Cornell University: Private or Public?

April 4, 2015 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life

"As a New Yorker, a student has the ability to receive reduced tuition (roughly $15,000 cheaper) if he is accepted into, and chooses to enroll in, one of the land grant colleges. Some of these colleges include, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the College of Human Ecology."

“As a New Yorker, a student has the ability to receive reduced tuition (roughly $15,000 cheaper) if he is accepted into, and chooses to enroll in, one of the land grant colleges. Some of these colleges include, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the College of Human Ecology.”

Cornell University is a peculiar university in that it is considered a private university, yet happens to be comprised of seven undergraduate colleges, some of which are land grant/state funded colleges. Some will argue that those colleges are SUNY institutions, some will argue that those colleges are public, and some will argue that Cornell is just plain weird. I’ll raise my glass to the latter argument.

As a New Yorker, a student has the ability to receive reduced tuition (roughly $15,000 cheaper) if he is accepted into, and chooses to enroll in, one of the land grant colleges. Some of these colleges include, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the College of Human Ecology.

For future Cornellians, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you’re planning on pursuing a certain career or research route:

  • Biology students have three options: The biology major is present in three of the seven undergraduate colleges—the College of Human Ecology, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The three majors are essentially the same, with students enrolled following the same curriculum, taking the same classes and labs, doing research with the same advisors and professors, etc. The only differences include tuition fees for in-state students (New Yorkers) and the college-specific graduation requirements. Unofficially, there is also the specific college’s reputation—some students have an incorrect, stereotypical understanding that the College of Arts and Sciences happens to hold a better reputation than most of the other colleges, and enroll accordingly. Be incredibly cautious about your particular reasons for enrolling into a specific college.
  • Any person, any study…if you are in the right college: Cornell’s condensed motto is “Any person, any study.” Yet, that isn’t necessarily true. As stated before, there are seven undergraduate colleges within Cornell University. Each college has a specific set of majors that a student can declare within that college. If you plan on pursuing a major in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, for example, you should only apply to the College of Arts and Sciences. However, if you are an in-state student and want reduced tuition, I would recommend applying for one of the land grant colleges and simply minoring in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. You can minor in any field within any college. I’ve seen New Yorkers switch into non-land grant colleges simply for the majors offered, and if the price were too much of a burden, I wouldn’t recommend following that line of action.
  • Screw the public school label: As mentioned before, there are elitists who will mock anyone enrolled in the land grant colleges. Such people will state things such as, “You’re not a true Ivy Leaguer,” or, “That’s not a legitimate college within Cornell University.” At the end of the day, such people are simply elitists. Students in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations are brilliant students whose minds work perfectly with the labor relations’ curriculum. Students in the College of Human Ecology are genius researchers who will make amazing discoveries throughout their time in college and post-graduation. Cornell is an Ivy League, regardless of which college you are in. You are a scholar simply because you are here.

State School Vs. Private School

March 20, 2015 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges

When you’re deciding where to go to college there are a million different things running through your mind. You’re probably considering the cost, location, programs, activities offered etc. One thing you may want to consider above all is whether a private or state school is right for you. With each option there are different pros and cons for everyone. As I have attended both a state university and a private college, I feel as though these are some of the things you might want to think about when you are trying to choose between the two:

Public vs Private

Public vs Private


People like to assume right away that a private school is going to be way more expensive than a state school, but that’s not always the case. Typically, the outright cost for a private college is more expensive than a state school, but when it comes to financial aid, scholarships, and grants, they may make up for the difference. Because private colleges are funded by tuition, endowments and donations, there is no limit to how much money they can give you. On the other hand, state schools are largely funded by our taxes, so you may not be awarded as much money due to restrictions and budgets. It really depends on your situation – if you apply to a private college and you are awarded more than half of the cost in scholarships and grants then it may be worth it to go, but if you apply to a state school and receive free tuition due to MCAS scores or any other achievements, it may be worth it to go there instead. Don’t rule out either before you do your research and figure out the real cost of each.


Typically, state schools are a lot larger than private schools, so if you’re interested in classes of 20 people or less, you might want to consider a private college. If you’re looking for a large school with lots of diversity and large lectures, a state school may be a better choice for you. For me personally, I attended a pretty large high school, so I knew that I wanted something on a smaller scale so that I could really take advantage of professors and small class sizes. I also wanted to find a tight knit group of friends because I never really had that in high school.


If you decide to go to the large state school in the state you have lived in your whole life, than you have to expect to see a lot of the kids you’ve seen in your hometown and high school. If you want a completely fresh start with new people and new experiences, you may want to consider a private or out of state school. Something else to consider is the diversity at each type of school. Typically, private schools attract people who have gone to private high schools who are either on the wealthy side or upper middle class. At a state school, you will probably experience a much diverse student body and people from all social classes. Again, it really depends on exactly where you are going.

Education Quality

For some reason, people tend to assume that the quality of the education they receive at a private college is better than the education at a state school. As someone who has attended both a state and private college, I can honestly say that I found the quality to be the same. At a state school it may seem like less quality because of the larger class sizes, but other than that I didn’t find that it was much different. At both the state and private schools that I have attended I have had amazing professors and not so great professors, as well as hard classes and easy classes. I honestly could not tell the difference between the quality education that I have received at each school, and I don’t think that you should assume a state school education isn’t as good as a private school education.

So, as you’re considering where to go to college, take these points into consideration and do your research. Everyone has an opinion, but you don’t want to base your higher education decision on what anyone else assumes. Really weigh your options and consider what is best for you before you decide! Good luck!

Public vs Private Schools: Does it Matter?

July 25, 2014 in Alive Campus, Colleges

public vs private schools

When looking into schools, you may want to consider if you prefer a public state school, or a private school—or if you have no preference! Though every college or university is going to be similar in the fact that you will be attending classes on a new campus, the differences between public and private schools can be subtle but impactful.

First off: what is a public school, and what is a private school? A public university is funded by its respective state government, while a private university operates completely independently of the government, and is funded instead by endowments from alumni and other donors. This technically is the only dictionary-definition difference between the two.

But generally (and remember, this is all general—there are always exceptions!), private and public universities operate differently and provide a different sort of campus and lifestyle from the other.

Public universities are generally much cheaper. Tuition costs are often several times less at public schools than at private schools. Plus, if you attend a school in the state in which you live, your tuition is even less—in-state students get a cheaper tuition price tag than out-of-state students. On the other hand, private universities tend to offer more financial aid to students. Well-endowed private schools often have more money to throw out in the form of grants and scholarships than public schools.

Another factor to consider is that when applying for a school in your home state, your chances of being admitted increase. In-state students and their parents’ taxes go to public colleges, so these students get first priority in terms of admission. Of course, if you a student applying to an out-of-state public university, this doesn’t apply to you.

Private universities also often staff more esteemed professors, often have smaller class sizes, and offer more extra-curricular activities than public universities—though again, these are all generalizations!

Remember that there are a lot of common misconceptions regarding the differences between public and private institutions. Often, people assume that private universities are more prestigious, or look better on a resume—this is definitely not always the case. People also tend to think that private schools’ curriculums are more rigorous or intense than those at public schools—but again, public university students can attest that any acclaimed, professional college is going to be challenging, no matter where you go!

Ultimately, it is impossible to recommend one over the other. And realistically, there are too many nuances between schools to generate accurate, concrete statistics that measure the differences between public and private. When applying to colleges, I don’t advise any student to rule out one or the other. Instead, read up on schools you think you might be interested in, visit every school you can get to, and study up on what each individual school’s tuition is (as well as what their financial aid packages tend to look like.) In the end, these are the real factors in deciding on a school: whether it is financially realistic, whether the campus feels like home, and whether you feel a connection to the school.

Why You Should Choose a State School

May 30, 2014 in Admissions, Colleges

Sometimes it can be complicated, deciding which college to attend. Honestly, it’s a choice that will undoubtedly affect the rest of your life. Some people don’t even think about the difference between state and private schools when they’re narrowing down their choices; it’s all about what works for you! Here are a few tips just in case you’re trying to figure out what all of the fuss is about one way or another.

I currently attend The College of New Jersey, one of several state schools in my area. While I was researching colleges, I didn’t put much thought into the differences between state and private colleges. I’m completely happy with my choice and am glad that I didn’t decide to enroll in another school because I feel like TCNJ is where I belong and was always meant to be. While you’re deciding which school to go to, sometimes you simply need to go with what feels right and which institution is most welcoming and fits your academic and personal needs. Yet if you’re confused about how to narrow down the choices, here are a few reasons why you should choose state schools.

For one, state schools are typically cheaper, especially if you stay in state. If you’re planning to go to school far from home, be prepared to spend a whole lot more on your education. I applied to one school outside of my state and one of the reasons why I decided not to go there was because if would have cost me so much more to attend. Spending that much on an education that would be the same quality as I’m getting now just isn’t worth it.

Another aspect of college you need to seriously consider is what size school you’d like to attend. Most private schools around me are smaller; the school I attend is somewhere in the middle, when it comes to enrollment.  That means I don’t have to be stuck with the same students all of the time but I also don’t completely disappear in the crowd. That’s what was the best fit for me. If you feel like you need to have more students around you, perhaps a bigger campus and maybe bigger class sizes, then state schools should go for you.

I feel like state schools offer a more diverse perspective. Not only are more students going to be there, you’ll meet people from all areas of life. Plus you might have very different faculty members from who you might meet if you attended private institutions.

Overall the choice to go private and public is ultimately up to you. Deciding between the two could be factored by little decisions, such as how much you want to spend or how many people you want to see on campus. Don’t let anyone else influence your choice! You need to head off to the university that feels like it would be best for you. And if you have any further questions about specific colleges, I would highly recommend checking out the school’s website.

TCNJ is a state school.

TCNJ is a state school.

To Prospects of Life and an Alive Campus Farewell

February 5, 2014 in Academics, Admissions, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges, Events, Health, Infographics, Love, Reviews, Sports, Style, Tech, Travel

Hello Camper,

Aim and shoot for beyond the stars…

Alive Campus provides an awesome experience for individuals receiving and sharing information about their colleges. It provides an avenue for incoming freshmen, transfers and overall prospects to view an institution in light of the person-student. It is better than a commercial about an institution that attempts to sell the environment to the student. Still- the able, productive and willing student will learn to use an institution as a useful platform: Students excelling in academics and sports will be able to promote their selves through the institution or their merits for their personal reasons. College may be an expensive or inexpensive experience but SallieMae is always willing to assist the educational process toward their profitable return.

Every collegiate institution will vary by academia, cultures, privatization, religions, regulations and traditions. My attendance from Lock Haven University to Centenary College has been a fulfilling and tremendous rollercoaster of experience. El Torro and Kingda Ka in a blizzard cannot compare with my college tumbling experience. After completing then paying for one class and test I will have the opportunity to graduate from Centenary College in May, elated.

It has been a great experience writing for Alive Campus. It will no longer be my place to discuss Centenary College’s environment as I improve away from it. I do have bits of advice for individuals seeking to attend an institution or transfer from an institution. The future is changing dramatically with the variety of institutions available; chiropractic, culinary, dog training, masseuse, music and etc. type of schools exist for individuals seeking a particular career path of growth.

Do not rush any decision about the future. If you feel an inclination toward a different direction for your life then find the avenues prospering in the direction of your inclination. If you are unsure about attending a large university then attend a community college to save money and receive half (or more) of the credits at a four year college. You will have enough time to think and prepare financially for the future ahead of you without risking valuable time especially since community colleges are very affordable avenues. The one class I am taking at Centenary is more than my co-worker’s semester tuition at a community college.

Don’t let others make decisions about your life either: If they’re not offering financial backing and a place in their home with their advice about your future then take their advice like an open wound with a grain of salt; take careful thought thinking about the next steps in your future. Don’t rush your life. Advice is another option to think about especially when various walks of life will have advice readily available for a variety of purposes. Be patient thinking about decisions, and even more patient making those decisions, to enhance your life in the long run.

I hope the future progresses well for every individual!

It will progress well if you take your time for its true value.

Time is not money: It is your life.

Onward and Upward,

Kevin Dufresne

Thank you Radek Janowski and Alive Campers for being amazing and useful!