What is a Not-For-Profit College?
Not-For-Profit Colleges are publicly owned, and as with most other non-profit organizations, they are managed by a board of trustees. There are no owners or shareholders in a non-profit college, leaving the management free to focus on providing quality education to their students.
The main focus of these colleges is to help students complete their college degree as a launch pad for career success.
Not-for-profit private online colleges carry the focus on student success and like public colleges, they use funds to develop curriculum and enrich the student experience. Some of the Not-For-Profit Colleges are Kansas Christian College, New England College, Regis College and more.
What is a For-Profit College?
A For-Profit College is essentially a business. The college is in the business of providing a service, which in this case is the education for college students.
These colleges are launched and managed by owners and shareholders who are looking to make a profit from their business venture. Virginia College is one such example of For-Profit College.
In order to keep the college running, they have to balance quality education by providing satisfactory returns for their investors and shareholders. This often means periodic increases in the tuition fees.
Difference between For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Colleges
There are multiple factors that need to be considered before selecting a particular college. When it comes down to choosing between For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Colleges these are the reasons that can bend your decisions.
Not-For-Profit Colleges provide ample opportunities for the students to progress. From building social relationships to pursuing a major, non-profit colleges help in overall development of the student. On these campuses of such colleges, students can join clubs, find tutors, live in a dormitory and join a fraternity or sorority.
[Also Read: What are the Best Online Colleges?]
For-Profit schools are mainly focused on gaining profit, some of them don’t offer a real school environment, but rather they may lease space in an office building. For the same reason, many colleges usually don’t provide extracurricular activities because it eventually gives rise to expenses. Therefore, eliminating social atmosphere provided in non-profit colleges.
The chief concern in the case of For-Profit Colleges is to remain in business. Benchmarks such as graduation rate and student satisfaction are still important to them but their ultimate goal is to gain profit like every other business field.
Oftentimes, For-Profit Schools are operated by larger corporations and have stakeholders and board members that they report to.
While in the case of Not-For-Profit Colleges the focus is on student’s success rather than profit. Their aim is to provide a full educational experience to each attending student.
These schools also focus on helping students find their future employment by organizing job-fairs and various other events. These colleges concentrate on helping the students instead of shareholders.
For-Profit institutions have a pre-defined curriculum defined by an academic committee. They tend to focus on job-specific-education like Web-Designing, Medical fields, and Business Administration.
In the case of Not-For-Profits, a more diverse educational system is provided. The curriculum is set by professors according to their own will which can help in all-round development of students. They tend to get more favored by the companies offering a job because of their educational design.
Campus Life and Amenities
Most of the Not-For-Profit Colleges offer a wide variety of amenities including Gym, Sports Center, Study Halls, Cafes and more which helps in increasing social relationships.
For-Profit Colleges usually don’t provide these amenities because of the money factor. If the college is offering programs online, then the student won’t be able to gather non-traditional experiences.
For-Profit Colleges provide time flexibility to students having full-time jobs by making the schedule fit their timeline. In addition, some of the colleges operate online entirely allowing students to move forward in their education while sitting at home.
Some of the traditional courses in Not-For-Profit Colleges may take a longer time as compared to For-Profit Colleges. Some of the colleges have started to offer online programs to operate at faster speeds.
Admission, Cost, and Accreditation
The admission policy at For-Profits is usually open-admission where students need to have a diploma or GED to be accepted.
Wondering how to go to college without a GED or Diploma?? Read How to Go to College Without a GED or High School Diploma.
The main focus is to earn revenues, so the tuition fee is more as compared to Non-Profit. A lot of for-profit colleges are both nationally and regionally accreditated.
In the case of Non-Profit, the admission process for qualified students is quite extensive with a lot of paperwork to submit like a statement of purpose (SOP), SAT and ACT scores and more of these things.
In case of cost, they offer more affordable degree options as they are funded by some external sources. Accreditation can be both national and regional.
Choosing between For-Profit and Not-For-Profit
Before making a decision about the college you are about to join, ask yourself these questions.
Whether the college is accredited or not?
Do they have the courses that you are looking for?
Does the cost associated with the program in that particular college suits you?
How does the university measure the success of a student?
What co-curricular activities are provided by the college apart from the regular studies?
Will the university in question work with me to transfer credits?
Depending on your needs and the amount of time, money, and energy you have to devote to your education, you can assess which kind of institution better suits your goals. However, make sure that the college you apply for must be accredited.
Accreditation makes sure that the colleges meet a certain academic standard that will be valued by potential employers. So think, research and enquire before making the final decision of enrolling in an institution.