E2 Talk: Public vs Private school in the US

As a matter of fact, many Vietnamese parents are confused between public school and private school in the U.S. in terms of education quality.  However, the American education system is totally different from Vietnamese.

In this video, Maria Bibler – a guidance counselor at the International School Ho Chi Minh City – American Academy (ISHCMC AA), will have a short discussion with Tony Ngo – Chairman and Co-founder of Everest Education, about the differences between public school and private school.

Below are our interview and a transcript that has been edited for clarity.

Maria:  In the U.S., private school and public school don’t always mean the same thing as they do in Vietnam or in the other parts of the world.

Tony:  So what’s the key distinction?

Maria:  Often time, at least with my experience working in China, students think that public schools have the best education.  However, the quality of education doesn’t necessarily differ between public and private schools in the U.S. The education quality isn’t measured based on the size of the institutions or whether it’s  a public or private school.

I think one of the factors that impact students’ decision is tuition cost.  So if it’s a publicly funded institution, it’s generally a little bit cheaper than a private institution.  However, public universities don’t offer funding to international students because they serve the local population.  That’s basically the main difference.

But if you look at the total costs of attendance, don’t worry whether it’s a public or private school because they could be the same.

Tony:  But generally, have you ever seen any public schools that offer scholarships to international students in any significant way?

Maria:  There are institutions that offer scholarships if they want to attract really qualified international students.

Tony:  Oh, I didn’t know that.  As I know, most of the time students have to pay the out-of-state institution price which is much higher.

Maria:  I think some public universities do offer some funding.  But again, those are not significant ones. The main purpose of these scholarships is to recognize students’ academic performance.

Tony: For The University of California system, which includes several world-class universities, has a huge funding problem.  As a result, tuition has gone up dramatically in the past decade, from a few thousand dollars to 20 or 30 thousand dollars per year.  Unfortunately, whether you’re out of state or out of the country, they’ll charge you a full fare to plug all the other gaps that they have.

Maria:  So the idea behind public universities is that there are some tax dollars that the residents of that state are paying into it which has been reduced over the years.  Well, there is federal funding and state funding that goes into the state institutions. I think the non-resident, including the international students, increased for that reason.

To be continued…


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