March 2019
uncover the facts

So you've probably heard different things about private colleges over the years — from friends, in the news or on social media — but is any of it accurate? Let's tackle four common myths that make the rounds each year.

Myth 1:
Private college students only come from wealthy families.

Fact: The reality is that students who attend our 17 colleges and universities report family incomes at every level and the income breakdown is actually very similar to those for Minnesota's public universities. That’s possible because 95 percent of our first-year students receive grants and scholarships, which never have to be paid back. Try out our colleges' net price calculators to see how much aid your student might be eligible to receive.

Myth 2:
My student’s GPA or ACT/SAT score isn’t high enough to get into a private college.

Fact: It’s important to realize that a wide variety of factors are used when colleges are looking at admitting students. It’s not just about GPAs and test scores. Plus, how student GPAs and test scores are taken into consideration and how much weight they are given differ among our colleges. There is a private college that can work for your student. Plus, several of our colleges are test optional, which means students don’t have to submit ACT/SAT scores when applying.

Myth 3:
Liberal arts institutions don’t focus on science or math.

Fact: Not only do our colleges focus on the sciences and math along with the humanities and social sciences, but they award:

  • 49 percent of at all physical science bachelor’s degrees awarded in Minnesota
  • 44 percent of all nursing bachelor’s degrees awarded in Minnesota
  • 35 percent of math bachelor’s degrees awarded in Minnesota
  • 33 percent of all biological science bachelor’s degrees awarded in Minnesota

So if your student loves math and science, then they'll find a home at one of our colleges.

Myth 4:
Liberal arts degrees are not marketable to employers.

Fact: Our colleges provide a collection of experiences that help graduates become career ready. Employers seek the knowledge and skills our graduates have and value liberal arts degrees. In a 2015 survey, more than eight out of 10 employers said students should acquire broad knowledge in the liberal arts. Our students graduate with ‘transferable’ skills vital to thriving in today's rapidly changing workplace, including:

  • critical thinking
  • analytical problem-solving
  • excellent communication
  • adaptability
  • ability to contribute to team environments

What's more, private colleges also support students through strong alumni networks, job fairs and career services.