Are you considering attending a faith-based college? It could be a great choice if you are looking for the kind of environment and benefits that a faith-based college offers. However, there are a few downsides to attending such a college. Before you choose a faith-based college, it pays to understand the cons too so that you can make an empowered decision.
Pro: Faith Is Not Limited to a Structure in One Corner of the Campus
If religion plays a large role in your life, you’ll love the fact that faith and religion are interwoven into multiple aspects of the college, and not just relegated to a chapel or synagogue at one end of the campus.
Different colleges may integrate faith and religion into their campuses differently. For example, some colleges may have a daily prayer session before class commences. Others may conduct Bible studies in the residence halls once a week. Still, others may have mandatory courses on religion and faith.
Pro: It Fosters a Strong Feeling of Belonging
Being surrounded by people who share your faith and value system can be very comforting. It gives people something in common and can create a community that’s hard to replicate at larger, secular colleges. Some faith-based colleges require students to be part of a certain denomination, other schools don’t actually require the students to be religious at all, but still, maintain a certain faith at the school’s core.
Pro: It Can Offer a Better Learning Environment
Class sizes tend to be smaller as compared to public colleges, so you can expect personal attention from professors and a higher level of interaction with your classmates. With the smaller class sizes, lecture courses often give way to lively interactive classroom discussions and group activities, which makes for a far better learning environment.
You’ll be Part of Stronger Campus Community
The entire campus community shares the same values and beliefs. This forges stronger bonds between individual members making for a tighter-knit community. The faculty in these colleges also go out of their way to encourage students to stay connected though religious services and activities as well as various projects and assignments related to their specific programs.
Con: You Have a Limited Perspective on Other Peoples’ Viewpoints
While your belief might remain unchallenged in a faith-based college, the flip side of it is that you will not get too many opportunities to mingle or converse with people who have different beliefs and opinions.
It is important to understand and accept that there are other religious and faiths out there. Not everyone will agree with your viewpoint—and that’s ok! (As long as they’re respectful about it, of course. And vice versa). Mingling with students of other faiths, beliefs, and backgrounds can be easier at a non-religious college that has a more diverse student body.
Stringent Rules and Regulations
Many faith-based colleges have dress codes, separate dorms for boys and girls, curfew timing, and strict visitation rules. These stricter rules are part of the whole package with consequences for breaking them. This can be stifling, especially as it comes just at a time when you are striking out on your own. It limits your ability to live and learn independently.
Of course, not all faith-based colleges are so strict. It changes from campus to campus, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Fewer Program Choices
Faith-based colleges don’t typically offer a larger variety of programs as some of the larger colleges do. If you are looking for a less commonly-offered major or an unusual combination of programs, you may find it difficult to find a school that offers you your first choice. It forces you to either compromise on your choice of major or forego the faith-based option altogether.
Education is Expensive
Faith-based colleges are private educational institutions and cost more to attend as compared to public colleges. Considering the limited choice of majors and other downsides, you have to think carefully whether it is worth paying the higher cost.
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