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Old 11-25-2012, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,719 posts, read 2,745,950 times
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Something has peeked my curiosity of late. I am currently back in school to obtain a career in a more lucrative industry. I have started at the local community college to obtain some of the prerequisites before deciding if I want to go on to pursue my bachelors degree at a four year institution.

In my immediate area we have several private schools that have excellent programs. However, no one outside of a 100 mile radius has probably ever heard of these schools. However they typically cost in the ballpark of $20-30k per year. Conversely, I could decide to attend a middle of the road state college that a good percentage of people around the country have heard of for about $10-15k per year. What would you choose?

I guess my big worry is that if I decide to relocate after finally obtaining my degree, I might be passed over because no one had ever heard of my school, despite it costing me $30,000 a year to attend.

What is your opinion on local private schools that cost an arm and a leg, yet no one has ever heard of versus a state institution that carries some name recognition?
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:10 AM
 
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Well, in our experience, state schools end up costing more than private schools because private schools typically have more aid to give to a wider range of students, they have smaller student bodies so getting into needed classes is easier so you can graduate in 4 years vs 5 or 6 at most state schools. Don't just assume since the initial price tag is how ever much that is really what you end up paying. As for name recognition, who's to say your hiring manager hasn't heard of the private school you attend and has never hear of the state schools. Also, what is the likelihood of you working 100+ miles away from where you went to college, especially for your first job?
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
2,336 posts, read 7,785,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santafe400 View Post
What is your opinion on local private schools that cost an arm and a leg, yet no one has ever heard of versus a state institution that carries some name recognition?
Personally, I don't fret too much over "brand recognition". Why? Because in all honesty, every company and hiring manager is different. Some may care about the name of the college that you went to; others may not even care that you have a college degree. What is actually more helpful than brand recognition, is the strength of the alumni network. Many times this comes with the territory of being a widely-known school. However there are also plenty of smaller, private universities with very connected and influential alumni networks.

In your situation, what may be of bigger importance is the ability to transfer your credits from community college to a four-year institution. Many public universities have articulation agreements and will accept your credits in a straightforward way. Private schools may or may not be as accommodating. They can also be limiting in regards to the type of majors they offer.

You mentioned that you are going to college in order to pursue a more lucrative career. If finances are a concern, I would encourage a thorough decision-making process in regards to which college to attend. While private colleges have more financial aid available than public ones, just because the aid is there does not mean that you will receive it. My first college was private, and while the education was great, I didn't feel as if it were $15K/year better than what I had at the public university I graduated from.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:07 AM
 
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Unless you are attending a notorious substandard school, the majority of employers could care less about the provenance of your degree.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:46 AM
 
2,612 posts, read 5,593,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santafe400 View Post
Something has peeked my curiosity of late. I am currently back in school to obtain a career in a more lucrative industry. I have started at the local community college to obtain some of the prerequisites before deciding if I want to go on to pursue my bachelors degree at a four year institution.

In my immediate area we have several private schools that have excellent programs. However, no one outside of a 100 mile radius has probably ever heard of these schools. However they typically cost in the ballpark of $20-30k per year. Conversely, I could decide to attend a middle of the road state college that a good percentage of people around the country have heard of for about $10-15k per year. What would you choose?

I guess my big worry is that if I decide to relocate after finally obtaining my degree, I might be passed over because no one had ever heard of my school, despite it costing me $30,000 a year to attend.

What is your opinion on local private schools that cost an arm and a leg, yet no one has ever heard of versus a state institution that carries some name recognition?
I can't understand why you would choose the small private school in the first place. If no one has heard of them, then they probably aren't that good. Sometimes small private schools do a lot of advertising right in their area, so everyone thinks they are good. That was the case with several small schools near where I grew up. Only when I moved away did I realize that those schools were nothing special - we'd just been subjected to a lot of outreach for many years, and therefore thought they were good. Also, because they are expensive they tend to be less competitive than state schools. Most small private schools will take anyone who can pay these days.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:41 AM
 
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unless you get a great scholarship offer or something, it seems like a really bad idea to me to go to a lesser-known school that is also more expensive.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
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Thank you for the replies. Obviously I will have to look at the overall benefits vs. costs to compare and contrast my options.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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Let me add a personal note. One of my sons got his pre-med degree at our local college. When he went for his interviews for his preferred medical school, he was the only one there that was from a college that no one had ever heard about. so was his rejection for that? We'll never know. He went on to be accepted at another medical school where he did quite well.

So, perhaps in certain fields, name recognition might be more important than in others.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:15 PM
 
7,005 posts, read 12,496,678 times
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People who graduate from private schools normally have more debt (and this is not including for-profits). While there are a lot of top private schools that have excellent financial aid packages, most of the lesser-known private schools do not receive enough endowments to bring the cost down to that of state schools.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:58 PM
 
Location: The Midwest
2,966 posts, read 3,922,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L210 View Post
People who graduate from private schools normally have more debt (and this is not including for-profits). While there are a lot of top private schools that have excellent financial aid packages, most of the lesser-known private schools do not receive enough endowments to bring the cost down to that of state schools.
Interesting. I am in the process of doing the college admissions thing with my daughter, who is a senior, and we have found the opposite. The bigger private schools she's looking at (Northwestern, Marquette and a few others) seem much more hesitant to give good packages (probably because they have enough students who are willing to pay full price) whereas the smaller ones seem very willing to work with us on price. And the state schools seem to have not a whole lot of aid.

My philosophy for her is to apply to all the schools she wants to go to, regardless of price. Then, wait to see what the financial aid package is and make the decision from there. We have been told numerous times that if a school REALLY wants you, they will find a way to get you there by negotiating price.
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