In general, colleges are smaller than universities and offer undergraduate degrees while universities offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Many universities are made up of separate colleges or schools that specialize in a particular academic field. Some of the most affordable degrees can be found at large public state universities, which offer great rates for in-state students. However, if you looking for an intimate learning environment with a smaller student population and lower student-to-faculty ratios, you will be primarily looking at small private colleges.
While private colleges and universities are typically more expensive than public schools, there are some great options for small schools that do not demand a high price tag. While most small private schools are classified as colleges, there are also quite a few that are classified as universities. For reference to some great deals for private schools, check out our list of the Top 20 Affordable Small Private Schools for 2018. Let’s take a closer look at one affordable private college, and one affordable private university to demonstrate the differences between the two.
Bob Jones University
Bob Jones University is a private university that was established in 1927 and is located in Greenville, South Carolina. The university consists of one college and six different schools that offer over 60 undergraduate majors, as well as fourteen different associate degree programs. The separate schools within the university allow students to customize their undergraduate curriculum. Students can take classes from the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, School of Fine Arts and Communication, School of Health Professions, School of Religion, and Seminary and Graduate School of Religion.
The student population at Bob Jones is larger than a small private college, as there are 2,566 undergraduates and 335 graduate students, however, the university manages to maintain an intimate student-to-faculty ratio of 12 to 1. Total tuition at Bob Jones came out to $16,500 for the 2017-18 school year, and 98% of students received some form of financial aid, making it a great deal for the intimate classroom settings that the university provides. Students looking for an additional break on tuition should be sure to check out our guide on Finding and Applying for College Scholarships.
Grace Bible College
Grace Bible College is a private college that was established in 1945 and is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The college is made up of a variety of different academic departments that comprise to offer over 20 different majors for undergraduate students to choose from. The college is fairly small with a student population of 1,012, allowing the college to offer a great student-to-faculty ratio of 11 to 1. Grace Bible College provides an intimate campus experience with four chapel events per week where students mingle and interact with one another in a wholesome setting that does not condone illegal drugs or alcohol. Most students live on campus, making a close-knit community where students build relationships that will last for the rest of their lives.
For reference to other colleges with great campus communities, be sure to check out our list of the 30 Most Exciting Colleges Where Practically All Students Live On Campus. Tuition at Grace Bible College came out to $11,569 for the 2017-18 school year, and 91% of students receive some form of financial aid, making it one of the best deals for a small college experience.