Does it matter that an Academic Institution Is a Non-Profit one?

Note: The first concern of every student about their college/university or online program must be that, do the proper authorities accredit it?

In the following article we’ll discuss all the common queries that pop into students’ minds about For-profit and Non-profit institutions, plus “How” and “Why” does it matter. And so you guys can understand it better; we’ll deliver a proper diversity of the two bodies (For-profit and Non-profit).

Profit or Non-profit; is there any significant difference between the two?

Well, there are quite a few actually. And so we will dissect these two academic classifications to show you what makes them tick. But before that a question comes to mind; why are people baffled by this? So first let’s get that out of the way.

Why Is The Choice Unclear?

Other than a handful of students like the ones having a dream college/university or those with a long ongoing family tradition of enrolling to an individual institution, most people have a difficult time choosing between the two (Profit or Non-profit).

The first generation students are hit the hardest. They already lack the guidance needed to make the choice, and quite frankly the college sites aren’t that much of help with this given situation.
It’s hard to choose because each option if it looks the same. Yep, on the outside both Profit and Non-profit don’t seem much different; but that’s the outer shell of the nesting doll. Plus the concept of a For-profit college or university is relatively new, and that’s why how it works is not that well known (Known as in the inside rulebooks and mechanisms).

Ok, But What Are They?

Here’s a small description for those who are unfamiliar with the Profit and Non-profit phenomenon.

Non-profit (The Traditional schools):

These are the establishments your guys are most probably aware of. They harbor the traditional academics, the old fashion teaching, and learning.

    • All the money is used for the progress of the institution.
    • They meet their monetary costs through government funds, donations, and tuition fee.
    • Their primary focus is the individual growth and educational exploration of the student.
    • Liberal Arts colleges, community colleges, and state universities fall under the Non-profit category.
    • They have a vast extent of academic programs ranging from graduate and associate level programs to PhDs.

Profit Institutions:

The For-profit gen of colleges and universities are a more up to date version of higher education foundations.

        • Their fundamental objective is to teach you specific practical world skills.
        • Their actions reflect a more traditional business outlook than that of academics.
        • They are affiliates of a much greater corporation like Apple, Coca-cola, or Microsoft.
        • Often For-profit colleges don’t have a campus and usually just lease buildings.
        • They provide more flexible packages like online classes, night and weekend programs.
        • It’s relatively rare if they offer overall education programs. Usually, they just offer two-year associate degrees.
        • They have investors who are expecting a profit on their investments, so money is one of the primary concerns (hence For-profit).

The Faculty and Curriculum

As the focus of the two institutions is facing opposite ways; the responsibilities of their professors, accordingly, vary from each other.


For a teacher at a profit college there’re a few guidelines that he/she must follow;

  1. A Pre-determined Teaching Plan: The academic committee has that one covered. The professors follow that plan to the letter.
  2. The Curriculum: They are designed to be more “job specific.” It’s about the Career.


The professors here can;

  1. Design the Course: The teachers generally develop their courses and are free to implement their teaching plans. They can choose to depart from the plans or to brush up their curriculum semester to semester.
  2. The Curriculum’s: Individual development and instructive exploration of the students is what they aim for with the curriculum’s.

So Will It Matter?

Ah! The wait is over, and the answer is, according to the facts, yeah it does. Choosing a “For or Non-profit” institute should matter to you because it’s your time, your money and effort that’ll be used, don’t waste all that.

Non-profit students have an edge as non-profit institutes offer more support, occupation service, and Alumni as compared to For-profit.

For-profit do provide more flexibility academic programs. However, they are less recognized in the academic world; this info is critical as the transfer of your credits depends upon the recognition of your institute.

Due to these simple facts and the criticism from the media, many For-profit have converted and now are Non-profit educational establishments. The key reasons as to why this is accruing are;


The For-profit programs are just too expensive in comparison to the Non-profit ones; they’re not affordable for all.


Shocking as it may be, by conducting various surveys it’s been concluded that, only 37% of the graduates that complete a program at a For-profit Institute feel that they got their money’s worth.  30% of graduates feel dissatisfied saying that “it wasn’t worth it,” while the remaining 33% were still unsure where they stand on the matter.

A Default Problem (can’t pay your student loan):

Because of all the expenses; there’s a very high chance that you’ll default your student loan. And though there are ways to get out of this mess that doesn’t mean that you should get yourself into it. Defaulting your student loan leads up to very serious legal consequences. On average 1 out of 5 student defaults on their student loan (For-profit Academy students).

Chance of Less Pay:  

This one’s a real deal barker, and we understand why. Yep, it’s true; the Non-profit graduates earn more money than the For-profit ones. 72% of the graduates of For-profit institutes were found to have lesser pay than the graduates of a Non-profit college/university. And spending more and receiving less that’s just not pleasant for anyone.

In the end, one thing is worth mentioning from which the discussion started. While it has value if you’re attending a For-profit or Non-profit college/university and not all For-profit institutes are bad or money hungry wolves; the non-profit academies are just more agreeable with the general population. Being new in the world of academics people are still yet to adjust to a For-profit model and as said before; your number one concern must be the accreditation of your institute or online program.

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