The Care and Feeding of a Southwestern Education

In the current economic environment, a growing gap exists between the demonstrated financial need of our students and the resources available on campus to assist them.

The Princeton Review calls Southwestern University one of “America’s Best Value Colleges,” noting that Southwestern is “$10,000 to $15,000 lower than what you’d expect for a liberal arts college of its academic caliber.”

Even so, the full sticker price of a Southwestern education—including tuition, fees, room and board, books and a realistic estimate of personal expenses—is more than $41,000 for the next academic year.

While about 67 percent of the average student’s needs are met by the University through need-based and/or merit scholarships, these students receiving financial aid still pay around $18,000 a year for a Southwestern education.

A Southwestern education is resource intensive, but extremely beneficial to students.

  • Employing exceptionally talented and qualified “teacher-scholars,” 99 percent of whom hold the most advanced degree in their field, encourages collaborative student-faculty research and publication.
  • The University upholds rigorous academic expectations and offers the Paideia® Program, an integrative educational program that stresses intellectual curiosity and civic engagement.
  • A 10:1 student-faculty ratio allows for small class sizes and mentoring relationships between faculty and students.
  • A modern living-learning environment is supported by comprehensive student services, including a Center for Academic Success, an Office of Intercultural Learning, an Office of Civic Engagement and an Office of Career Services, which was ranked #7 in the country for Best Career/Job Placement Services in the 2008 edition of The Best 366 Colleges, published by the Princeton Review.
  • Volunteer opportunities such as “Destination Service,” a Spring Break volunteer service program, as well as opportunities to study abroad and to participate in internships are offered and encouraged.
  • Students have wide access to technology, and are able to utilize extensive campus facilities including theaters, sports and recreation centers, laboratories, an observatory and a greenhouse.

Here, Lives Are Changed

In his book, Colleges That Change Lives, author Loren Pope described Southwestern as “…one of the few jewels of the Southwest whose mission it is to prepare a new generation to contribute to a changing society, and to prosper in their jobs, whatever and wherever in the world they may be.”

Providing students with financial assistance allows Southwestern to recruit and retain a diverse and highly qualified student body, whose contributions to society will continue to add value to the degrees of future and past graduates alike.

However, in the current economic environment, a growing gap exists between the demonstrated financial need of our students and the resources available on campus to assist them. Southwestern must increase the amount of assistance it is able to provide. It is critical to our students and their families.

The Southwestern Experience has changed the lives of many and continues to transform the lives of deserving students today. Southwestern invites all alumni and friends to make an annual gift to support our students. Every gift matters.

If you wish to make a gift, please go to or call the Development Office at 800-960-6363, extension 1482, to discuss your plans.