Best Private Colleges in Missouri 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 Missouri.

Best Private Colleges in Missouri 2022

Colleges and Universities in Missouri

Tuition costs in Missouri fall below the national average, allowing students access to many affordable options. For example, at Missouri State University, the second largest public school, tuition fees are around $7,000. Students of actor John Goodman’s alma mater can major in fields like religious studies, history, and business, and even have the option of earning an associate degree in arts or a bachelor’s in business at the university’s sister school in China. Missouri also offers more than 40 private schools.

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Tuition and student populations vary greatly among these schools, but students who attend these higher education institutes also have the option to attend classes at other campuses. For example, Saint Louis University, a college with Jesuit roots, has campuses in both St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Additionally, Missouri offers special loan forgiveness programs for nurses and other health professionals, including dentists, psychiatrists, and primary care physicians, who work in designated, high-need areas.

When you aren’t exploring one of its 6,000 caves, chowing down on some barbecue, or taking in a live jazz performance, Missouri can serve as the perfect place to begin a road trip. The Show Me State is bordered by eight other U.S. states, making it ideal for students love travelling and planning weekend getaways. During the week days, students can continue on their road to success by pursuing their degree at one of Missouri’s 72 higher education institutes.

See where Missouri’s many roads can take you while earning your degree at one this state’s top learning institutions.


What are Missouri’s Colleges & Universities?

Missouri’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 Missouri'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 25 private universities in Missouri. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Missouri, 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 Missouri

  1. #2

    Saint Louis University

    Saint Louis , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/27

    What is Saint Louis University known for?

    Saint Louis University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • History
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Law
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #3

    Webster University

    Saint Louis , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/24

    What is Webster University known for?

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

    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Economics
    • Computer Science
    • Law
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    William Jewell College

    Liberty , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    36%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1190/24

    What is William Jewell College known for?

    William Jewell College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Lindenwood University

    Saint Charles , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/22

    What is Lindenwood University known for?

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

    • History
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    William Woods University

    Fulton , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    2K

    What is William Woods University known for?

    William Woods University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #7

    Evangel University

    Springfield , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Evangel University known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #8

    Rockhurst University

    Kansas City , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1169/24

    What is Rockhurst University known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #9

    Drury University

    Springfield , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/25

    What is Drury University known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #10

    Stephens College

    Columbia , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/22

    What is Stephens College known for?

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

    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #11

    Park University

    Parkville , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    8K

    What is Park University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #12

    Central Methodist University

    Fayette , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/22

    What is Central Methodist University known for?

    Central Methodist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. #13

    Fontbonne University

    Saint Louis , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    What is Fontbonne University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Law
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #14

    Maryville University

    Saint Louis , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/22

    What is Maryville University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #15

    Southwest Baptist University

    Bolivar , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1027/22

    What is Southwest Baptist University known for?

    Southwest Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  15. #16

    Avila University

    Kansas City , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    42%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1082/21

    What is Avila University known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #17

    Westminster College

    Fulton , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/22

    What is Westminster College known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #18

    Culver–Stockton College

    Canton , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    995/20

    What is Culver–Stockton College known for?

    Culver–Stockton College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #19

    Missouri Valley College

    Marshall , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    23%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    965/18

    What is Missouri Valley College known for?

    Missouri Valley College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #20

    Columbia College

    Columbia , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $24K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Columbia College known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #21

    College of the Ozarks

    Point Lookout , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1084/23

    What is College of the Ozarks known for?

    College of the Ozarks’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • History
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #22

    Missouri Baptist University

    Saint Louis , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    What is Missouri Baptist University known for?

    Missouri Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #23

    Cottey College

    Nevada , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1075/21

    What is Cottey College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  23. #24

    Hannibal–LaGrange University

    Hannibal , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/21

    What is Hannibal–LaGrange University known for?

    Hannibal–LaGrange University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #25

    Ranken Technical College

    Saint Louis , MO

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Ranken Technical College known for?

    Ranken Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

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Missouri’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. Washington University in St. Louis
  2. Saint Louis University
  3. Westminster College
  4. Webster University
  5. Stephens College
  6. William Woods University
  7. Drury University
  8. William Jewell College
  9. Evangel University
  10. Rockhurst University
  11. Fontbonne University
  12. Central Methodist University
  13. Lindenwood University
  14. Southwest Baptist University
  15. College of the Ozarks
  16. Avila University
  17. Maryville University
  18. Cottey College
  19. Hannibal–LaGrange University
  20. Culver–Stockton College
  21. Ranken Technical College