Students have so many options when choosing a college or university to attend. There are many different factors that go into choosing a college like location, size, and price. One thing that not many students realize is that there are for profit and non-profit colleges. We will be taking a look at the differences of for-profit vs non-profit colleges.
What is a Non-Profit College?
Non-profit colleges are schools that operate not-for-profit. The schools that fall under this category will reinvest their revenue earned back into the school. The reinvestment of revenue could go towards many things. Some common things they may go towards include:
- Facilities upgrades
- Services for Students
- Events for Students
- General university improvements
Non-profit colleges are not privately owned by an individual or company. Non-profit schools will be managed by a board of people as there are no owners or people with an investment stake in the college or university. Operating as a non-profit college allows for the school to focus more on the students and the school itself, instead of trying to make money for shareholders.
Non-profit institutions receive money from the government, both federal and state funds, and individual donors like alumni. The government funding allows non-profits to keep their tuition lower for students. Generally, non-profit colleges can offer better financial aid packages to prospective students.
Non-profit colleges are colleges and universities that you normally consider when thinking about higher education. Non-profit colleges are going to be your big state schools, mid-sized colleges, liberal arts colleges, and high-end private universities.
What is a For-Profit College?
For-profit colleges are schools that are owned by an individual or company with the main goal of making money. For-profit schools will not have a board of trustees to make decisions, instead they will have the owner or group of shareholders making decisions that are likely based on how to increase profits.
Most people assume that any online degree program will be offered by a for-profit college. This is not the case. With the increased popularity of online degrees, almost every college or university in the United States offers online degree programs. Check out our rankings of the best online colleges if you are considering an online degree.
As with anything, there are some good for-profit college options and some shady options. Students should do their research on for-profit colleges before enrolling. Some things to think about when consider for-profit colleges are:
- Look at the curriculum they offer. Compare it to a non-profit college or university. Do they match up?
- How long have they been established? Do they have alumni that went on to get jobs and are successful?
- How does the price compare to non-profit college options?
- Do you feel like you are being pressured into making a decision? This is never a good thing. Make sure it feels like the right opportunity.
For-Profit vs Non-Profit Colleges
Are For-Profit Colleges Accredited?
When it comes to accreditation, there are two types. The first is regional accreditation. Regional accreditation is harder to get and usually schools with an academic focus are regionally accredited. Not many for-profit colleges are regionally accredited, although there are some.
The other type of accreditation is national accreditation. National accreditation is usually given to for-profit colleges because they operate in multiple states. Schools that are nationally accredited usually have a focus on technical skills or professional skills.
It is important to check and make sure the college you are looking at is accredited. Some for-profit colleges may be accredited, while other may not be. If the for-profit college is accredited, it will most likely be nationally accredited. One thing to think about is that it may be difficult to transfer credits from an institution that is nationally accredited. If you plan on transferring to a regionally accredited school in the future, keep this in mind. You can check to see if a school is accredited and what kind of accreditation they have here.
For-Profit vs Non-Profit Colleges – Which Is Better For Me?
When deciding between for-profit vs non-profit colleges there are many things to consider. Students who are looking for the traditional college experience will want to attend a non-profit college. Non-profit colleges will provide a great experience coupled with great academics. Non-profit colleges generally have more resources to offer students like student services, events and such on campus, and facilities.
For-profit colleges are desirable to students who may be considered “non-traditional” students. These are students who may be working full-time or adults who want to go college and are a little older. For-profit colleges generally offer a more flexible schedule and curriculum that fits in with the “non-traditional” student.
When considering both non-profit and for-profit colleges, it is important to find the school that fits best with what you require. If you need to have a flexible schedule, an online degree from a non-profit college could be a good option, but so could attending night classes at a for-profit institution that is close to home.
Make sure to ensure that the for-profit institution you are interested in is accredited. Do your homework on any college or university before applying. Check out different statistics on the school like acceptance rates, graduation rates, and their tuition increase policy. Interested in earning a degree online? Check out our list of the Best Online Colleges and Universities.