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Pros and Cons of Public Flagship vs Private Colleges

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Replies to: Pros and Cons of Public Flagship vs Private Colleges

  • twogirlstwogirls 7079 replies7 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,086 Senior Member
    edited May 4
    My daughter applied to a mix of private and public schools. They were all excellent. The final decision was based on fit and affordability...private v public was not part of the equation.

    edited May 4
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 1150 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,172 Senior Member
    @MWolf
    “The entire ideology of those "DukeEngage" programs is actually pretty awful. I am sorry, but a bunch of wealthy American colleges student are not qualified to figure out the entire social and cultural set of issues that go into implementing these solutions. In fact, the entire idea absolutely REEKS of privilege, paternalism, and borderline racism. Seriously, what the program is saying is that "At Duke we are SO superior to you benighted peoples, that our 18 year old kids, who have never left their bubble of wealth and privilege, can solve your most difficult issues in 3 hours a week, over 13 weeks". Gag.”

    Interesting perspective. I have never heard anyone claim these programs as “racist”. My BIL is an pediatric anesthesiologist and every year he travels to places like Guatemala to provide free surgical care to patients who cannot afford such procedures. I’m wondering if you consider his work, racist?

    Regarding DukeEngage, seems like a win, win. Engineering students work as a team designing and building a new bridge for an impoverished community that needs one.
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  • raclutraclut 3686 replies233 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,919 Senior Member
    edited May 5
    @riversider My siblings and I all attended excellent private colleges for undergrad and grad school. (top tier) I think that is why I said I was pleasantly surprised with my daughter's experience at a large public university. I'm from VA and we have excellent public universities. For instate residents I think it's foolish not to consider them.

    The public school system here is absolutely great. We even have TJHSST (magnet school) for the brightest students interested in STEM. I relocated to this state intentionally when my D was very small knowing that she would get an excellent education here.
    edited May 5
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  • 1stTimeThruMom1stTimeThruMom 225 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    So...having taken classes at both, I agree that unless you are in a flagship honors program, the feel of in-state vs private is very different.

    What about the difference between in-state smaller colleges (ie St. Mary’s in MD, William & Mary, Miami of Ohio) and private? Can any of these publics - or any others you name - replicate the special attention that private universities pay to their students?
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  • RiversiderRiversider 668 replies75 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 743 Member
    edited May 5
    I enjoy anecdotes as much as the next person but they doesn’t change reality for the majority.

    Just because some one attended an elite school but their kid can’t get accepted at one or their is not enough money to not care about the expense and financial aid is not enough, they have to pick public and defend the choice personally and with others too. It’s not a choice, it’s a compromise and can’t be called a choice.

    edited May 5
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  • 1stTimeThruMom1stTimeThruMom 225 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    @itsgettingreal17 Curious about what state you reside in. After paying years of private school tuition, in-state (MD) schools are very much on the radar. However, it was tough going this year at our flagship. The private high schools tend more towards grade deflation, and as a result, fewer kids are getting in. I think the average this year at UMCP is a 4.3 or so. This is why I’m eager to learn about other in-state or out-of-state public options that do not have the ginormous classes common to flagships. Any thoughts?
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  • Twoin18Twoin18 1426 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    edited May 5
    "For many it has hit a tipping point where people are really starting to question the "prestige surcharge" and the myth of superiority"

    It's interesting to note that three posters who had the choice of full pay at Stanford vs full rides elsewhere, all turned down Stanford (in two of those cases for a state flagship) despite being able to afford it.

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/2134996-stanford-full-pay-vs-full-ride-at-wake-forest-p25.html

    https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/international-students/2056643-finding-an-intellectual-college-for-a-clueless-17-year-old-p27.html
    edited May 5
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  • LynnskiLynnski 245 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 257 Junior Member
    Our kid considered public all the way til the end, but ultimately chose a private option. As parents, we felt she would get more support for her specific learning style at a smaller school. Who knows what really tipped the final choice for her? Aside from money, which was doable at both, I think prestige for the last month of HS (which is the only time it really matters) played a role. Also knowing that she could enroll at private but transfer to the public if it didn't really fit, but the other way around was highly unlikely. Other factors felt quite individual... but I think all factors feel idiosyncratic to the individual. My husband and I both attended public universities for undergrad and I think we wanted something different for her.
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  • MWolfMWolf 1229 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,237 Senior Member
    @socaldad2002 You have a legitimate point, but I disagree. However, since I'm sure that we could spin off an interesting 150-post discussion which would derail the thread, and still not get to any resolution, let us agree to disagree, and get back to the main discussion.
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  • RiversiderRiversider 668 replies75 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 743 Member
    If these colleges are such a rotten deal, why alumni keep sending their children and their money?
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  • natty1988natty1988 595 replies8 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 603 Member
    @rickle1 I agree. There are pros and cons to both public and private universities. People need to do what is best for their child and their finances.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28352 replies56 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 28,408 Senior Member
    @Riversider , I don’t believe it’s a “harsh” reality that most CC poster are going to public schools. It’s just a fact of life. There are far, far more public schools in this country than private, and most people find it to be an unnecessary expense to spend the large amounts of money to send their kids to private schools for grades k-12. The public school becomes part of the whole house and home choosing project. I live in an area where people move for its public schools, and most of the private schools around here are not as good. The residents do not believe it’s s good use of their money to send them to the private schools.

    Though the very top schools in name recognition may be some of the boarding schools for high school, most people want their kids home rather than sending them to one of those. It’s not the custom here to do so like it is for college. It’s s very tiny population who work at boarding school admissions and financial aid, like we do with college. In NYC, for some, it dies become an issue. I know people whose kids did not get into the preferred public high schools and did send their children to boarding school going through the same sort of process as you are now with your son. Some got free rides or substantial scholarships to these schools. It’s just not the usual rite of passage for most of us. But that has Changed drastically in terms of college.

    There was a time not that long ago, within the half century that it was rare to go to some of these top colleges unless you were coming from the “name” private schools or your family was affiliated with them. I have a friend who said his class was one of the last at one of these schools to have a top college pretty much assigned to him. He knew up from that the school was recommending him to Dartmouth, and do to Dartmouth he went. It doesn’t work that way any more. These colleges have opened the doors to all, or should I say the floodgates, as we can see the torrents if applications now happening.

    Many families practice a loose college admissions policy where they will pay for certain schools. “Beg, borrow and steal”, I used to joke , but now with the news of this wide spread admissions scandal, “cheat, bribe and lie” is more added to that litany to get their kids into the most selective schools in the country. It’s pretty clear that name brand colleges have become a highly sought after thing. The controls on the process are come down to selectively and money.

    For those of us who are in the category of being able afford ( by measure of the financial aid parameters and the tenets of financial planning), but still feel the sting of the “affordable” of private colleges with room, board and travel, it becomes a balancing act of what we feel is worth paying.

    If you have that flagship school in your state with a great reputation where your kid can get accepted, it’s become the measuring g stick of value. Michigan, UVA, UCs Berkeley and LA etc are all excellent school that may cost a third of the private schools. Is Vanderbilt at the $75k mark “worth” $25-30k of your state U? A lot of the same people will hedge in that one that will also down the money very quickly for HYP. But then bring down to the same price as State U, or maybe to the $50K level, and that’s a whole other story. Or if a light comes into your kids eyes at the thought of going there, and you just can’t bear not to buy this choice for him.

    Oh, yes. I’ve danced this set many times over now, and know the moves well , and there is emotion involved.
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