Public Colleges

What is a Public University?

Most public colleges in the U.S. are funded and operated by state governments. Public universities generally have less control over setting admissions policies, since they are operated by state governments. Each state has at least one university system where policies are set at the State level.

Tuition and fees at public colleges are typically less than private colleges because they are subsidized by the government. States generally charge higher fees to students who are not considered to be residents (called out-of-state students).

Benefits of Public Colleges

Many public universities are home to state-of-the-art medical, agricultural and science centers. State funding gives many public colleges the money they need to develop large facilities and projects that benefit not only the state, but students and professors as well.

If you attend a public college in your state of residence, you will likely benefit from a lower education price tag than a private college. Just remember, public colleges generally have higher enrollment and more students per professor, so your classes are less likely to be small and personalized.

Top Public Colleges

There are many organizations that provide college rankings for public colleges. Here are a few resources to help you find top public colleges:

Top Public Colleges – College Finder

Peterson’s Best College Picks

Create a personal profile and Peterson’s will help you identify colleges that are a good fit for you.

CollegeBoard MatchMaker

Fill out a profile and CollegeBoard will match you up with schools.

CollegeBoard QuickFinder

CollegeBoard allows you to enter your school choices and compare universities side by side through this tool.

Top Public Colleges – General Rankings

U.S. News and World Report College Rankings

You can find college rankings based on school type, program type, cost, and more.

Princeton Review College Rankings

Rankings based on information collected and student surveys.

Top Public Colleges – Best Value for Your Money Rankings

Kiplinger Best Values in Public Colleges

Forbes Best Public Colleges