The Brookings Institute

Don’t Forget Private, Non-Profit Colleges

February 16, 2017

Private, non-profit colleges enroll 3.4 million full-time equivalent students, or 30 percent of all U.S. students attending four-year institutions. But they receive comparatively little attention relative to public colleges and the for-profit sector, perhaps because the conventional wisdom casts private colleges based on the profile of the most elite institutions in the sector, which have large endowments and charge high tuition to mostly wealthy students.

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