October 22, 2018

5 Advantages of Private Education

Some students excel at public universities, where they can tailgate at football games, experience Greek life and attend class in lecture halls with thousands of other students. Students who prefer small class sizes, one-on-one attention from professors and niche educational offerings might do best at a private university.

Here are five advantages of choosing private:


  1. No Scripts

UAT Student Services recently gained a new team member, who previously worked at a large state school. He was shocked to learn that our academic and career advisors don’t use scripts. “At my old school, advisors were given scripts when they started and were told that they couldn’t deviate from them,” he said. He was also surprised to learn that we don’t constantly monitor phone calls between students and their advisors. We simply hire good people and trust them to do their jobs.

At a lot of smaller, private schools, students don’t have to take a number and wait in line to get one-size-fits-all advice from an overworked advisor. “If a student has an idea, then she can just walk into the provost’s office. How cool is that?” UAT Provost Dr. Dave Bolman said.



  1. Real Relationships

Advisors who have 3,000 students don’t have much time for proactive outreach. UAT students hear from their advisors at least twice a semester, even if they are crushing it. Our academic advisors will reach out faculty—whom they know by name—if they notice a student’s grade dropping in a particular class. They might even walk over to the dorms to check on a student who hasn’t been attending class.

“I know all of my students!” exclaimed English Professor Maureen Beam. Class sizes at private schools typically run small, so teachers often see the same students in multiple classes. “Since I had most of my English 102 students in my 101 class, I know their strengths and weaknesses and can dial in my approach to help them grow,” Beam said. “And we’re super accessible,” she added. UAT professors do not hide in offices or labs. They sit in the common area where students work on homework and play games.



  1. Unique Offerings

“Football is awesome,” Dr. Bolman said. “But not having to spend the time or money on sports or Greek life lets us focus on what we do best: technology,” he said. Students who want to study niche fields outside of business, liberal arts and engineering, can find often more focused programs at private universities. For example, UAT students can take classes in blockchain, VR movie making and HoloLens development. And many private universities focus on hiring industry pros, instead of ivory tower academics who lack real-world experience.


  1. Strong Culture

Building a shared culture that all students can participate in is tough when there are 30,000 students on campus. We hear from students, parents and community members all of the time: UAT is different. (And by different, they mean nerdy.) We have anime club, eSports tournaments and cosplay contests. A lot of our students used to feel like the black sheep—or rainbow unicorn—in high school. But our carefully curated community feels like home. Even though it feels like one big family, students engage in tough conversations and professors push them to examine other perspectives.



  1. Greater Agility

“Because of our size, we can adapt quickly and make changes to how learning happens. When we have an idea, we practice it, get feedback and pivot,” Dr. Bolman said. “It’s tough for giant institutions to move as fast as we do,” he added. We take feedback from industry partners and local tech companies and immediately incorporate it into our curriculum without having to jump through a bunch of red tape. This agility enables us to teach emerging technology when it’s still new and relevant.


Curious about life at a small, private tech school like UAT? Sign up for a campus tour here.

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