While money is an important factor, it is also equally important that you are going to a school that will give you the best education in your major. Private and public schools specialize in different fields. Because of the sheer vastness in size of a public school, they will also appropriately offer a wide range of many classes for many college majors. If you are not sure yet what you want to study or are planning to be Undeclared, a bigger public college will offer many choices. However, in contrast to impacted public schools (where lectures can grow to sizes of over 300 seats but the waiting list may be as long as 600 students), your chances of getting a needed class may be much easier at a private school.
Privates are definitely recommended for those students who prefer a smaller and quieter setting. You will not have to fight crowds in public areas like the library, quads, and other exposed places. In the debate between publics and privates, the affirmative’s classic argument of private school education is the size of classes and the more intimate student to teacher ratios. Classes tend to be 20-30 students, and the biggest lectures cap off at 80 undergraduates. However, community colleges and some public schools do offer these kinds of small classes. For instance, Cal Poly Pomona’s engineering classes have fewer than 20 students. Many community college classes have around 25 students.
When asked if students receive a better education at a private or public institution, president of California State University, Long Beach, F. King Alexander, contends that high price does not necessarily mean high quality. Many professors at community colleges and public institutions have masters and even doctorates. Many of them work alongside private school graduates and do research together in their fields. They are all qualified, if not over-qualified, for their jobs.
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