Why Choose a Private Liberal Arts College?
Out of 1,500 U.S. colleges and universities, there are fewer than 200 private liberal arts colleges. These schools focus on providing a well-rounded education with an emphasis on undergraduate studies. Private liberal arts colleges also offer benefits such as:
- Smaller classes and greater sense of campus community
- More opportunities for classroom discussion and faculty interaction
- Emphasis on professors teaching rather than conducting research
Those that attend large public universities often feel disconnected from fellow students and professors. Sitting through classes in lecture halls without opportunities for more personal interaction may be one reason public university students don’t graduate at the same rates or in the same timeframe as their private college counterparts. Overall, fewer than half of public university students will graduate in five years or less.
Students at liberal arts colleges graduate faster and in greater percentages than those that attend public universities and other schools. In fact, the four-year graduation rate at liberal arts colleges is 61 percent, compared to just 33 percent at other schools.
What is the Real Cost of Attending College?
Some private colleges advertise tuition in excess of $60,000 per year, but most students pay less than $30,000 annually after scholarships and grants are applied. The average annual cost of tuition at a liberal arts college is approximately $24,000, compared to $15,000 at a public university.
But, for every year a college student fails to graduate, they incur additional tuition costs and suffer lost wages. While public university students spend an extra year or two studying, students from a liberal arts college find work and establish their careers.
In the long run, this means that the total net cost of education is lower at liberal arts colleges. Although the annual tuition may be somewhat higher, the overall cost of education is lower when students graduate on time.
What Can I Earn After Graduation?
From an earning standpoint, a liberal arts graduate today earns an average starting salary of $48,600 and a mid-career salary of $93,500. But focusing on earnings really misses the point of the real value of a college education.
You see, some students attend college to land a particular type of job and often the choice of job is influenced by earning potential. But, the truth is, many of today’s jobs didn’t even exist five years ago.
Because a liberal arts education teaches critical thinking and communication skills, many liberal arts college graduates have the flexibility to adapt to a changing workplace and find success in a variety of careers.
And that’s where the your investment in college really pays off.
For more information about liberal arts colleges and the value of a liberal arts education, please visit LiberalArtsColleges.com.