In all the college talk you’ve heard, big state schools and prestigious, elite private institutions are probably what are mentioned the most. They have the premier athletics or the sheer number of students that put them at the top of the radar. However, if you’re someone who is deeply committed to his or her faith—or a student just looking for a close, caring college community—there’s a third category of schools you should look into: Christian colleges. I took a step into this universe almost accidentally, fell in love, and haven’t looked back. Here’s why I’m choosing to attend a Christian university in the fall and why you should consider it too.
1. A Christian learning atmosphere
At most Christian colleges or universities, the majority of professors are going to be people of faith, so you’ll share a common but broad background. Students I’ve talked to at various Christian universities have often brought up the benefit of spending your formative years as a young adult in an environment where you’ll be surrounded by solid values you believe in instead of being surrounded by people who question everything you stand for, which can be the case at some secular universities. It’s also important to note that many Christian colleges will allow you to learn things from a Christian perspective while welcoming contrasting views from others, offering multiple viewpoints to be experienced. Having grown up going to a public high school, I’m looking forward to this unique aspect of my college experience next year.
2. It can be more affordable
One of the top priorities for most students, including me, is finding an affordable college that will not conclude with you drowning in debt. While most colleges offer some need-based financial aid, especially loans, I found that Christian colleges offered me the most merit-based scholarships and increased gift aid compared to other schools. Also, even though Christian schools are, by nature, private entities, their tuition and yearly costs are often substantially lower than those for private secular schools.
3. An emphasis on good, clean fun
It obviously depends on the school, but college life has a reputation for being centered around partying, drinking, and everything else that goes with those activities. If those things don’t sound like you (welcome to the club!), Christian colleges might be something to look into. Many are focused on having wholesome but exciting alternatives to the typical college party weekends. For example, a school I visited had late-night grocery bingo—the winners of each round won a tote full of groceries for their dorm room! Of course, there are alternatives to risky activities at every college, but at a Christian college or university, they’ll usually be more well-known and loved.
In the end, I chose to commit to a Christian university because I loved the community aspect. It’s hard to explain exactly, but there was a greater sense of inclusion and friendship on the campus than anywhere else I’d visited. They say pure joy is contagious, and it certainly was to me, because the biggest thing I took away was the joyfulness and enthusiasm of the students I interacted with and observed. If any of these things sound attractive to you, start looking into Christian colleges! You can research schools to find at your next college fair or visit some near you to discover if one of them will be the match for you like it was for me.
Congrats to Laura for choosing her college! Start looking for your future school with our featured Christian college profiles.