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Private vs Public Colleges for Computer Science

kdkdkdkdkdkdkdkd 0 replies1 threads New Member
I am going to apply for college next year and I am looking to apply as a computer science major. I've noticed that many of the top CS schools are public schools such as the University of Washington, University of Michigan, UT Austin, etc. What are the pros and cons of going to a private vs out-of-state public school considering financial aid, how generous they are in scholarships, job opportunities, etc for computer science? Is going to an out-of-state public school that is good for CS worth it?
edited July 13
3 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Private vs Public Colleges for Computer Science

  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4233 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    I don't think you can make any categorical statements based on public vs private really without specific context on the situation. For full pay families, out of state publics are often cheaper than private schools without a scholarship. For those getting financial aid or big merit scholarships, privates can often win out. It's not uncommon for many full-pay families to end up between a private + scholarship vs an equal net price public.

    Job opportunities (as far as they are determined by school in the first place) are completely dependent on the school, not public vs private.

    Maybe a few large generalizations of note (that don't always hold by any means):
    - Larger class sizes often at public schools
    - More research focus often at public schools in comparison to teaching faculty. Pro for some, con for others.
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  • MWolfMWolf 2998 replies14 threads Senior Member
    By and large private schools have better (often much better) need-based financial aid than public universities. Public universities will often have more merit-based aid.

    However, the top private colleges for CS have lower acceptance rates than do the public universities which have equivalent or better CS programs. So you will very likely not be choosing between public and private universities for CS.
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  • DustyfeathersDustyfeathers 3702 replies85 threads Senior Member
    edited May 14
    To my mind, the best approach for CS is to thoroughly exhaust your in-state public offerings (often some of the directional Us will have good CS depts and they're often overlooked). Then also look at some of the privates: Union, Lafayette, Lehigh , RPI, RIT, U of Pacific in California, and the like. Then compare the net costs when you see where you've been accepted. Some programs look expensive at first but offer co-ops that offset the costs through earnings. Some OOS publics that might be affordable, look at these that rarely make people's list: U of Alabama Huntsville (has automatic scholarships and is quite good) and U of Maine at Orono (CS dept is ABET accredited and the school is matching in-state tuition). Also some of the directional Us in places like Oklahoma have interesting offshoots like aerospace and the like, with scholarships to lure in OOSers. FYI
    edited May 14
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