A Christian Education Worthy Of The Name

Christian colleges must not serve an impressive but bogus smorgasbord of bits and pieces of learning.

My own decision to attend college came in the early thirties during the darkest days of the Great Depression. At that time, a college education was not taken for granted even in well-heeled or cultured families. My family was certainly not well-heeled, and neither of my parents had ever attended college or, for that matter, high school. Only one had graduated from the eighth grade. Why should I attend college?

I can remember the arguments—pro and con—about attending college. The clinching argument in favor of college was economic. The life earnings for a college graduate averaged $135,000. Total life earnings for a noncollege graduate averaged less than $50,000. Obviously, then, a college education was worth approximately $85,000. The cost of a college education in those depression years was approximately $600 a year for four years. Tuition for the year varied from zero at many state universitites to an exorbitant $400 at Harvard.

With a full tuition scholarship, my last year at university cost me exactly $278.25 for board and room (away from home) and all incidentals—including 10 cents for the offering plate on Sunday. I also received generous parcels of food from loving parents and free typing of all papers by my girl friend (who has continued to do that job now for 44 years).

It was difficult to beat an investment of that sort, especially at a time when savings banks were paying only 3 percent interest, while an investment of $2,400 in college would ultimately bring a clear capital gain of $85,000. But my reason for going to college was that I wanted to be a lawyer or teacher, and I ...

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