want, instead of requiring you to live in a dorm like universities. Because you can be a part time student at a community college, you can also have time to work and save money. Colleges can provide you with an associate’s degree, which takes 2 years to complete. Then, a student can transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor’s degree.

A university is different from a college, it provides undergraduate and graduate courses. They are bigger than colleges, have more diverse curriculum, and can include medical and law schools as well. However, universities can be expensive, especially if one is to attend an out-of-state university. “A Guide to Continuing Education After High School” also states that “…in-state versus out-of-state universities (and colleges) can be a big financial determinant for where you go to school, as state schools tend to be less expensive for students who are currently residents of that state.” The cost of colleges and universities can also change based on wether the school is private or public.

Schools can be Private or Public
The main thing that makes a school private or public is the way it is funded. Public schools normally have federal funding and state funding as well as student tuition, and private schools have funding from student tuition, endowment, and donations from alumni or private donations. Because of these funding systems, private schools tend to be more expensive. However, “A Guide to Continuing Education After High School” also states that “…because of the private contributions and endowments of private college, there often can be very good financial aid packages offered to students.”

Everyone is Different

Everyone is different, and one post-high school path isn’t right for everyone. There are so many choices for young people to make at this culminating time of life, so wether you decide to continue your education, learn a trade, join the military, take a gap year, or join the workforce, it is very important to know and weigh the benefits and downfalls of each one.