2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in Oregon

Private colleges and universities frequently top the lists of the best schools in the U.S. These institutions offer rigorous academic programs for students looking for a personalized college experience.

Private colleges and universities generally cost more than their public counterparts, but students often receive the benefits of smaller class sizes, strong alumni networks, and generous financial aid opportunities.

Unlike public colleges and universities, private institutions do not differentiate between in-state and out-of-state tuition. This means students from anywhere can enroll in Oregon's private colleges and universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in Oregon

  1. #1

    American College of Healthcare Sciences

    Portland, OR

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    715

    Format

    Online

    Located in Portland, Oregon, American College of Healthcare Sciences awards degrees and certificates as a private institution. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. At the institution, 100% of students receive financial aid and 52% take out loans. Enrollees graduate from the school at a rate of 33%. Hopeful students can expect admission rates of 35%. Contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. American College of Healthcare Sciences is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

  2. #2

    Christian Culinary Academy

    Cannon Beach, OR

    Graduation Rate

    100%

    Enrollment

    16

    Format

    In person

    Christian Culinary Academy, located in Oregon, offers 1 certificate programs. Programs deliver a rigorous curriculum and help learners gain theoretical and practical knowledge in the field. Degree-seekers prepare to launch their career or pursue promotions. The school's focus on experiential learning pushes learners to apply lessons in real-world contexts. As an accredited institution, the school undergoes regular evaluations. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, learners enrolled at the school qualify for federal financial aid. The school provides information about program requirements on its website. Independent accreditors ensure that students receive a quality education.

  3. #3

    Reed College

    Portland, OR

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    1,471

    Format

    In person

    Reed College, located in Portland, Oregon, enrolls students as a private institution. Instructors draw on their expertise in diverse fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program enter the workforce or pursue a bachelor's degree. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. At the accredited school, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 60% of learners receive financial aid, while 39% take out loans. Learners graduate from the school at a rate of 76%. Applicants can expect admission rates of 39%. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. Reed College has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

  4. #4

    Linfield College-Online and Continuing Education

    McMinnville, OR

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    238

    Format

    Online

    Located in McMinnville, Oregon, Linfield College-Online and Continuing Education offers multiple programs as a private institution. Graduates leave the school perpared for the workforce. Learners benefit from the school's academic rigor and affordable tuition rate. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Degree-seekers attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. The institution offers both academic and technical programs. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

  5. #5

    Mount Angel Seminary

    Saint Benedict, OR

    Graduation Rate

    50%

    Enrollment

    149

    Format

    In person

    Mount Angel Seminary, located in Saint Benedict, Oregon, offers 6 programs for students. Degree-seekers benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1. The institution reports that 100% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 50%. The institution understands that real-world experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. As a result, the school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate for prospective students is 86%. Some programs offer a waiver for standardized test scores.

  6. #6

    Sumner College

    Portland, OR

    Graduation Rate

    85%

    Enrollment

    329

    Format

    In person

    A private institution, Sumner College grants degrees and certificates from its campus in Portland, Oregon. Students learn from experts in multiple disciplines. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. At the accredited institution, students qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. A total of 100% of students receive financial aid and 81% take out loans at the institution. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 85%. The school reports that the rate of admission is 100%. Prospective students can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools.

  7. #7

    University of Western States

    Portland, OR

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    1,097

    Format

    Online, In person

    University of Western States, which enrolls students in programs from its Portland, Oregon campus. Learners choose from a variety of degree-granting programs. With academic and technical tracks, the programs help learners reach a variety of career goals. Enrollees can earn an associate degree in two years, a bachelor's degree in four years, a master's degree in 1-2 years, or a doctoral degree in 3-7 years. Applicants may qualify for a test score waiver. These policies make it easier to enroll. The admissions department provides additional resources on applying to the school. Financial aid helps students cover the cost of their degree. University of Western States is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

  8. #8

    Paul Mitchell the School-Portland

    Portland, OR

    Graduation Rate

    82%

    Enrollment

    139

    Format

    In person

    A private school in Oregon, Paul Mitchell the School-Portland offers professional education in many fields. Candidates can study via distance education or on campus in Portland. Learners can choose from 5 certificate programs. Earning their diploma or certificate, students build specialized skills in one subject area. Learners can complete diplomas and certificates in far less time than traditional four-year bachelor's degrees. A certificate or diploma can greatly change students' career prospects. Graduates can earn a significant return on investment, including better career opportunities and better pay. Many graduates also enroll in associate or bachelor's programs. After completing a credential, students may be able to transfer their credits toward another degree.

  9. #9

    Phagans Grants Pass College of Beauty

    Grants Pass, OR

    Graduation Rate

    76%

    Enrollment

    61

    Format

    In person

    Phagans Grants Pass College of Beauty offers 7 certificate programs from its Oregon campus. Students often complete a program in weeks or months, rather than years. The credential programs at the school commonly attract students looking to advance their careers quickly. The program focuses on specific skills for career preparation. The school is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences. For more information about the application process, prospective students should contact Phagans Grants Pass College of Beauty's admissions department. After finishing one of the school's programs, students can immediately enter their career track.

  10. #10

    Beau Monde Academy of Cosmetology

    Portland, OR

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    Enrollment

    115

    Format

    In person

    One of Oregon's top schools, Beau Monde Academy of Cosmetology offers 6 certificate programs. After completing the rigorous curriculum, graduates can pursue careers or enroll in other programs. Degree-seekers prepare to succeed in professional roles. Experiential learning helps enrollees apply knowledge in real-world contexts. The postsecondary institution holds accreditation, demonstrating the quality of its academic programs. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. As an accredited institution, learners enrolled in the school can receive federal financial aid. The school's website provides information about each program's requirements. The postsecondary institution is accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences.

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Why Choose a Private Institution in Oregon?

When choosing the right college, prospective students must compare all their options, including private vs. public colleges.

If you want to study in Oregon, that includes carefully considering the over 40 private schools in Oregon. Start by weighing the pros and cons of a private education.

Students choose private colleges in Oregon for many reasons, including small class sizes, more individualized support, and specialized program options. With just over 25 public colleges and universities to choose from in the state, students can also find a greater selection of private institutions in Oregon.

However, degree-seekers should consider potential downsides to private schools as well.

For example, private colleges in Oregon typically charge higher tuition rates. Even out-of-state students and Oregon residents studying out of state can find tuition savings in public schools through the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE).

Pros and Cons of Attending a Private College or University in Oregon

Pros

Smaller class sizes and more intimate and personalized supportMore school choices and more specialized training optionsSmaller and close-knit communities and alumni networksMore one-on-one time with instructors and smaller in-class groupsMore diversified admission requirements, including extracurricular considerationsMore financial aid options for students with no financial need

Cons

More expensive tuition rates and room and board feesFewer programs and course options availableFewer campus facilities, extracurricular activities, and student organizationsLess campus and classroom diversityNo reciprocity agreements for out-of-state studentsMore challenging academic admission requirements

Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Oregon

Students considering attending a private college or university in Oregon should note whether the schools they are looking at are nonprofit or for-profit institutions.

Nonprofit vs. for-profit colleges primarily differ in the way they handle tuition money. Public schools are always nonprofit since they receive government funding to help offset costs. Private colleges and universities in Oregon, however, may be nonprofit or for-profit.

Both private school types rely on student tuition to operate. Nonprofit schools have to reinvest tuition money back into the school. On the other hand, for-profit colleges can pass on the earnings to stakeholders.

There are 19 for-profit private colleges in Oregon, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). There are pros and cons of for-profit colleges.

These institutions typically offer more career-based and technical training compared to nonprofit private and public colleges, but they also have lower six-year graduation rates and higher graduate loan debt.

How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in Oregon?

According to NCES, the average undergraduate tuition and required fees at private four-year colleges was around $42,200 in Oregon for the 2019-2020 school year. The costs of room and board were about $6,750 and $6,180, respectively, during that period.

A common misconception about paying for college is that private colleges always cost more than public colleges. While this is true on average, nonprofit private colleges offer students considerably more grant and scholarship aid.

The state does not have private tuition-free colleges. However, tuition at the least expensive private institutions in Oregon costs approximately $10,000 per year, such as at the University of Western States.

Compare that to the tuition rates at some of the most expensive private institutions in Oregon, such as Lewis and Clark College, where undergraduate tuition can exceed $50,000.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in Oregon

How many private colleges and universities are there in Oregon?

According to the NCES College Navigator, there are a total of 51 private universities and colleges in Oregon, as of March 2022. That includes nonprofit and for-profit schools, along with private institutions that run programs that take less than two years to complete. There are 25 private four-year colleges and 21 private two-year colleges.

Among the 25 private four-year colleges, 23 are nonprofit and two are for-profit. The 21 private two-year colleges include 19 for-profit schools and two nonprofit schools. Some colleges may feature multiple campuses and locations.

What is the most expensive private college or university in Oregon?

College is expensive, and attending a school in Oregon is no different. In fact, the average tuition rates in Oregon, for 2019-2020, exceeded the national averages for both public and private institutions, according to NCES.

The most expensive private institutions in Oregon depend on the program you choose. But some of the state's most expensive private schools include Reed College and Willamette University, along with Linfield College, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and the University of Portland. Tuition prices at these schools may exceed $40,000 per academic year.

What is the least expensive private college or university in Oregon?

The least expensive private colleges and universities in Oregon feature tuition prices below $20,000 annually. These schools include the University of Western States, New Hope Christian College, Pacific Bible College, and Warner Pacific University.

These prices depend on the student's program choices and course load, and some schools may have a limited selection of programs. Regardless of tuition rates, prospective students should always investigate their financial aid options.

Is a private institution right for me?

Every student is different, and every school offers something unique. Private colleges and universities in Oregon can provide some of the best training in the state. To determine if a private education is right for you, consider the pros and cons of the training and the facilities.

Think about the cost of the education. Consider that while private colleges in Oregon may be more expensive on average, financial aid can help offset those costs. The best private schools in Oregon may offer smaller class sizes and more personalized support, but they may feature more limited program and facility offerings.

Can I get more scholarship money at a private institution?

Yes. While the scholarship money available depends on each individual student, private schools do tend to offer more support dollars.

According to NCES, students received $24,080 in grants and scholarships on average at nonprofit private schools in 2018-2019. The average grant and scholarship package at public schools was $8,310.

To find scholarships, students' first steps should include completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Prospective students should then look through the online scholarship databases. They should also use their school's financial aid resources and support channels.