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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

  • CupCakeMuffinsCupCakeMuffins 816 replies78 threads Member
    edited May 23
    It is what it is. Just like everything else in life everyone can’t afford everything. Elite colleges have ridiculously high COA and everyone doesn’t get enough freebies to make it work. Also spending money on education is a huge sacrifice not all parents are not able or inclined to make. They may have needs like mortgage and retirement and wants like lifestyle and luxury goods. Not everyone has same priorities.
    edited May 23
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2226 replies0 threads Senior Member
    Really a pointless debate as you are the only one who knows your kid, your finances, your definition of "best", And do you really care what others think regarding that decision?

    I agree but given the number of times this type of discussion happens here (in what appears to be an endless variety of ways to have the same discussion) there are apparently a lot of people who care.

    And to me clear (because I have been accused of asking to have these threads closed down by posting that they are pointless), I am not asking to have this thread (or any of the other countless versions of it ongoing now and to come in the future) closed. I actually find them entertaining. Seeing how many ways the same question can be asked in a different format is interesting.
    If these colleges are such a rotten deal, why alumni keep sending their children and their money?

    If fad diets don't work (and they don't), why are billions of dollars spent on them? Not saying there isn't value just that the fact that people pay for something doesn't necessarily without more make it worth it.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29647 replies58 threads Senior Member
    I do not look at hers discussions as debated but as opportunities to air some opinions, thoughts, doubts and get feedback. The reason most of us adults are on this site is because the process, ritual of college admissions interests us. Most high school seniors who have college on agenda, apply to local and state schools. The big question is whether they can get into and afford State U and sleep away school if they are lucky. For many, it's a matter of even being able to do college full time.
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2513 replies5 threads Senior Member
    "Your narrative doesn’t fit here either."

    It's not a narrative, riversider's statements are factual, there are 15 million students in college, of which 500K are at top private colleges, any definition of top is not going to get more than that. Already you're at 3%, and if you assume that 50% of the privates are above middle class, then it's 1.5% are middle class or lower and if you assume another 20% are from lower income and get FA, that's 1% of middle class families at the top private schools.

    People can provide thousands of anecdotes on this thread, it's not going to change that conclusion.
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  • saillakeeriesaillakeerie 2226 replies0 threads Senior Member
    Here is a harsh reality.

    A lot of bias in this statement. Plenty of grains of salt to go around.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3353 replies12 threads Senior Member
    Tuition at our state flagship (Michigan) was cheaper than S2's private HS. And nearly all of the families at the HS who were accepted at the top 20 privates ended up at Michigan (except for Wharton, Harvard and Stanford). Now that many are close to graduating they are going to those prestige schools for graduate and professional school. Most will pay nothing because their Ph.D. programs are fully funded. Those families saved about $180K compared to Michigan and were able to see their kids more frequently.
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  • wis75wis75 14156 replies64 threads Senior Member
    edited May 25
    Skimmed through more posts. Different needs for different kids. Independent kids like mine thrived with the large U and its honors program, national top tier rankings in so many disciplines and many, many course offerings. Most private schools would give a lesser academic education, btw. The vaunted HYPMS schools have pros and cons- some do much worse than major flagship U's in various fields. Plus their atmosphere and locations are not as good as other options in many cases.

    Lectures are the same for 50 or 500 or more students as they are a passive experience. The large U may have a much better lecture than that of some small private school. Coddling, needing more attention versus being independent and thriving without hand holding- one can put a spin on the small school experience or embrace the vastly expanded opportunities, both academic and outside the classroom, at a top flagship. A good TA can be better than an average professor for discussions associated with those large lectures. btw- those professors did their time as TAs if they were at a top tier program in their field.

    Networking- some public U's, such as Wisconsin (the poster who mentioned Big Ten and UW was referring to U-Washington?) have huge networks all over the country and world. Some of the elite private schools mean most in their region. Even the top elites will not trump known area schools' top performers, depending on the field.

    The post above mine does point out how large schools also have many smaller divisions. And- don't forget that most flagships are multitiered schools while privates only contain one, possibly two. Honors program (honors colleges too, these are NOT necessarily as good/better than programs) participants are in the same elite world as top tier private schools, and well above most private schools.

    Remember that the Ivy League is a sports league, not all schools are the same academically. Likewise not all Big Ten schools are the same- especially with the extra schools now in that sports league. Also remember that the whole country does not value working in NYC or DC as desirable- there is plenty of top notch life outside the NE.

    There's my rant. Finally- a pro for one can be a con for another person.

    edited May 25
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1522 replies12 threads Senior Member
    This topic gets beaten to death. I honestly think you can summarize your choice in a couple of sentences. Think about what your goals are, think about costs and what you can afford. Determine if the additional cost ( if any) to attend a private college is worth it . Yes, schools keep records regarding graduates.
    Be honest with yourself. Really really honest.

    Are you attending for status(bad) or because you want to make more money every year for the rest of your career ( better/best) or some combination that makes the fit best ( excellent) and the cost can be borne without a lot of debt( tragic).

    NO ONE knows what path is best. And often there are many paths to the same spot. Figure out which way makes sense to you. And don't take on debt that will bury you and your dreams down the road.
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  • Johnny523Johnny523 165 replies9 threads Junior Member
    "Determine if the additional cost ( if any) to attend a private college is worth it ."

    "If any" is the key phrase here. State schools, especially flagships, aren't always cheap. We're in Colorado and our higher ed funding sucks, so CU and CSU at full price are $28-30k, and they don't offer much merit aid for in-state students, and our EFC is higher than that, so there won't be any need-based aid. I've run the NPCs at a bunch of schools (I know they aren't fully accurate) and many privates and OOS flagships come in quite a bit lower than NPCs for CU and CSU.
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  • scubadivescubadive 1091 replies3 threads Senior Member
    In Georgia, state schools are popular, not only our flagships (UGA and GT) but all state schools as its hard to get a better deal out of state. With tuition or most of the tuition paid by Hope and Zell it makes common sense.

    Child one has graduated from public university with a well paying job In range of what posters hope for if they attend a Top 20.
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3100 replies39 threads Senior Member
    State universities generally draw students mostly from in state, and those students usually remain in state after graduation. If that is appealing to one, that is an option.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29647 replies58 threads Senior Member
    My one son is quiet, slow to get involved in social settings, pretty much stayed with a set of friend through elementary and high school chose to go to a large OOS flagship. It did concern me. I really would have preferred smaller school, there were Catholic schools and LACs on his list that I felt were a better fit especially socially. Kids from our area, his school were actively going to those schools. Not a one that he knew was going to Big OOS U.

    And, yes, that was an issue that first year. He did feel like everyone there seemed to know each other. An overstatement, of course, but no denying that a lot of those kids were well with 2 points of knowing each other and he was way out at 6. That, in spite of a couple of cousins who were at the school ( they lived in state for that school and were only once in a while together relatives). So, there was that.

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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5524 replies79 threads Senior Member
    Even expensive public flagships like CU offer a compelling option than the 70k private’s for families that are in the donut hole. And even full pay high ses.
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  • barronsbarrons 23055 replies1955 threads Senior Member
    edited May 26
    Many of the major top publics draw nationally and have 25% or more from OOS. Michigan, UVa, Wisconsin have over 30%. Maybe we need a new term for them--Hybrid Publics which have many attributes of larger privates.
    edited May 26
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7810 replies65 threads Senior Member
    Purdue is only 52% Indiana residents at this point. 34% OOS and 14% international.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29647 replies58 threads Senior Member
    I agree, @privatebanker. A lot of kids in NY going to Penn State from NY area
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5524 replies79 threads Senior Member
    edited May 26
    @barrons good idea.

    Top 30 Public Unis or any within top 100 blended of say the USNWR lists perhaps.
    The schools that attract out of state and have super strong specific majors
    edited May 26
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  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 3100 replies39 threads Senior Member
    edited May 26
    Yes, more are attending from out of state, but generally at least 70% at almost all flagships ( except MI, and apparently Purdue) are in state, and the largest public high schools there will have big cohorts at the instate flagship. If that is what you are looking for, that may be a great option for you.
    edited May 26
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