Late last year, the Martin Center ran an article that was critical of Christian colleges on the whole, arguing that they have not done enough to keep costs down so students won’t need to dive into debt.
Today, we offer a rebuttal. In “Christian Colleges are Worth the Investment,” Daniel Nelson of Bethel University argues that they are an excellent choice for many students. Among other data, he points to the relatively low default rate among students who have graduated from Christian colleges: “The default-rate advantage for Christian colleges (3.5 percentage points lower than non-Christian colleges) is significant. The student loan repayment rate at Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) institutions is 73.8 percent vs. the national average of 64.5 percent. Apart from one outlier, all 129 U.S.-based CCCU schools have default rates well under 20 percent, and 87 percent are under the national average of 10.1 percent.”
Furthermore, Nelson argues, officials at Christian colleges do more to discourage students from excessive borrowing than do their counterparts in other institutions of higher education.
He concludes, “Colleges have a responsibility to provide clear information on the advantages and costs of their school. In the end, though, I maintain that a Christian college is often the best choice for a young person seeking to mature in their faith and make it their own.”