Sunday, March 29, 2009

Are Private Schools Worth the Money?

By Daniel Powell

Tuition has been rising every year, typically higher than the rate of inflation. Annual charges at private four-year colleges are averaging more than $30,000 and top schools typically ask for over $40,000. The main reason colleges are able to get away with charging such outrageous prices is because students and their parents are willing to pay, even if this means sinking them into debt. However, we must think about if a state school is a better bargain altogether because they are typically a third of the cost of a private school.

While most people agree that education is a good investment, the real question lies on if higher tuition means a better education and a better salary. Reports do show that those in Ivy League colleges do make higher salaries but the extra money spent cuts greatly into their new incomes. When it came to analyzing the cost of school compared to return on the student's investment, public schools such as University of Georgia and Texas A&M topped the list. This fact really makes you wonder if private schools are really worth the extra money.

Another thing to remember when trying to find out if private schools are worth the extra money is that financial aid provided by private institutions rose over 135 percent from 1993-2004. Many people also believe that the better and more prestigious insitution you go to means the smaller the class sizes and the more direct interaction with professors you have. It has also been shown that it may be harder to get the courses you need in a public school which could extend your time to graduate. One last key point to remember when trying to make the decision if a private education is worth it to you is to see what kind of deal you get. The "sticker price" may not be what you pay due to help from financial aid. Some people will have the luxury of realizing that with the help of aid, private institutions and public ones are not that far off in cost.

Are top-tier private colleges worth the price of admission?
Is Private College Worth It?
Weighing the Costs in Public vs. Private Colleges

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