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10 benefits of private colleges

When it comes to choosing a college or university, there’s a lot to think about. Location. Size. Public or private? Of course, we’re a bit biased on that last one, but we have good reason to be. Here are the top ten reasons we think a private university is the way to go.

1. It’s not as expensive as you think
Just because a private university has a higher sticker price than a public one, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay more. Private universities work hard to offer scholarships and financial aid to make their school affordable for families. At Seattle Pacific University, 95 percent of students receive financial aid and the average award is $36,801 per student.

2. Smaller class sizes
Small class sizes mean that professors and students will know your name and it will be easier to participate and ask questions. You won’t find a massive classroom packed with 200 students at SPU. Our average class size is 21!

3. Professors, not graduate assistants
With the smaller class sizes and higher faculty-to-student ratios at private universities, professors know you. They might even ask you to help with their research project or invite you to their house for dinner. Graduates of Seattle Pacific often talk about how their professors boosted their confidence and changed their career trajectories.

4. Connections, connections, connections
Speaking of which, it’s easier to get a strong, glowing reference from a professor who knows you. Local companies often reach out to Seattle Pacific faculty when seeking to hire quality internship and job candidates. Ninety-three percent of SPU graduates are employed or in graduate school one year after graduation.

5. Direct entrance into majors
At many public schools, large class sizes mean you might get into the university, but have to apply separately to your major program, especially if it’s a competitive one. At many private universities, like SPU, most major are open enrollment, meaning you can be automatically admitted to your major of choice and start pursuing your passion and career from day 1.

6. Tighter alumni networks
Alumni groups at private universities tend to be smaller and well-connected, which can also help you find jobs. SPU alumni work at major companies and nonprofits around the world — including every Fortune 500 company in Seattle (there are 13!).

7. Home away from home
Get ready for a tight-knit community. Many private colleges and universities are much smaller in size than their state-run counterparts. We don’t have to tell you that it’s easier to know other students from a student body of 3,000 compared to 30,000. Seattle Pacific also has a lot of well-attended activities, fun traditions in the residence halls, clubs, and ministries that help make it feel like home.

8. Mentorship
It’s much easier to find staff and faculty mentors at private universities. At SPU, the mentorship doesn’t stop within the campus. We also have a mentor program with 1,700 Seattle-area professionals ready to connect with students.

9. More opportunities to make a change
Want to lead a club or be president of your university? The small size of a private college makes it easier to become a campus leader. SPU has hundreds of campus leadership positions, and even has a club where students can invest some of the University’s money — now that’s responsibility!

10. The choice to pursue faith within the classroom
You can find faith-related clubs at public universities. But if you’re looking for a holistic faith experience in college, a faith-based private university may be a good fit for you. At Seattle Pacific, students can come from any faith background, but all of our professors are Christians and scholars at the top of their fields. Explore or go deeper in Christian faith in the classroom, campus ministries, worship events, and service opportunities.

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