If you are a student looking for the most affordable large, private, nonprofit bachelor’s colleges, you have come to the right place. These institutions offer a number of benefits that may not always be available at other types of postsecondary institutions such as private and public for-profit schools. For instance, graduates may earn more money, experience closer ties to the community, and earn their degrees faster at nonprofits. If you are considering a large, private, nonprofit institution for your bachelor’s degree, the following ranking list of the top 25 most affordable schools may be of value.
The goal of this list is to recognize the top 25 most affordable large, private, and nonprofit bachelor’s colleges. In order to find schools to include on this list, we conducted a search for private colleges with more than 10,000 undergraduates and a total student body of more than 15,000 students using the College Navigator tool at the National Center for Education Statistics. We then narrowed down the initial pool of 30 schools into the top 25 based on the following methodology.
Average Cost of Attendance
Since the average cost of tuition is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a bachelor’s degree program, we felt it was important to include it on our list. In order to find the average tuition rates for each ranking school, we used information gathered from both the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as well as each school’s website. We then broke down the tuition costs into the following ranges and awarded points accordingly.
Under $30,000: 3 points
$31,001 to $49,999: 2 points
$50,000 or more: 1 point
Average Annual Tuition Assistance
The amount of financial aid that a school provides to its undergraduate students is also a critical factor that prospective students consider when selecting a program. After all, if a student knows that he or she will need a large amount of tuition assistance, he or she may be more inclined to choose an institution that is more generous with its awards. For the purpose of this ranking, we awarded the most points to institutions with the highest average annual tuition assistance.
$30,001 or more: 4 points
$20,001 to $30,000: 3 points
10,001 to $20,000: 2 points
$10,000 and under: 1 point
Percentage Receiving Need-Based Financial Aid
Similarly, students in need of financial aid may want to know ahead of time how likely they are to receive assistance when applying for a bachelor’s degree. If a school reports a small percentage of students receiving aid, that may be an indicator that the institution is more selective in terms of who receives funds. We awarded points to schools based on the percentage of undergraduates who applied for and were awarded need-based financial aid.
75 percent or more: 4 points
60 percent to 74 percent: 3 points
45 percent to 59 percent: 2 points
Fewer than 45 percent: 1 point
Ranking Top 25 Most Affordable Large, Private, Nonprofit Bachelor’s Colleges
25. University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
The University of Southern California offers 95 affordable bachelor’s degree programs as well as 134 master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. USC’s academic departments are housed within the university’s 18 professional schools, the Graduate School, or the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences for undergraduates — the oldest and largest of the USC schools. Here, undergraduates can choose from more than 130 majors and minors across the natural and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities as well as doctoral and master’s programs in more than 20 fields of study. Dornsife College employs 700 faculty members and enrolls more than 6,500 undergraduate and 1,200 doctoral students.
Average Program Cost: $56,225
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 19,170
Total Enrollment: 45,687
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 38 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $38,598
24. Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
Duke University is a large, private institution that offers affordable bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across its undergraduate and graduate schools, including more than 40 arts and sciences majors, four engineering majors, and more than 50 minors. Approximately 85 percent of undergraduates enroll in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, while the remainder of undergraduate students pursue programs in the Pratt School of Engineering. Affordable bachelor’s programs are available in the visual arts, statistical science, linguistics, Asian and Middle East studies, environmental engineering, civil engineering, and chemistry, to name a few. Please note: Duke University has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $55,960
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 6,696
Total Enrollment: 16,130
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 43 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $47,556
23. Georgetown University
Georgetown University offers more than 90 affordable bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors across four undergraduate schools. Undergraduates of this large, private university also have the opportunity to design their own courses of study based on their academic and professional interests and goals. Classes are provided on a credit-hour system, and more than 50 percent of the undergraduate student body spends time at an overseas institution affiliated with Georgetown. Some popular programs of study include affordable degrees in the social sciences, mathematics and computer science, language and linguistics, international affairs, business and economics, and government, politics, and policy. Please note: Georgetown University has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $54,104
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 7,463
Total Enrollment: 19,005
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 37 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $42,258
22. Boston University
Boston University offers affordable undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as medical, dental, and law degrees through its 18 colleges and schools, the newest of which is the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. Students can choose from more than 300 programs of study in theology, social work, public health, hospitality, business, education and human development, health and sciences, fine arts, communication, and the arts and sciences. Boston University is highly ranked for its undergraduate engineering and teaching programs as well as its undergraduate business program, which was recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2014.
Average Program Cost: $53,948
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 18,080
Total Enrollment: 33,355
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 39 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $36,055
21. Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
Washington University is a large, private, non-profit institution in St. Louis which confers affordable undergraduate and graduate degrees through its schools and colleges of arts and sciences, design and visual arts, medicine, art, law, engineering, architecture, business, and social work. The school boasts an eight-to-one student-to-faculty ratio, and three out of four students pursue multiple majors and/or degrees. Students may choose to study abroad in more than 50 countries, and 77 percent of classes have fewer than 24 students. Please note: Washington University in St. Louis has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $53,399
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 7,675
Total Enrollment: 15,303
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 41 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $43,745
20. Northeastern University
In addition to master’s, doctoral, and online associate degree programs, Northeastern University offers affordable undergraduate degrees in 65 departments, and programs that are grounded in a liberal arts education. Classroom studies are integrated with experiential learning opportunities, including service learning, student research, cooperative education, and global experiences such as international co-ops and study abroad programs in more than 130 countries around the world. A few popular bachelor’s degrees programs include criminal justice, sociology and anthropology, mechanical and industrial engineering, African American studies, art and design, applied psychology, and behavioral neuroscience. Other sought-after areas of study include landscape architecture, linguistics, and physical therapy.
Average Program Cost: $51,387
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 13,825
Total Enrollment: 21,489
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 34 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $30,469
19. University of Miami
Coral Gables, Florida
As one of the top private, non-profit, research universities in the country, the University of Miami brings together talented students and esteemed faculty, offering a stimulating, diverse environment, challenging courses, and more than 180 affordable undergraduate majors and programs that forge together practice and knowledge. Popular bachelor’s degrees are available throughout UM’s 11 schools and colleges in industries such as nursing and health studies, music, marine and atmospheric science, engineering, education and human development, communication, business, the arts and sciences, and architecture. Undergraduates may also take advantage of undergraduate research and community outreach opportunities as well as dual-degree programs, study-abroad, and unique interdisciplinary programs.
Average Program Cost: $50,226
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 10,832
Total Enrollment: 17,003
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 41 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $32,190
18. Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University’s primary focus is on undergraduate education, and students may pursue a variety of academic programs in areas such as nursing, physical and mathematical sciences, management, agriculture, engineering, liberal arts, and the law. BYU is organized into 11 schools and colleges at its main campus, and students can choose from 177 affordable undergraduate majors as well as a growing portfolio of 15 online degrees and more than 210 online courses. Students looking to begin with an affordable bachelor’s program and continue their education with a graduate degree may consider pursuing one of the 68 master’s or 26 doctoral programs offered by BYU.
Average Program Cost: $8,430
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 31,233
Total Enrollment: 34,334
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 46 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $5,017
17. Columbia University
New York, New York
Columbia University offers affordable bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across its 20 schools and colleges. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from a large, private, non-profit university, undergraduates may choose from more than 200 study abroad programs. Columbia spends nearly $1 billion each year on research in the social sciences, humanities, and sciences, operating more than 200 research centers and institutes. Programs of study are available in public health, international and public affairs, journalism, education, women’s and gender studies, urban studies, medieval and renaissance studies, ancient studies, business management, physics, political science, nursing, engineering, and theology. Please note: Columbia University has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $59,430
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 8,170
Total Enrollment: 30,454
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 50 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $53,879
16. University of Pennsylvania
Grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and enriched by the integrated resources of 12 graduate and four undergraduate schools, the University of Pennsylvania offers students an unparalleled, affordable education informed by research, intellectual rigor, inclusivity, and the impetus to create new knowledge that benefits communities and individuals worldwide. In additional to traditional bachelor’s degrees, Penn offers specialized coordinated dual-degree programs that award candidates degrees from multiple schools. Undergraduate dual-degrees are available in digital media design, law and medicine, engineering, molecular life science, nursing and healthcare management, international studies and business, computer and cognitive science, management and technology, and more.
Average Program Cost: $55,584
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 11,716
Total Enrollment: 25,367
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 46 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $46,177
15. George Washington University
George Washington University’s academic life is defined not only by its students’ unique abilities for turning knowledge into action and its world-renowned faculty but also for taking full advantage of the school’s access to one-of-a-kind learning opportunities, policy-research initiatives, and world-class partnerships. GWU promotes the advancement of human knowledge across undergraduate and graduate disciplines and throughout its 100 research centers, 10 schools, and expansive system of libraries. Affordable undergraduate programs are available in fields such as history and government, engineering and technology, business and management, international studies, literature and language, and health, medicine, and nursing. Other popular programs include bachelor’s degrees in social and human behavior, professional studies, and religion and philosophy.
Average Program Cost: $55,230
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 11,999
Total Enrollment: 27,973
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 46 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $31,471
14. Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
Cornell University, a top, private, non-profit institution confers 80 affordable undergraduate majors and 90 minors as well as 108 graduate fields of study. More than 4,000 courses across 100 academic departments are available, and students may choose to pursue one of several dual-degree programs and majors that cross traditional departmental boundaries. Of the nearly 15,000 undergraduate students, approximately 30 percent are affiliated with the College of Arts and Sciences — the largest college at Cornell by enrollment. Undergraduates closely interact with a diverse student body and world-class faculty, each a collaborator in service, research, and learning. Cornell’s Bachelor of Architecture degree and BS in Landscape Architecture degree are consistently ranked as number one programs in the country by Design Intelligence.
Average Program Cost: $55,188
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 14,907
Total Enrollment: 23,016
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 47 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $40,540
13. Northwestern University
Northwestern University confers affordable associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs across its 12 colleges and schools, nine of which are located at its Evanston, Illinois campus. The full-time, four-year, affordable bachelor’s program comprises the majority of enrollments and emphasizes instruction in the arts and sciences as well as the professions of education, music, journalism, engineering, and communication. In fact, NU’s School of Communication is a leading producer of Tony Award-, Emmy Award-, and Academy Award-winning actors and actresses, writers, directors, and playwrights. Please note: Northwestern University has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $54,567
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 8,700
Total Enrollment: 22,008
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 45 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $46,720
12. Johns Hopkins University
Students looking for an affordable large, private, nonprofit bachelor’s college may consider Johns Hopkins University. The school’s two undergraduate divisions, the Whiting School of Engineering and the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, are located on the Homewood campus in Baltimore’s Charles Village neighborhood. According to U.S. News & World Report, Johns Hopkins often ranks within the top 10 national universities for undergraduate programs. Popular fields of study include medicine, public health, nursing, education, and music. Please note: Johns Hopkins University has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $53,740
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 6,109
Total Enrollment: 25,151
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 51 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $39,636
11. Drexel University
As of 2019, more than 24,000 students enroll in 80 undergraduate degrees and more than 100 master’s, doctoral, and professional programs at Drexel University. Classes are taught by accomplished faculty, most of whom are working professionals in their fields, and undergraduates have access to a range of extracurricular academic and research opportunities. The school’s unique co-op allows students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations, providing up to 18 months of paid experience. More than 12 accelerated, affordable bachelor’s degree programs are also available across Drexel’s schools and colleges. The school’s undergraduate business program is nationally ranked as one of the best in the country according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
Average Program Cost: $52,002
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 15,534
Total Enrollment: 24,190
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 63 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $27,694
10. Syracuse University
Syracuse, New York
Syracuse University is large, private, nonprofit university, organized into 13 schools and colleges, including nine undergraduate schools, and offers affordable bachelor’s degrees in more than 200 fields of study. Its most popular undergraduate majors include those in engineering, visual and performing arts, social sciences, communication and journalism, and business, management, and marketing. Undergraduate students may also pursue dual enrollment, in which they enroll in two separate Syracuse colleges and earn a single bachelor’s degree that is granted by both schools. Combined enrollment is also available, allowing students to take one major in the College of Engineering and Science and one in the College of Arts and Sciences. This pathway requires an additional year of study.
Average Program Cost: $51,853
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 15,252
Total Enrollment: 22,484
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 47 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $31,062
9. New York University
New York, New York
Whether students are beginning their undergraduate education and pursuing a strong liberal arts foundation or considering an advanced degree with a professional focus, New York University’s colleges and schools adhere to the highest standard of academic innovation and enterprise. A leading large, private, nonprofit research institution and a truly global university, NYU’s degree-granting campuses, schools, and colleges offer a diverse spectrum of specialized, doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate degree programs. In particular, its affordable BA and BS programs in education, public policy, medicine and research, law, engineering, and business have earned national recognition and rank among the top in the country.
Average Program Cost: $51,828
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 26,417
Total Enrollment: 51,123
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 49 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $30,594
8. Stanford University
Stanford University is organized around three traditional schools consisting of 40 academic departments as well as four professional schools. Stanford’s affordable undergraduate education consists of rich learning experiences that provide a broad liberal arts foundation and deep subject-area expertise, and it is among the most selective in the country by acceptance rate. Students may pursue a concurrent BA and BS degree in several areas of study as well as co-terminal degrees in which they study for a master’s degree while completing the bachelor’s program. A joint major, the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (B.A.S.), that integrates the humanities and computer science is also available. Please note: Stanford University has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $51,354
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 7,064
Total Enrollment: 17,534
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 48 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $50,500
7. Harvard University
Due to its wealth, influence, and history, Harvard University is one of the most prestigious, large, private, nonprofit universities in the world. It is organized into 11 separate academic units with campuses throughout the Boston metropolitan area. The full-time, four-year, affordable undergraduate program comprises a minority of enrollments at the university and emphasizes instruction with a focus on the arts and sciences. Harvard offers affordable bachelor’s degrees in 49 fields of study, including the visual and performing arts, mathematics, biological and biomedical sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and computer and information sciences. Joint undergraduate/graduate programs in which students also combine on-campus and online study are also available. Please note: Harvard University has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $50,420
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 9,965
Total Enrollment: 31,120
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 55 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $53,604
6. Baylor University
Baylor University’s nationally ranked graduate and professional education programs equip students to bring innovation and inquiry, informed by a Christian perspective, to bear on real-world concerns as they pursue their call to lead in the studio, the lab, the medical profession, the boardroom, and in academia. Baylor is divided into 12 degree-granting academic units, three of which are designated as colleges, while eight others are schools and one is a seminary. This large, private, nonprofit school is highly ranked among the top national universities in the world by U.S. News & World Report, and its marketing programs are ranked as the second-best in the nation by The Princeton Review.
Average Program Cost: $45,542
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 14,316
Total Enrollment: 17,059
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 56 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $24,420
5. St. John’s University
Queens, New York
With more than 100 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the sciences, pharmacy, law, education, business, the arts, and specialized professional programs, there is no shortage of areas for students to pursue at St. John’s University. St. John’s is organized into five undergraduate schools and six graduate schools, enrolling more than 21,000 students each year. The four-year, full-time, affordable undergraduate program is balanced between the professional fields and the arts and sciences, and its undergraduate business program is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country. U.S. News & World Report’s listing of the “2016 Best Online Programs” ranked St. John’s online graduate education, graduate business, and undergraduate programs among the top 100 in their respective categories.
Average Program Cost: $41,760
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 16,766
Total Enrollment: 21,346
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 78 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $8,725
4. DePaul University
DePaul University operates 10 colleges and schools that confer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a large, private, nonprofit university setting. More than 100 affordable bachelor’s programs are available in fields such as religious studies, playwriting, network engineering and security, mathematical sciences, and journalism. Other popular areas of study include information systems, hospitality leadership, computer game development, accountancy, and economics. Study-abroad opportunities are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in more than 35 locations, including Buenos Aires, Paris, Istanbul, and Beijing. Students may also choose to pursue fully online bachelor’s degrees in psychology, information technology, computing, computer science, or communications and media.
Average Program Cost: $39,975
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 14,816
Total Enrollment: 22,769
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 69 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $20,887
3. Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Classified as a high research and community-engaged university, Nova Southeastern University consists of 18 schools and colleges that offer more than 150 programs of study, and it is ranked among the top 200 best colleges in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. Affordable bachelor’s degrees are available in communications, human resources, communications studies, bioinformatics, behavioral neuroscience, and applied statistics, to name a few. Undergraduates of this large, private, nonprofit university may also choose to pursue an online BS in nursing, psychology, computer information systems or business management. Please note: Nova Southeastern University has an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. While this falls short of our search criteria, we included the school on our list, because it enrolls more than 15,000 total students.
Average Program Cost: $30,900
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 4,497
Total Enrollment: 20,793
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 71 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $17,639
2. Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology is composed of nine academic colleges, including the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. One of a few engineering institutes in New York, it is most widely known for its imaging science, engineering, computing, and fine arts programs, several of which routinely rank in the national “top 10,” according to U.S. News & World Report. RIT offers more than 60 affordable bachelor’s degree programs, and undergraduates may choose to combine undergraduate and graduate studies in accelerated options such as B.S./M.E., B.S./M.S., or 4+1 MBA degree programs.
Average Program Cost: $44,130
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 13,515
Total Enrollment: 16,584
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 73 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $21,300
1. Loyola University Chicago
Our best, large, private, nonprofit school, Loyola University Chicago is ranked among the top universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report not only as a national school but as one of the best colleges for veterans. It also offers the number one undergraduate business program in Chicago. Comprising 11 schools and colleges, Loyola offers more than 80 affordable undergraduate and 140 graduate/professional programs in popular fields such as education, communication, arts and sciences, nursing, social work, law, and medicine. Loyola’s Department of Theology also offers undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics, systematic theology, and the Bible to those pursuing careers in pastoral studies.
Average Program Cost: $44,048
Undergraduate Student Enrollment: 11,420
Total Enrollment: 16,673
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 65 percent
Average Tuition Assistance: $21,420
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Advantages of Attending a Larger School?
As you narrow down your college choices, make sure you consider some of the benefits of attending a large college. Whereas many people claim that smaller institutions are better because the class sizes are smaller and thus allow students to form better connections with faculty and peers, larger campuses often have more opportunities in terms of clubs you can join and the number of classes available. Here are several advantages to attending a larger campus:
1. More Choices
If you are not sure what you want to major in, a larger school may be better than a smaller one. Smaller colleges offer a select number of majors, mainly due to the resources available. On the other hand, larger colleges have more resources and, as a result, more majors. For instance, if you choose to major in business, you may find that you can study additional topics like supply chain management and human resources. A larger school might offer unique minors in criminology, business administration, social work, and film studies.
2. Larger Classes
One of the biggest advantages of attending a smaller school is the smaller class sizes which allow students to get more personalized attention from faculty. However, larger class sizes can be to your advantage as well as you surround yourself with peers with similar academic and professional goals. Larger classes may also mean more resources; a professor might offer additional supplementary materials that can help you better understand a topic, for instance.
3. More Extracurricular Activities
Undergraduate students are often excited about signing up for extracurricular activities. At a smaller campus, undergraduates may not be able to take advantage of as many options. On the other hand, larger colleges may offer many more activities such as student-run television and radio stations, poetry magazines, newspapers, and clubs and activities built around hobbies like painting, bowling, creative writing, and politics. Smaller campuses might only offer a handful of extremely popular clubs and activities that many students will join.
4. More Affordable
One of the main advantages of attending a larger school is that students can save money. While smaller colleges are typically private and charge higher tuition rates, a large public university may enroll 20,000 or more students on a single campus. The higher number of students helps to keep tuition costs down. In addition, larger campuses may offer more scholarships as well, which allows students to take out fewer student loans. Larger colleges can offer merit- and need-based scholarships as well as scholarships for students enrolling in a certain department or program.
Attending a small college comes with benefits like smaller class sizes and personalized instruction, but there are also benefits of attending a larger college such as having access to more majors, saving money on tuition, and participating in a broad spectrum of extracurricular activities.
Is There a Difference Been Nonprofit and For-Profit Colleges?
If you are thinking of pursuing a bachelor’s degree, it is important to understand the difference between nonprofit and for-profit colleges. Although both types of institutions confer degrees, their composition and focus are extremely different. At their core, for-profit institutions are in business to make money for shareholders and owners by offering a service: education. On the other hand, nonprofits offer a learning environment designed solely to serve students’ interests, helping them to earn a degree and achieve academic and professional success. Here are some other difference to consider:
What is the motivating factor?
- For-profit institutions must provide satisfactory financial returns for their stakeholders and shareholders, and they will not hesitate to cut a program in order to focus on courses that bring in higher tuition fees. Making a profit is a definite priority.
- Nonprofit institutions operate independently of an ownership structure and are therefore free to focus solely on providing a high-quality education to students. Some schools also focus on preparing students for future employment by offering networking events and job fairs.
Which is more expensive?
- For-profits are more expensive and are also commonly referred to as “high-tuition” schools, mainly to provide stakeholders and shareholders significant returns on their investments. In other words, for-profits focus on earning revenue and will raise tuition costs as necessary to keep the business afloat.
- Nonprofits are more affordable and typically competitive with tuition costs at public universities, and they may receive additional funding from local governments and private donors to keep tuition fees low
Who is in charge?
- For-profits have a number of consultants other than faculty members and students, mainly shareholders. Many for-profit institutions are either owned by a private equity firm or traded on a major stock exchange.
- Nonprofits, on the other hand, are led by a Board of Trustees and an accomplished staff with strong ties to the local community. Many institutions may choose to seek the advice and council of alumni and advisory boards as well.
Some other benefits of attending a nonprofit college include the number of available programs, course and program flexibility, and name recognition among employers. While for-profit universities do serve their purpose and can be an ideal type of institution for the right student, nonprofit universities work hard to serve the needs of students instead of shareholders.
Are There Any Benefits to Going to a Private College?
Private colleges provide students with many of the same recreational and educational programs as public colleges. However, there are many advantages to attending a private college, including:
- More extracurricular opportunities: Students at private colleges enjoy opportunities to become involved in campus organizations as well as a variety of chances to study abroad. Undergraduates may also have better chances of securing service opportunities and leadership positions due to lower enrollment numbers.
- More personal attention: Since student enrollment is typically smaller at private colleges than public, faculty members can focus on each student to ensure individual success. In addition, most private institutions focus on developing the whole student, which often requires professors and instructors to personally and professionally mentor students. Personal attention from faculty may also enable students to personalize their education through specialized studies in a particular area of interest.
- Shorter average completion time: On average, students pursuing a bachelor’s degree can complete the program within four and a half years at a private college, while the average undergraduate at a public college may need six or more years to graduate. Students who attend private colleges may enjoy additional advantages such as higher graduation rates and smaller class sizes.
- More scholarship programs: Many students who attend private postsecondary institutions have additional opportunities for scholarships, mainly due to the strong professional and personal relationships that schools have with their alumni. These relationships usually mean that alumni are more likely to donate money to the school to beautify the campus, construct new buildings, and provide more scholarships.
Finally, in addition to the advantages mentioned above, graduates of private colleges often enjoy even more benefits that can last for the rest of their lives. Graduates of some of the most affordable large, private, nonprofit bachelor’s colleges have strong advantages in areas like building self-confidence, communicating with people from different races, developing ethical standards, and becoming more responsible individuals, to name a few.
This concludes our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Large, Private, Nonprofit Bachelor’s Colleges for 2019.
Other Rankings of Interest:
- 20 Tuition-Free Colleges
- 30 Most Attractive Yet Affordable College Campuses
- The 50 Most Affordable Colleges with the Best Return
- 25 of the Oldest American Colleges and Universities
- 25 Most Affordable Large, Private, Nonprofit Bachelor’s Colleges
- 30 Most Inviting Yet Affordable College Dorms in America
- 25 Largest HBCU Bachelor’s Colleges by Enrollment
- The 30 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s-Granting Historically Black Colleges/ Universities
- These 30 Colleges are Reversing the Rise in Tuition
- 25 Most Exclusive Public Bachelor’s Colleges by Admission Rate
- 50 Most Entrepreneurial Schools in America