As juniors and seniors, nearly sprung from high school, surely you have begun the college decision process. One frequently dismissed option is private school—they seem to carry this stigma of being outrageously selective and expensive.
Truth is, they’re not. The private-school path is wider than you might think. Plus, as unbelievable as it may seem, bigger isn’t always better and “private” doesn’t always mean more expensive.
According to the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU), in 2013–14
- The net price for attending a private college in Wisconsin was $28,553
- The average freshman was awarded a financial aid package of $23,294 (75% of which was grant money)
- Thus leaving the average freshman who was awarded financial aid with a net tuition of $5,259
- Whereas the average tuition and fees for Wisconsin public 4-year institutions rang in at about $8,219
For seven years in a row, Wisconsin private colleges have managed to keep the average out-of-pocket tuition price under $5,500. The net tuition at these private colleges is now 10% lower than it was in 2006–7. When weighing your college options, keep in mind—Wisconsin private colleges hold a reputation of being generous in financial aid awards.
A common misconception about private colleges is that they are hard to get into. The first thing to remember here is that Wisconsin private colleges consider all aspects of a student’s application, from student government to the basketball court. Those extracurricular activities that everyone is always talking about really could make the difference with your application!
If you’re still worried about the academics, though, the fact is that admission to a private college is entirely achievable strictly on the numerical criteria. Here is quick look into the (very slim) difference between the GPA and ACT averages of public 4-year institutions and Wisconsin private colleges:
- The average GPA of admitted students for Wisconsin private colleges is 3.05
- And the average ACT score of admitted students for 19.6
- Whereas the average GPA at a 4-year public institution is 3.01
- And the average ACT score is 24
Take note of the slight variation here. In light of these numbers, it can be concluded that the difficulty level of admittance is about the same, just measured differently. If your scores and averages don’t measure up to these figures, know that private colleges consider the whole individual.
So when you’re making your check marks on your college preparation to-do-lists, think about private colleges too; they’re within your reach!