2022 Top Public Colleges and Universities in Arizona

Public colleges and universities are often the most affordable option for students pursuing higher education, but it's not just affordability that makes these institutions attractive. Public institutions also rank highly among the best colleges and universities in many states, Arizona included.

Public colleges and universities receive state and federal funding. Although they generally have larger class sizes than private institutions, they also tend to offer a wide variety of academic programs, diverse student bodies, and prestigious research opportunities.

2022 Best Public Colleges and Universities in Arizona

#1

Arizona State University-Skysong

Scottsdale, AZ

Graduation Rate

4%

Enrollment

45,073

Format

Online, In person

Arizona State University-Skysong, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, enrolls students in 131 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 25-to-1. The institution reports that 86% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. The public school reports a 4% graduation rate. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The school offers experiential learning in the form of internships, research opportunities, and practicums. The admission rate for incoming students is 64%. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores.

#2

Arizona State University-Tempe

Tempe, AZ

Graduation Rate

63%

Enrollment

53,286

Format

Online, In person

From its campus in Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University-Tempe enrolls learners in 353 programs. Degree-seekers enroll in rigorous, top-ranked programs at the school. The school holds a student-to-faculty ratio of 20-to-1. A total of 96% of students receive some form of financial aid. Bachelor's students graduate from the school at a rate of 63%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. Degree-seekers participate in internships, research projects, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 86% for incoming students. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions.

#3

GateWay Community College-Central City

Phoenix, AZ

Graduation Rate

63%

Enrollment

600

Format

In person

Located in Arizona, GateWay Community College-Central City is a public school. Students can study online or on campus in Phoenix. Enrollees can choose from 23 certificate programs in many professional and academic subjects. The programs train students in one specialized area of study. Learners can complete diplomas and certificates in far less time than traditional four-year bachelor's degrees. Students can reap the rewards of a certificate or diploma years after enrollment. Common professional outcomes include increased job opportunities and higher salary levels. A diploma or certificate can also lead to further education, such as an associate or bachelor's degree. Credits earned in a diploma or certificate program may transfer to another degree.

#4

University of Arizona

Chandler, AZ

Graduation Rate

65%

Enrollment

44,577

Format

Online, In person

From its campus in Chandler, Arizona, University of Arizona grants degrees as a top school. The college enrolls students in high-value programs and courses. With academic and technical tracks, the school's programs help students meet their professional goals. Students can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. A waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. University of Arizona has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

#5

East Valley Institute of Technology

Mesa, AZ

Graduation Rate

86%

Enrollment

508

Format

In person

Based in Arizona, East Valley Institute of Technology offers a total of 38 certificate programs. Programs deliver rigorous curricula that prepare learners for careers and further studies. Degree-seekers gain skills necessary to launch their career or pursue promotions. Enrollees take their knowledge to the real world with experiential learning opportunities. Like students at other accredited schools, learners at this institution can qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, learners enrolled in the school qualify for federal financial aid. The school's website provides information about each program's residency and practical experience requirements. The postsecondary institution is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

#6

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ

Graduation Rate

57%

Enrollment

30,733

Format

Online, In person

Located in Flagstaff, Arizona, Northern Arizona University grants degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps students reach their professional goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. Students also complete general education credits. Degree-seekers learn advanced concepts in their major during upper-division courses. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Northern Arizona University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

#7

Arizona Board of Regents

Phoenix, AZ

Graduation Rate

Not Provided

Enrollment

Not Provided

Format

Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Arizona Board of Regents enrolls students as a public institution. The school's academic and technical programs help learners reach a variety of professional goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. The waiver makes it simpler to apply. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Our databases do not provide information on this institution's accreditation status.

#8

Maricopa Community College System Office

Tempe, AZ

Graduation Rate

Not Provided

Enrollment

Not Provided

Format

Located in Tempe, Arizona, Maricopa Community College System Office educates students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their career goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to build industry-specific knowledge. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. A waiver makes it easier to enroll. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. Learners attending the accredited school also qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution's accreditation status is not available at this time.

#9

Arizona State University - Yavapai College Prescott Valley Campus

Prescott Valley, AZ

Graduation Rate

Not Provided

Enrollment

Not Provided

Format

Arizona State University - Yavapai College Prescott Valley Campus, a public institution in Prescott Valley, Arizona, enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. Students gain knowledge and skill specific to their field by completing their program's coursework requirements. Depending on the program, applicants may need to submit test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to apply. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The institution's accreditation status is currently unavailable.

#10

Arizona State University - Pima

Tucson, AZ

Graduation Rate

Not Provided

Enrollment

Not Provided

Format

A public institution located in Tucson, Arizona, Arizona State University - Pima enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare students for a successful career. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school's accreditation status is unknown at this time.

#11

Arizona State University-West

Glendale, AZ

Graduation Rate

48%

Enrollment

4,929

Format

In person

A public institution, Arizona State University-West enrolls students on its campus in Glendale, Arizona. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps students reach their career goals. During a bachelor's degree, students take lower-division and upper-division coursework. Undergraduates also complete general education credits. In upper-division classes, degree-seekers learn advanced concepts in their major. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Arizona State University-West holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

#12

University of Arizona-Sierra Vista

Sierra Vista, AZ

Graduation Rate

Not Provided

Enrollment

411

Format

In person

University of Arizona-Sierra Vista enrolls students at its Sierra Vista, Arizona campus as a public institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program often enter the workforce right away. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Enrollees at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Data on the graduation rate is currently unavailable. The admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

#13

Cochise County Community College District

Sierra Vista, AZ

Graduation Rate

25%

Enrollment

3,672

Format

Online, In person

A public institution located in Sierra Vista, Arizona, Cochise County Community College District enrolls learners in multiple programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. The school boasts several programs that appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $4608, making the average tuition cost after aid $7240. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Cochise County Community College District has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

#14

Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ

Graduation Rate

58%

Enrollment

11,420

Format

Online, In person

Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix enrolls students on its Phoenix, Arizona campus as a public institution. Learners study with experts in many different fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The institution charges an average per-credit fee of 582. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 98% of students receive aid and 44% receive loans. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 58%. Applicants can expect admission rates of 82%. Admissions advisors can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#15

Arizona State University-Polytechnic

Mesa, AZ

Graduation Rate

45%

Enrollment

5,243

Format

In person

Arizona State University-Polytechnic, a public organization located in Mesa, Arizona, offers multiple programs. The school's accredited programs prepare graduates for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Students receive an average aid award of $ 10989, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $ 11447. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the school. Students complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

#16

Pima Community College

Tucson, AZ

Graduation Rate

21%

Enrollment

19,512

Format

Online, In person

From its campus in Tucson, Arizona, Pima Community College enrolls students in 288 programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1. A total of 68% of students receive some form of financial aid. The school reports a 21% graduation rate. The institution's commitment to experiential learning helps graduates on the job market. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates.

#17

Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Chandler, AZ

Graduation Rate

23%

Enrollment

15,585

Format

Online, In person

Located in Chandler, Arizona, Chandler-Gilbert Community College is a public institution that offers multiple programs. The school's accredited programs prepare learners for the workforce. The institution's affordable programs provide a rigorous course of study. The school offers nationally ranked programs in diverse fields. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $4144, lowering the average tuition cost after aid to $10002. Learners at the institution choose from academic and technical programs. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

#18

Glendale Community College

Glendale, AZ

Graduation Rate

17%

Enrollment

18,054

Format

In person

Located in Glendale, Arizona, Glendale Community College grants college degrees as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their educational goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to bolster their knowledge. Some programs may let applicants apply without submitting test scores. These policies make it easier to apply. Learners benefit from support services like tutoring and career counseling. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. Glendale Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#19

Mesa Community College

Mesa, AZ

Graduation Rate

18%

Enrollment

20,351

Format

Online, In person

Located in Arizona, Mesa Community College offers 192 programs for students. The institution's rigorous programs rank among the best in the nation. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 20-to-1. The institution reports that approximately 71% of enrollees receive financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 18%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. The rate of admission for the school is unknown. Some programs waive the test score requirement for qualified applicants. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

#20

Yavapai College

Prescott, AZ

Graduation Rate

30%

Enrollment

7,428

Format

Online, In person

A top-ranked school, Yavapai College enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Prescott, ArizonaInstructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Typical time for program completion ranges from a few months to seven years depending on the type of degree or certificate offered. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. A waiver makes it easier to apply. The admissions department provides more information about the application process. At the accredited institution, students also qualify for financial aid to pay for school. Yavapai College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

#21

Eastern Arizona College

Thatcher, AZ

Graduation Rate

40%

Enrollment

6,027

Format

Online, In person

Eastern Arizona College, located in Thatcher, Arizona, offers 110 programs for students. The institution's top-ranked programs offer students a challenging course of study. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 19-to-1. The school reports that 48% of students receive financial aid. Students earn their degree from the school at a rate of 40%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Prospective students can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying.

#22

Estrella Mountain Community College

Avondale, AZ

Graduation Rate

20%

Enrollment

10,120

Format

Online, In person

Estrella Mountain Community College ranks as a top school from its campus in Avondale, Arizona. Enrollees take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. Depending on the program, students can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years earning their degree or certificate. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. A waiver makes it easier to apply. Admission advisors can provide more information on the application process. Financial aid helps enrollees cover their educational expenses. Estrella Mountain Community College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

#23

Paradise Valley Community College

Phoenix, AZ

Graduation Rate

24%

Enrollment

7,900

Format

Online, In person

A public institution located in Phoenix, Arizona, Paradise Valley Community College offers a variety of programs. The school offers programs that prepare graduates for careers and professional advancement. The institution provides academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Students can enroll in nationally ranked programs. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Degree-seekers at the accredited school may qualify for federal financial aid, including the Pell Grant. Current students receive an average aid award of $4237, making the average tuition cost after aid $9774. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

#24

Scottsdale Community College

Scottsdale, AZ

Graduation Rate

19%

Enrollment

8,602

Format

In person

Scottsdale Community College, which offers programs from its Scottsdale, Arizona campus, often ranks among the top schools. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help students reach a variety of career goals. Depending on the degree or certificate type, enrollees can spend anywhere from a few months up to as many as seven years completing a program. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. Flexible admission score requirements make it easier to apply. The admissions department can help students apply to the school. Degree-seekers also use financial aid to cover their educational costs. Scottsdale Community College holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

#25

Phoenix College

Phoenix, AZ

Graduation Rate

16%

Enrollment

11,109

Format

Online, In person

A public institution, Phoenix College grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Phoenix, Arizona. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for a successful career. Information on the school's cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. At the institution, 80% of students receive aid and 11% receive loans. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 16%. We do not currently have data on the school's admission rate. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

#26

South Mountain Community College

Phoenix, AZ

Graduation Rate

23%

Enrollment

4,321

Format

In person

South Mountain Community College is a public institution located in Phoenix, Arizona. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. The accredited institution meets the requirements for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The institution reports that 79% of students receive financial aid and 10% take out loans. The institution reports a graduation rate of 23%. The school's admission rate is currently unknown. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. South Mountain Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#27

GateWay Community College

Phoenix, AZ

Graduation Rate

21%

Enrollment

5,067

Format

In person

A public institution, GateWay Community College grants degrees from its campus in Phoenix, Arizona. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students prepare for a successful career by completing degree- or certificate-specific coursework. Some programs may offer test-optional admission policies. Students may find it easier to apply without a test score requirement. The school supports learners with tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. At the accredited school, learners qualify for federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#28

Central Arizona College

Coolidge, AZ

Graduation Rate

19%

Enrollment

4,793

Format

Online, In person

Located in Coolidge, Arizona, Central Arizona College enrolls students as a public institution. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that prepares learners for a career in their field. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores. A test score waiver makes it easier to enroll. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Central Arizona College has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

#29

Mohave Community College

Kingman, AZ

Graduation Rate

16%

Enrollment

4,348

Format

Online, In person

Located in Arizona, Mohave Community College offers 103 programs for students. The institution offers top-ranked programs that provide a rigorous course of study. The student-to-faculty ratio at the school is 13-to-1. A total of 84% of the students at this institution offest some of their education-related expenses with financial aid. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 16%. Real-world experience helps candidates stand out on the job market. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying.

#30

Rio Salado College

Tempe, AZ

Graduation Rate

7%

Enrollment

19,103

Format

Online, In person

Rio Salado College offers programs from its campus in Tempe, Arizona. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. With academic and technical tracks, the school offers programs for students with a variety of professional goals. Consult the institution's website to find information on the typical timeline for program completion. Applicants may qualify for test-optional admissions. Applicants may find it easier to enroll without a test score requirement. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Degree-seekers at the accredited institution also qualify for financial aid to cover costs. Rio Salado College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Why Choose a Public College or University in Arizona?

Arizona's 29 public colleges and colleges and universities enroll more than 300,000 students. Why do students choose public colleges and universities? And what are the best public schools in Arizona?

Undergraduates choose public colleges and universities in Arizona for many reasons. Arizona residents qualify for in-state tuition discounts, which can save students thousands when earning a bachelor's degree. In addition to low costs, Arizona public colleges and universities offer scenic campuses and engaging campus cultures.

Arizona's public colleges and universities also offer diverse and top-ranked programs. Institutions like Arizona State University and the University of Arizona rank among the best public colleges in the country. The state's online colleges also offer hundreds of options for distance learners.

Thanks to the Western Undergraduate Exchange, students from 16 states and territories qualify for tuition discounts at Arizona's public institutions. Prospective students weighing how to choose the right college can find many options among Arizona's public colleges.

Pros and Cons of Attending a Public College or University in Arizona

Pros

Arizona's public colleges offer hundreds of majors and may have more diverse class and program offerings than private schools.In-state students qualify for tuition discounts at public four-year colleges in the state.The best public schools in Arizona offer multiple enrollment options, with robust online degree-granting programs.

Cons

Public colleges and universities typically enroll a larger student body than private schools, which can make it difficult to get the classes you want.Students attending public institutions may receive smaller financial aid packages than those attending private institutions.Students may have limited access to instructors at a public school due to large class sizes. Some students prefer to attend smaller schools that offer lower student-to-faculty ratios.

Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Arizona

Both nonprofit and for-profit colleges and universities operate in Arizona. What's the difference between a nonprofit and for-profit college? Nonprofit colleges exist for the primary purpose of higher education and they do not aim to make a profit. For-profit colleges exist to make money for shareholders.

In Arizona, 26 schools operate as for-profit institutions, according to 2020 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). While a small number of students benefit from attending a for-profit institution, most students should choose a nonprofit college. These include public colleges and universities in Arizona as well as private nonprofit institutions.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Public College or University in Arizona?

Public colleges and universities in Arizona charge around $11,000 per year in in-state tuition and fees, according to 2019-2020 data from NCES. Students can also expect to spend about $7,600 for room and $5,335 for board at Arizona's four-year, public institutions.

Out-of-state students pay a higher tuition rate. The state's public institutions charge around $27,415 in out-of-state tuition. Private colleges and universities charge $12,895 in tuition and fees, on average. When paying for college, avoid the common misconception that only low-income students qualify for financial aid. Make sure to submit the FAFSA and research scholarships.

Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

Frequently Asked Questions About Public Colleges and Universities in Arizona

How many public colleges and universities are there in Arizona?

Arizona has 29 public colleges and universities. The state's public colleges include large research institutions like the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. The University of Arizona enrolled around 47,000 students in fall 2021 and offers affordable tuition rates for a prestigious degree.

Arizona State University enrolled around 77,000 students in fall 2021 and offers one of the largest online programs in the country. The state's other public institutions include two-year and four-year colleges with smaller campuses. Students can find many options depending on their budget and needs.

What is the most expensive public college or university in Arizona?

College represents a major financial investment. What are the most expensive public colleges and universities in Arizona? Many public colleges in Arizona cost around the same amount. For example, University of Arizona students paid $12,736 in tuition and fees in 2021-2022. Arizona State University tuition cost $11,348 that same year, while Northern Arizona University cost $11,896.

Arizona's private colleges and universities charge higher tuition rates than the public institutions. For example, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University charged almost $39,000 in tuition and fees in 2021-2022. Prescott College charged about $34,700 that year.

What is the least expensive public college or university in Arizona?

While public colleges and universities in Arizona charge an average tuition rate of around $11,000 per year, one public college charges significantly less. Dine College in Tsaile holds the title of the state's most affordable public college.

Dine College, the country's first tribally controlled and accredited college, charged just $1,410 in tuition and fees in 2021-2022. Administered by the Navajo Nation, Dine College enrolls a primarily Navajo student body.

What is the biggest public college or university in Arizona?

Arizona State University is the biggest public institution in Arizona. The school enrolled around 77,000 students in fall of 2021. In addition, around 57,000 students currently enroll in classes through ASU Online. The school's online program includes undergraduate and graduate degree-granting programs.

In comparison, the next largest public institution in Arizona, the University of Arizona, enrolls 47,000 students. Both of these public institutions rank among the largest in the country. They also rank highly for academic quality and reputation.

Is a public college or university right for me?

The decision of whether to attend a public or private school can be very personal. For many students, public institutions offer the best value. Public college tuition generally costs much less than private tuition for in-state students.

Public colleges and universities typically enroll larger student bodies than private schools. Some students prefer a larger college with more academic departments and degree options. Other students benefit from a smaller environment.

Public schools receive funding from the state government, and as a result they do not have religious affiliations. Some students prefer to attend a religious college. In 2019, nearly 15 million of the country's 20 million college students enrolled at a public institution.