Best Private Colleges in Wisconsin 2022

Best Private Colleges in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin.

Colleges and Universities in Wisconsin

Between community colleges, technical schools, and universities, Wisconsin has 30 public schools. All the public schools in Wisconsin have affordable tuitions, ranging from $4,000 to $11,000. The University of Wisconsin – Madison has over 35,000 students in attendance, making it the largest in the state. The tuition runs about $11,000, and the school boasts an 85% graduation rate. Public affairs, veterinary medicine, and human ecology are just some of the fields students can study here.

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Of Wisconsin’s 29 private schools, 18 are religious. With just under 10,000 students, Marquette University is the largest, and tuition for this school is about $42,000. Located in Milwaukee, this Catholic, Jesuit university offers degrees in fields like business, engineering, physical therapy, and law. Also located in Milwaukee, the state’s smallest institution, the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology, is a private graduate school with just over 30 students, and is geared toward those earning their doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Wisconsin, like many states, also provides a loan forgiveness program to those who are working in the health care field.

When people think Wisconsin, they might immediately crave cheese. After all, the state is home to a museum dedicated to all things cheese, including the annual making of a 90-pound wheel of Swiss. But The Beaver State is also known for its more than 15,000 lakes, including Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Prospective students looking to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree will enjoy the food, landscape, and educational variety Wisconsin has to offer.

Learn more about Wisconsin’s higher education opportunities by checking out the state’s variety of colleges and universities.


What are Wisconsin’s Colleges & Universities?

Wisconsin’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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This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 19 private universities in Wisconsin. To be included in the list below of the best private universities in Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin

  1. #2

    Lawrence University

    Appleton , WI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1315/28

    What is Lawrence University known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/27

    What is Milwaukee School of Engineering known for?

    Milwaukee School of Engineering’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #5

    Carroll University

    Waukesha , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

    What is Carroll University known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • History
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Concordia University Wisconsin known for?

    Concordia University Wisconsin’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #7

    St. Norbert College

    De Pere , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is St. Norbert College known for?

    St. Norbert College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Economics
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Anthropology
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #8

    Cardinal Stritch University

    Milwaukee , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/20

    What is Cardinal Stritch University known for?

    Cardinal Stritch University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #9

    Carthage College

    Kenosha , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/24

    What is Carthage College known for?

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

    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • History
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #10

    Alverno College

    Milwaukee , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Alverno College known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #11

    Edgewood College

    Madison , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/22

    What is Edgewood College known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #12

    Ripon College

    Ripon , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/22

    What is Ripon College known for?

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

    • Physics
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #13

    Viterbo University

    La Crosse , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/23

    What is Viterbo University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #14

    Northland College

    Ashland , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Northland College known for?

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

    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #15

    Marian University

    Fond Du Lac , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/19

    What is Marian University known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Business
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #16

    Lakeland University

    Plymouth , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    982/19

    What is Lakeland University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #17

    Mount Mary University

    Milwaukee , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    935/18

    What is Mount Mary University known for?

    Mount Mary University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #18

    Maranatha Baptist University

    Watertown , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/22

    What is Maranatha Baptist University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #19

    Wisconsin Lutheran College

    Milwaukee , WI

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is Wisconsin Lutheran College known for?

    Wisconsin Lutheran College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

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Wisconsin’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

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. Marquette University
  2. Beloit College
  3. Ripon College
  4. Lawrence University
  5. Milwaukee School of Engineering
  6. Mount Mary University
  7. St. Norbert College
  8. Edgewood College
  9. Northland College
  10. Cardinal Stritch University
  11. Carroll University
  12. Maranatha Baptist University
  13. Marian University
  14. Alverno College
  15. Carthage College
  16. Concordia University Wisconsin
  17. Lakeland University
  18. Viterbo University
  19. Wisconsin Lutheran College
  20. Holy Family College