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Episode 22: Public or Private: What’s the Difference?

August 9, 2021

By some counts, there are about 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S.

As a prospective student, you can slice and dice that list in a seemingly infinite number of ways.

You could sort by state, you could look at urban schools and rural ones, you could filter out schools that you consider too big or too small, you could look at what majors are offered, you could look at whether the school offers Division I, Division II or Division III athletics. The list goes on and on.

You could also look at public schools and private schools. Of those 4,000 colleges in the U.S., about 60% are private and 40% are public.

But what are the fundamental differences between private and public schools? Are there advantages and disadvantages to each? And how should students begin comparing the two?

In this episode of College Admissions Insider, we'll answer those questions and more. Our guest is Lauren Rambo '12, Bucknell’s senior assistant director of admissions and the University's southeastern regional representative.

If you have a question, comment or idea for a future episode, email

Episode 22 Transcript