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
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
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.