April 4, 2023

While most students are winding down after a year of school work and activities, many high school sophomores and juniors are just beginning one of the biggest journeys in their young lives: the college search.

June 21 kicks off the Minnesota Private College Week, as thousands of prospective students descend on 17 nonprofit colleges throughout the state to learn about what they have to offer and to get a feel for several colleges in a short amount of time.

Twice-daily campus tours and information sessions run all week long. Students choose which colleges they want to visit and can register online. By visiting schools during Minnesota Private College Week, students can get a “gut feel” for the school and gather enough information to decide whether a longer visit down the road is in order.

Research shows that campus visits are the top influencer in a student’s decision about where to apply and enroll. And nearly three-quarters of high students say that campus visits are the most trusted source of information.

So Minnesota’s Private Colleges are throwing open their doors — inviting students and families from diverse backgrounds, income levels and college-going experiences to explore what they have to offer.

Students of color find important support and assistance at the private colleges’ multi-cultural affairs offices. Staff members in these offices help create a campus community where the needs of students of color are addressed, empowering student success.

Our institutions provide more than $288 million in student grants and scholarships each year. That’s over four times more than all government financial aid programs combined. Adequate financial aid not only encourages access; it is also essential to ensure progress to a degree.

Additional facts to consider:

  • About 13 percent of first-year students at Minnesota’s Private Colleges are students of color.
  • One-quarter of students come from families with incomes below $50,000 — about the same proportion as at the University of Minnesota.
  • About one-third of students attending Minnesota’s private colleges are the first member of their family to attend college.
  • Two-thirds of our bachelor’s degree-seeking students graduate within four years and three-quarters graduate within six years. These are the best rates in the state. We also have the highest graduation rates in Minnesota for students of color.
  • The average student-to-faculty ratio at our colleges is 13:1 and 58% of classes have less than 20 students.

If you are considering college, or know someone who is, come visit a private college this summer. To take part in Minnesota Private Colleges Week, register online at www.mnprivatecolleges.org/mpcw or find us on Facebook at “Minnesota Private College Week.”

The Minnesota Private College Council represents 17 of the state’s most respected four-year, liberal arts colleges and universities as well as about 60,000 students. For more information on the Council and its members, visit www.mnprivatecolleges.org.

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