Why Choose a Private Institution in Texas?
Choosing the right college is an important decision. One decision you will have to make is whether you want to attend a public or a private college. Traditionally, private colleges are viewed as a more expensive option, but that is not always the case.
There are well over 100 colleges in Texas, including more than 40 private institutions. With diverse cities full of big industries and a relatively low cost of living, students have many reasons to enroll in a college in Texas.
Although Texas has a variety of public schools, a private institution may be a better fit for your situation. Students often choose to attend private colleges because they want to enroll in a specific program, they're offered generous scholarships, or they want to take advantage of smaller class sizes.
Pros and Cons of Attending a Private Institution in Texas
Class size: Traditionally, private colleges offer smaller class sizes than public schools. This can help students feel more engaged in their classes.Community: Because private schools tend to enroll fewer students, the community is often more intimate.Academics: Many private colleges offer top academic programs led by professors who are experts in their fields.
Fewer options: Public colleges and universities generally offer more majors and have a larger course catalog than private colleges.Less diverse: Because of their smaller size and higher cost, private colleges and universities can have a less diverse student and teaching population than public institutions.Cost: Although private colleges often offer large scholarship packages, the average cost of tuition at private colleges and universities is substantially higher than at public institutions.
Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges and Universities in Texas
When researching private institutions in Texas, you should determine whether a school is a nonprofit or for-profit college or university. Depending on your situation, there may be different pros and cons to attending a for-profit institution.
For-profit colleges and universities are private colleges whose primary goal is to make money. These colleges are predominately funded by student tuition, and many school-related decisions are made by investors and shareholders. For-profit colleges and universities have a reputation for misleading students, and many graduates of for-profit schools struggle to find work upon graduating. However, admission standards tend to be lower at for-profit schools, which may appeal to some students.
In contrast, all public colleges and universities and many private colleges are nonprofit institutions. A board of trustees governs these institutions, and their primary focus is the quality of education provided at the school.
How Much Does It Cost to Attend a Private College or University in Texas?
When considering the best private schools in Texas, cost is a key factor for many students. The average cost of tuition and fees at a private four-year college in Texas was about $36,000 for the 2019-20 academic year. Additionally, the average cost of room and board at private institutions in Texas for that same timeframe was about $12,000. In comparison, the average cost of tuition and fees at a public four-year college in Texas for in-state students was roughly $8,600 for the 2019-20 school year.
However, there are many misconceptions about paying for college. For example, did you know you may be eligible for tuition-free college, even at a private school? Few students pay the full sticker price when attending school. To calculate the true cost of college, you need to factor in tuition, housing costs, fees, and other expenses, as well as your financial aid.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in Texas
How many private colleges and universities are there in Texas?
According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, there were 38 private institutions in Texas as of 2018. The state also boasts over 100 public institutions of higher education.
Popular private colleges and universities in Texas include Baylor University, Rice University, and Southern Methodist University. Along with these large private four-year colleges, Texas offers many smaller private schools and liberal arts colleges.
What is the most expensive private college or university in Texas?
Southern Methodist University consistently ranks as one of the most expensive private colleges and universities in Texas. For the 2022-23 academic year, SMU is charging undergraduates nearly $62,000 in tuition and fees. When factoring in the average cost of housing and meals, SMU estimates total costs will be $79,730 for the year.
There are several reasons why college is so expensive, and the costs of many private and public institutions continue to rise. Nonetheless, some private colleges are relatively affordable.
What is the least expensive private institution in Texas?
Several private institutions in Texas have annual tuition and required fees below $20,000. Keep in mind that the out-of-pocket cost of tuition and fees can vary widely depending on your financial aid package.
One of the least expensive private institutions in Texas is Southwestern Christian University. The cost of tuition at SCU during the 2021-22 academic year was $541 per credit.
Is a private institution right for me?
Only you can decide if a private college or university is right for you. When making your decision, consider factors like location, class size, and cost. You should also determine what field of study you want to enter.
You can also consider a school's alumni network, internship opportunities, student clubs and activities, and student support services. Create a list of what is most important to you and what you can afford when determining whether a private institution is right for you.
Can I get more scholarship money at a private institution?
Although tuition and fees are typically higher at private institutions than at public schools, many private colleges and universities offer scholarships and need-based financial aid to students.
In addition to the money you can receive directly from a private institution, you can also seek out independent scholarships for college students. Thousands of private scholarships are available.