Gaining a college education is a smart investment. On average, graduates with a college degree can expect to earn around $32k a year more, and as time goes on, the income gap between graduates and high school students widens. But while there is no doubt that going to college is a great decision, it’s not always easy to select a college that fits your aspirations and values.
Students usually spend a considerable amount of time weighing up their college choices. Some students choose to apply to Ivy League colleges because they believe they will obtain a better education and enjoy stronger job prospects. Others decide to stay in-state so they can be closer to home and family. There is also the option to study for a college degree online these days, which has a lot of advantages.
One other route worth considering is a faith-based college. If your faith is important to you and you want a college that shares your values, attending a faith-based college is a great choice. Read on to learn more about the many benefits of a secular educational establishment.
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Enjoy an Education with a Christian Foundation
It’s not always easy for a person of faith to find their way on a traditional college campus. Often, college life is all about drinking, partying, and casual relationships, which is not compatible with a Christian lifestyle.
Studying for a degree at a faith-based college means you can continue exploring your faith in a sympathetic environment. In addition to your college majors, you can sign up for bible study classes and discuss your faith with your fellow students, without feeling the odd one out.
The great thing about faith-based colleges is that they positively embrace religion. You will never feel like you are different because all of your fellow students are of the same mindset. It’s a wonderful way to study for your chosen career in a supportive environment, surrounded by people who understand how scripture and faith apply to the subjects in your course syllabus. Click here for more information about the online programs available from Marymount University, a comprehensive Catholic college.
Be Part of a Strong, Faith-Based Community
Following on from the last point we made, consider how attending a faith-based college lets you join a supportive community where you can thrive and grow.
Faith-based colleges are usually much smaller than other colleges, so students find it much easier to make friends and get to know their fellow students. This creates a more inclusive environment where shy students can blossom away from home. Christian colleges encourage their students to support their peers, which is very reassuring for younger students who are living apart from their families for the first time.
Class sizes are small, and students can participate fully in discussions and lessons. Teachers are also committed to their faith, so everyone is on the same page at all times, and if a student is struggling in their studies or faith, the community is there to offer support and kindness.
Social Activities are More Meaningful
Instead of drinking competitions and all-night parties, students attending a faith-based college can look forward to bible study groups and other faith-based activities. You will also be encouraged to join community programs, where you can give back as part of your volunteer role. There are many social activities to look forward to and many are the same as you’d find at a traditional college, but rest assured that each one will have a faith-based focus, whether it is hiking in the mountains or dancing on a Friday night.
Enjoy a Valuable Education
A college education can cost upwards of $37k a year, so students need to know the education they receive from the college of their choice is superlative. If you elect to apply to a faith-based college, you can relax. The education you will receive there is going to be top-notch. Staff are hand-picked for their academic prowess as well as their Christian values, and all professors are fully committed to delivering a world-class education to their students. In addition, all administrative staff are there to support you and provide guidance when needed.
Whatever major you choose, you can look forward to interesting classes with intelligent discussions. Every class you take will fully align with your Christian values and you will be encouraged to learn more about different faiths from around the world. It is a great way to gain a great education in a secular environment.
A Faith-Based Education May Cost Less
In some cases, a faith-based college may charge less for the education you receive because they are funded by religious bodies and can offer a subsidized education to students. There are also bursaries and scholarships for the right students, so don’t assume a college degree is out of reach if your personal circumstances are not ideal. Look at your financial aid options and speak to the college to see if they can offer any financial support.
There are some disadvantages of applying to a faith-based college, so let’s take a brief look at them.
Firstly, program choices at faith-based colleges are less diverse than larger colleges, so you may not find the course you are looking for. This is also applicable if you want to study an unusual combination of majors. Unfortunately, this may mean you have to compromise and apply to a non-faith-based college instead.
Secondly, faith-based colleges can be quite strict in how campuses are run. There are often a lot of rules and regulations in place, so you might not have as much freedom as other students at larger colleges. There will be gender segregation in dorms and strict dress codes. There may also be visitation rules and no overnight guests. Expect to have to adhere to strict dress codes too.
If your faith is a big part of who you are, consider applying to a faith-based college. Check out your options and speak to your top choices to see if they can offer the kind of education you desire.