Only low income or extremely smart students receive financial aid for college.
FACT:There are many forms of financial assistance available that are not merit or need-based, including institutional grants and state grants, as well as work-study programs. According to a recent study by the Human Capital Research Corporation, institutional grants constitute the largest source of financial assistance for students attending Virginia private colleges.
Private colleges cost significantly more than public colleges.
FACT:The difference is far less than many families assume, thanks to significant institutional, merit and need-based grants and the Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG). According to a recent study by the Human Capital Research Corporation, the average price gap between a Virginia private and public college is only $4,700 (after grant aid from all sources).
Private College v. Public College – there’s not much difference, really.
FACT:Parents and students should compare graduation rates, the time it takes to earn a degree, overall class size, student/faculty ratio, and the personal attention received by students. With a strong commitment to graduating students in four years or less, an average class size of only 16 students, and a 12:1 student/ faculty ratio Virginia private schools rank very favorably in all categories.
Private colleges are too expensive.
FACT:In 2011, 87% of freshmen at Virginia private colleges demonstrated financial need, with an average financial aid total of $20,463 (grants, work study and loans). Virginia residents attending an in-state private college also receive the undergraduate Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (TAG) award ($3,100 in 2013-14). Federal tax credits and deductions can benefit some of those who do not receive grant aid.
Private liberal arts colleges won’t prepare me for a job.
FACT:The benefits of a private liberal arts college are more valuable than ever. Students learn to think and communicate effectively – attributes sought by employers in all professions.
Private colleges are not diverse.
FACT:Virginia private colleges enroll a higher percentage of African American undergraduates than Virginia public institutions. They also enroll a larger percentage of Pell Grant recipients (students who receive federal need-based aid).