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Private Universities in The USA: Know The Features

3 Min Read
December 08, 2022

Chances are, you might have heard of Ivy League universities. Well, are you actually aware that they are private universities? Furthermore, are you familiar with the features of private universities? Save your worries; we'll cover everything you need to know about private universities in the USA!

What is a Private University?

A private university, which can be in the form of a nonprofit or for-profit organization, is an educational institution that is not funded or run by the state government. Instead, funding comes from students' tuition fees, private donor endowments, and contributions. 

Stricter Admission Criteria

Public universities usually admit a large number of applicants and possess flexible eligibility criteria. Additionally, this is not the case in private universities, as they are known to accept a limited number of seats and pose strict eligibility requirements. 

For example, Ivy League universities have an overall acceptance rate of less than 10% in 2020, which is lower than the average acceptance rate for public universities.

Higher Tuition Fees

When it comes to tuition fees, private universities charge higher as their operation is dependent on students' educational costs. While the cost of attending private universities may sound excessive, they often provide scholarships or financial aid to students who demonstrate financial need. 

Princeton University, which is one of the Ivy League universities, offers financial aid to around 61% of their undergraduates. 

Geographically Diverse

Private universities charge the same tuition rates for all state residents in the USA, which attracts students from all over the country. As a result, the student population is often more diverse in terms of US geography. That means if you plan on attending a private university in Minnesota, for instance, you'll have a better chance of meeting students from other states besides Minnesota!

More Specific Program Offerings

In the case of private universities, they would generally offer fewer academic majors than public universities. This can be a good thing, especially if you know what you want to study, as you can benefit from specialized programs offered in private universities. 

Smaller Class Sizes

Some students thrive in larger classes, while others feel overwhelmed. If you fall in the latter category, studying in private universities may be a better fit for you. This is because private universities tend to have relatively small class sizes, which allow students to have one-on-one interaction with professors and actively engage in the classroom. 

Top Private Universities in The USA

Here are the top 7 private universities in the USA, according to the Times Higher Education's US College Rankings:

  1. Harvard University 
  2. Stanford University 
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
  4. Yale University 
  5. Duke University
  6. Brown University
  7. California Institute of Technology 

Have you figured out which private university you'll attend? If you haven't, make sure to be informed before making the final call!

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