7 Benefits of Public Higher Education

Bashar Hanna
4 min readAug 23, 2023

When making plans to continue your education, you may be focused on attending one of the more prestigious private colleges or universities. Granted, these prominent institutions sound very attractive.

However, attending a state-sponsored school can give you a great start on your career and has other advantages. Let’s dive into some of the ways that a public post-secondary education can be beneficial.

1. Less costly

One of the best reasons to consider a public institution is that it will cost you far less than a private school. There’s nothing worse than starting out in your chosen vocation saddled with enormous debt. Unless you can readily afford the expense, student loans can take an inordinate amount of time to pay off, so the less you need to borrow, the better.

Selecting a public school in your state will qualify you for lower tuition than if you enroll in one out-of-state. Be aware, too, that many community colleges have programs that permit you to transfer credits to a university and continue your education there. This is another cost-saving measure.

2. Reputable programs

What comes to mind when you hear names like UCLA and UC Berkeley? These are examples of two very prestigious institutions that are publicly funded. There are many more facilities like them across America that are held in high regard, not to mention specific programs at other schools where students vie to be accepted.

This includes the engineering programs at the University of Texas at Austin and the business programs at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. There are more than enough state-run institutes that have the rigorous standards necessary to deliver quality higher education.

3. Range of curriculum

At some of the larger public colleges and universities, you’ll find a wide range of academic programs. This means you should have no trouble locating an area of study you’re interested in. Furthermore, once you’re accepted, if you decide there’s another career path and program that is a better fit, you can switch your major without having to re-enroll at another school.

Certainly, it’s not uncommon for students to change direction in their studies before they graduate. For some, the whole experience of being on campus and exposed to so many amazing opportunities leads them to obtain more credits than they technically need.

4. Diversity of students

State-sponsored schools attract students from a variety of backgrounds. You’re more prone to find mature students with a certain amount of life experience returning to classes here. It’s commonplace to encounter fellow learners, as well as professors, representing different races, religions, and genders.

This adds up to a rich and rewarding experience as you listen to new perspectives and personal stories and discuss issues. It can be an early window on the world in a sense and expand the knowledge base of all students at these institutions.

5. Activities and athletics

Many state colleges and universities have a large number of students. A large population translates into greater offerings when it comes to activities and athletics. If you’re interested in sports, you can try out for one of the school teams or you might want to enjoy events as a spectator.

Student life gives you the opportunity to explore one of the many student-led organizations on campus. The biggest institutions can host over a hundred unique groups and clubs. You may be driven to gather with like-minded peers to do something to make a difference in the world or simply want to get together with others who share your passion for a certain recreational pastime. Whatever your interests, there’s probably an organization that is suitable for you.

6. Student resources

At a publicly funded school, provided it’s large enough, there will be a good variety of resources focused on helping the student population make the most of their education. These colleges and universities boast excellent counseling services, personal tutoring for any of their courses, and support for those attending with a disability.

In addition, student resources extend to other things like fitness centers, libraries, student lounges, and more. The cost of these is normally part of the student fee or offered at a minimal charge.

7. Jobs and networking

Attending a public institution puts learners in touch with industry leaders. It could be that a student organization has invited a public figure to a campus speaking event or a professor has asked a former industry colleague to speak to their class. This gives students an invaluable opportunity to hear from and question leaders in their field of study.

On a related note, a state school draws individuals who are headhunting future talent for their companies. This can lead to landing an internship and launching a career with a desirable enterprise.

For a good education and a fulfilling experience at a post-secondary institution that will not cost you a huge sum of money and will open up solid job prospects, take a look at a state-funded college or university.

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Bashar Hanna

Dr. Bashar Hanna has spent nearly four years as the president and chief executive officer of Pennsylvania’s Bloomsburg University.