Private vs. Public Schools
The cost differences between public and private schools and how loans can put them within reach
Media coverage about the exploding costs of post-secondary education tends to focus on the eye-popping expense of top-tier institutions, such as those in the Ivy League. This can induce sticker shock in most parents.
But it also creates a misleading picture, for at least two reasons:
- Most students end up attending colleges or universities that are considerably more affordable. According to statistics compiled by the College Board, more than 53% of students attend four-year schools whose annual tuition and fees are below $9,000.
- Many people are unaware of private student loans which put private education within reach for a wide range of students.
Comparing private vs. public school tuition
Private schools are perceived to be more expensive than public schools, but if you examine the numbers, that’s not always true. Public schools cost less because they are subsidized by the state, while private schools are not. However, private schools usually have more institutional aid to give out, so the actual cost may be just as affordable.
Private loans allow you the freedom of choice
Relatively few students pay the full list price at a private college, since even more students at private universities receive financial aid than at public institutions. Often, because of endowments and other sources of funding, private institutions have more access to aid than public schools. Overall, about two-thirds of students attending four-year institutions do so with the help of some form of financial aid.
The upshot is this: educational finance experts suggest forgetting about the distinctions between public and private tuition costs, at least as you begin the search process, and instead focus on the school or schools that represent the best fit for you.
Knowing more about private student loans could give you the opportunity to attend the school of your choice. If you have ruled out a private college as too expensive, it still may be a possibility with private student loans. Learn about our Citizens Bank Student Loan®, a private loan for college.