Rising costs always alarm us. It’s especially true in education.
Students headed to college have two broad choices: private independent colleges or state-funded public colleges. Generally, the latter cost less, but consider these facts:
- At public four-year colleges, on average 36% of an institution’s budget comes from student payments, while at the typical private college, student payments account for 65% of the budget.
- At public four-year colleges, 43% of the budget goes toward instruction and other direct benefits to the student, while at a private school 62% of costs goes toward instruction and other direct benefits to the student.
- In some cases up to 40% of a public college budget come from tax dollars. At private schools about 4% comes from government funds.
- Because of scholarships and other forms of financial aid, students often don’t pay the full “sticker price” at any college. The concept is called “discount rate.” At public colleges (figures from 2008) the discount rate was 17.6% while at private colleges it was 32.8%.
Private higher education operates independently of government funds. Such independence allows faith-based schools to immerse the students in a Christian worldview. It typically costs more to do it that way.
But it’s worth the price.