Does It Matter If a College is For-Profit or Non-Profit?

Are you comparing profit & non-profit colleges so that you can apply to the best possible school? Many people understand the importance of selecting a school that is accredited, but several prospective students overlook the importance of selecting the right type of college. While for profit and non-profit schools both offer a wide range of programs that students are interested in, there are major differences between the two types of schools that all prospective students should know about. Read on to discover both the pros and the cons of for-profit and non-profit institutions so that you can choose what is most important to you. 

Benefits and Disadvantages of Attending a For-Profit College

For-profit schools offer both traditional onsite and online programs for students who need flexibility in their schooling. Because there are such flexible scheduling options, for-profits tend to target adult re-entry students and full-time employees who want to return to school to get a better advantage in the competitive job market. The major difference between a for-profit and a non-profit college is that for-profit schools operate as a business and often have shareholders that the board must answer to. The school is a business and the product sold is an education, but the goal is to generate a profit and to keep the shareholders happy.

While you can understand how shareholders can affect decisions, for-profit schools generally do not have entrance requirements. This makes it easy for individuals who do not meet the traditional requirements to return to school without having to attend a community college first. For-profit schools often tend to have a real world focus, which means that graduates are likely to find opportunities following graduation. If you do decide to apply to a profit college, make sure you verify accreditation. Some of these schools have shaky standings or no accreditation at all, which can make getting an advanced degree impossible.

Pros and Cons of a Non-Profit College

A non-profit school is not run as a business. The primary goal is to offer students a quality education and to keep rankings high in the sector. While these schools are not known to offer flexible scheduling or even accelerated programs like a for-profit college does, a non-profit college does offer lower tuition rates and often offers more forms of financial aide to students who qualify. Decisions that are made by the board of education are based on meeting the standards set by regional accreditation bodies and not how to maximize profits by increasing attendance.

Studies show that many non-profit schools have associated a stigma to undergraduate students with a for-profit degree or credits when transferring to the institution. The statistics also show that non-profit college graduates earn more than for-profit graduates and they also find jobs faster. While these statistics are based on averages, they may be convincing enough to help direct you in making the best decision.

There are so many different factors to consider when you are comparing schools and programs, and making a decision can be a daunting task. Now that you know the difference between for-profit and non-profit colleges, you can make the best decision for you. Compare the cost of attending profit and non-profit colleges, compare reputations, compare programs, and only then can you make the right choice for you.