private school

State vs Private School

July 29, 2015 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

So you’re ready to start applying to colleges, and you have no idea whether a state or private school is the best fit for you. Some will tell you state school for the variety, while others will swear by private for the more personal educational experience. Whatever your choice may be, there are always pros and cons that need to be considered for both. I personally went for the state school for various reasons, but I still made sure to apply to local private schools as well in case I changed my mind last minute. While each university or private college will always have slight differences, here are some general things to know about the two.

The first thing to consider is tuition. The costs of a state school will always generally be much cheaper than that of a private school, which is a huge plus. If the state school is equivalent academically to the private school, it’s always better to avoid being in complete debt post-graduation. Unfortunately, several students find themselves in this situation and later regret attending the private school simply for the monetary aspect.

State schools also have a much bigger population of students, while private schools do not. Some state schools can have up to 50,000 students, while private colleges may hold less than 5,000 students total. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on your personality. If you’re looking for a variety of students and larger classes, then opt for the state school. If you feel more comfortable in a personal setting where several of your classes will only hold 30 students or less, then private school is the better option. Oftentimes at private schools, you will have classes with the same people. The percentage of students that dorm will probably be higher at a state school also since the dorms are specifically cut out for people who are living away from home for most of the year. Private schools will generally have a higher percentage of commuters that choose not to live on campus. With that being said, the campuses will be more spread out and bigger at the universities as opposed to the compact layout that private schools offer. State universities are also usually located in college towns where the nightlife is more popular and bars surround the college.

The sports at state and private schools will also differ. The D1 sports teams come from the state universities for the most part. This doesn’t necessarily mean that private schools do not have exciting sporting events to attend. It simply means that if you want to attend a school with a big sports name, then a state school will have more to offer.

In the end, there are several factors that need to be considered when deciding between the two. I personally knew that I wanted to attend a large university with a variety of students, so an out-of-state university was the perfect option for me. Naturally, I’m biased towards state schools since I feel that they have more to offer, whether that’s simply in regards to classes, extracurriculars, etc. Some of my major classes are small and more personal, where I am able to meet people with similar interests as me, while the general elective classes hold about 300 students at a time.  I always appreciate having a variety of students to meet and communicate wit, while I have friends that could not imagine being in a class of 300 students.  It’s all a matter of preference.

FSU's large campus holds 40,000 students.

FSU’s large campus holds 40,000 students.

State School vs. Private School

December 11, 2014 in Alive Campus, Career, Colleges, Reviews

Life is full of tough decisions. Trust me, I went to McDonald’s today, so I should know. That dollar menu is something to talk about. One of the biggest and most difficult decisions you’ll make in your young life is which school to attend after high school. You’re going to have a lot of different people giving you opposing advice, and that’s not going to make your decision any easier. You’re going to have to decide between a city or a town school, going to a school with a friend or avoid that situation all together, and of course, the ever-relevant state of private school. So ignore all the advice you’ve heard, and listen to me: a complete stranger who threw up from my hangover today at 3pm, like any other responsible adult would.

Let me preface this advice by saying that I attend a state school. In my four years, I’ve never regretted my choice to do so. Of course, I see people I graduated with on Facebook uploading pictures from their private schools and it looks like the best time anyone’s ever had in their entire life. I think to myself “Wow, that would have been a really awesome school to go to,” but then I remember what my bill looks like every semester, and then I think of what their bill must look like at the end of every semester. You can go to the cheapest college around, and you’ll still be strapped for cash, taking out loans and stripping at the local biker bar just to get by. Can you imagine paying for a private college yourself? I sure can’t

“But Paul, money isn’t everything.” Shut up. Yes it is. You cannot succeed in life without money. And before you even get your career started, do you really want loan sharks coming to your parents’ house to break your legs with a tire iron? I sure as shit don’t. But that’s me. I’m an Anglo-Saxon, good Christian male and I was brought up in a manner that trained me to dislike when loan sharks break my legs with a tire iron. My family is so old-fashioned like that.


Clemson University

Not to mention that if you go to a private school, and then owe that large sum to the school along with some accompanying banks/loan sharks, you are probably not even done with school! Today, the bachelor’s degree has the same amount of credibility (in some fields) as the high school diploma had 40 years ago. To separate yourself from other applicants in the same job field, grad school is a very realistic option, and in some careers, is necessary. When you apply for these jobs, future employers will be looking where you earned your graduate degree, not where you earned your undergrad. So, in short, maybe spending $40k/year at an undergraduate program for an education you could have gotten at another school for $10k/year, when employers won’t even know you attended said school, is not such a smart idea.

In summation, I don’t know man. Life is tough. I’m still figuring it out, myself. You’re going to go wherever you want to go. We are forced to make a really tough decision when we are 18-years-old with no real concept of money. Sure, we have jobs in high school, and make enough money to buy some beer and a dime bag here and there, but you don’t actually know what it’s like to support yourself yet. You’re going to go to a school that you heard has wild parties, hot girls, and easy-to-match school colors. And that’s a shame. Because it’s probably a private school, and you’re going to be paying for that education until your grandchildren bury you. Wow that was dark. Go to a state school, and start your life of independence with as little debt as possible.

Private school or State school? I’ll take state school!

November 15, 2014 in Admissions, Alive Campus, Colleges

It is that time of year, students that are in high school are visiting campuses across the country to decide where they are going to continue their education. For many this task is incredibly stressful. It shouldn’t! This is a great time for students to take advantage of seeing what the colleges have to offer. Now, there is always this debate, private school or state school? State school!

At the University of Maine, a state school and in-state for me, the size of the school is a huge plus and wouldn’t be this large if it was private. In many visits to other schools around the state that are private schools, it felt like a small step above high school. With only a couple thousand students that attend each school each student knows each other. Where is the fun in that? The ability to meet someone new everyday and establish connections that will be beneficial to students is incredibly valuable. Students have the opportunity at the University of Maine to do just that.

State school UMaine

State school UMaine

The campus atmosphere is another area that students should evaluate. Small campuses are the norm for private schools in the state of Maine. It feels too cramped. The University of Maine has the largest campus in the state and also has the most students. Campus atmosphere shouldn’t be your number one reason when selecting a school, but it does play a role in making it feel like the right campus for you.

The expense of private schools are incredibly high. Thankfully, the University of Maine tuition rate is roughly $23,000 compared the annual cost of attending one of the state of Maine’s private schools, Colby, it is at an astonishing $61,100. Students need to think about the cost of their education and how it can effect them in the future. That difference of tuition cost can really make or break a student’s decision. Over the course of your 4-year college career you would pay $92,000 at the University of Maine. Over 4-years at Colby, $244,000. Double the cost!

Another thing that students should look into is remaining in-state. The cost of being an in-state versus being an out of state student is quite high. Roughly a difference of $17,000 at the University of Maine. The great thing the university does is offer a discount to students who are in the New England region rather than just having them pay the full out of state tuition rate. Also, it makes moving incredibly easy. Living far away from home makes moving to and from college difficult. Living within reasonable driving distance of the school you are attending makes it a lot easier.

High school seniors, take all of these topics into account when you are considering what school you should attend next fall. By determining whether or not to attend a state school vs. a private school students need to look at all of the factors. Tuition costs, campus atmosphere/environment and how all of these factors will effect your future. Good luck class of 2019 on deciding your school.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

November 27, 2013 in Alive Campus


Going to College

Going to College

This is the fundamental question plaguing juniors and seniors in high school. Out-of-state, or in-state? Private or state school? These are both very serious factors to add into your college search! We’ll go through them both and figure out which is right for you.

Out-of-State or In-State?

This question has a lot of factors. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, it would be better to keep your search for school primarily in-state, where tuition will be less. Don’t worry about being too close to intrusive family members; find a school about an hour or two away, and you won’t have to worry. No one wants to make that drive. If you know for sure that your parents will still put in the effort to see you more than you want, or if money isn’t a big concern for you or your family, you may want to look out-of-state. If you want to go onto law school or med school, jobs are difficult to get unless you go to Harvard, so having a connection to a state is a good way to get a job there during/after your next degree (if you’re from Alabama but you want a job in West Virginia, having your Alma Mater there is a good way to make employers in that state take your application seriously).

If you love your town and don’t feel the need to stray too far, don’t feel guilty. College isn’t just about spreading your wings and going halfway across the country, it’s about having an experience that is fulfilling to you. Don’t worry about any one else’s experiences; everyone is looking for something different. If your dream school happens to be halfway across the country, try to get some financial aid. Call the school to see what they can do for you. If worse comes to worst, figure out what general class requirements that school has, take those classes at a local community college or state school, and then transfer those credits over and get your diploma from your dream school.

Private or State School?

This is a little less difficult. Can you or your family afford the debt you will inevitably incur from a private school? Are you willing to take out tens of thousands of dollars in loans, or would you rather take out just a few thousand? Does the title on the diploma mean a lot to you? These are all important questions you need to consider before you choose between a private or a state school.

If you’re worried about the money, remember: millions of unclaimed scholarship money goes to waste each year! Try to get scholarships, no matter how small the amount. A $100 scholarship will pay for your French books for one, maybe even two semesters. When books are so expensive, no amount of money is too small. Schools also give out a fair chunk of money, so if you have a good high school GPA, you’re going to get some good money. And if your GPA isn’t that great, go to a state school first and work hard! You can improve your GPA before you get to the school of your dreams.