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Quick Facts About Private Colleges


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How many independent colleges are there?
How large are they?
What types of institutions make up private higher education?
How much is tuition?
How much financial aid do students receive?
How diverse are students at independent institutions?
How quickly do private college students graduate?
What is the economic impact of private colleges and universities?

How much do students at private institutions volunteer in their communities?
How long have private institutions been around?
What is the condition of private higher education today?
Have any nonprofit private institutions opened recently?
 

How many independent colleges are there?

There are 1,600 private, nonprofit institutions nationwide. Half of the nonprofit colleges and universities in the United States are private. We enroll 3.4 million students.
How large are they?

Student enrollment ranges from fewer than 100 to more than 30,000. The average size is 1,920 students.
What types of institutions make up private higher education?

Our diverse collection of institutions include liberal arts colleges, major research universities, comprehensive universities, church- and faith-related institutions, historically black colleges and universities, single-sex institutions, two-year colleges, and schools of law, medicine, engineering, art, business, and other professions.
How much is tuition?

The average published price for tuition and fees at our institutions is $27,293 for 2010-11. When grants and tax benefits are taken into account, the average out-of-pocket cost (net price) falls to $11,320. Because of increases in grant aid from all sources and federal tax benefits average net tuition and fees are lower in 2010-11 than they were five years earlier, after adjusting for inflation. From 2005-06 to 2010-11, inflation-adjusted net tuition and fees actually declined by 11.2 percent, from $12,750 to $11,320.
How much financial aid do students receive?

Nearly 90 percent of all dependent, full-time, full-year private college undergraduates received some form of financial aid in 2007-08. Among these, the average annual package was nearly $22,000 per student.
How diverse are students at independent institutions?

Many older, working, and part-time students attend private colleges and universities, along with ‘traditional' full-time students just out of high school. The proportion of minority students enrolled at our institutions is slightly greater than at state four-year institutions-29 percent at independent and 27 percent at state colleges and universities.

Private four-year colleges enroll almost the same percentage of students from low- and middle-income families as state four-year institutions-less than $25K: 14 percent in each sector; $25-49K: 23 percent at private and 24 percent at public; $50-74K: 19 percent at private, 23 percent at public.

How quickly do private college students graduate?

All types of students, regardless of family income, race, or ethnicity, are as likely to earn their degree in four years at a private college or university as they are in six years at a state institution. Seventy-nine percent of private four-year college graduates earned their degree in four years, compared to 49 percent at state four-year institutions.

What is the economic impact of private colleges and universities?

Our institutions employ 750,000 people nationwide, and had estimated revenues of $134 billion in 2004. As these dollars work their way through local economies, their effect is multiplied into a cumulative economic impact of $335 billion.
How much do students at private institutions volunteer in their communities?

In a given year, more than 1.4 million students at our institutions give back to their communities, for an estimated value of more than $4.2 billion in volunteer-time.
How long have private institutions been around?

Independent colleges and universities are older than our nation itself. The first American private institution, Harvard University, was founded in 1636. New independent colleges continue to be formed to this day.
What is the condition of private higher education today?

The projected annual growth rate in full-time enrollment at four-year independent colleges and universities between 2000 and 2011 is 1.7 percent -- the same rate as at public universities. By comparison, the average annual rate of increase in full-time enrollment at independent colleges and universities between 1986 and 1999 was 1.4 percent.

While private colleges close from time to time, others are opening. The net effect is that the number of independent institutions in America has remained steady at about 1,600 since 1980.

Have any nonprofit private institutions opened recently?

Since 2000, at least six new four-year, nonprofit private colleges and universities have started enrolling students. They are:

John Paul the Great Catholic University (CA)
Southern Catholic University (GA)
Ave Maria University (FL)
Olin College of Engineering (MA)
Soka University (CA)
Patrick Henry College (VA)