Why Students Do Not Participate in Extracurricular Activities Essay

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Our country has a very wide variety of higher learning institutions. The process of conducting a college search can be very overwhelming for any student because there are too many choices from which they can choose. To help narrow down this choice for any student a good place to start is to ask themselves what difference exists between private universities and public universities. Which one of these do I prefer? Ultimately there is no clear-cut answer to this question since each individual must strategically make this choice depending on what it is they may be looking for in a university as well as their prevailing conditions. This paper will, however, drive the position that public colleges are better in comparison to private colleges because public colleges have cheaper tuition fees, wide choices of degree plans, and a diverse campus environment with extracurricular activities.

The grounds of privatization of schools in the United States started in the 1990s with the beginning of the charter school movement in 1991. The initial aim was to provide competition to the existing public schools in the country as a way of enhancing the quality of education that these schools provide. However, this intent changes quite fast. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, p. 13, 'The charter school movement began as a grassroots attempt to improve public education. It’s quickly becoming a backdoor for corporate profit.' Today there are doom prophets everywhere who are constantly criticizing and trying to put down the quality of education provided in our public schools. Their mantra is that there are too many public schools in the country that are failing and the only way this can be rectified is by investing more in private schools this is something that has led most individuals to believe that private schools are better than public ones. Many individuals in the education sector including professors have come forth to clearly state that this belief is more of hype because most of the individuals who hold it have very little evidence to prove that public schools are failing and private ones thriving. There are too many great factors about our public universities and other public institutions that are being overlooked and this paper is aimed at making you a lot more aware of this.

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**Comparison-contrast. The first reason that proves that public schools are better than private schools is the fact that they have cheaper tuition fees. The residents of every state usually pay some taxes that go towards the funding of the public universities in the particular state. This funding provided by the government goes a long way in covering a big chunk of the tuition expenses of the students attending public institutions, especially the in-state students. They, therefore, end up paying tuition fees that are a lot cheaper compared to that of the private universities where no funding is offered by the government and the students have to cover all the costs of university attendance. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, p.13, first-year students in a private university, for example, pays an average cost of $25,914 as compared to $5,897 for their counterparts who attend a public university within their state. It is important to note that when an individual attends an out-of-state public institution it can also be a bit more expensive although not as expensive as the private universities.

Private universities cannot beat public ones because of the mere fact that there is assistance from the government that is available. Furthermore, there are more chances for scholarships in public universities compared to private ones. First, they offer scholarships as awards for high performers to help offset a good amount of their college expenses. Second, there are many scholarships offered at the national level that are offered through public universities which students can easily gain access to. Even though these scholarships may also be available in the private universities students are still better off at a public institution because there is no guarantee on these scholarships and even when one misses out on them, education fees remain manageable. The bottom line here is the fact that public universities make more fiscal sense for both the parents and the individuals since it can even save an individual from getting deeper into student loans by getting more of it just to pay their fees.

**Classification Public universities tend to have a wider academic focus while private universities have a narrower academic focus. The notable difference in this classification is the fact that public universities offer a wider range of programs and degree plan choices while private universities offer fewer of these. It is possible to find any program as well as degree in any field that one wants to dive into in public universities. If one was to choose a private university however depending on one’s field of interest there are very specific ones that a student has to choose from because of the academic focus classification of the private universities. Having a wider academic focus for public universities is advantageous for the students and their learning process and outcome. This is because the students have greater exposure and this also widens their opportunities in the market. “In a single large public university, undergraduates will be enrolled in academic programs ranging from traditional liberal arts to highly specialized technical fields” (Gruber, p. 224). In general, the overall academic exposure for students in public universities cannot be compared to that in private universities. In discussing this it is important to learn that in an institution learning does not only occur within the classroom walls but also outside as students interact with others. With this wide range of program and course classifications for public universities, it is undeniable students can learn more from each other and even learn how to make connections between their areas of study and other different fields and disciplines and hence they are more prepared to fit what they learn in different contexts in the market.

**Narration/Description Public universities are finally better than private universities because they overall offer a more diverse university experience for students, especially regarding extracurricular activities. Public universities are designed in a manner that helps to provide an overall learning experience for students. This means that the design of the public universities, unlike the private ones, is not only academic focuses but the focus is also laid on other extracurricular activities. “The spirit of public universities is highly energetic and vibrant” (Bilmes and Gould, p. 30). This statement stands true because a big part of the budget of public universities goes towards sponsoring activities and events for the students. Students can organize and compete in sporting events, take part in social events sponsored by the schools, and even take advantage of the wider variety of amenities that are within the compound of the school such as swimming pools.

This is something that is lacking in private universities because private universities are run as more businesses. In an aim to minimize their cost they, therefore, tend to focus on the primary goal of the institution which is the academic development of the students. Sponsoring events and activities comes as an added expense to the school and since this translates to lower profits they treat this as a luxury that students do not have access to often. In general, private universities lack the financial muscle to offer a more comprehensive campus experience for the students because of their profit-making motives which limit their capability to sponsor events or even set up amenities for their students. The campus experience of an individual who has attended a private university, therefore, is a lot quieter and just academically oriented.

A more diverse campus experience is not something that should be taken for granted in public universities because this bears a lot of advantages to the students who enjoy it. The first main advantage is the fact that it allows the students to develop their talents as well as other skills that are not academic. This means that students in a public university are not only able to grow and develop academically but they are also able to develop their talents and gifts as well as other important life skills, for example, their social skills. This gives the students a lot more leverage as well as opportunities even when they get out there. This is because they are not only able to rely on their academic qualifications but they also have other skills and talents that are well developed which they can put to use to be more competitive in their field and to also expand their chances and opportunities in different fields.

The second main advantage of the diverse campus experience is the fact that it gives the students a more positive social life. The outside class activities and events allow the students to interact with one another on a more personal level and this helps individuals to make friends who are very instrumental even in life after campus. It is in such a setting that the students are further able to effectively learn from one another. For example by interacting they can gain knowledge about different cultures and this leads to more cultural competence. The result of this is a wider range of knowledge and skills that cannot be learned in class. Finally, students have a better chance to build their networks. The extracurricular activities allow the students to not only interact amongst themselves but also to meet with individuals who have gone ahead of them, for example, their professors, alumni, or industry experts. They can network with them and this way they gain mentors and stand a better chance of getting opportunities after school from one's network. The final advantage of the diverse campus experience is that it better the learning outcome of the students. It is cliché that work without play makes anyone a dull person but this stands true. Engaging in extracurricular activities helps to refresh the minds of the students hence making them more receptive to what the students learn in class and this leads to better performance even in their academic work.

Individuals who view private schools as being better however still hold valid arguments as to why this is the case because private universities also have some of their advantages. The first reason that refutes the fact that public universities are better than private ones is the fact that private universities can offer better education to students because of smaller class sizes. Public universities are undeniably bigger in terms of their size and they undeniably admit a very large number of students compared to private universities. “…classes at public universities may take place in an auditorium with up to 200 students (Brunello and Rocco, p. 1886)” The smaller class sizes of the private universities allow more interaction between the students and the professor and allow the professor to individualize the learning experiences of the learner and this with no doubt allows students to learn better. However, to this counter-argument, I would respond that at this level of learning independent learning is more encouraged than individualized learning to help cultivate the value of continual learning in students even after college, and therefore public universities do not harm by having larger class sizes provided the teachers are well seasoned. Moreover, even with larger class sizes, there are ways of optimizing the learning of all the students for example by encouraging group discussion. Ultimately it does not mean that learning in a large classroom size means poor learning if anything it teaches the students to be responsible and take more initiative towards their learning and this is a spirit every young adult should have to survive in the real world.

The second counter-argument relates to the demographics of the students in private schools. Students in private universities get a chance to interact with a more diverse body of students at least geographically since they attract students from all across the country. This is unlike the public universities which are only more attractive to in-state students. This is a big advantage to the students of the private schools since they can learn a lot more from each other due to different backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, and world views. The students also learn a very important 21st-century skill and that is embracing inclusion and diversity. To this counter-argument, however, I would respond that being in a public university does not deprive you of an opportunity to learn this because the numerous extracurricular activities allow the students to also interact with others across different boards and they equally learn a lot from each other and again this skill.

From the above discussion, it is clear that there is a lot that the public universities have to offer to students something that to an equivalent learning outcome if not better for the learners in these institutions. There is, therefore, a need to stop tarnishing the good name of our public universities. Ultimately the choice of what university one will attend lies in what they are looking for in a university. The proposed solution for this topic, therefore, is that more awareness needs to be raised of the advantages of public universities. This will help repair the reputation that for the last more than one decade has been ruined by the charter school movement. This awareness needs to be raised more so by the government. This is because as other parties fight to prove that it has failed in its ability to provide quality education in private institutions, it should be able to fight back to show that it is doing its work adequately. They should be able to do so because indeed they are doing a decent job in ensuring quality higher education is offered in public universities and the proof is in the points discussed above. Public institutions also have a role in upholding their reputation by also raising awareness of all that they offer. Raising this awareness is what will help restore the faith of individuals in public universities and make them an attractive choice to them.

Work Cited

    1. “Better Ways to Pay for College; Higher Education in America.” The Economist, vol. 416, no. 8952, Economist Intelligence Unit N.A. Incorporated, Aug. 2015, pp. 13–14. Retrieved from https://dcccd.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/fulldisplay?vid=01DCCCD_INST:01DCCCD_INST&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&docid=gale_ofa426080803&lang=en&context=PC&adaptor=Primo%20Central&query=any,contains,public%20college%20is%20better%20than%20private&offset=0
    2. Bilmes, Linda J., and Gould, W. Scott. The People Factor Strengthening America by Investing in Public Service. Brookings Institution Press, 2008. Retrieved from https://dcccd.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/fulldisplay?vid=01DCCCD_INST:01DCCCD_INST&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&docid=alma991003530119803786&lang=en&context=L&adaptor=Local%20Search%20Engine&query=any,contains,public%20college%20is%20better%20than%20private&offset=0
    3. Brunello, Giorgio, and Rocco, Lorenzo. “Educational Standards in Private and Public Schools*.” Economic Journal, vol. 118, no. 533, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Nov. 2015, pp. 1866–87, doi:10.1111/j.1468-0297.2008.02194.x. Retrieved From https://dcccd.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/fulldisplay?vid=01DCCCD_INST:01DCCCD_INST&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&docid=wj10.1111~2Fj.1468-0297.2008.02194.x&lang=en&context=PC&adaptor=Primo%20Central&query=any,contains,public%20college%20is%20better%20than%20private&offset=0
    4. Gruber, Frederick C. Teaching in America: Forty-third Annual Schoolmen's Week Proceedings. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Print. Retrieved from https://dcccd.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/fulldisplay?vid=01DCCCD_INST:01DCCCD_INST&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&docid=wj10.1111~2Fj.1468-0297.2008.02194.x&lang=en&context=PC&adaptor=Primo%20Central&query=any,contains,public%20college%20is%20better%20than%20private&offset=0
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Why Students Do Not Participate in Extracurricular Activities Essay. (2024, February 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/why-students-do-not-participate-in-extracurricular-activities-essay/
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