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Meet Katie, the summer 2016 ICI Intern: I’m Katie Goodrich, a rising senior journalism major at an ICI member campus. I believe in grammar, justice and the right to ice cream. I am fluent in English, sarcasm and gibberish. My talents include an incredible memory for '90s song lyrics, power naps and having just enough bad luck to produce great anecdotes.
The Pros of Private College
July 21, 2016
This past week was Indiana Private College Week, which means five days of free tours and info sessions at all 31 nonprofit, private colleges in Indiana for students and their families. Here are the reason I chose a private institution.
When applying for colleges, I weighed a lot of options: from academic programs and study abroad to location and cost.
I even debated attending a private university versus a public institution.
Even on their websites, I could tell there were huge differences between the two kinds of schools. The thing that stood out to me the most about private schools was the small class sizes, close student/faculty ratios and abundance of resources on campus.
I was intimidated by the size of the public institutions, because I felt like I would get lost. I’d be lost among all the other students with too much going on to find what I was passionate about. (Not to mention actually lost on campus, as there were so many buildings that looked so similar).
Then I visited a college—a private one—and a professor followed up with a personal email, inviting me back for an informal visit to tour the communication building, sit in on the student newscast filming and talk to students.
I didn’t get that kind of attention or care when I visited the state schools, simply due to the sheer volume of students visiting.
The attention made me realize how I would be valued as a student and as a person, and I knew I wanted to attend a private institution to make sure I could make real connections, pursue my interests and not fade into the background.
The feeling of community was formed early on with fun Welcome Week activities, being paired with older students and a block party to get involved in student organizations.
I did not have to wait to “pay my dues” or get more experience before being included, because the campus literally handed me opportunities to gain experience and meet new friends.
I think the community atmosphere and personal attention really helps make a difference in a school’s graduation rates. Meaningful connections with academic advisors, who also teach your classes, motivates students to complete their coursework and stay up-to-date with requirements, which makes it easier to graduate on-time –or even early.
Private college students are twice as likely to graduate on time as their peers at other kinds of colleges, which can save students more than $300,000 in tuition, wages and savings over the course of a lifetime.
When you graduate, private colleges still have your back. Their alumni networks are tight-knit, which is great for finding a job, making new friends after a move and generally staying in touch with the college.
There is an incredible sense of school pride at private colleges, and if you combine that with a small, close community, you are going to get alumni who are willing to vouch for a fellow grad or meet a stranger for coffee to bond over strange traditions and how the school has changed.
Not to mention, private college graduates are more likely to be employed and more 20 percent more than public school peers, according to a study.
I love going to a private university, for all the reasons I’ve already listed and more.
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