The Cost of Private vs. Public Colleges - South Arkansas Sun

Many students assume they can only afford public colleges because private ones are more expensive. Administrators and experts disagree. Students should search beyond sticker costs for private school tuition savings and institutional dollars.

Public universities offer their own draws, including lower tuition rates, particularly for residents of the state. According to 2020 data from U.S. News, undergraduate students at public four-year institutions borrow less.

Public universities offer their own draws, including lower tuition rates, particularly for residents of the state. According to 2020 data from U.S. News, undergraduate students at public four-year institutions borrow less.

Public universities and colleges rely on federal, state and local funding. Historically, states have carried the bulk of funding responsibilities, but in recent years, state funding has declined and federal spending on public colleges and universities has surpassed state funding.

Tuition is increasing across the board at both private and public colleges. U.S. News data shows that over 20 years, tuition at national universities increased by 144% at private colleges, 171% at public colleges for out-of-state students and 211% at public colleges for in-state students, not taking into account inflation.

Tuition at these schools is outpacing inflation, however: The consumer price index, a common measure of inflation, increased by around 54% from July 2001 to July 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"If a public institution awards $10,000 for an academic year and a private (college) awards $15,000, you must look at the cost of attendance and ask, 'How much of that cost of attendance is this meeting, and what, if any, will our family's out-of-pocket expenses be?'" "Vedder"

"Don't automatically exclude private schools, but personal situations can vary," advises Pekala. I urge they add public and private schools to balance their application.

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