Common Myths about a Private College Education
1. Myth: Tuition at a private college is too expensive, and a state
school always costs less.
Reality: Many students pay considerably less than the published
tuition price at a private
college. The difference between public and private college tuition is far less than
assume, thanks to significant merit and need-based grants and the Tuition Assistance
(TAG). Last year, Virginia private colleges awarded close to $400 million in grants
2. Myth: It’s difficult for a middle-class family to afford a private
Reality: Now more than ever, private colleges are protecting their
financial aid budgets
and enrolling students from all income levels. In fact, national studies have shown
average, students attending private colleges have a similar family income as those
attending public colleges. In fact, in Virginia, private colleges enroll a higher
of federal Pell Grant recipients (typically students from families with incomes
of $40,000 or
less) and minority students than public colleges.
3. Myth: There will be less assistance for college from government
Reality: For more than 30 years, Virginia residents attending a
private college in the
Commonwealth have received a Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) from the state.
TAG is not based on need or merit and is available for four years at the undergraduate
level. The state budget passed by lawmakers earlier this year provides for a $2,600
undergraduate TAG award in 2010-11.
4. Myth: Public or private college – it doesn’t make any difference.
Reality: Parents should compare the time it takes to graduate as
well as overall
graduation rates, class size, student/faculty ratio, and personal attention received
students. Private colleges will rank favorably.
In today’s competitive marketplace, the benefits of graduating from a private liberal
college are more valuable than ever. Students learn to think critically, analytically,
creatively and to communicate well – attributes sought by employers in all professions.