When graduating from secondary school and planning to start with college, you must understand the difference between private and public college. The confusion between both can make it difficult to decide which institution to choose. For potential future residents of York University Housing, it is important to spend time to understand the difference between private and public college.

What is a private college?

Private colleges don’t receive any federal or provincial government funding. They rely solely on the tuition fees. There is a variety of courses which are offered by them but the number of students is usually smaller.

What is public college?

Community colleges or public colleges are funded either by the national or state government and the public. Thought they offer a large range of courses but they are known to have a larger class size. The cost of attending public college has been subsidized by the government.

What are the differences between public and private colleges?

  1. Tuition Fee: The tuition fee is almost the same for both domestic and international students at private colleges. Private colleges may also be cheaper at times as they offer scholarships and grants to the academically exceptional students. This usually covers the cost of tuition, boarding and study material. Whereas, the cost of tuition in public colleges is cheaper for domestic students. The government also offers national and state-level scholarships which makes it easier for the students to manage their tuition fee.
  2. Education: Private institutions are well-staffed with well-directed and sophisticated methods of teaching. As there is an increased interaction between the students and teachers, the students are likely to receive more attention than needed. On the other hand, a public college student may not have the opportunity to have such a focused teaching time. Here there is a lack of freedom to change the structure of the syllabus based on what the students like.
  3. Class Size: As private colleges usually attract students from all around the world, students are able to interact with people from varying backgrounds. The number of students per class is comparatively less. In public colleges, the students are from the local area and the class size tends to be larger.
  4. Career Opportunities: Working opportunities to work up to twenty hours a week is provided to the students by private colleges. International students in these colleges can even work full time during winter and spring break. Multinational corporations and other big companies tend to offer placements to students from private universities. Whereas in public colleges the students are allowed to stay and work after they have completed their course. Students who have graduated from public college are more often selected to work for companies in the government sector.


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