Menu
Jump to content
ATTENTION: Forums search will not work until re-indexing is completed. Please follow these instructions for search
bluebonnetgirl

College recommendations?

Recommended Posts

I am just beginning to look at possible colleges for my freshman.  It is very early of course, but I would like to gather some general information starting now.

 

At this point in time, I think a college with these characteristics would be best for my son:

 

1.  Small to medium size liberal arts college

2.  Conservative, Christian, preferably Catholic or Catholic friendly

3.  Active student body with lots of clubs and things to do (son is very social) and especially enjoys theater as a hobby

3.  Offers majors in all or most of the following: graphic design, architecture, film, theater.  Business, and communications are secondary interests. 

4.  Affordable, or at least generous with needs based financial aid and merit based aid

5.  Best locations are Texas, PA, NC, and FL for family/friend support nearby, but flexible.  

 

Thank you for any and all recommendations for me to begin our search.

 

 

Edited by bluebonnetgirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you be more specific with what #4 means? How do you define affordable? How much are you willing/able to spend per year on your ds's college costs?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just beginning to look at possible colleges for my freshman.  It is very early of course, but I would like to gather some general information starting now.

 

At this point in time, I think a college with these characteristics would be best for my son:

 

1.  Small to medium size liberal arts college

2.  Conservative, Christian, preferably Catholic or Catholic friendly

3.  Active student body with lots of clubs and things to do (son is very social) and especially enjoys theater as a hobby

3.  Offers majors in graphic art, architecture, film, theater, business, and communications (all areas of possible interest)

4.  Affordable, or at least generous with needs based financial aid and merit based aid

5.  Best locations are Texas, PA, NC, and FL for family/friend support nearby, but flexible.  

 

Thank you for any and all recommendations for me to begin our search.

Grove City in PA

Wheaton College in IL (but doesn't fit #5)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe St. Mary's University in San Antonio?

Thank you for the recommendation Kinsa.  I just looked and sadly St. Mary's doesn't have most of my son' s most preferred academic majors (graphic design, architecture, film, theater).....the search continues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL seems to fit most of your criteria.   I don't know specifically about their affordability, but I've had several friends whose kids went there and were very pleased with the experience.   Just make sure if you google them that you choose the regular campus, not the online campus, which offers much fewer degree programs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only advice is to visit different types of colleges -- small, large, urban, suburban. What your children think they want may change once they get a feel for places.

 

A classic book, Colleges That Change Lives, might be worth a look.

 

This book is also great:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Where-You-Not-Who-Youll/dp/1455532681/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513192086&sr=8-1&keywords=where+you+go+is+not+who+you%27ll+be

Edited by Alessandra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think it is harder to find smaller and especially Christian schools that have more specialized tech undergrad degrees like graphic design or architecture. Business programs could be challenging too. If those programs are of strong interest, he might broaden your search criteria a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Messiah College in Grantham, PA. They do have a competitive full tuition scholarship, which is unusual for Christian colleges. I'm not sure about the programs without going to the site to look.

 

Azusa Pacific in California has a strong theater program. Not sure about film, but their location does offer access to interesting opportunities for students interested in film. A friend of my daughter's majors in "Acting for Television" there. I know they have some larger scholarships because she went to a special weekend to compete for one of those.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the recommendation Kinsa.  I just looked and sadly St. Mary's doesn't have most of my son' s most preferred academic majors (graphic design, architecture, film, theater).....the search continues.

 

Bummer.  How's about University of Dallas?  It's Catholic, small, LAC... not sure about price or course offerings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh!  How about University of the Incarnate Word?  They have theater, graphic design, etc.  Small school, Catholic, LAC...

Edited by Kinsa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter is an architecture student and there really aren't many Christian schools that offer the degree. If your son has a strong interest in that major, you will probably need to expand your search to include secular universities with strong campus ministries available. I'd include some of the big state universities, because it's one of those majors that can make a large school seem smaller since you spend most of your time in studio. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What you think might fit your son now and what actually fits your son in 11th or 12th grades may very well change. Rather than starting a college list, work on saving money and building a solid academic foundation. Help him explore some of those possible majors -- studying film and studying architecture are very different.

 

The first school on your search for affordable colleges should generally be an in-state public university. You get an automatic discount just for being a state resident and most states still have affordable systems. Most schools have religious organizations kids can join to find like-minded people.

 

Architecture and graphic design are not typical majors at small liberal arts schools. And you're narrowing the field further by saying Christian and only certain states.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your feedback.  I will definitely check out that book.  I do realize that plans can change.  We are of course working on saving money and building a solid academic foundation.  Regarding a large  public school - I don't think that is going to be a good fit now or ever, just knowing my son.

 

I think  the location is the most negotiable of everything on my list.

 

What about Grand Canyon University?  It has all the majors I listed except architecture (that would be a bit of a stretch for my son - he is very arty/social/creative and less mathy), is a private Christian school, and seems on the more affordable side.  It is in AZ, but again location is the most negotiable factor.

 

The majors at Grand Canyon University that might be of interest to my son are:

 

BA in Advertising and Graphic Design

BA in Communications

BA in Digital Film:  Production

BA in Theater and Drama

BA in Business

BA in Marketing

Edited by bluebonnetgirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grand Canyon is a for-profit institution with a low graduation rate. Look at schools where the four year grad rate is 50% of better.

 

Specific stats:

First to second year persistence: 67% fall 2015 cohort

Six year grad rate:

28% - 2008 cohort

43% - 2010 cohort

Edited by JanetC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods in Indiana has at least some of the majors you listed. It is a very small Catholic Liberal Arts school. It just went co-ed in the last couple of years so the student body is still mostly female, in case that would make a difference. Though by the time your son was ready to go the situation will have probably changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Janet,

 

Is that due to the large number of online students?

 

Kathy,

 

Thank you for the suggestion of St. Edwards University.  I shall look it up!

 

 

The stats are what happens to "first time, full-time freshmen" one and six years later, so a mix of online and in-person students. However, it does not include the 37% of students enrolled part-time (which would be majority online, I would assume).

 

31% are not enrolled in any distance education. So, maybe half the students in the stats are online and half are on campus? I'm guesstimating here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really expected DD17 to attend a college similar what you described. But, she ended up picking Liberty University in VA. I am beyond thrilled at how wonderful her college experience has been so far.

 

What makes it special for her:

 

1. Convocation 3 times per week. The speakers are amazing! She will never again have the opportunity to hear all these famous people again.

 

2. There is a hierarchy of prayer such that every student is prayed for by name every day.

 

3. Every major imaginable. There is even a med school and law school on campus.

 

4. Every sport, club, and interest that I can think of is represented.

 

5. Most buildings are relatively new including her dorm. She gets headaches when she has to be in many old buildings for long periods of time.

 

6. Conservative to moderate conservative teaching, yet, the student body is liberal to conservative and everything in between.

 

7. What I like is that she doesn’t need any extra money to go there. Everything is included in the tuition/board fees. This includes labs, football games, her sport participation fees, skiing, snowboarding, gym fees, etc. nothing, so far, has been an extra cost. They are at the bottom 25% of tuition when compared to other private colleges in the U.S.

 

8. Lots of learning labs, a killer library, and tutoring available and included in costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St. Mary's University in San Antonio does have some significant financial aid for strong students who want to major in business.  The student body is predominantly Catholic at the undergraduate level and fairly conservative; the faculty and over-arching school atmosphere is not overtly Catholic

 

University of Dallas is enthusiastically Catholic.  It has a strong core curriculum with a liberal arts focus.  The theater department is strong; there are also a number of students who participate in the theater productions but who do not major in theater.  I don't think they have architecture or graphic design; I do not know of a separate film major, but there are a number of film courses taught through the language and English departments.  They are homeschool friendly.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St. Mary's University in San Antonio does have some significant financial aid for strong students who want to major in business. The student body is predominantly Catholic at the undergraduate level and fairly conservative; the faculty and over-arching school atmosphere is not overtly Catholic

 

University of Dallas is enthusiastically Catholic. It has a strong core curriculum with a liberal arts focus. The theater department is strong; there are also a number of students who participate in the theater productions but who do not major in theater. I don't think they have architecture or graphic design; I do not know of a separate film major, but there are a number of film courses taught through the language and English departments. They are homeschool friendly.

 

Thank you ....shall look into both

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Belmont College in Belmont, NC.

 

To clarify, it's Belmont Abbey College, and there is an actual Benedictine abbey still there, which is cool. Friends of mine attended services with the monks when they lived in Belmont. Don't know whether it meets all the criteria, though.

Edited by KarenNC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about Grand Canyon University? ... The majors at Grand Canyon University that might be of interest to my son are:

BA in Advertising and Graphic Design

BA in Communications

BA in Digital Film:  Production

BA in Theater and Drama

BA in Business

BA in Marketing

 

Our DS#1 is a GCU on-campus graduate -- BA in general Christian Studies (honors program), with a minor in Business, which came after an AAS in Digital Film & Video Production from the local community college, so a bit of overlap in interests with your DS.

 

 

At this point in time, I think a college with these characteristics would be best for my son:

 

1.  Small to medium size liberal arts college

2.  Conservative, Christian, preferably Catholic or Catholic friendly

3.  Active student body with lots of clubs and things to do (son is very social) and especially enjoys theater as a hobby

4.  Offers majors in all or most of the following: graphic design, architecture, film, theater.  Business, and communications are secondary interests. 

5.  Affordable, or at least generous with needs based financial aid and merit based aid

6.  Best locations are Texas, PA, NC, and FL for family/friend support nearby, but flexible.  

 

1. Current on-campus population runs about 15,500. 

 

2. GCU is a secure, gated, no-alcohol campus, with a lot of Christian support ministries and groups and a weekly optional chapel. However -- not sure about how Catholic-friendly. There is no Newman Center or other Catholic campus ministry on the campus, but there is an active Catholic Church not too far away.

 

3. Lots to do on campus, with regular campus-life special events scheduled regularly, and a ton of clubs and organizations of a variety of types: performance, visual, fine arts, social, intramural sports, ministry, honors, volunteer, etc. 

 

4. You already discovered majors that might be a fit. ;)

 

5. GCU is a one-fee for all school (same price for in-state as out-of-state). GCU has a lot of endowment money to hand out as merit aid. A LOT of students land the top award of half-tuition scholarships, which drops tuition from $16,500/a year to $8250/year. This is a tuition REDUCTION from when our DS attended, so they are using some of the income from endowments and the online students to DROP tuition! :)

 

Our DS landed one of these scholarships as a transfer student, and it was renewable. He also landed a second smaller leadership scholarship his second year in exchange for leading a weekly dorm bible study and working a few student life events as a student volunteer/leader.

 

GCU DOES allow stacking of scholarships, so your student can come in with outside aid and it will not reduce what GCU will offer.

 

Other good news is that GCU has been working to go electronic with as many of the books required for classes, so it's a once-a-semester fee for most of your books. The student activity fee gets you in to ALL sports, theater, and other events. (Those are individual ticket costs as many other schools.)

 

However, you're still going to have to pay for room & board in some way (whether on or off campus), which will runs $8550/year -- plus travel to/from your home state can get pricey.

 

6. Not in your preferred states.

 

 

While I do think GCU could be an option for you, I actually think some of the schools suggested by other posters in this thread might be a better fit.  Perhaps keep GCU on your "B list" of schools. ;)

 

 

Grand Canyon is a for-profit institution with a low graduation rate. Look at schools where the four year grad rate is 50% of better.

 

Specific stats:

First to second year persistence: 67% fall 2015 cohort

Six year grad rate:

28% - 2008 cohort

43% - 2010 cohort

 

Obviously, I am biased as we had a very good experience with GCU. ;)

 

I can't find any statistics that separate out graduation rates for the online students (60,000+), vs. the on-campus students (15,500), but from a personal-knowledge sample size of 5 (lol), all graduated in 4 years. Two were 2-year transfer (DS and a homeschooling friend of ours). Two were 4-year students from CA (DS's roommates). And one is a 4-year student graduating pre-med this year, who is the DD of friends from church. All are completely different degrees.

 

The for-profit aspect is a problem when the school is focused on turning out a big profit for investors, and ignores the needs of the students and does not value building up the academics and the degree programs. I have not seen any signs of investor-focus-at-expense-of-students to be the case at GCU (at least when DS#1 was there, 2014-2016).

 

The school was a small private Christian college established in the 1940s, and went for-profit in 2005 to keep from going under. GCU immediately ramped up the online classes, and the vision has been to keep re-investing the money from the online students right back into the building up the campus and degree programs, and to support the on-campus students with scholarships to keep costs down. The school has also maintained the Christian ministry vision from the original mission, and has been volunteering, investing in, and build up the neighboring community.

 

About a year ago, GCU was trying to change status to non-profit.

 

Also, it may be difficult to compare graduation statistics, as a large portion of the on-campus student body consists of transfer students (from CA and CO), and from AZ community colleges, rather than primarily all incoming freshmen starting a 4-year program at GCU.

 
Again, I am biased ;), but I also wanted to say that not all for-profit colleges are alike. There are no guarantees that GCU will remain more generous and noble in their mission and finances ;) , and while GCU is not for everyone, it was the ideal setting for DS#1. Just our experience! :)
 
BEST of luck in your college searching! Warmest regards, Lori D.
Edited by Lori D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have another vote for St. Edward's University in Austin.  I am an alumni with a BA in Theatre.  I loved my time there and feel that I received an excellent education.  The theatre department particularly is awesome. They have some of the other degrees of interest there as well.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest that you look at Benedictine College in Atchison KS. It hits many of the points you want, conservative Catholic with a wide range of major options. BC just added Architecture though I don’t know if it is an accredited program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depending on your definition of small to medium--TCU (Texas Christian University in Fort Worth) might be an option.  Student body is about 10,000 (about 8500 undergraduate students).  It is not what I would consider a conservative, evangelical Christian school with strong church ties; it does have a fairly conservative student body and an active Newman Center.  It also has a wide range of extracurricular activities--from a rowing team to an improv club; the students tend to be highly involved in campus activities.  It considers itself a "liberal arts" school; however, it does not have a prescribed set of core classes that all students take (like a Univ of Dallas would have).  Students have wide latitude of what they take to fulfill their core requirements.

 

I don't think TCU offers architecture, but the other possible majors are offered.  Many students double major.  It has a strong history in the fine arts.  I have heard merit based aid is generous; I don't know about need based aid.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for the delay in responding. Just getting back to normal after the Christmas break.

 

I'm so grateful for all the wonderful responses. Thank you all! Youve given me so many good leads to investigate with my son.

Edited by bluebonnetgirl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×