Mythbuster alert: small, private colleges and universities are remarkably resilient and show considerable financial stability and growth, according to a new report.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), with support from the TIAA Institute, produced the report. The data comes from 14 years of benchmarking reports prepared for CIC members from 559 private colleges and universities, and it reveals that 88 percent of small private institutions maintained or improved their financial standing–an impressive accomplishment, considering the 14-year period includes the 2007-2009 recession.

Some institutions have experienced a roller coaster-like pattern of financial ups and downs, but most have shown significant improvement when it comes to financial indicators used to gather data.

Data indicates that “most of these institutions were financially stable before the 2007-2009 recession and have rebounded since,” according to the report. “In fact, 67 percent of the colleges and universities in the sample are at or above the threshold of financial viability in the most recent year analyzed.”

(Next page: Strategies for maintaining financial stability)

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Editorial Director, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura