The dirty little secret in the college industry is that a huge percentage of students spend tens of thousands in tuition and years of their life and have no degree to show for it. You don’t go to college to get an education—you can do that for far cheaper by going to the library or taking online classes from places like MIT (they offer for dirt cheap many of the same exact classes undergrads can take but without the possibility of getting a degree). You go to college to get a degree! Sadly in this area our colleges are failing us.
State universities in particular are doing a horrible job of helping their students succeed and graduate. At Eastern Washington University, for example, less than 50% of their students get a degree after 6 years—and if you don’t have a degree after 6 years odds are you aren’t getting one at all. Consider that over half of students who start out at Eastern might spend $90,000 ($15,000/year for 6 years) and 6 years of their life and have nothing to show for it! Even at WSU or Western 40% will still not have a degree after 6 years.
Those are ugly numbers. Whitman College in comparison is the best in the state of Washington—almost 85% graduate in only 4 years! The University of Washington is the best state school in Washington when it comes to graduation rates, but they are only middle of the pack when you include the private schools. The UW graduates 50% of their students after 4 years and 75% after 6 years.
On average private schools are doing a much better job than state schools of graduating a higher percentage of their students and graduating them sooner. Especially for an average or below average student, your odds of graduating are much higher at a private school, meaning that even if the private school is slightly more expensive, it may be better deal in the end.
Sorry, comments are closed for this article.