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"Only" a Small Christian College

Christian college"Only" a Small Christian College


A slip of the finger and the email goes to the wrong person.  It's mortifying...I always hope it won't be hurtful to anyone, though. One day, I was on the receiving end. Someone wrote to a friend about me, and sent it to me instead! Not hurtful at all, but still...I think it's an opportunity for me to explain something:
"While she touts that her boys got into their "first choice schools"...they are small, private Christian colleges. Not Stanford..."

When my boys were applying to college, we had certain requirements. I wanted a Christian college that could minimize negative socialization. I also wanted a school within an hour drive of a family member, in case of roommate disasters. For my youngest son, it had to be a college within driving distance from home, so that he could live at home until he was 18. For my older son, we needed an engineering college, and he didn't want to leave Washington State.

I once heard a father boldly proclaim, "If your child can go to an Ivy League school, they SHOULD go to an Ivy League school." I disagree strongly. Only the parents will know where a child SHOULD go to college. While it's nice to have some general ideas and apply to a variety of schools, there is simply not one right answer for brilliant kids or any kids, for that matter.

When my children were applying to college, I had a very small college fund. I recognized that they would be well qualified for a small, private Christian college and would likely receive financial aid. At the same time, I knew that even though they were smart, most of the applicants to Harvard and Yale would be just as smart - or smarter. The chances of financial aid would be slim and we needed big scholarships.

When children are smart (or even VERY smart), it's tempting to look at an Ivy League school. Instead, I encourage people to look at the RIGHT school. For some kids and for some families, that means avoiding some well-ranked schools with great reputations. My children had near-perfect SAT scores, but we didn't even apply to Stanford, Harvard, or Yale; they weren't a fit for my family.

Christian college


Parents know best. Know your child and trust yourself. Even if someone else thinks they know what is best for your child, that doesn't make it true; only the parents have ALL the details.

Where are you planning to send your child for college? Did your child choose a Christian college? Let me know in the comments!

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Please note: This post was originally published in August 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.




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Comments 34

Guest - Suzanne on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 00:44

Anyone looking at sending their child/ren to the Ivy Leagues should do some major investigating. They now have official "sex weeks" at these schools and are sanctioned by the administrations. Type in that term and you will find numerous articles on this; it is getting so bad alumni are getting concerned. As one article said,"This is not the education parents thought their children would be getting at Yale." My nephew goes to a small state college in Colorado, pays a fraction of the cost CU students pay, and he gets the same professors and smaller class size. It will be your child's home for 4 years; make sure you know what they are getting in to.

Anyone looking at sending their child/ren to the Ivy Leagues should do some major investigating. They now have official "sex weeks" at these schools and are sanctioned by the administrations. Type in that term and you will find numerous articles on this; it is getting so bad alumni are getting concerned. As one article said,"This is not the education parents thought their children would be getting at Yale." My nephew goes to a small state college in Colorado, pays a fraction of the cost CU students pay, and he gets the same professors and smaller class size. It will be your child's home for 4 years; make sure you know what they are getting in to.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 15:54

So true, Suzanne!
That's always good advice!
Blessings,
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

So true, Suzanne! That's always good advice! Blessings, Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Alesia on Monday, 21 July 2014 20:40

It never crossed our minds that our daughter would go to a Christian college after we completed our homeschooling journey. Not that we were against it. We just never thought about it. We just figured she would go to one of the local universities in the Miami area. And she is a honors student with great test scores. But the Lord had a different plan. When we first visited the university during one of their 'homeschool days', our daughter and my husband and I had a peace. We visited 2 more times for open houses and we still had a peace that this is where the Lord wants her to go. We will be taking her in a month to begin her freshman year.

It never crossed our minds that our daughter would go to a Christian college after we completed our homeschooling journey. Not that we were against it. We just never thought about it. We just figured she would go to one of the local universities in the Miami area. And she is a honors student with great test scores. But the Lord had a different plan. When we first visited the university during one of their 'homeschool days', our daughter and my husband and I had a peace. We visited 2 more times for open houses and we still had a peace that this is where the Lord wants her to go. We will be taking her in a month to begin her freshman year.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Monday, 21 July 2014 21:07

Alesia,

It is wonderful that you, your husband and your daughter were sensitive to the Lord's leading. It's so tempting to push those "higher" goals, simply because we can---especially when we have gifted students. I'm thankful that you let the Lord define what "higher" goals meant for you and your daughter. Well done!

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Alesia, It is wonderful that you, your husband and your daughter were sensitive to the Lord's leading. It's so tempting to push those "higher" goals, simply because we can---especially when we have gifted students. I'm thankful that you let the Lord define what "higher" goals meant for you and your daughter. Well done! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Amy on Thursday, 17 July 2014 19:57

I seem to remember the book Outliers having a very interesting section about the quality of education at smaller, lesser known schools. It was very encouraging!

Lee, I'm just getting into the high school years and your writing has been so encouraging to me. You show a level of grace that is often (sadly) hard to find in homeschooling circles.

I seem to remember the book Outliers having a very interesting section about the quality of education at smaller, lesser known schools. It was very encouraging! Lee, I'm just getting into the high school years and your writing has been so encouraging to me. You show a level of grace that is often (sadly) hard to find in homeschooling circles.
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Monday, 21 July 2014 21:16

Amy,

That's a terrific point! We must not allow ourselves to be measured by other people's idea of success! (Also, I agree, Lee is pretty awesome!) Thank you!

Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Amy, That's a terrific point! We must not allow ourselves to be measured by other people's idea of success! (Also, I agree, Lee is pretty awesome!) Thank you! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
Guest - Sandy on Thursday, 29 May 2014 06:32

I read an article saying that employers don't care very much at all if a job applicant has gone to an Ivy League school, or any well-known school. They care most about your college major and what skills you can bring to their company.

I read an article saying that employers don't care very much at all if a job applicant has gone to an Ivy League school, or any well-known school. They care most about your college major and what skills you can bring to their company.
Guest - Melanie on Sunday, 27 October 2013 16:33

Amen, Amen, Amen. This post gives me comfort in knowing that this walk is hard for all. I commend you for being so transparent in helping others. I personally appreciate it and hope my boys will have a similar outcome for their future. I sure am trying....God Bless.

Amen, Amen, Amen. This post gives me comfort in knowing that this walk is hard for all. I commend you for being so transparent in helping others. I personally appreciate it and hope my boys will have a similar outcome for their future. I sure am trying....God Bless.
Guest - Kel on Saturday, 28 September 2013 14:49

I had the grade point average to go to an Ivy League and was encourage to go to Cornell University by my school counselor. I changed my mind and did not want to become a veterinarian instead I wanted to pursue my hobby which was riding horses. I also wanted to experience NY but not live in the city so I chosed Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. Not only did Pace have the top equestrian team in NY, Pleasantville was only a train ride away from the city. I enjoyed the suburbs of Pleasantville and the entertainment of the city. I got my BBA in Marketing/Advertising and Promotions. Oh, and Pace is a top notch school.

I had the grade point average to go to an Ivy League and was encourage to go to Cornell University by my school counselor. I changed my mind and did not want to become a veterinarian instead I wanted to pursue my hobby which was riding horses. I also wanted to experience NY but not live in the city so I chosed Pace University in Pleasantville, NY. Not only did Pace have the top equestrian team in NY, Pleasantville was only a train ride away from the city. I enjoyed the suburbs of Pleasantville and the entertainment of the city. I got my BBA in Marketing/Advertising and Promotions. Oh, and Pace is a top notch school.
Guest - Kris on Thursday, 08 August 2013 12:17

Well said...thank you

Well said...thank you
Guest - Dido on Friday, 14 June 2013 07:34

I appreciated the contribution Coleen above made; the link to the book review emphasized the point exactly. Even Christian colleges, desiring to be 'accepted' to the secular community, compromise Scripture. Like how Christian kids will compromise what they believe in order to stay friends with non-Christians. It's important to teach children to identify the worldviews in question: Moral Relativism, Narcissistic Hedonism, Autonomous Hedonism and Reductive Naturalism. If they have a good handle on that, and on the truths of Scripture, and strong apologetics, they have a headstart on identifying ideas that seek to hack away at faith. It's part of our education to address Worldview in this way.

I highly recommend The Deadliest Monster http://www.amazon.com/The-Deadliest-Monster-Introduction-Worldviews/dp/0972089039/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&;qid=1371220245&sr=8-1&keywords=the+deadliest+monster

It helps kids understand the foundations of different worldviews. Even if kids go to a secular school, if they are prepared they can make it, in spite of and even because of the opposition to their faith. Ideally their education will be for the purpose of "Glorifying God" in their life, not merely for preparation for a career. Who we are after education is the purpose of the education, after all.

I appreciated the contribution Coleen above made; the link to the book review emphasized the point exactly. Even Christian colleges, desiring to be 'accepted' to the secular community, compromise Scripture. Like how Christian kids will compromise what they believe in order to stay friends with non-Christians. It's important to teach children to identify the worldviews in question: Moral Relativism, Narcissistic Hedonism, Autonomous Hedonism and Reductive Naturalism. If they have a good handle on that, and on the truths of Scripture, and strong apologetics, they have a headstart on identifying ideas that seek to hack away at faith. It's part of our education to address Worldview in this way. I highly recommend The Deadliest Monster http://www.amazon.com/The-Deadliest-Monster-Introduction-Worldviews/dp/0972089039/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371220245&sr=8-1&keywords=the+deadliest+monster It helps kids understand the foundations of different worldviews. Even if kids go to a secular school, if they are prepared they can make it, in spite of and even because of the opposition to their faith. Ideally their education will be for the purpose of "Glorifying God" in their life, not merely for preparation for a career. Who we are after education is the purpose of the education, after all.
Guest - Wendy on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 10:41

Your article really struck me - but for the opposite reason you might think! I realize I've been judging for the opposite reason. After all, how could a Christian parent send their child to a secular school where their faith will be ridiculed and belittled (at the least)?

I've known too many students who lost their faith in God in such an environment. But, when I think about it, I also know some students who were shining lights for Christ in dark places. Only you and your child can decide.

Your article really struck me - but for the opposite reason you might think! I realize I've been judging for the opposite reason. After all, how could a Christian parent send their child to a secular school where their faith will be ridiculed and belittled (at the least)? I've known too many students who lost their faith in God in such an environment. But, when I think about it, I also know some students who were shining lights for Christ in dark places. Only you and your child can decide.
Guest - Sheila on Tuesday, 10 January 2012 19:09

Excellent article, and right on time for us and our 14-yr-old daughter just starting homeschool high school. Our now 25 yr-old-son went to a private Christian college, and his music professor turned out to be a godly mentor and close friend to him. He thrived in this setting. Other young people may prefer the setting of a big university, but it wasn't for us.
Thank you, Lee, for reminding us to follow our hearts!

Excellent article, and right on time for us and our 14-yr-old daughter just starting homeschool high school. Our now 25 yr-old-son went to a private Christian college, and his music professor turned out to be a godly mentor and close friend to him. He thrived in this setting. Other young people may prefer the setting of a big university, but it wasn't for us. Thank you, Lee, for reminding us to follow our hearts!
Guest - Colleen (website) on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 06:12

I definitely agree. Our first obligation is to provide the education that our child NEEDS in the environment that works best for him/her. Some secular colleges have stated agendas for trying to indoctrinate our children away from faith and godliness. Even "Christian" college may not be the answer for everyone as you can see in my friend's book review: http://upatdawnreadytowork.blogspot.com/2011/06/already-compromised-book-review.html

Isn't it interesting that George Washington never attended college, (but he did receive his surveyor's certificate from The College of William & Mary), yet he seems to have done alright?

I definitely agree. Our first obligation is to provide the education that our child NEEDS in the environment that works best for him/her. Some secular colleges have stated agendas for trying to indoctrinate our children away from faith and godliness. Even "Christian" college may not be the answer for everyone as you can see in my friend's book review: http://upatdawnreadytowork.blogspot.com/2011/06/already-compromised-book-review.html Isn't it interesting that George Washington never attended college, (but he did receive his surveyor's certificate from The College of William & Mary), yet he seems to have done alright?
Guest - June on Saturday, 21 May 2011 16:18

Thank you for this article, Lee. My daughter has two first cousins who are either attending or graduated from Yale. Because my daughter is gifted academically, I too was made to feel that she "should" go to Harvard or another Ivy League school. Yet, she was not interested in going to school across the country. I am happy that she has instead chosen a state school that is far enough away from home for her to have an independent adventure but not so far that we wouldn't be able to afford to see her more than twice a year!

Thank you for this article, Lee. My daughter has two first cousins who are either attending or graduated from Yale. Because my daughter is gifted academically, I too was made to feel that she "should" go to Harvard or another Ivy League school. Yet, she was not interested in going to school across the country. I am happy that she has instead chosen a state school that is far enough away from home for her to have an independent adventure but not so far that we wouldn't be able to afford to see her more than twice a year!
Guest - judi on Thursday, 24 March 2011 15:19

Our local community college has a professor who left Harvard to teach here because he wanted to actually teach students instead of supervising a teachers aide and spending his time "getting published". He said many undergraduate classes in Ivy league schools aren't even taught by fully trained professors. Forget it! I will be strongly discouraging my kids from attending Ivy league schools.

Our local community college has a professor who left Harvard to teach here because he wanted to actually teach students instead of supervising a teachers aide and spending his time "getting published". He said many undergraduate classes in Ivy league schools aren't even taught by fully trained professors. Forget it! I will be strongly discouraging my kids from attending Ivy league schools.
Guest - Kathy (website) on Saturday, 23 October 2010 08:18

I love your reasoning! MORE magazine frequently published an article about those so-called "top colleges." Far too often, they aren't being considered much of a value, even considering their high price and reputations. Undergraduate classes are being taught by graduate students (not professors or even instructors). My daughter does attend a small Christian college. It was her first choice college and she also had near-perfect ACT scores. One of their selling points was that they do NOT have a graduate school, and thus, their classes are all taught by full professors or associate professors. She did have one "visiting" instructor in her piano classes - she came from Julliard in New York!

I love your reasoning! MORE magazine frequently published an article about those so-called "top colleges." Far too often, they aren't being considered much of a value, even considering their high price and reputations. Undergraduate classes are being taught by graduate students (not professors or even instructors). My daughter does attend a small Christian college. It was her first choice college and she also had near-perfect ACT scores. One of their selling points was that they do NOT have a graduate school, and thus, their classes are all taught by full professors or associate professors. She did have one "visiting" instructor in her piano classes - she came from Julliard in New York!
Guest - Robin on Sunday, 12 September 2010 10:00

Lee,

I, too, completely agree with your comments. My always homeschooled, bright daughter is now a 1st year student at a very small Christian college in Florida, about 3 hours from our home. (Thanks to dual enrollment & CLEP she entered as a sophomore, but that's another great homeschool story.)

We didn't even consider an Ivy League education for her. We, and she, wanted her to continue learning in a Christ-centered environment, where she is taught Truth, and wouldn't have to constantly "filter out" the humanistic teaching in every class. After all, one of the reasons we choose to homeschool was to pass on the faith, and this has influenced the world view of every class and everything else we've done in our homeschool. We wouldn't want her to be taught from a worldly perspective now or ever! It doesn't matter to us how "prestigious" anyone, or everyone, thinks that the Ivy League schools are, or what their feelings are on where our bright girl should have gone.

Our daughter made the final decision on which Christian college to attend & is thrilled with her choice! She has made several friends and they even meet together to pray & read Scripture together. Praise God!!

Lee, I, too, completely agree with your comments. My always homeschooled, bright daughter is now a 1st year student at a very small Christian college in Florida, about 3 hours from our home. (Thanks to dual enrollment & CLEP she entered as a sophomore, but that's another great homeschool story.) We didn't even consider an Ivy League education for her. We, and she, wanted her to continue learning in a Christ-centered environment, where she is taught Truth, and wouldn't have to constantly "filter out" the humanistic teaching in every class. After all, one of the reasons we choose to homeschool was to pass on the faith, and this has influenced the world view of every class and everything else we've done in our homeschool. We wouldn't want her to be taught from a worldly perspective now or ever! It doesn't matter to us how "prestigious" anyone, or everyone, thinks that the Ivy League schools are, or what their feelings are on where our bright girl should have gone. Our daughter made the final decision on which Christian college to attend & is thrilled with her choice! She has made several friends and they even meet together to pray & read Scripture together. Praise God!!
Guest - karen on Friday, 12 February 2010 09:05

I agree with you Lee. It is the child's choice. When my boys were in school in the gifted program the parents were pushing these kids so hard telling them that they needed to buckle down to get into "whatever ivy league school they wanted" but they didn't seem to look at the child's interests at all. It doesn't matter to me what college they attend as long as it fits their needs and gets them where they need to be in the career of their dreams.

I agree with you Lee. It is the child's choice. When my boys were in school in the gifted program the parents were pushing these kids so hard telling them that they needed to buckle down to get into "whatever ivy league school they wanted" but they didn't seem to look at the child's interests at all. It doesn't matter to me what college they attend as long as it fits their needs and gets them where they need to be in the career of their dreams.
Guest - Lisa Lewis on Wednesday, 06 January 2010 13:23

Great article and so much truth! If home schoolers have fought for anything it is freedom of choice.

It is my opinion that the so-called Ivy League schools are nothing more than a breeding ground for liberal status seekers. While this may be a generalization I lived in Cambridge for many years and have to say left with a very bad impression of Harvard students.

The Christian student that attends an ivy league will need to be very well grounded in his or her faith and highly adept at apologetics. While we certainly need students like this to attend these schools the fact is at 18 years old they are few and far between.

We are called to glorify God, not home schooling and sometimes that means following the path the culture is on but usually not.

Great article and so much truth! If home schoolers have fought for anything it is freedom of choice. It is my opinion that the so-called Ivy League schools are nothing more than a breeding ground for liberal status seekers. While this may be a generalization I lived in Cambridge for many years and have to say left with a very bad impression of Harvard students. The Christian student that attends an ivy league will need to be very well grounded in his or her faith and highly adept at apologetics. While we certainly need students like this to attend these schools the fact is at 18 years old they are few and far between. We are called to glorify God, not home schooling and sometimes that means following the path the culture is on but usually not.
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