Student budgeting for private college education in Toronto.
05 Sep 2019

What’s The Cost Difference Between Public and Private Colleges?

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    When it comes to money matters, looking into the price of tuition is one of the first things potential students look into before applying to college programs they’re interested in. When comparing the cost of public and private colleges, students may find that there’s quite a difference in cost. Which begs the question — what’s the price of going to a private college in compared to a public one?

    While the cost of tuition will vary from school to school,, private colleges can start anywhere around $10,000 and go as high as $20,000 a year. In the public system, tuition costs will go around a fraction of that price, with prices depending on the school, the programs offered and where it’s located. According to Ontario Colleges, the average annual cost of going to a public college will range from:

    • Diploma Programs – $2,400
    • Graduate Certificate Programs – $3,600
    • Bachelor’s Degree Programs – $6,100

    It’s important to note that these average costs do not include the price of school supplies, textbooks, additional student fees or other living expenses associated for those coming from out of town or international students. These additional expenses are definitely something to also keep in mind when picking out any post-secondary education following high school.

    What’s The Cost Of Tuition Based On?

    It’s hard to ignore the fact that private colleges in Toronto and across the country generally do cost more than going to a public one. Why are they more expensive? Unlike public institutions, private colleges don’t receive funding from the local government and strictly rely on tuition and donations from donors to run their facilities. Because public colleges do receive that assistance, they’re able to lower their tuition costs for students.

    As mentioned earlier, the cost of attending a private college will vary from school to school. If you’re thinking about enrolling into one, don’t be afraid of shopping around and before landing on college that truly matches your interests and budget.

     Student looking up tuition costs of private colleges in Toronto.

    How Can I Finance My Education?

    While the cost of tuition for private colleges are typically more expensive than public ones, there are a number of ways to finance your education. Much like any post-secondary institution, there are a number of scholarships that students can apply for that are based on academic performance, to help offset educational costs.

    Depending on the private college you’re looking into, many offer various financial plans that might make paying for education a lot easier and affordable. For example, in the case of Cestar College, they offer students monthly repayment plans that start on the first day of class and is then stretched out through your duration of the program. There’s no interest involved and available to students without having to provide a credit check. Another popular option offer is their extended payment plans which exceeds the duration of a student’s study. While this is decided on a case by case basis, it’s a great option for those who struggle to pay within the school year.

    Regardless of what your personal financial situation maybe, many private colleges in Toronto have options set up for students that make the financial feasibility of attending a lot easier. It’s always important to ask what those options are before applying or during your campus tour, so college staff can advise the best course of action you should take based on your financial needs.

    Benefits Of Attending A Private College

    While cost can sometimes deter potential students from enrolling into a private college, there are many benefits to attending one that are harder to come by in a public institution. These are things that should definitely be considered when weighing your options. They include:

    Smaller Class Sizes

    Public post-secondary institutions are notoriously well known for large classes. Instructors rarely know students by name and the only real one-on-one assistance students can receive is during their office hours. On the other hand, private colleges in Toronto are known for having smaller class sizes for more personalized class lectures.

    With instructors being some of the top of their fields, students are able to learn from the best of the best. Smaller class sizes also help encourage greater class discussions, participation and much easier to get clarification on lessons when necessary.

    Expedited Programs

    One of the greater benefits of going to a private college is the length of study compared to other public institutions. They’re known for offering great career focused programs in shortened periods of time of either a semester or year, without compromising the quality of education. This is especially great for those who are looking to supplement their education and skills they already have without going through a full-length program. It’s also ideal for international students or newcomers who want to hit the ground running and kickstart their careers. Instead of wasting time (and money) in the classroom, private colleges offer comprehensive programs to get you in the real world sooner rather than later.

    Job Assistance

    The goal of many private colleges is not only to provide students with employable skills but also get their students employed as quickly as possible after graduation. Many private colleges like Cestar College offer students job placement assistance, which helps link students up with jobs opportunities through various college partners and leading industry employers.

    Picking Out A Private College

    Besides picking out a college based on cost, you want to make sure you’re basing your final decision on a number of other factors including the quality of their programs and making sure they align with your career goals. Don’t forget to check off other boxes such as class size, state of their facilities, and quality of instructors. As you begin to weigh your options, don’t forget to book a campus tour with the schools that you’re interested in, so you get a chance to see what campus life is really like and see first-hand some of the resources you’ll have there as a student. Remember, you can’t put a price on your future or quality education.


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