slides: College Admissions: 6 Reasons to Pick a State University
Monday, September 04, 2017
Cristiana Quinn, GoLocalWorcester College Admissions Expert
As college admissions continue to increase in competitiveness, a debate has emerged among families on the value of private vs. public education. A growing number of parents seem to believe that a private college education is superior in quality to a public university education. They often group public colleges into one basket “Aren’t they really all the same? UMASS, URI, U. Georgia, Ohio State” one parent asked me last week. I answered a resounding “No!”
State universities are terrific options for students who might otherwise be accumulating more than $100,000 of debt over 4 years at a private college. But, what many do not realize is that they are also a competitive, high value choice for students who could afford to go to any college in the country.
See The Reasons Why in the Slideshow Below
The reality is that state universities are not all created equal. They are also not the state university of 25 years ago. Whether you are a student who needs to stay in-state for cost reasons one who can afford to look anywhere, state universities should be among the schools you consider.
Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, college counseling and athletic recruiting services for students. http://www.collegeadvisorsonline.com.
Many small and medium size private colleges are limited in their research offerings, and therefore the number of students who can get involved. State universities are often on the cutting edge of medical, scientific and engineering discoveries. Imagine being on the forefront of Alzheimer’s research at UC Santa Barbara, or working on alternative energy Formula One racecars at U. Washington.
Photo courtesy of U of Washington
Whether it’s the science labs, dining halls, sports complex, library, computer science labs, a working farm or land grants for environmental research—state universities often have superior resources for students in and out of the classroom. The University of Oklahoma boasts the world’s largest student union with more than 500,000 square feet. It contains a hotel, restaurants, a theatre, travel agency and more. Interested in exploring the cosmos from the South Pole? Then take a look at the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory that U. Wisconsin maintains.
Photo courtesy of U. of Wisconsin
While many liberal arts colleges struggle to increase their minority populations, state universities are a thriving hub of diversity. In an increasingly global society, the advantages of living and learning with students from a variety of backgrounds is invaluable. Rutgers University in Newark, NJ ranks number one on Forbes list of most diverse universities. It is home to students from more than 70 countries, and has an almost balanced population of white, Hispanic, Asian and African American students.
Breadth of Academic Offerings
From liberal arts to pre-professional programs, state universities offer the broadest options for the “undecided” student. Many private universities focus on liberal arts, with occasional pre-professional offerings in business, nursing or engineering. Many state universities have it all, from health care majors you may not have considered (respiratory therapy, nuclear imaging, kinesiology) to environmental engineering, biomedical science, teacher education, digital communications, graphic design, marketing, accounting and more.
School Spirit and Extra-Curricular Activities
There is nothing quite like the feeling of being in the U. Michigan Stadium during a Division 1 football game, unless it’s cheering on the UCONN women’s basketball team during nationals. Not a sports fan? Then perhaps you might enjoy tele-mark skiing with the University of Vermont’s Outing Club, sailing at URI’s Sailing Center, the world renown Jazz Ensemble at FSU, or attending a play in the new $40 million performing arts center at Texas State University.
Photo courtesy of Texas State University
Today, top students are being courted by public universities with honors programs that rival Ivy League educations. Look at any top graduate school in the country, and you are likely to find it littered with state honors program grads. These students receive professor mentors for Rhodes, Fulbright, Goldwater and other prestigious scholarships, special classes, research and publishing opportunities, honors dorms, and more.