May 20, 2011

Private Colleges are Diverse, Affordable, Involved, and Offer Personal Attention to Students

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) recently published a “national profile” of the more than 1,600 independent colleges and universities in the United States. And not surprisingly, they’re all about the advantages of a private postsecondary education.

For the record, this group includes traditional liberal arts colleges, major research universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges and universities, and women’s colleges as well as schools of law, medicine, engineering, art, business and other professions—an interesting mix of which may be found within the 10-mile boundaries of the District of Columbia.
Here are a few facts compiled by NAICU:

  • More than 1,600 independent colleges and universities in the US enroll 3.7 million students

  • These institutions range in size from fewer than 100 to more than 45,000, with an average student population of about 2,300

  • Approximately one-third of all undergrads at 4-year private colleges are minority students—about the same as at public institutions

  • 43% of all private nonprofits are located in either the mid-Atlantic (22%) or southeast (21%) regions of the US

  • 75% of these schools are located in cities (51%) or suburbs (24%)

  • In 2010-11, the average annual tuition and fees for private colleges and universities came to $27,293—more than a quarter posted average tuition and fees between $10,000 and $20,000 per year

  • According to the most recent data available, 89 percent of students attending private postsecondary institutions received some form of financial aid, and the average aid for these students was close to $22,000

  • Average student-faculty ratio is 12:1 as opposed to 16:1 at public 4-year institutions

  • Each year, more than 1.7 million undergrads at private colleges and universities volunteer in their communities

  • Although independent colleges enroll almost 20 percent of all students, they award nearly 30 percent of all degrees

  • 79% of students receiving a bachelor’s degree from a 4-year independent college or university were able to complete in 4 years or less as compared with 49 percent of grads from public institutions

  • 70% percent of students who are the first in their families to attend college earn a degree within 6 years at a private institutions as compared to 57 percent at a public 4-year college or university

  • Independent colleges and universities produced two-thirds of the 32 American Rhodes Scholars for 2011 and 60% of the US Fulbright Fellows

Much of this is worth considering if you’re among those students just beginning the process of sizing up colleges and universities for that all-important “fit.”

You may download the entire report or order a free copy of the print edition, by visiting the NAICU website.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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