Fall classes haven’t started yet, but many prospective students and their parents are descending on college campuses this week during “Iowa Private Colleges Week” Kathleen Gannon, a spokesperson for the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, says 29 of the state’s 30 private colleges are participating in the week.She says it’s a chance for parents and students to visit a number of the schools and “compare apples to apples.” Gannon says the schools are participating again this year in a passport program. You can get a passport when you visit a school and the passport will allow you to get the application fees waived. If you visit any three schools, you can get the application fees waived at any of the schools. Private colleges and universities usually cost more to attend than the public schools, but Gannon says the economy has pulled them closer in cost. She says the recent tuition increases at the public schools have closed the gap a little and she says that makes parents take a closer look at the benefits of private schools. Gannon says this is a key recruiting time for the schools. She says it’s a wonderful week for students to explore options right here in Iowa. You can get more information on private colleges by surfing to:ThinkIndependently.com.