One of the most important differences between public and private college is the availability of financial aid.
Public colleges are underwritten by tax dollars, and typically look good because of a seemingly low fee. However, that cost is the final cost, meaning there are no discounts other than scholarships.
On the flip-side, private institutions often provide attractive financial aid packages based on things like your grades and activities. You may be pleasantly surprised that a private institution is more affordable than a public school because of these available financial aid packages.
- Keep in mind, you won’t know about your financial aid package until you apply and submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), and academic scholarships won’t be awarded until official paperwork is received.
- Be sure to ask a rep of the colleges you’re considering about what scholarships are available to you. Depending on certain factors, such as your family’s income, you may qualify for additional funds in the form of grants and need-based scholarships to help with payment.
- It’s also important to get a clear understanding of the financial aid process, including deadlines, separate applications, and timelines.
- Remember, in order to make the best decision possible, it’s crucial to apply for financial aid to all of the colleges you’re considering.