As you plan your next educational move, it’s time for some serious choices. Do you lean toward enrolling in a state-funded university or take the private college route, such as St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico? Your decision is influenced by a range of variables that can shape your college journey and eventual success. Here’s an overview of essential points to keep in mind.
Your Preferred Learning Mode
Do you find yourself engaged in a large lecture setting with several classmates, or does a more intimate setting with closer faculty-student engagement better suit your learning style? Consider whether you’re okay with your main professor taking a backseat, allowing graduate students to conduct most of the classroom interactions.
The Ideal Faculty-to-Student Balance
When looking at schools, consider the faculty-to-student ratio. Data from the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that on average, public universities have a 14 to 1 ratio, while private colleges boast a 10 to 1 ratio. This offers a 28% boost in the chances for more meaningful interactions between staff and students. At St. John’s, this ratio is even more favorable at 7 to 1.
While state schools have the infrastructure to accommodate large classes due to higher student numbers, private colleges usually offer a cozier academic environment. Smaller classes often lead to deeper discussions and easier access to faculty members for personalized guidance.
Flexibility in Major Choices
Public universities generally provide a more extensive selection of majors compared to small, private liberal arts schools. However, statistics indicate that nearly 50% of college students switch their major at least once, and 61% of U.S. graduates wish they had chosen a different major. Once in the workforce, Americans typically have over 12 jobs throughout their lives and often shift career directions. Liberal arts colleges have the edge in offering a wide-ranging educational foundation instead of specialized, job-focused skills that may become obsolete in a few years. This equips students for ongoing adaptability and change in a fast-evolving employment landscape.
Education Outside the Classroom
While academic performance is crucial, some of the most valuable learning experiences may happen outside the lecture halls. In smaller private colleges, personalized services — such as mental health, campus nurses, career counselors, student activity sponsors, and intramural coaches — are readily available and highly tailored to individual student needs.
St. John’s is known fo interdisciplinary curriculum in which students explore 200 revolutionary great books across 3,000 years of human thought in discussion-based classes. Learn more at sjc.edu.
Benefits of a Tight-Knit Community
Private colleges often offer the perks of a bustling campus life but on a smaller scale, which can be a major plus for students seeking a close-knit community. St. John’s and similar institutions offer a unique platform for forming deep connections with a diverse range of people.Strong alumni networks can be an added benefit, as previous graduates often take an active role in aiding newer generations toward post-graduate accomplishments. Through networking, these contacts can lead to improved professional success.
Tuition fees at private colleges are usually more expensive than at public universities, which benefit from state and federal funding. Financial aid options exist in both types of institutions, but given their larger student bodies, public universities often have to spread their financial aid resources more thinly. In contrast, private colleges frequently have a greater pool of financial aid due to revenue-generating endowments. Per the National Association of College and University Business Officers, during the 2020-21 academic year, over half of incoming freshmen at private colleges received tuition discounts. At St. John’s, more than 90% of students are beneficiaries of college-provided financial assistance.
The Weight of Reputation
Public universities might have name recognition, but private schools often carry a stamp of prestige. For example, St. John’s was established in 1696, ranking it among the oldest institutions in America. A college’s reputation can significantly influence your employability post-graduation.
If you’re an Albuquerque resident wondering where to go for college, don’t overlook St. John’s college in Santa Fe. This high-quality liberal arts private school is just next door.Before finalizing your choice, take the time to visit the campuses to gauge if they align with your personal and academic goals. That alignment could be your recipe for long-term success.