Usually the first consideration in any college search is big public school or small private one. Each has its benefits, and you'll probably find schools in both categories on your final list. Here are ten reasons you might want to go to a private college.
They're more affordable than what you've been told.
The "high price" of private colleges is just a myth. Smaller colleges typically work with families individually to offer attractive financial aid packages. And unlike public universities, it doesn't matter if you're a state resident.
You won't get lost in a mob of students.
Private colleges tend to be smaller, and the classes are smaller, too. Many students prefer a more intimate learning environment as opposed to the arena-like classrooms of bigger public universities.
Your voice will be heard.
With smaller classes, you'll have a greater chance to contribute to the conversation. You'll have a true dialogue with professors and other students, during and after class.
You'll have support.
From your academic adviser to the career services office, at private colleges you'll find many people who can help you identify and achieve your career goals—and who genuinely care about your future success.
Your professors will know their stuff.
Classes and lab sessions are taught by professors, unlike public universities, where graduate students often lead the class.
You'll have greater access to research opportunities.
Private colleges are more likely to support research for undergraduate students. Faculty mentors are available to guide you through these learning experiences.
You'll find a college education that has value(s).
Private colleges often have a religious affiliation, but how that's expressed in campus life varies greatly. If spirituality is important to you, look for a school that reflects your beliefs.
You'll find a campus that feels more like home.
With a smaller student population and a more intimate campus, you'll know the people around you. It's also easier to take leadership roles on campus.
You'll have access to a committed alumni network.
With fewer graduates, alumni are more likely to work with new alumni to provide support and access to career opportunities. You'll become a member of an exclusive, yet powerful group.
You'll make a worthwhile investment.
According to a national survey, 77 percent of private, liberal arts college graduates rated their experience as "excellent," compared to 53 percent for graduates of leading public universities.
Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service
Think globally, act locally. Those become words to live by for students in Albion's Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service. Ford Institute students see themselves as world citizens who are also deeply concerned about their home communities. Founded by former President Ford at Albion in 1977, the institute has an interdisciplinary curriculum including courses in public policy, government, history, leadership studies, ethics, and economics, and at least one semester-long internship. You could find yourself interning in places such as British Telecom's legal counsel office or the National Rural Health Association's government affairs office, both in Washington, D.C.; at NBC News in New York; at the European Union Parliament in Brussels; or at Amnesty International in Australia.
A lecture series and a visiting fellows program bring eminent journalists, politicians, diplomats, and scholars to campus to share their experiences and perspectives with you. And you will continue the Institute's tradition of community service by volunteering with many organizations, including the local children's museum and other nonprofit agencies, helping the neediest residents of Detroit, assisting with Gulf Coast relief efforts, or delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Haiti, to name just a few. The Ford Institute offers excellent preparation for careers in public agencies; international relations; communications; education; partisan politics at all levels; research, advocacy, and public-interest groups; and the law.
Learn more about the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service.