2022 Top Private Colleges and Universities in Washington

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 institutions 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 Washington’s private colleges and universities without paying higher out-of-state rates.

2022 Best Private Colleges and Universities in Washington

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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

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    Avg Tuition per YearTuition is the price you pay to attend classes. Tuition varies by school, and does not include costs associated with room and board, books, school supplies, meal plans, or transportation.

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    #1

    Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building

    Port Hadlock, WA

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    27

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $16050

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $16050

    Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building, located in Port Hadlock, Washington, welcomes students with 2 program options. Students enjoy rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 5-to-1. According to the the school's reports, 71% of its students receive financial assistance. The private institution reports a graduation rate of 77%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs no longer require test scores for admission. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements.

    #2

    DigiPen Institute of Technology

    Redmond, WA

    Graduation Rate

    53%

    Enrollment

    1,120

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $33500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33500

    A private institution, DigiPen Institute of Technology grants degrees from its campus in Redmond, Washington. The college offers academic and technical programs to help learners reach their educational goals. The institution offers coursework that gives students the chance to gain relevant knowledge and skills. Some programs provide a test-optional admission option. This makes it easier to enroll. The school supports enrollees with tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. Learners at the accredited school often fund their education with federal aid programs, including the Pell Grant. DigiPen Institute of Technology is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #3

    Whitman College

    Walla Walla, WA

    Graduation Rate

    86%

    Enrollment

    1,360

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $50000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $50000

    Located in Walla Walla, Washington, Whitman College offers multiple programs as a private institution. Enrollees complete programs that prepare them for the workforce. Degree-seekers benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is currently unknown. As an accredited institution, degree-seekers qualify for federal student aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their major, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #4

    Gonzaga University

    Spokane, WA

    Graduation Rate

    88%

    Enrollment

    7,295

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $46060

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $46060

    Gonzaga University, located in Spokane, Washington, offers 84 programs for degree-seekers. Students benefit from rigorous programs that rank among the best in the nation. The school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 11-to-1. At the institution, 100% of the students receive some form of financial aid. The private school reports a 88% graduation rate. Experiential learning opportunities help graduates on the job market. The school incorporates internships, research opportunities, and service learning. The admission rate for incoming students is 73%. Some programs offer test-optional admission policies.

    #5

    Academy of Interactive Entertainment

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    80%

    Enrollment

    135

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $21682

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21682

    Academy of Interactive Entertainment is a Washington-based private school that hosts an assortment of professional training programs. The school offers learners seeking a faster course of study 4 certificate programs. The curriculum covers core topics and specialized training. After earning their certificate, graduates can pursue careers or still further studies. Upon finishing a certificate, graduates pursue careers in related fields. In total, 68% of learners receive financial aid to pay for college. Learners can receive federal financial aid at this accredited school. For more information about the application process, prospective students should contact the school's admissions department. The school is accredited by the Council on Occupational Education.

    #6

    Whitworth University-Adult Degree Programs

    Spokane, WA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    262

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13440

    Whitworth University-Adult Degree Programs, located in Spokane, Washington, enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. The institution's degree and certificate programs offer coursework that allows students to bolster their knowledge. Many schools no longer require admissions tests such as ACT or SAT scores. This makes it easier to enroll. Learners receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Whitworth University-Adult Degree Programs has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #7

    Seattle Film Institute

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    75%

    Enrollment

    96

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $30240

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $30240

    From its campus in Seattle, Washington, Seattle Film Institute enrolls students as a private institution. The institution's faculty brings expertise in multiple fields. Students who complete an academic or technical program often enter the workforce right away. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 63% of learners receive financial aid, while 56% take out loans. The institution reports a 75% graduation rate. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Prospective applicants can contact an admission advisor to learn more about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, an independent accrediting body.

    #8

    Walla Walla University

    College Place, WA

    Graduation Rate

    59%

    Enrollment

    1,737

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $28908

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $28908

    From its campus in College Place, Washington, Walla Walla University offers academic programs as a private institution. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's degrees make national rankings. The school's average cost per credit is unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. Based on their major, students take essential courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent accrediting body.

    #9

    Northwest College of Art & Design

    Tacoma, WA

    Graduation Rate

    40%

    Enrollment

    101

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $18000

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18000

    A private institution located in Tacoma, Washington, Northwest College of Art & Design offers a variety of programs. The school offers programs that prepare learners for the workforce. The institution offers an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit is unknown at this time. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners at the school choose from academic and technical programs. The school offers foundational courses, technical classes, and general education courses in multiple majors. Northwest College of Art & Design is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.

    #10

    Seattle University

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    73%

    Enrollment

    7,050

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $47565

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $47565

    From its campus in Washington, Seattle University administers 208 total programs. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The institution reports that 98% of students receive some form of financial aid. The private school reports a graduation rate of 73%. The institution understands that hands-on experience helps job seekers enter the workforce. Learners participate in internships, research projects, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate is 83% for new students. Some programs no longer require standardized tests for admission.

    #11

    Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies

    Kirkland, WA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    1,215

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $11970

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $11970

    Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies, a private institution in Kirkland, Washington, enrolls learners in multiple programs. With both academic and technical programs, the school helps learners reach their career goals. Students complete courses and experiential learning opportunities to bolster their knowledge. Applicants may qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. This makes it easier to enroll. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. The institution's average cost per credit is unknown. Learners at the accredited school can pay for their educational costs with federal student aid programs. Northwest University-College of Adult and Professional Studies holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #12

    University of Puget Sound

    Tacoma, WA

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    2,130

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $52495

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $52495

    Located in Tacoma, Washington, University of Puget Sound enrolls students as a private institution. Degree-seekers study with experts in many different fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. The institution's cost per credit is unknown. At the accredited institution, learners qualify for financial aid, including federal loans, scholarships, and grants. The institution reports that 100% of learners receive financial aid, while 47% take out loans. The private school reports a graduation rate of 77%. The admission rate for new students is 87%. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. University of Puget Sound is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #13

    Whitworth University

    Spokane, WA

    Graduation Rate

    77%

    Enrollment

    2,756

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $45050

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $45050

    Located in Spokane, Washington, Whitworth University is a private institution that offers multiple programs. The school offers accredited programs that prepare learners for the workforce. Learners enroll in academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Many of the school's programs appear in national rankings. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Learners choose from academic and technical majors at the school. Depending on their major, learners complete fundamentals courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #14

    Bastyr University

    Kenmore, WA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    904

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $26820

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $26820

    From its campus in Kenmore, Washington, Bastyr University grants degrees as a private institution. Students earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. Learners benefit from academically rigorous programs at an affordable price. Multiple programs at the school appear in national rankings. The cost per credit is unknown. Degree-seekers at this accredited institution may qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. The school offers both academic and technical programs. Depending on their program, students complete foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. The school is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #15

    Antioch University-Seattle

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    735

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $21600

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $21600

    Located in Seattle, Washington, Antioch University-Seattle enrolls students as a private institution. With both academic and technical programs, the institution helps students reach their career goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division requirements. Bachelor's programs also incorporate general education requirements. Upper-division courses emphasize advanced concepts in the major. Enrollees receive support in the form of tutoring and career services. The amount students pay per credit on average is unknown. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. Antioch University-Seattle has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, an independent accrediting body.

    #16

    Pacific Lutheran University

    Tacoma, WA

    Graduation Rate

    71%

    Enrollment

    2,907

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $45440

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $45440

    Pacific Lutheran University, located in Tacoma, Washington, operates as a private institution. Experts in diverse disciplines teach at the institution. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or a bachelor's degree. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. A total of 100% of students receive financial aid and 52% take out loans at the school. The institution reports a graduation rate of 71%. Hopeful students can expect admission rates of 86%. Prospective applicants can contact the admissions office for more information about applying. Pacific Lutheran University holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #17

    Heritage University

    Toppenish, WA

    Graduation Rate

    41%

    Enrollment

    999

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $18192

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $18192

    Located in Washington, Heritage University offers 88 programs for students. The institution's top-ranked programs offer a rigorous course of study. The school provides a student-to-faculty ratio of 6-to-1. The institution reports that approximately 100% of enrollees receive financial aid. The school reports a graduation rate of 41%. Graduates often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive candidates on the job market. The school's admission rate is unavailable. Some applicants qualify for a waiver for standardized test scores. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements and start dates.

    #18

    Seattle Pacific University

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    65%

    Enrollment

    3,601

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $46728

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $46728

    Seattle Pacific University, located in Seattle, Washington, welcomes students with 104 program options. Learners enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. According to the school, 99% of undergraduates receive some form of financial aid. Students earn their bachelor's degree from the school at a rate of 65%. Hands-on experience helps graduates stand out on the job market. The school offers internships, research opportunities, and other forms of experiential learning. The admission rate for applicants is 91%. Some students qualify for test-optional admissions.

    #19

    City University of Seattle

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    2,052

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $13658

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $13658

    City University of Seattle, located in Seattle, Washington, grants degrees as a private institution. Instructors bring expertise in their fields. The school offers academic and technical programs that prepare graduates for the workforce or a bachelor's degree. The school's cost per credit is unknown. Students can fund their education with financial aid such as federal loans, scholarships, and grants. There is no available data on how many students graduate. The institution's admission rate is unknown at this time. Prospective students can contact the admissions department for more details about application requirements. City University of Seattle is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #20

    Saint Martin's University

    Lacey, WA

    Graduation Rate

    61%

    Enrollment

    1,638

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $39500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $39500

    Saint Martin's University enrolls students on its Lacey, Washington campus as a private institution. Learners study with experts in many different fields. The school's academic and technical programs prepare graduates for the workforce or further study. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal student aid programs, including the Pell Grant. A total of 99% of students receive financial aid and 53% take out loans at the institution. Degree-seekers graduate from the school at a rate of 61%. Hopeful students can expect admission rates of 94%. The admissions office provides more information about application requirements and start dates. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #21

    Cornish College of the Arts

    Seattle, WA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    482

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $32964

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $32964

    Located in Seattle, Washington, Cornish College of the Arts enrolls students as a private institution. Degree-seekers take courses with experts in diverse disciplines. Students who complete a technical or academic program may enter the workforce. Data on the school's average cost per credit is currently unavailable. Students at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid, including grants and loans. At the institution, 98% of students receive aid and 79% receive loans. Students graduate from the school at a rate of 52%. The admission rate is 79% for hopeful students. Prospective applicants can contact the admission department for more information about applying. The school holds accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, an independent accrediting body.

    #22

    Northwest University

    Kirkland, WA

    Graduation Rate

    58%

    Enrollment

    1,184

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $33500

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $33500

    A private institution, Northwest University enrolls students on its campus in Kirkland, Washington. With both academic and technical programs, the college helps students reach their career goals. The institution's bachelor's programs incorporate lower-division and upper-division coursework. Students also complete general education credits. Upper-division classes emphasize advanced concepts within the major. Learners benefit from support services, which include tutoring and career counseling. Data on the school's average cost per credit is unavailable. Learners at the accredited institution qualify for federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant. Northwest University has received accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

    #23

    Charter College

    Vancouver, WA

    Graduation Rate

    52%

    Enrollment

    2,120

    Format

    Online, In person

    In-State Tuition

    $19276

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $19276

    From its Washington campus, Charter College offers 25 academic programs. Students enroll in top-ranked programs that offer a rigorous course of study. The school reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 25-to-1. According to the the school's reports, 95% of its students receive financial assistance. The school reports a 52% graduation rate for its programs. Job seekers often benefit from hands-on experience, which makes them more competitive job candidates. The institution's admission rate is currently unknown. Some programs operate with a test-optional policy for admissions. The admission department can provide more information about application requirements.

    #24

    Faith International University

    Tacoma, WA

    Graduation Rate

    33%

    Enrollment

    318

    Format

    Online

    In-State Tuition

    $10800

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $10800

    From its campus in Tacoma, Washington, Faith International University awards degrees as a private institution. Enrollees earn an accredited degree that prepares them for the workforce. The programs offer an academically rigorous course of study at an affordable price. Several of the school's programs appear in national rankings. The amount students pay per credit on average is currently unknown. Students attending the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Degree-seekers choose from academic and technical programs at the institution. Based on their major, students take foundational courses, technical classes, and general education requirements. Faith International University holds accreditation from the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, an independent accrediting body.

    #25

    University of Phoenix-Washington

    Tukwila, WA

    Graduation Rate

    Not Provided

    Enrollment

    11

    Format

    In person

    In-State Tuition

    $9552

    Out-of-State Tuition

    $9552

    A top-ranked school, University of Phoenix-Washington enrolls learners in programs from its campus in Tukwila, Washington. Students study with experts in many different fields. Academic and technical programs help students reach their professional goals. Academic programs can take anywhere from a few months to several years to complete, depending on degree or certificate type. Applicants may qualify for a standardized test score waiver. These policies make it easier to apply. The admissions department provides additional resources on submitting an application. Financial aid helps degree-seekers pay for their education. University of Phoenix-Washington is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

    Why Choose a Private College or University in Washington?

    Choosing a college requires students to consider many factors including cost, degree programs offered, and whether the institution is public or private. While public colleges receive most of their funding from the state or federal government, private colleges receive less, relying on tuition, their endowment, and alumni donations to fund the university.

    Washington has 31 private colleges and 43 public colleges, according to 2020 data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Many students choose private colleges and universities because they typically offer smaller class sizes and can offer more rigorous academics. However, private colleges and universities are also more expensive than public colleges and may not provide as many degree program options as a state school.

    Washington is part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange reciprocity program along with 16 other states and over 160 public colleges and universities. This program allows out-of-state students to receive discounted tuition at participating schools. Students in the reciprocity program will still pay more tuition than in-state residents.

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

    Pros

    • Check Circle
      Private colleges have smaller class sizes, offering more class discussion and one-on-one time with professors.
    • Check Circle
      Private colleges offer specialized and highly-regarded degree programs in specific areas.
    • Check Circle
      Private colleges and universities have fewer students, which can offer a more tight-knit campus community.
    • Check Circle
      Private colleges and universities generally offer more merit- and need-based aid than public institutions.

    Cons

    • X Circle
      Private colleges and universities receive less public funding from the state or federal government, which can lead to smaller campuses and fewer facilities.
    • X Circle
      Smaller private colleges and universities typically do not offer the same amount of degree programs as public colleges.
    • X Circle
      Private colleges may offer fewer extracurricular activities for students than public colleges.
    • X Circle
      Private colleges and universities are generally more expensive than public institutions.

    Nonprofit vs. For-Profit Colleges or Universities in Washington

    A nonprofit institution uses all funds — including tuition — for needs, such as facilities repair and funding research programs. For-profit institutions answer to a corporation or a private owner. The goal of a for-profit colleges or university is to make money for its investors.

    There are nine for-profit colleges and universities and 22 nonprofit private institutions in Washington. Students deciding between for-profit and nonprofit colleges should consider factors such as cost, program options, and institutional reputation. Nonprofit colleges and universities typically cost more, but offer better academics. For-profit colleges can cost less and may offer specialized degree programs. Students should also note that many for-profit colleges and universities offer limited student services and lack accreditation, which can hinder job prospects after graduation.

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

    Tuition and fees at a private, four-year, nonprofit school in Washington cost $39,790 during the 2019-2020 academic year, according to NCES data. The average cost of room and board for students attending these schools was $12,540 that year. In comparison, the average cost of tuition and fees for in-state students at a four-year public school in Washington was $7,170.

    With a tuition cost of $8,100 per year, Faith International University is one of the least expensive private institutions in Washington. On the other end of the spectrum is the University of Puget Sound, with an annual tuition of $57,330.

    Though usually more expensive than public institutions, private colleges offer students a lot of financial aid to help them cover the cost of tuition. According to NCES, students at nonprofit private schools received, on average, $24,080 in grants and scholarships during the 2018-2019 school year. Students at public colleges and universities received an average of $8,310.

    Students should also consider hidden costs associated with college, including transportation, textbooks, and school supplies like a laptop. Students can also explore independent scholarships and grants. Before choosing a school, applicants can research tuition-free colleges as well.

    Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree

    Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges and Universities in Washington

    How many private colleges and universities are there in Washington?

    There are 31 private 2- and 4-year colleges in Washington, including nine for-profit colleges and 22 nonprofit colleges. In general, these private colleges are smaller than the public institutions, resulting in smaller class sizes and more specialized degree programs. With 43 public institutions, there are more public than private institutions in Washington.

    When choosing a college, learners should consider factors like cost and available programs. While private colleges may offer fewer options, they are typically regarded very highly for academics.

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

    The most expensive private colleges and universities in Washington cost more than $50,000 per year. The University of Puget Sound charges an annual tuition rate of $57,330. Whitman College has a tuition cost of $55,560.

    The cost of college across the country continues to rise at both public and private institutions. In general, private institutions charge more than public ones.

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

    Among the least expensive private colleges and universities in Washington is Faith International University. The school has a tuition cost of $8,100. City University of Seattle charges $18,900 per year, which is also on the less expensive end of the spectrum.

    Students may be able to limit tuition costs by applying to online programs at private colleges and universities. Many institutions offer reduced tuition for students in fully online degree programs.

    Is a private college or university right for me?

    There are many private colleges and universities in Washinton to meet the needs of a wide variety of students, but ultimately choosing a college comes down to a particular student’s preferences. Private colleges and universities generally focus on academics, with fewer, more specialized degree programs and smaller class sizes. However, students should consider the higher tuition costs and fewer options for extracurriculars and degree programs.

    Readers should assess their personal needs when choosing a college, such as their budget for tuition, their preferences for large or small classes, the type of college experience they want, and what kind of degree they want to pursue.

    Can I get more scholarship money at a private university?

    While typically more expensive, private schools offer a lot of financial aid — sometimes more than public schools — to defray the cost of tuition. Students can apply for need-based and merit-based scholarships through their school or research independent scholarship and grant options. During the 2018-2019 school year, students at nonprofit private institutions received an average of $24,080 in grants and scholarships.

    Readers should always research their prospective schools’ financial aid options before applying. Applicants can learn more about financial aid policies through a college’s website or by contacting the admissions office.