The Pros and Cons of Non-Profit and For-Profit Colleges
As a counselor, you’re no stranger to walking your students through the process of choosing a university. From quality to location, there are a wide variety of variables that you probably help them consider.
However, one key distinction that your students need to be aware of when choosing a college is whether the schools they’re applying to are non-profit or for-profit institutions. Gaining a deeper understanding of these differences yourself can help you become more qualified to help your students thrive in their academic careers.
Here are the pros and cons of non-profit and for-profit colleges.
As the name indicates, the main purpose of non-profit colleges is not to make money. Instead, these institutions aim to provide an excellent education to the students they serve. As such, they often have a number of features that their for-profit counterparts lack.
Since these institutions aim to provide the best educational experiences possible above other aims, they often have a number of resources for students. These include student centers of various kinds such as writing centers, math centers, and other forms of aid.
Beyond resources, non-profit schools typically feature more robust faculty members and teachers. The reason for this is that they have higher standards for hiring teachers as they want to hire candidates who can do a great job at educating students.
However, much like it’s harder for teachers to be hired at non-profit colleges, it’s also harder for students to get in. This means students who lacked drive in high school but are in the process of turning their lives around and committing themselves to their education will have difficulty gaining admittance to most non-profit colleges.
As opposed to their non-profit counterparts, the main aim of for-profit colleges is to make money. Often, these colleges have shareholders who receive portions of the profits that these colleges make.
Typically, for-profit colleges do not have many resources for students such as academic centers and other resources. This is because educating students is not their primary aim, so student resource-related business expenses that help students thrive academically isn’t a priority. Instead, these types of institutions are more likely to spend money on advertising and marketing campaigns to increase enrollments and, as a result, profits.
The faculty and teachers found at for-profit institutions aren’t always of the highest quality because the barrier to entry is less than their non-profit counterparts. As such, students may not receive all of the help and support they need to thrive academically.
However, when it comes to student enrollment, for-profit schools are typically more equitable in admissions than their non-profit counterparts. This being the case, virtually any student that meets basic criteria is eligible for enrollment in these institutions.
Weigh the Pros and Cons
When it comes to explaining these key differences to your students, it can help to have a synthesized list of the pros and cons of these institutions.
The pros of non-profit colleges include:
- A mission of helping students receive the best education
- Plentiful and robust student resources
- Higher caliber faculty and teachers
The Cons of non-profit colleges include:
- They are more difficult for students to gain admittance to
The pros of for-profit colleges include:
- Easier to gain admittance for students
The cons of for-profit colleges include:
- Lower-quality faculty
- Fewer student resources
- A commitment to profit rather than education
Ultimately, it’s more than likely that most, if not all, of your students, would benefit from going to a non-profit institution rather than a for-profit institution. As such, it’s important that you explain this distinction to your students, so they don’t accidentally attend a for-profit college without understanding what it is.
One tactic that many for-profit colleges use is punchy marketing and advertising. This can trick students into thinking they’ll receive the same level of education and resources at these schools as their non-profit counterparts. This being the case, it’s your duty to warn your students about these tactics and make sure they don’t fall prey to them.
To ensure your students are aware of for-profit institutions that may try to prey on their vulnerability as young students, it can help to make a list of the main for-profit culprits. You can then pass these lists on to your students and keep them prepared to avoid for-profit institutions that don’t have their best interests at heart.
Your Students Need to Know the Differences Between Non-Profit and For-Profit Colleges
The distinction between these very different types of higher education institutions is important for your students to be aware of. Without this type of understanding, students are at risk of receiving a lackluster education from an institution that doesn’t care about their academic or career success.
This being the case, it’s important for you to explain this distinction to all of your students as well as the implications of attending both types of colleges.