What financial myths are keeping YOU from your private college education?

Private colleges like EMU are within reach financially – despite tough economic times – and provide a valuable, personal, quality education. More than 90% of EMU graduates find work in their field of study within one year of graduation, and small class sizes, personal connections with caring professors, and required cross-cultural study with experienced faculty all prepare students to serve and lead in a global context.

So, what are the financial myths keeping you from choosing a private college like EMU?

Myth: Tuition at a private college is beyond reach, and state schools cost less.

Reality: Many students pay considerably less than the published tuition price at a private college. At EMU, we are committed to education that is reasonably priced and worth the investment. On average, students pay approximately 65% of direct costs.

The difference between public and private college tuition is far less than many families assume, thanks to merit scholarships, need-based grants, federal and state aid. Last year, private colleges awarded more than $270 million in grants and scholarships. EMU’s honors program can cover half of tuition costs. EMU also matches church grants. Estimate your academic scholarship online now!

Bottom line: Approximately 98% of students at EMU receive some type of financial assistance. Over $13 million in EMU funded aid was given to students last year!

Myth: It’s easy for a high-income family to afford, but harder for a middle-class family.

Reality: Private colleges are enrolling students from all income levels. In fact, national studies have shown that students attending private colleges, on average, have a similar family income as those attending public colleges. In Virginia, private colleges enroll a higher percentage of federal Pell Grant recipients (typically students from families with incomes of $40,000 or less) and minority students than public colleges. The media often cites large figures when discussing national student debt. They don’t mention that up to 40% of all student debt is for graduate education.

Myth: Public or private college – there really isn’t much difference.

Reality: Parents should compare the time it takes to graduate as well as overall graduation rates, class size, student/faculty ratio and personal attention received by students. Private colleges will rank favorably.

EMU’s student/faculty ratio is 10:1, and professors serve as mentors present in many ways across campus. Students and faculty work together on cutting-edge research, planning university chapel and other faith gatherings, and much more. Cross-cultural study has been core to EMU’s curriculum for three decades, providing students with a life-changing lens through which to view their own development. These components prepare students to serve and lead in a global context.

How do students fare after leaving EMU? Of those 2015 graduates who responded to a survey, 87% of graduates were employed full-time, in grad school, or serving in a volunteer/mission position within one year of graduation. A full-time director of career services helps prepare students for success upon completion of studies. 96% of 2012-13 education grads seeking a teaching job were employed as teachers in fall 2013. Over the past 10 years, nearly 90% of EMU students who completed EMU’s pre-medical program were accepted into medical school and a 2008 alliance with The Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va., promises more exciting opportunities for pre-med students at EMU.

Bottom line: Private liberal arts colleges like EMU offer a campus community that encourages you to get involved and be engaged, and academic and career advising from people who know you and care about your future.

Myth: There will be less assistance from government sources.

Reality: EMU participates in Federal Student Aid program. EMU also participates in the Virginia Tuition Assistance Program (VTAG), which provides an annual grant to Virginia residents attending a private college in the state. The 2016-17 grant amount is $3,200.

Ready to learn more about a liberal arts education at EMU?

Find your counselor and get the process started, call toll-free 800-368-2665, or email

View The Council of Independent Colleges’ report on student debt myths.