Twenty-eight of the state’s private colleges and universities are hoping to close the deal this week and convince students to choose them for study beyond high school. Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities spokesperson, Kathleen Gannon, says it’s the 12th year for “Iowa Private College Week.” The campuses will host a variety of events to show off their programs and, most importantly, their campuses.

Gannon says their research shows a campus visit is the single most determinant factor in choosing a school. She says you can look at all the information from the school, but “there’s something about walking across that campus, looking at it, looking at the students, and…it’s almost magical.” The association will once again offer a passport that gives incentives to prospective students who visit at least three of the schools.

She says if they visit three schools and have the passport stamped and then enroll and are accepted at a school, they will be eligible for a drawing for two $500 bookstore vouchers. And Gannon says they’ve teamed up with Casey’s to offer a five-cent-a-gallon discount on gas for those who show their college passport.

Gannon has this pitch for those parents and students concerned about the potential cost of a private college compared to public schools.

Gannon says they “practically guarantee” the student will get in and out in four years,and they will be working while students at public colleges will still be going to school. And she says parent should check with the financial aid office and admissions officials to find out exactly what it might cost before letting cost be a deterrent.

The 28 participating schools this week are: AIB College of Business (Des Moines); Allen College (Waterloo); Briar Cliff University (Sioux City); Buena Vista University (Storm Lake); Central College (Pella); Clarke University (Dubuque); Coe College (Cedar Rapids); Cornell College (Mount Vernon); Dordt College (Sioux Center); Drake University (Des Moines); Graceland University (Lamoni); Grand View University (Des Moines); Grinnell College (Grinnell); Iowa Wesleyan College (Mount Pleasant); Loras College (Dubuque); Luther College (Decorah); Maharishi University of Management (Fairfield); Mercy College of Health Sciences (Des Moines); Morningside College (Sioux City); Mount Mercy College (Cedar Rapids); Northwestern College (Orange City); Palmer College of Chiropractic (Davenport); Saint Ambrose University (Davenport); Saint Luke’s College (Sioux City); Simpson College (Indianola); University of Dubuque (Dubuque); Wartburg College (Waverly) and William Penn University (Oskaloosa).

Find out more about the informational programs at each school on-line at: