Private universities and schools in USA

Many of the top-rated universities in the USA are private universities. This includes Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, or Yale University. Conversely, student tuition fees primarily finance these universities, which are usually more expensive than those in public universities.

Here’s an overview of what you need to know about private universities in the USA. What is the difference between public and private institutions of higher education in the USA and what are the best private universities in the country.

Learn also how to apply to a university in the USA.

What is the difference between public and private university in USA?

The main difference between public and private universities in the USA is their source of funding. A public university receive funding from the US Government while private one gets funding from the students’ tuition fees and endowments which are large donations. This difference is the reason why tuition fees at private universities are much higher than those applied at public universities in the US. 

The other way to distinguish private from public universities is the size of the institution. Public universities tend to have larger campuses than private ones. And since they are smaller in size, private universities offer a lesser number of degrees, specialties and professors. Accordingly, private universities have better staff-to-student ratios and more income for resources. 

Public universities, because of in-state tuition, have more local students. Private ones, on the other hand, attract more students from all over the country. So how to choose between public and private universities in USA? The key resides in the 3 characteristics we gave: if you like smaller campus atmosphere, private universities are best for you. 

On the other hand, if you have concerns about the study cost, public universities are better. And the last question to ask is: does the university you plan to apply to have the major and degree you want to study?

How many private universities are there in the US?

There are currently 5,300 institutions of higher education in the USA. Among them 1,626 are public colleges and 1,687 are private non-profit ones. The remaining 985 institutions are for-profit schools. The public as well as private institutions are categorized into two-year schools and four-year colleges and universities. Two-year schools are mostly community and county colleges.

The top 5 private universities and institutes in USA

Harvard University


Unquestionably, Harvard leads the list, as it ranks first in the overall ranking of universities for 2019 (WSJ / THE US College 2019). Harvard University has also been the mainstay of reputation ranking for the past six years.

Concurrently, Harvard is expensive, with an average tuition fee of around $43,000 per year. However, the University offers generous financial assistance packages to underprivileged students. According to the university website, financial aid has increased by 75 % since 2007. It now provides about $170 million annually to students, and 50% of students receive financial aid.

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

MIT has more than 500 sets of recognized student activities. One of them is the student newspaper The Tech, which is published in paper and online. MIT also sponsors 31 sports and has one of the broadest NCAA Division III sports programs.

MIT has never been awarded an honorary degree, nor does sports awards. The Institute awarded “honorary professors” only twice to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1949 and author Salman Rushdie in 1993.

Yale University

Notable alumni at Yale include US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and actress Meryl Streep. In fact, Yale has an impressive group of alumni, including five US presidents, 20 Nobel Prize winners, and 32 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Yale is famous for its secret societies, such as Scroll and Key and Skull, and bones which began accepting women only in 1991. There are also many non-secret student associations, such as the mathematics society, the Chinese student community, the Foosball club, and the chamber orchestra.

University Of Columbia

University Of Columbia

Columbia University has 20 schools, including three university schools, and graduate schools in law, education, and business. According to the New York Journal, Columbia University is the second-largest landowner in New York City after the Catholic Church. Furthermore, the university guarantees four years of on-campus accommodation to university students.

California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

Finally, the California Institute of Technology or Caltech is the smallest university on this list and has fewer than 3,000 students. Admission to this institute is strict so that the institution only accepts students with the highest grades. Surprisingly, Caltech students are famous for their love of jokes and tricks. One of the most famous tricks was when they changed the Hollywood sign to read Caltech by covering parts of the letters.

The majority of students live on campus in university-owned housing whereas less than 20% of students live off-campus.

Learn also about the 10 best universities in USA

About Amr

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.