Choosing a College
and a Life

The landscape of higher learning can be daunting to high schoolers looking forward to being on their own, most of them for the first time. There are considerations like what type of institution to attend--sacred or secular, private or public, two- or four-year or community college, residential or commuter school, etc. The whole idea of academia can be intimidating, especially for the often outnumbered and too often marginilized Christian students. How does one retain his or her moral underpinnings and develop a sturdy worldview when the waves of competing worldviews and hostile influences crash against a young student?

To add to the issue, some of the traditional assumptions concerning the demographics of higher education are changing. According to The Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal, as quoted in The Ivy Jungle Network's Campus Ministry Update, August 2000 (IvyJungle@aol.com), "The coming decade will see a significant increase in the number of high school graduates, as well as a projected increase in 'nontraditional' students...(only 1/6 of the nations 15 million college students fits the typical 18-22 year old stereotype)." The Wall Street Journal excerpt continues, "With an increasing amount of money flowing into online education, traditional universities have gone on the offensive, hoping to protect their share in the $250 billion market of higher education. With an increasing number of online schools such as the University of Phoenix Online or notHarvard.com, traditional universities have their work cut out for them. Last year private industry invested nearly $3 billion in online education." As the song goes, "The times, they are a-changing."

Much of our special focus speaks to traditional higher education models, which a majority of students still choose. However, the worldview aspects of our resources may become even more relevant in a connected, virtual-education atmosphere. No matter what model is chosen, we hope it helps you or someone you know.

—Byron Barlowe, Editor/Webmaster, Leadership University

Online Book Resources:

An Important Decision
Choosing A College: A Guide for Parents and Students

Thomas Sowell
Choosing a college is often the second most important decision in life-exceeded only by the choice of a wife or a husband. In money terms, college can easily be the second largest expenditure in life-exceeded only by the cost of a house. For better or worse, the choice of a college has lifelong implications.

Mind Games Seminar Manual
Probe Ministries
Over 50% of church youth today are dropping out of church when they go off to college. Why is this? Most students are ill-prepared for the attacks they will receive on their faith. They don't know how to interact with students from other backgrounds and professors devoted to atheistic or "new age" oriented scholarship. As one anti-Christian professor from Arkansas recently remarked, "If students don't know what they believe and why they do, I'll change them." Mind Games is for high school and college students who want to approach their entire college career from a Christian perspective. It is also open to young adults, youth leaders, and parents interested in understanding and teaching the Christian faith in real world settings.

Feature Articles:

Choosing a College or University
Corey Bennett
Choosing a college is a decision that is becoming more difficult with the passing of time. Just how does a parent help their child decide which campus to attend? Believing that Christian parents have a different set of priorities than the non-Christian community, a number of Christian parents and educators were interviewed who have been through the college selection process. Their advice is reflected in this article and enhanced by the personal observations the author has made as he has studied and worked on many university campuses. (Note to readers: tuition cost figures reflect 1989 writing, but the principles remain relevant.)

Advice for Parents: Choosing a College
Dr. Ron Nash
An excerpt from The Totally Useable Summit Ministries Guide to Choosing a College by Dr. Ronald Nash on ground rules for the college selection process.

Are You Doing Four Years or Life?
Kevin Scoleri
An article about college and Christian involvement.

Real Life: What it is and Where to find it
Every Student's Choice
Three testimonies offering perspective on being a Christian at college.

So You Want to Go to College
Reviewed by Gilbert Meilaender
Meilander reviews Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth about Americašs Top 100 Schools, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's guide to the campus culture and educational policy of America's most selective schools.

Winning Ideas (and a few flops too)
Choosing a College, Thomas Sowell
Help us post the most helpful ideas to make the college selection process easier. Tell us what works and what doesn't.

Preparing Students for College
Jerry Solomon
Parents are challenged to give attention to their children's intellectual preparation. Too many Christian students enter the college environment only to find their beliefs attacked. These students are in need of sound teaching that will lead them to respond to this environment.

Campus Christianity
Dr. Ray Bohlin
A practical guide for the Christian student to prosper in the faith at college with four principles to last a lifetime.

Related Articles:

Discovering What God Loves: A Journey From Duty to Desire
Steven Garber, Ph.D.
It's not what you study in college but what you love that will determine your success in life, says author Steve Garber.

Learning to Love What God Loves
Steven Garber, Ph.D.
An eagerness for God is the foundation for success in college, says author Steven Garber.

Related Links:

From the homepage: "Collegeguide.org is a one-stop site for information on choosing the right college, surviving and thriving at the college of your choice, and guidance and assistance beyond the undergraduate experience. Designed for students, parents, guidance counselors, and anyone interested in the state of higher education in America today, this site is sponsored by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), a non-profit, non-partisan educational think tank founded in 1953. Collegeguide.org furthers ISI's mission to uphold the integrity of the liberal arts as taught in our colleges and universities. It holds that a broad liberal arts education best equips one for life, regardless of one's career choices. From choosing a school to thriving once on campus and beyond, collegeguide.org offers a vast array of resources you won't find anywhere else." (See the review of this site's guide, Choosing the Right College, above)

Boundless Webzine
One of the best resources for college and soon-to-be college students we've found on the Web, created by Focus on the Family. Boundless contains a relevant features section, a Resource Center with tapes, books and other resources, and regular columnists. We highly recommend Office Hours and Ask Theophilus by Dr. J. Budziszewski, author of How to Stay Christian in College. You'll find relationship and money management tips, etc.

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