Private College Admissions

Private Colleges

There are undreds of private schools in the United States and approximately 56 independent colleges and universities in California. The admissions process for each of these schools can vary widely although there is a Common Application for 300 participating colleges and universities (  Private school applications typically require more of students than just subjects, grades, and test scores; most require letters of recommendation, essays, and, sometimes, personal interviews.

Private school tuition is paid by the student rather than public tax dollars so costs for these schools are typically much higher than public universities.  However, most private schools have very generous financial aid packages and some private schools, like Harvard and Stanford University, waive tuition fees for their neediest students.

Stanford Enhances Undergraduate Financial Aid Program 
Harvard Middle Income Initiative

Students interested in attending private schools in other states, may want to investigate the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program.  WUE is a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).  Students who are residents of WICHE states may enroll at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state at a reduced tuition rate.  Click below to download a copy of the WUE information for Colorado State University:

WUE Colorado State

WICHE states include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.  For more information, visit

If you are interested in applying to a private school, please let your counselor know as soon as possible and give him/her plenty of notice to complete Mid-Year and Secondary School Reports.  For more information on private schools, refer to the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (AICCU) Comprehensive Guide to California’s Independent Colleges and Universities.

To apply for financial aid at private school click here

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE

For information about 40 small private colleges that are changing lives click here

Colleges That Change Lives