Advantages of attending a private university or college include academic excellence, smaller class size, shorter time to degree completion and availability of financial aid. Private colleges and universities exist at all sizes, though overall they tend to be smaller than their public counterparts.
In the United States, private colleges and universities exist independently of federal and state funding as well as federal and state tuition caps, meaning that tuition can often seem higher at first glance. However, many private colleges possess much larger endowments than similar public institutions, allowing them to offer considerably more generous financial aid packages. The same financial resources often allow private colleges to hire more and better-paid faculty, meaning that student-to-faculty ratios at private colleges are often smaller than at public ones, meaning students receive more one-on-one instruction.
Private colleges, unlike public institutions, are also permitted to have a religious affiliation. For students and parents for whom religion is an important part of everyday life, a religious institution can provide an environment conducive to further spiritual growth. Similarly, though women's only colleges used to be quite common, they have become less so as all public women's colleges have become coeducational. There are still women's-only private colleges, however, providing a single-gender experience for students and parents who would prefer one.