Quality of higher education measured unfairly

People quick to pass judgement on schools based on funding


Community College of Beaver County is one of many affordable options for students to obtain secondary education.

Leah McNear, Co-Distribution Director

When students decide to go to college, there are several options for which institution to attend. The many factors including the cost, quality of education, size and housing can influence someone’s choice. 

An aspect that too many focus on is how much money an institution has. To them, wealth reflects how prestigious and beneficial the education value is. A school shouldn’t be judged solely on wealth or tuition costs. 

Plenty of lower-cost institutions have high ranking programs despite their cheaper tuition. Take Community College of Beaver County for example, their flight school is ranked ninth in Pennsylvania. They also have a popular nursing program. A lot of people look down on the school due to its small size and lack of funds when compared to Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Brown and Dartmouth University.

Colleges also tend to be labeled as “party colleges,” which gives them a bad reputation. If someone wants to go to a so-called party school they could be accused of wanting to slack off instead of getting an education. In actuality, any university can be a party school if there’s a place for it. People who go there to get their degree will focus on that more than partying.

For some students, the major they want to study may be limited and so they can only take those courses at a smaller institution. Less funding doesn’t mean the professors are less qualified or the coursework is different. Professors are dedicated to their subject, after having learned so much about it. They just want to share that knowledge with passionate students.

Even with less money than other schools, small universities still have plenty of sports and club activities. It could also help shy people come out of their comfort zone and grow due to interacting with smaller groups of other students.

A more personalized education could also come from a smaller school, considering the class sizes. Everyone could be an individual instead of another just another face. There would still be a sense of belonging and community as well. Fewer students could make it easier to meet with professors too since they’d have more openings. 

The decision of which university is hard enough without the choices being ridiculed. People shouldn’t have to worry so much about how their school is judged especially if it’s based on how much money it has. Researching a school’s reputation is important, but not something one should base their entire education on. So take multiple factors into consideration before judging the quality of an institution.