Public Universities vs Private Universities: Which Should You Choose?

Attending a university is the most crucial chapter in every student’s life, especially when you are leaving the comfort of your home to study abroad in a country like the UK, USA, or Australia. Furthermore, there is a lingering doubt in almost every international student’s mind whether to opt for a public or private university and which one would be better to invest your time, money, and effort in!

Public Universities vs Private Universities

Accreditation and Funding

Public universities also referred to as state universities, are accredited under the national government and can be affiliated regionally. They are all funded by the state government and the subsidies it offers.

Private universities need to be accredited by the national government, i.e., from the department under the government at the national level or the university commission. Since private universities are not state-financed, they generally receive funding from tuition fees, private ventures, and investors.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid

Since the government finances public universities, they offer lower tuition fees to students, making them cheaper to attend. However, financial aid provided to students in public universities is less than private universities but can offer work-study positions to a large number of students.

On the other hand, private universities are not funded by the government. They rely on students’ tuition payments and fundings from private individuals or organizations to cover their operating expenses. Private universities are more expensive to attend than public universities but offer more lucrative options for financial aid than public universities, such as scholarships.

University Rankings

It is also essential to consider the university rankings when jotting all critical points for selecting a university for you. And yes, both private and public universities are well-represented in the world university rankings.

According to the QS World University Rankings 2022,

  • 5 out of the top 10 universities are public universities, such as UCL, Imperial College London, ETH Zurich, University of Cambridge, and University of Oxford.
  • The other 5 spots are equally dominated by private universities, such as the University of Chicago, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and MIT.

Understanding this dilemma, we have brought a coherent solution for you. As you navigate through the article, you will learn about the critical differences between the public and private universities that can help you decide which option seems suitable for you! So without further ado, let’s get started!