Years ago, choosing a state school was financially easier and more rational than attending a small, private university.
Recently, however, the “typical” affordable college has shifted from public to private schools since the Cal State and UC systems have been devastated by financial woes.
A private university such as the University of La Verne provides larger financial aid packages and more class availability than the large state schools.
La Verne’s student body is so small that classes do not close nearly as often as at state schools, and some classes get cancelled due to low enrollment.
At a state school, students fight to get into closed classes because they need the classes graduate on time.
Many students have to wait until their second half of their college career to complete introductory classes due to quick class fill-ups, so the students end up taking an extra year or two to finish their education.
At a college such as ULV where class sizes peak at around 30, professors can actually forge academic and personal relationships with students.
These relationships can go a long way toward helping students succeed, both at ULV and after college.
At a public school, some students have never talked to their professors, let alone discuss a grade or a tough homework assignment.
According to ULV’s 2010-2011 Undergraduate Tuition and Fees, a year’s tuition is $29,800, a pretty high price.
According to UCLA’s Estimated Student Budget 2010-2011, a year’s tuition, including required fees, is $21,663.
In comparison, our university still costs more than a state school for one year. However, that gap is narrowing rapidly, and the length of time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree can erase it entirely.
More than half of ULV undergraduates who graduate in four years will be set back nearly $120,000 and will be able to get hired for a job, where they can begin putting their studies to use. Whereas more than two-thirds of UC students who graduate in six years will be set back $129,978 and will have lost two years where they could have been using their degree to earn money.
Obviously in the long-run, a private university such as ours will set a student on the right path for their future quickly and efficiently.
Many La Verne students chose to attend this university because of the perks it offers, including financial aid packages.
At a public school, almost all of the financial aid provided comes from FAFSA and Pell Grants based on financial need. A private institution has more freedom to offer aid based on academics and personal situations.
Although this past year tuition increased by nearly $1,500, many students’ financial aid did not accommodate for the increase.
ULV increased its tuition to help level out their budget and keep the school running, but when enrollment increased the school should have given its students monetary relief for the 2010-2011 school year.
For now, students will have to bear the extra costs, but for future reference, award packages need to match the increases from year to year.