Making the very important decision about the best college can be a daunting task. Because we were unfamiliar with private school options and by reputation alone (regarding tuition costs), we had resolved that our youngest daughter would attend our local university. It's a good school with some great programs and financially we thought that it would be a fine option. She wanted the "college" dorm experience and we understood that, but for cost purposes, it made more sense for her to live at home, and besides, we were not comfortable with what the "dorm life" might consist of at a secular institution.
Then a great Christian College sent an email about an upcoming preview day at their campus. We figured we would visit to see what this college had to offer, and from the first presentation we knew that this was a perfect place for her. God was at the center and we had such a sense of His presence there that it was unmistakable. On our way home we knew that this was exactly where our daughter should attend school. We loved the small class size and the feeling of family and Christian community. We loved the instructors we met and the layout of the dorms. What we didn't love was the cost. There was no way we could manage that, and the last thing we wanted was for our daughter to be strapped with huge student loans when she graduated. We concluded we would pray and then start asking questions.
Very quickly we realized that there were very generous scholarship and grant opportunities available at Christian colleges. This started to seem like it might actually be possible and we were in awe at how God was orchestrating it all. Within a few short weeks we learned that by the time all scholarships and grants were allocated it was going to be less money to attend the Christian college than having her stay home and attend the local school. This gave her the opportunity to have that dorm experience and make lasting friends and participate in all of the on-campus activities that her heart would desire.
The day we dropped her off we were blown away at the President's welcome address and how he kept Christ as the focus of all they set to accomplish within the fences and walls of the school. When they called all parents to gather around the 400 new freshman students and hold hands and pray, any and all anxiety about leaving our "baby" disappeared... but then the faculty came and gathered around and did the same... WOW! We shed tears of praise at how God blessed us by following His lead to explore the option of a private Christian education and I would encourage your family to pray for doors to be open and minds and hearts to be the same.
Written by Jen Bailey - Mom of a Current Christian College Student