prisonchaplain

Attending a Christian college

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My 2nd child is exploring schools. She wants one with a rigorous faith-promoting environment, solid academics, and very generous merit scholarships. She has narrowed it down to three choices, and only one of them is affiliated with our home denomination. One is from another denomination and the other is inter-denominational, though Evangelical. I suspect the decision will be made in the next three weeks or so.

To my question: Do any posters have experience attending non-LDS Christian colleges? BYU-Provo has an A-rating on Niche.com and comes in very reasonably on cost. Yet, not all LDS go there. Perhaps others offer more generous scholarships, or are closer to home, or are stronger in a particular area of study. So...if you've studied at a non-LDS religious college how did it go? Pros/cons?

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The first college I attended was a small, Catholic one in Nashua, NH. ( @Grunt probably knows which one I'm talking about). It was a miserable experience. Despite it being a "Catholic" college 85% of the students were agnostic or didn't care about religion. If you were in the 15% of students who took their faith seriously, you really stuck out. I didn't really care about that aspect, but it was way too small for me. I thrived at my second college though, for the record. 

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When I attended BYU, I first went as a non-member (we won't mention how long ago that was but I'll admit it was not in this century). At that time, even as a non-member, the tuition was cheaper than the Indiana University tuition. After I became a member, my tuition went down about 25% and my dad, who was not happy about my baptism, was at least a little gleeful about saving some money.

PC, it's seems amazing to me that your daughter is old enough for college! In my head, your girls are still around 10 yrs old (even though I've never met them or know them in any way...just from your mention of them on here). Exciting times!

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Hi @prisonchaplain we have some recent, relevant experience on this issue in my family. After many months of discussion and examination of the various options, and a fair bit of unsuccessful persuasion from my wife and I, late last January my daughter started at a college about 4 hours drive away from where we live. My wife and I really wanted her to apply for BYU Hawaii, which offers a course similar to what she is now doing but after carefully comparing courses at 4 institutions, including BYU Hawaii, she concluded that the institution she is now attending best matches her interests and aspirations. On the other hand, a few minutes ago, my wife and I just finished a discussion with our son on where he is up to with his application to attend BYU Hawaii. He hasn't seriously considered any other instituion and we hope that he won't. Some years ago, my oldest daughter firmly rejected the BYU Hawaii option, and so did I, believing that its offerings in the area she was interested in, were quite inadequate.

Edited by askandanswer

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1 hour ago, MormonGator said:

The first college I attended was a small, Catholic one in Nashua, NH. ( @Grunt probably knows which one I'm talking about).

Our former Chief of Psychology went to Carroll College, in MT--small and Catholic. She loved it, but she's Catholic. I do suspect that if one chooses a small college (and my child likes those) it should be similar in belief. All 3 of her choices will have a student body that mostly observant Christian...but yeah, there are always the kids who want to be rebels, but who would be too normal at a state college.

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ps

My wife's and my concerns about our daughter moving far away from home to attend college were significantly alleviated by the fact that the nearest chapel was only a short bike ride away, and that the Bishop there, and other ward members, warmly welcomed and accepted her. 

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32 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

 All 3 of her choices will have a student body that mostly observant Christian...but yeah, there are always the kids who want to be rebels, but who would be too normal at a state college.

PC, this is true: no matter where you are, if you want x, you will find x. The people who want y, are aware of x, but they continue to choose y. While at BYU, I knew those who were engaging in activities that were inappropriate but I didn't hang out with them.

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16 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

To my question: Do any posters have experience attending non-LDS Christian colleges? 

My first college was BYU-Idaho and it was a terrible experience for me (partly due to culture clash, partly due to handling things bad on my part).  I left after 3 semesters.

Afterwards, I was look for places to finish my degree, and seriously seriously considered a local Catholic college, to which I had good ties and really admired a lot about them and their atmosphere.  I very much enjoyed the many visits I had there, but visiting friends and checking it out for myself.  Ultimately, this school took runner-up place, and I instead enrolled in a state school which had much stronger academic connections in my chosen field.  

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I find it really weird the way Americans talk about choosing a college... or even choosing to go to college.  It's like - first, they decide to go to college (not knowing if they need college or not), then they decide which college to go to.  Then they decide what course to take in that college.  Or, they decide who can give them a scholarship... it's really weird to me.

This is how I see college as.  First, I decide what my interest in.  Then I decide if spending $ on college is worth the investment to get me $ in my field of interest.  Then I decide which college provides the best program for the money in my field of interest that will guarantee a return on my investment.  If I can make the same return without spending the $ on college, there's no need for college....

In my collegiate journey - the Philippines has mostly Catholic colleges so the chances of me finding the best college that offers the best brand-spanking-new-at-that-time Computer Engineering program ended up to be a Catholic college.  I had a great education - even being the first graduates of the CompE program and not being able to take board exams to validate my Engineer title because the board of engineers haven't designed one yet, and even finding out that the other university that couldn't afford IBM computers in their lab actually ended up having a better program.  And, of course, being a Catholic in a Catholic school has its benefits even if we spent an entire semester of Religious Education studying The Best of All Possible Worlds by Peter de Rosa, a Catholic priest turned anti-Catholic atheist which was quite a controversial class as well as an entire semester of Government under an anti-establishment professor spending the entire semester wailing against both the Marcos dictatorship, the newly-minted Aquino administration, and the evil Americans!

Anyway, my dad always told me - you're in school to be an Engineer.  You're not in school to socialize or be a political activist!  I used to lead school protests for things like tuition hikes, "unequal treatment of women for making only women wear uniforms", and such.  Hah hah.

 

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Korea may have been similar to the Philippines, in that a school's religious affiliation was not so important. Instead, schools were clearly ranked and applicants tried for the best possible schools. Sometimes it was a balance between right school and right major, but ranking was all-important. In the U.S. some colleges are religious in name only. Others have a rigorous faith-identity. Also, ranking is far less important here, although a school's alumni connections can matter greatly. The General Superintendent of my denomination used to point out that college students attending strong Christian schools had a nearly 70% chance of retaining their faith. That sounds bad (30% lose it???), but at state schools less than 10% retained. My children have grown up in an almost hostile public school system and are all eager to study in schools where they do not have to feel they are on constant defense over their faith. It's an added benefit that most religious schools are smaller and excel at the liberal arts and education. The beautiful thing about that kind of broad education is that it can fit within any company and no matter how bad the economy gets no one can take away the actual education gained.

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Prison Chaplain, I do not know if Hillsdale College has what you are looking for but I think they are worthy of at least a look at their website.  I have listened to some of their lectures on the Constitution and liberty and like the instruction I was exposed to.

https://www.hillsdale.edu/

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