Cost advantages of attending State U
Affordability is the biggest benefit for selecting a public, home-state university. In-state tuition costs are generally reasonable for residents.
Paying into the state education system begins by paying taxes, as state residents fund the public universities. "This creates a financial bond even prior to application," says Michael E. Echols, executive vice president of strategic initiatives at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska, and author of "Your Future Is Calling: A Practical Guide to the Education You Need to Have the Future You Desire."
Private colleges offer significantly more merit aid than public universities, says Joseph Orsolini, president of College Aid Planners in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. For this reason, students who might not qualify for merit-based financial aid at a private university may find that a public university offers additional financial incentives.
"Even though private colleges have higher sticker prices than public universities, these generous merit aid packages often bring down the price compared to public schools," Orsolini says. Students who don't qualify for merit aid at private schools because of insufficient grades or test scores will be stuck paying closer to the full cost of attendance. "The advantage is that public schools are already discounted due to residency rather than merit, so that price is not dependent on grades," he says.