The Power of a Liberal Arts Education

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The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) announced its Public Information Campaign for the Liberal Arts and Liberal Arts Colleges. The national, multi-pronged initiative directs attention to the compelling evidence that smaller independent colleges produce graduates who are among the best prepared for success in their personal, career, and community lives. The campaign includes research and data that dispel persistent and false stereotypes about independent colleges, features prominent graduates of independent colleges and universities in all walks of life, and develops new language to describe the advantages of a liberal arts education, especially at independent institutions.

The facts are these:

  • The graduation rates at independent colleges are much higher than those at public and for-profit institutions. Nearly 60 percent of students who graduate from independent institutions do so in four years—compared with just 38 percent at state universities.
  • Students at independent colleges graduate much sooner (about a year earlier) than do their peers at public institutions and five years earlier than students at for-profit institutions. This means fewer years of paying tuition, a quicker start at earning a salary, and more years in their lifetimes to earn.
  • Low-income and first-generation students and students of color enrolled at independent colleges are more likely to graduate than their peers in other sectors of higher education.
  • Independent colleges are affordable because they raise and distribute six times as much of their own money for student scholarships than the federal government provides in aid.

*Additional facts can be found at
Dr. Robert Gervasi, Quincy University President, sits on the Board of Directors for the Council of Independent Colleges.  "Colleges like QU that offer a broad-based curriculum as well as professional preparation help to ensure students' lifelong success.  I'm pleased to work through the Council of Independent Colleges with presidents across the country in promoting that message to prospective students and their families," Gervasi said.

The Council of Independent Colleges is an association of 645 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and more than 90 higher education organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions to improve educational quality, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities. For more information, visit

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University ( is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University office of communications by calling (217) 228-5275.