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Learn the differences between public and private schools in the United States.

What is a Public University? What is a Private University?

January 3, 2013

When choosing a school in the United States, it is important to understand all of your options. In addition to location, costs, environment and program of study, you also may want to consider the differences between public and private schools.

What is a public school?

A public school is a college or university primarily funded by a state government. Public colleges and universities generally are larger than private schools and have larger class sizes. At a public school, you will likely have a larger selection of majors than you would at a private school, with both liberal arts classes and specialized programs.

What is a private school?

A private school is a college or university that often operates as an educational nonprofit organization. It does not receive its primary funding from a state government. Private schools generally are smaller than public schools and have smaller class sizes than public schools. Some private schools may have religious affiliations. Private schools usually have a smaller selection of majors but may offer more specialized academic programs.

What are my other options?

In addition to private and public universities, you may want to research the benefits of studying at a community college. Like any other college or university, a community college can be either private or public. Regardless of where you choose to study, it is always important to maintain your status.

For more information about studying in the United States, visit EducationUSA. The site will help you research options, complete your application, finance your studies, apply for your student visa and prepare for your departure.

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