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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Pay your way to a higher GPA?

On Monday, the New York Times released an article based on a study that stated that students who go to a private college receive a higher GPA.
According to the article, the study tested 160 private and public schools and found that their 80-year historical data claimed an average of a 3.3 GPA at private schools, compared to an average of a 3.0 at public schools.
Although I don't doubt these numbers, I find them to be misleading.
One point to consider is the class sizes at colleges. For example, public schools, such as UB, have a current undergraduate student enrollment of 19,022, while Canisius, a nearby private university, has a student enrollment of 3,196.
Everyone affiliated with UB knows that lectures, which students are required to take at least a few times here, can go up to almost 500 students. Canisius's average class size is 17, as confirmed by the Office of Student Records at Canisius College.
It's much easier for students in a class size of 17 to get a better grade than in a class size of over 600. First of all, the professor actually knows your name. Secondly, I'm sure that it's much easier to get an appointment with your professor if you need help when the professor has a few hundred less students to deal with.
The admissions requirements for incoming freshmen are lower for Canisius than UB: Canisius's scores are an 87-94 GPA, 1020-1220 SAT score and 22-27 ACT score, whereas UB's are 89-95, 1100-1240 and 24-28, respectively, according to each college's website.
Even assuming that the article's statistics are correct, it's a fact that private schools charge much more money to attend than public schools do.
For example Canisius charges $29,512 for one semester. UB charges $4,970 for in-state students and $12,870 for out-of-state students.
Therefore, UB students are assumedly more intelligent when they enter the university (based on GPA and SAT scores), but pay far less to go to a public school.
I fully believe that students can have an equally high GPA and get the same quality of education if they attend a public school than if they attend a private one.
Maybe the greatest example of this is Rutgers University. Many people know that Rutgers is the public state university of New Jersey. What many people do not know is that the school turned down an invitation to join the Ivy League. Twice.
In an article by Rutger's official student newspaper The Daily Targum, the school was most likely in negotiations to join the League, but turned it down because Rutgers wanted to remain an outstanding, yet cheap and accessible school for college students.
That being said, students applying to Rutgers University are expected to have an 1130-1360 SAT score, and according to the college website, more than one-third of students are ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating classes.
This statistic is far higher than Canisius's records.
Furthermore, both Rutgers and UB are members of the Association of American Universities, which rank the top U.S. research universities. Harvard, Yale and Princeton are also in this list, but out of the colleges listed on the official AAU website, 34 are public universities, whereas 26 are private.
In short, although the study says otherwise, there is no need for students to spend more money to go to a private school when they can get the same quality, or better, education at a public school.
UB is the flagship university of the SUNY system, with incredible research labs and a very bright student population, plus a next-to-nothing tuition. Take advantage of all that this public school has to offer at a fraction of the price.

E-mail: rachel.lamb@ubspectrum.com


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