While we're all familiar with the concept of community college vs four-year school, and public vs private, some may not be as familiar with the difference between for-profit and not-for-profit schools. Whether you're in high school thinking about college or a JJC student debating transfer options, knowing this difference could be an important factor in your college search.
For-profit colleges have been making headlines in the past few weeks, especially after the unexpected closure of ITT Tech last September due to claims of false advertising and predatory lending. But does this mean you should completely rule out for-profit schools? What are the pros and cons of attending a for-profit or a not-for-profit?
Not-for-Profit vs For-Profit
- Controlled by a board of trustees or directors who don't get paid
- Motivation: Educate students
- Allows professors leniency when it comes to what they teach
- Funding received from the government (taxpayers), tuition, and endowments
- Controlled by by businesses, corporations, private organizations and/or shareholders
- Motivation: Educate students and make a profit
- Curriculum is chosen based on a committee's decisions; professors have to teach exactly what is asked of them
- Most for-profits get up to 90 percent of their revenue from federal student aid
- Generally less expensive, especially if students attend a community college or an in-state, public university
- According to ForProfitU.org, students have $12,000 less in student loan debt on average than students who attend for-profit schools
- Depending on the school, tuition may vary, but overall, for-profit schools are more expensive
- ForProfitU.org cites that students who attend for-profit schools carry a median debt of $32,700
Student Activities, Clubs and Support Services
- Student activities, special interest groups, clubs available
- Student support services available; they offer assistance to students struggling academically and emotionally
- Typically no student activities
- Typically no support services
Types of Students
- Traditional aged students are more likely to attend
- Adult students make up a large portion of the student population
- Online and flexible learning options are available, but generally there are more courses offered in the classroom
- Well-known for their online based curriculums; students can complete all of their training online without ever having to step foot on campus
- It takes two to four years to get a degree
- Traditional programming that leads students toward an associate degree or bachelor's degree
- Master's and doctorate degrees available at some institutions
- Shorter programs
- More likely geared toward students who need to pass licensing exams in order to gain employment after college
How do I recognize for-profit and not-for profit schools?
Click here to see a list of not-for-profit, four-year public colleges and universities.
Click here to learn more about Joliet Junior College, a not-for-profit community college.
Click here to see a list of for-profit colleges and universities.
At JJC, students are our first priority
As a community college, Joliet Junior College is a not-for-profit school. Our affordable tuition, support services (like our free Tutoring and Learning Center and Career Services Center), knowledgable professors and smooth transfer process emphasizes that our first goal is being there for our students when they need us most.
To learn more about our transfer support services, click here.
To learn more about attending JJC as a student, click here.
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