WAICU-member colleges and universities currently enroll more than 61,000 students.† More than two-thirds of WAICU students are from Wisconsin.
In 2011, 16 percent of Wisconsin private nonprofit college and university students were racial/ethnic minorities; nearly 40 percent of all enrolled students were age 25 or over.† The UW System had 12 percent minority enrollment and 23 percent of its students were age 25 or over.
Students who qualify for the federal Pell Grant (by definition, those with significant financial need) constitute a higher percentage of enrolled students at WAICU-member colleges and universities (31 percent) than at 4-year UW System institutions (26 percent). Transfer students are also welcomed. In 2011, 28 percent of the new students at Wisconsin private nonprofit colleges and universities were transfer students.
Private nonprofit higher education is a bargain for state taxpayers.† Each full-time-equivalent student attending the UW System is supported by a state taxpayer subsidy of $6,418 per year, while the comparable support for a full-time-equivalent student at a private nonprofit college or university is just $534 per year.†
The average price for undergraduate tuition and fees at a WAICU-member college or university during 2010-2011 was $25,334.† The average freshman financial aid package was $20,446 leaving net tuition costs of just $4,888.† (Additional costs for room and board are comparable in the public and private nonprofit sectors.) 2010-2011 UW tuition was $7,330.
More than 90 percent of full-time undergraduates at private nonprofit colleges and universities in Wisconsin receive financial aid.† Grants, which do not have to be paid back, make up 73 percent of the average financial aid package.
The Wisconsin Tuition Grant (WTG) is the primary state-funded need-based financial aid program for students attending private nonprofit colleges.† The 2011-12 WTG appropriation of $26.9 million represents two percent of all state funds appropriated for higher education.
The 4-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time students who began and stayed at a private, nonprofit college or university is 68 percent higher than the rate for students on public campuses. This enables grads to pay less tuition and start earning sooner.
Each year, Wisconsinís private nonprofit institutions produce more than 13,000 graduates, the majority of whom remain in Wisconsin. WAICU members grant 26 percent of Wisconsinís bachelorís degrees and 36 percent of the advanced degrees.
Among the bachelorís degrees, the private nonprofit colleges and universities produce 32 percent of the business graduates, 32 percent of the engineering graduates, and 52 percent of the nursing graduates.†
At the graduate level, WAICU members produce 45 percent of the business degrees, 53 percent of the nursing degrees, 56 percent of the teacher education degrees, 58 percent of the medical doctor degrees, 78 percent of the physician assistant degrees, and 100 percent of the dentistry degrees.
The average class size in Wisconsinís private, nonprofit colleges is just 17 students and the student/faculty ratio is 13:1.† This personal interaction is just one reason that the majority of students graduating from private nonprofit colleges do so in four years.