Monday, March 27, 2006

Increase in applicants at Christian universities

An increasing number of high school graduates are sending their applications to Christian universities.
Applications have jumped 8 to 10 percent at the 238 colleges that belong to the North American Association of Christian Admissions Professionals, according to Executive Director Chant Thompson. More applications mean more students on campuses next fall, he says, and that's good news, because 25 percent of those schools are barely breaking even.

Since 1990, enrollment has increased 70 percent, from 135,000 to 230,000, at the 102 evangelical schools that belong to the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities. Over the same period, enrollments at all public and private colleges increased by 13 percent and 28 percent, respectively. (WaPo)
Some believe that this is occurring due to monetary reasons. Specific denominations that dominate certain schools are able to subsidize tuition. However, the biggest reason seems to be that students want to go to a place where their faith (and sometimes their denomination in particular) is at least respected if not outrightly embraced. This increase in students has led to more restrictions on accepting applications (e.g., higher SAT/ACT scores, higher G.P.A., community involvement).

I attended Cedarville University because I wanted to go to a place where my faith would be encouraged, and I would be able to talk with faculty, staff and fellow students about my Christian walk. (Please note that I'm not saying that my faith is so fragile that merely attending a non-Christian university would shaken, if not destroy, it. I'm saying that I wanted to go to a place where my faith would be affirmed and I could talk with others.) I also wanted to go to a smaller school where I could become involved in various groups and outreaches. Cedarville gave me that opportunity.

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