Usually the first consideration in any college search is big public school or small private one. Each has its benefits, and you'll probably find schools in both categories on your final list. Here are ten reasons you might want to go to a private college.


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Starting the Search

Parents and the Search

College Visits

Academics – What to Ask

Campus Life

Affording College

Making the Final Choice


1They're more affordable than what you've been told.

The "high price" of private colleges is just a myth. Smaller colleges typically work with families individually to offer attractive financial aid packages. And unlike public universities, it doesn't matter if you're a state resident.

2You won't get lost in a mob of students.
Private colleges tend to be smaller, and the classes are smaller, too. Many students prefer a more intimate learning environment as opposed to the arena-like classrooms of bigger public universities.

3Your voice will be heard.
With smaller classes, you'll have a greater chance to contribute to the conversation. You'll have a true dialogue with professors and other students, during and after class.

4You'll have support.
From your academic adviser to the career services office, at private colleges you'll find many people who can help you identify and achieve your career goals—and who genuinely care about your future success.

5Your professors will know their stuff.
Classes and lab sessions are taught by professors, unlike public universities, where graduate students often lead the class.

6You'll have greater access to research opportunities.
Private colleges are more likely to support research for undergraduate students. Faculty mentors are available to guide you through these learning experiences.

7You'll find a college education that has value(s).
Private colleges often have a religious affiliation, but how that's expressed in campus life varies greatly. If spirituality is important to you, look for a school that reflects your beliefs.

8You'll find a campus that feels more like home.
With a smaller student population and a more intimate campus, you'll know the people around you. It's also easier to take leadership roles on campus.

9You'll have access to a committed alumni network.
With fewer graduates, alumni are more likely to work with new alumni to provide support and access to career opportunities. You'll become a member of an exclusive, yet powerful group.

10You'll make a worthwhile investment.
According to a national survey, 77 percent of private, liberal arts college graduates rated their experience as "excellent," compared to 53 percent for graduates of leading public universities.