This letter ran in the Saturday, July 17 edition of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star as an opinion-editorial.
By Dottie King, president
Private colleges and universities were founded to deliver distinctive educational experiences often combined with unique or faith-based missions. In the early days of Harvard and Yale, they served males who came from families of means. As other private colleges came to be, they began to be spread out across the country and varied in their purpose, and for a long time, they continued to serve children from affluent families.
That reality is starkly different for private schools in 2021.
Today, all but the most selective and prestigious schools serve students from all walks of life. First-generation students, students with financial need, and students representing diverse cultures are all routinely enrolled at the private colleges and universities in Indiana and throughout the United States.
Private College Week (July 19-23), sponsored by the 30 Independent Colleges of Indiana, provides the opportunity for families to learn more about private colleges. Free tour and information sessions will be offered online and in-person at our West Central Indiana Schools — Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and DePauw University. At most, class sizes are smaller and the ratio of students to full-time faculty members is lesser than at our public counterparts. A ratio is 13 to 1 at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods makes YOU a very important person both in the classroom and on campus. What does that mean for your future? You will receive a lot of personal attention! We will know your name and you will be encouraged to get involved, find your voice and to develop your own unique leadership style.
We find ways to make a private college education very affordable. Financial aid is available; 94% of SMWC students receive some form of financial aid.
Our students leave with less average debt than from most institutions — and they graduate! Nearly 60% of our students graduate within four years and 80% within six. Our graduates are successful in getting into graduate school or attaining a job within their major. Ninety-five percent do so within six months of graduation.
An interesting fact is that while only 15% of Indiana’s students are enrolled at independent colleges, we produce 30% of its graduates. Students from private colleges graduate, on time, at a rate nearly twice that of a public institution. The cost of extra years of attendance, along with the missed potential earning of having your career begin on time, adds up to a lot of value to you!
A private college experience includes a rock-star educational experience, lots of personal attention, availability of scholarships and financial aid, high likelihood of success that includes graduating on time and getting a good job, and a lifetime of memories and close relationships with professors and classmates. Come visit and let us show you why we are a great deal for you!