dcsimg



Schools in the USA

About Private Colleges and Universities

When you hear the term "private college or university" what comes to mind? Prestigious, historical institutions full of wealthy students strolling around ivy-covered campuses? Some of that picture might be true (after all, they're not called "ivy league" for nothing), but there's a lot more to private colleges and universities in the US than you might think from the stereotypes you see on TV. Read on to find out what you can expect from the nation's variety of private colleges and universities.

Definition
One word that defines America's private institutions is diversity. Private colleges and universities include virtually every type of school: four- and two-year colleges; rural and urban; liberal arts colleges; major research universities; Christian, Catholic and Jewish institutions; historically black colleges and universities; women's colleges; art institutes; schools of law, medicine, engineering, business, and other professions. From small colleges with under 100 students to the larger universities with over 30,000, private colleges and universities can be found across the country and offer a huge variety of academic and professional programs. With both undergraduate and graduate programs, you can take anything from a 1-year professional certificate to a doctorate at a private college or university.

So what makes a school "private"? The sources of funding. Private colleges and universities are not funded by the government. Instead, endowments, annual gifts, alumni donations and tuition are important sources of money for these schools to operate. Therefore, the tuition at private colleges and universities is much more expensive than at state schools. However, private schools also tend to offer more generous financial aid packages; oftentimes, the actual out-of-pocket cost to earn a degree from a private college in the US turns out to be less than the cost of state schools. Over 80% of full-time undergraduates at private colleges receive some kind of financial aid. Private schools have to be smart with their money: they are accountable to independent trustees, accreditation bodies, and to students and their families. Most are non-profit, although some private colleges and universities are for-profit and run like businesses.

Demographics
Almost 3 and a half million students attend private colleges and universities in the US. Who are they? There is the contingent of wealthy students, no doubt (28% of students come from families making $100,000 a year or more). But perhaps surprisingly, the proportion of minority and low- and middle-income students at private colleges and universities is almost the same as at other institutions: 30% of private college and university students are minorities, and 14% of students at these schools are from families with annual incomes of $25,000 or less. This is made possible because two-thirds of aid offered by private colleges and universities take financial need into account. Which means that these schools can attract and enroll talented students from a wide variety of academic and economic backgrounds by making the education affordable.

Delivery
You can study just about anything you want at a private college or university. From career colleges to the Ivy League to Rabbinical institutes, every kind of vocational and academic program is available in business, science, arts, medicine, education, engineering, technology, religious and theological studies and much, much more. Check out our program-specific pages to learn more about what you can expect from the different fields of study at American universities and colleges.

The focused environment of private colleges and universities--paying more money often translates into serious study rather than goofing around-enables more students to complete their degree in 4 years than at public institutions. In fact, almost 80% of students at 4-year private colleges and universities receive their degree in 4 years or less, compared to only 50% at 4-year state institutions.

Difference
A lot of students want to go to a private college or university simply because of the school's reputable name. Fair enough. But reputation isn't everything. When considering a private college or university, keep in mind that they tend to attract a wide variety of students, making for a dynamic and diverse learning environment. These schools also tend to attract talented faculty, who often work on challenging and exciting research. Due to the research grant money pulled in by these professors, the facilities and equipment at private institutions are usually well kept, benefiting students and their research opportunities. Private colleges and universities are also more in control of their admission requirements. Generally, they are extremely competitive academically, but it's also not uncommon for them to look at more personal factors that go beyond your GPA. Some might see this process as subjective, but it can also be seen as ensuring that the student body is a good fit for the school, in hopes of building a cohesive and supportive campus environment.

Deciding
So how will you decide? First you have to decide what you're interested in--in terms of both study and learning environment--then you have to find a school that offers it. Other factors such as scholarships, tuition costs, distance from home and possibly church affiliation may also be factors. Schools in the USA's database of private colleges and universities in the US can help get you started. Once you've spotted a school that seems to suit your interest, check out their website. The site will tell you what they offer and who to call or contact for more information. Then call or even go visit--don't be shy! Check out the "choosing a private college or university" section here on Schools in the USA for more ideas on how to narrow down your choices. This is your education, so take the time to explore to help you get on the right path for your future!

 



Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Ashford University
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree online.
Programs Offered:
  • Associate of Arts - Early Childhood.
  • BA/Early Childhood Education Administration
  • BA/Education Studies
  • And more...

 
Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Programs Offered:
  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
  • M.Div: Homiletics
  • And more...

 
Abraham Lincoln University

Earn your degree 100% online with the flexibility and affordability that an online education affords.

Programs Offered:
  • Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
  • Juris Doctor
  • Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies
  • And more...

 
Ashworth College
Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.
Programs Offered:
  • Payroll Clerk
  • Private Investigation
  • High School
  • And more...

 
Simmons University - MBA

Named a “Best College” by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes, Simmons University has earned a reputation for providing a pioneering liberal arts education for undergraduates integrated with professional work experience. 

Programs Offered:
  • MBA@Simmons

 
Platt College
Turn Your Passion Into A Career with Platt!
 
At Platt College, we encourage our students to follow their passions, wherever they may lie, to find a career they love. You’ll find a supportive learning environment and career-focused training designed to help you gain the knowledge and hands-on training you need to succeed. 
Programs Offered:
  • Veterinary Technology - Associates
  • Business Management
  • Medical Administrative Specialist
  • And more...

 
University of Arizona

Located in the breathtaking Sonoran desert of southern Arizona and within an international border region, The University of Arizona is consistently ranked as a top public research university, offering graduate degrees in more than one hundred fields and is widely recognized for its cutting-edge research and innovation.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Public Health Online

 
New England College - Online

Work toward your graduate degree with New England College Online.

Programs Offered:
  • MS in Management/Project Management
  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • MS in Management/Non-Profit Leadership
  • And more...

 
Universal Technical Institute

At Universal Technical Institute (UTI), you won't just train for a career. You'll train for success. 

Programs Offered:
  • Collision Repair
  • Diesel
  • Automotive

 
Charter College

You can prepare for a new career with help from Charter College.

Programs Offered:
  • Certificate - Medical Assistant
  • Certificate - Veterinary Assistant

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2019 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.