Have you decided on your major already? And estimated the funds you can afford for studying? Then it’s time to choose a college. Will you go to a nearby institution or need to travel to the other side of the country? Do you want to study online or on-campus; in a big or small university? As you will think it over, consider the non-profit college option –– there are some excellent points about it.
Non-Profit vs. For-Profit Colleges: What’s the Difference?
First of all, both types of colleges require students to pay for education. But for-profit institutions operate as businesses: they have their investors and owners who regularly get profits. And the frustrating part is that tuition fees usually grow with time.
On the other hand, non-profit colleges belong to the state and get finances from it. In addition, all the funds from tuition stay in the school and improve its various aspects: library resources, professors’ salaries, equipment maintenance. One can be confused with types of colleges, so remember that public colleges are always non-profit.
In general, non-profit institutions spend more than half of your tuition fee on reinforcing the academic background and student services. For-profit colleges, in contrast, spend less than 50% of their money on instructor-related expenses.
What Programs Nonprofit Colleges Offer
Often, when you refer to a college, you mean a not-for-profit one. You think of offline daytime classes, living on campus, and the possibility of getting a scholarship to pay less. However, these institutions have a little bit more to offer.
- Online courses. Though for-profit colleges promote online education more actively, non-profit organizations have some distance courses too. And often, those courses are flexible so that students can incorporate other commitments into their daily routine.
- Mixed programs. Such programs work best for students who have part-time jobs or want to save on transfer to and from the campus: as you can spend part of your time online with this option.
- Evening and weekend classes. Luckily, non-for-profit institutions offer adaptable programs for grown-ups who have to manage jobs and family.
What Should I Know about My College?
Before you apply to a college, you need to find out more about the institution you aim at. Here are some points to check:
- What Type of Accreditation the College Has
Colleges have to meet several requirements to get accredited. And these regulations are set by particular agencies.
There are institutions with regional or national accreditation in the US, and more than 85% of colleges in America are regionally accredited. Such a status allows students to request financial aid, quickly transfer credits to other colleges, and rely on getting more prestigious positions after graduation.
On the other side, nationally accredited colleges –– typically privately owned– usually offer technical and vocational education. This is why the academic programs there are very focused and specific.
- What Scholarships Are Available in the College
Paying for college is a real challenge, especially when it gets more expensive every year. That’s why you need to double-check if there is a possibility to save. Are there any financial aid packages that can decrease your tuition fees? If your only option to get a degree is taking a student loan, don’t hurry. First, find out if there are ways to get a loan-free package.
- Graduation Rates
Most probably, you plan to accomplish your bachelor’s degree within four years. Though there sometimes are factors that affect your education plan, check the 4-year graduation rate in your college. If it is higher than 75%, you have chances to graduate successfully and on time, unless personal circumstances will require some time off. Also, consider that retaking subjects or adding majors will extend your plan for another year or more. And every additional semester will cost more.
- What Campus Facilities Offer
As young people like to study and have fun, it’s essential to check if the campus is comfortable and diverse. Since you will spend at least four years there, make sure you like the party and social facilities the campus offers. If you are fond of sports and would like to participate in some athletic programs, consider public college. Not-for-profit institutions have more extraordinary athletic experiences and more diverse extracurricular activities.
Finding Out Information
To research reliable information, one should use the US Department of Education and the American Institutes of Research websites. These resources will help you find out about the non-for-profit status of a college, its graduation rates, accreditation type, and scholarships available.
Benefits of Private non-Profit Colleges
Here is the list of benefits that we have accumulated for your reference. So, with non-for-profit institutions you:
– get more profound knowledge since non-for-profits invest more in curriculum and instruction techniques. Such colleges care about their student’s academic success, providing support and caring about their future careers. Nonprofits tend to hire practitioners to keep students updated and prepared to complete future job tasks successfully.
– have more possibilities to be eligible for scholarships and cut expenses for your education. One can get financial aid based on a low income, academic, or personal performance.
– get a more “credible” diploma. As non-for-profit colleges usually have national accreditation, courses completed in such an institution are a “gold standard” for employers, which is excellent for your career. Moreover, if for some reason you decide to change college, you can transfer subject credits easier.
– can choose among more than 100 majors. Usually, non-profit organizations offer a greater variety of subjects to get profound knowledge in. Whether you want to become a professional in Business Administration, Information Technology, Nursing, or Psychology –– the doors are always open. But if you still can’t decide which specialization to choose, research the annual salary, you can potentially get for each position.
Deciding which college to choose is always a challenge. Such factors as a major choice, payment plan, scholarship availability, and campus facilities need to be considered, and they often depend on the profit status of a college. We hope this article will help you to make the right choice.