December 2015 Parent News
Although every family’s situation is different, students can afford a private college. The misperception exists that private colleges are out of reach, but that myth is something we tackled in a recent article, one that addressed the fact that the listed price isn’t what most people will end up paying, in particular at private nonprofit colleges:
“All kinds of institutions in Minnesota offer gift aid, in the form of scholarships and grants, notes Jeff Olson, director of financial aid at Bethel University. So that gift aid lowers the listed price to a ‘net price,’ which families then pay — using a mix of savings, income and borrowing. Yes, the list price at private nonprofits is higher than at publics. But the amount of gift aid is typically much larger too.”
Our 17 member institutions awarded more than $523 million in institutional aid in the most recent year — with 94% of our first-year students receiving grants and scholarships that do not have to be paid back.
One key point that the financial aid experts shared is the value of high school families testing out what might be possible by using net price calculators. These online tools exist on each college’s website can shed a lot of light on how much students may receive in financial aid and how much they and their family might have to pay out of pocket. Check out the article and consider how it helps you.
Another useful resource is the paying for college videos, which were co-sponsored by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the Minnesota Private College Fund. They’re packed with concrete advice from local experts to help demystify how Minnesota families can finance a four-year college education.
Did you know that 27% of all 2014 nonprofit graduates and 31% of public sector graduates left college with no debt? That’s a statistic you rarely hear in the news. Here’s another one: students at Minnesota’s private nonprofit colleges graduate with almost the same amount of debt as those who went to a Minnesota public university. And for those who do borrow, it can be manageable. (For more on borrowing, see our new background piece. For actual median debt amounts, see our quick fact.)
You’ve probably seen articles questioning whether studying liberal arts will result in a good job for your child. But did you know that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is actually part of liberal arts? And consider this: employers state that a person’s major is less important that their critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as their “grit” (the persistence and follow-through to work toward long-term goals despite possible obstacles). That’s doesn’t minimize the importance of your child choosing the right major — based on his or her interests and skills in addition to future employability. Read how the presidents of two of our colleges make the case.
We asked students from Hamline, St. Thomas and St. Olaf to describe what they think makes for a good professor. And their answers reinforce the value of student-faculty interaction in the learn process, which our colleges stress and excel at. Read our students' take on what makes a stellar prof.
Studying liberal arts is a great way to instill and encourage start-up know-how, and our private colleges have been doing just that. Many current and former students have launched successful businesses, and we’ve collected a few recent stories published by our colleges as well as information on related events or competitions on campus.
You can request information from any of our member colleges using our online form. If you or your child is interested in more than one college, the form allows you request information from multiple colleges at the same time.
- How to get a job of the future with a liberal arts degree, Fast Company, Sept. 22, 2015
- The unexpected schools championing the liberal arts, The Atlantic Magazine, Oct. 15, 2015
- The five biggest myths on financing college, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nov. 7, 2015
- Why critics are wrong about liberal arts degrees, Fortune Magazine, Nov. 13, 2015
- Six common myths about higher education, Huffington Post, Nov. 22, 2015