“Private and Prestigious” Does Not Necessarily Equal Perfect Fit

  • Jaimie Louise Hoffman Assistant Professor of Clinical Education at University of Southern California
  • Julissa Garcia University of Southern California


Selecting the right university can be a very nerve-racking experience for students, parents, and families.  Let’s face it - without even adding in any other variables, this is a significant financial and time commitment, and for us, as first-generation college students, the confusion and weight is compounded because no one paved the way for us.  On top of this, society infiltrates us with the message that the absolute best universities are the “private, elite.”  In this letter, we attempt to demystify the difference between public and private universities, share the general characteristics of each, and then discuss the most important factor in selecting the right university -- fit.  While we will reference some research, we also share this information from our own experiences attending and working at both public and private universities.

Author Biographies

Jaimie Louise Hoffman, Assistant Professor of Clinical Education at University of Southern California

Dr. Jaimie Hoffman has worked across the higher education landscape for over twenty years. Her expertise includes assessment in higher education, student affairs administration, development of college student leaders, inclusion and equity, and use of technology inside and outside of the classroom for advancing student learning and engagement. Dr. Hoffman’s research interests engage a lens toward inclusive excellence and international perspectives. Her research interests include equity and inclusion in higher education, assessment in higher education, and leveraging technology to advance student learning and meet student needs.

Julissa Garcia, University of Southern California

Julissa Garcia has served as a student affairs professional for the last six years. She is committed to serving the local community and empowering students to achieve their educational goals. Her expertise is in early academic outreach, program development, financial aid, and the college application process. Julissa’s career interest is in providing resources and educational opportunities to non-traditional student including first-generation, transfer student, and student veterans. She is excited to spend her career effecting change in education after graduating from the Educational Counseling program at the University of Southern California (USC).



How to Cite
HOFFMAN, Jaimie Louise; GARCIA, Julissa. “Private and Prestigious” Does Not Necessarily Equal Perfect Fit. Allies for Education, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, sep. 2017. ISSN 2476-2512. Available at: <https://journals.library.csuci.edu/ojs/index.php/afe/article/view/138>. Date accessed: 17 june 2018.
Perspectives from the Field


university; private; public; admissions; application