Best Private Colleges in Delaware 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Delaware.

Best Private Colleges in Delaware 2022

Best Private Colleges in Delaware

  1. Wilmington University
  2. Wesley College

Colleges and Universities in Delaware

A total of six higher learning institutions offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Two public schools and four private schools award degrees in fields such as mathematics, political science, criminal justice, and publishing. Delaware State University and the University of Delaware are both affordable at $8,000 and $14,000, respectively.

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The student population, however, is vastly different with a little over 4,000 attending Delaware State University and just over 22,000 students at the University of Delaware. Wilmington University has the highest student population among private colleges at just under 10,000 — it is also the most affordable at $11,000. Students who attend Delaware College of Art and Design can specialize their associate degree in animation, fine arts, graphic design, illustration, or photography. Residents who earn degrees in the medical or mental health fields have the opportunity to get assistance in paying off their student loans through Delaware’s State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). Applicants must agree to work in underserved areas of Delaware for two or three years and can receive up to $105,000.

Though it is the second smallest state in the nation, Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, earning it the nickname, The First State. With the Delaware River running through it, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and forests throughout, Delaware college students will find beauty everywhere.

Just above the nation’s average for cost of colleges at $12,274, Delaware provides prospective students with unique options in both the private and public spheres. Discover more about Delaware’s colleges and universities.


What are Delaware’s Colleges & Universities?

Delaware’s Best Overall

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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How do we determine Delaware's best private colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 2 private universities in Delaware. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Delaware, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Delaware

  1. #1

    Wilmington University

    New Castle , DE
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    11K

    What is Wilmington University known for?

    Wilmington University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Wesley College

    Dover , DE
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    17%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/15

    What is Wesley College known for?

    Wesley College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

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Delaware’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Wilmington University
  2. Wesley College