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Suggestions for a Christian/conservative who has no idea of where to go?

DachshundLoverDachshundLover Posts: 44Registered User Junior Member
I am a high school junior. I have a composite ACT score of 33, a PSAT of 218, and I am in honors and AP courses, so I do pretty well academically. I think I would be interested in attempting to get into an Ivy League because I can appreciate the quality of the education, but I am turned off by how left-wing those schools are. I've looked at places like Vanderbilt and Pepperdine (which are great schools while still being comparitively conservative), but am not sure if those would be the right fit. I am open to public/private/located anywhere (although I love the South most). The school also does not have to have any outright religious affiliation. I just am not into the party or Greek scene (which is why descriptions of Vanderbilt's student body disappointed me), and I am a very conservative/Christian person. Does anybody have any suggestions?
Post edited by DachshundLover on
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Replies to: Suggestions for a Christian/conservative who has no idea of where to go?

  • sadillysadilly Posts: 930Registered User Member
    Try looking at the schools rated by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. CollegeGuide.org - Browse It will give you there view of how welcoming the school is to conservatives.
  • HuntHunt Posts: 22,402Registered User Senior Member
    You may find some useful info on the "Christian Colleges" forum.

    My general comment on this is it depends a lot on how "very conservative" you are, and also how much you like to argue.
    You will find that you can be pretty darn conservative on most issues, and you will not have much problem at most colleges, even liberal ones. There will be other conservatives at most of them (well, maybe not Reed), and people will discuss/debate with you.
    But there are a few issues that may cause you to have a difficult time if you are extremely conservative on them:
    1. If you don't believe in evolution, you will not be respected at most top colleges.
    2. If you are a strong opponent of gay rights, you may find yourself very much outside the mainstream.
    3. Abortion is another hot button, but there is likely to be more diversity of views on this, partly because there will be some Catholics who are liberal on most issues, but not this one. If you oppose abortion even in the case of rape or incest, you again will probably be pretty far outside the mainstream.
    For other issues, like gun control, capital punishment, immigration, etc., you will probably find that you disagree with most people, but it won't make that much difference to your life.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 61,584Registered User Senior Member
    What state are you in?

    Don't worry about any "party" atmosphere at Vandy and other schools. ALL schools have a party atmosphere...even MIT. My nephew is at Tufts and he swears that MIT has the best parties so he and pals head there on weekends. Only schools like the bible colleges don't have a party atmosphere.

    I also have a nephew at Vandy. He's a ChemE student. Very studious, rarely parties if at all. He has many friends like him. They don't feel any need to participate and they don't feel excluded from their school.

    My kids are not partiers, but they go/went to one of the most known party schools ever. lol Schools that have big sports will have a party atmosphere...they just go hand in hand.

    However, that doesn't mean that everyone parties at party schools. There will be very serious students on those campuses that have not interest in parties.
  • quakerstakequakerstake Posts: 626Registered User Member
    Furman, Sewanee, Washington & Lee, Davidson

    The Service Academies (West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Academy...?); Citadel?
  • HereWeGo2HereWeGo2 Posts: 259Registered User Junior Member
    I suggest you look for schools with strong Christian community groups. My family is of a different faith community. My S & D were very active (local & regional leadership positions) in the teen youth organizations and a corressponding strong college community was important to them (and their parents) in selecting the schools they applied to. Talk to older friends, friends with older siblings, and friends of your parents and your faith community for ideas and suggestions.

    As a general rule in my life, people of strong faith backgrounds seem to be more accepting and respectful of others with strong well-founded beliefs, even if there are significant theological differences. The fact that you have a strong moral and ethical compass and live it is more important than the particulars of that compass.
  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Posts: 5,878Registered User Senior Member
    Have you visited any schools? If your impressions are based on what you've heard through the grapevine, I'd encourage you to go take a look in person. Contact the campus conservative political groups and/or your faith community's campus group, and talk to those students.

    Before you do this, do you have a budget worked out with your family? Knowing how much you can afford, and also knowing your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is vital. No point in applying to a school that you know from the outset is unaffordable.
  • BobbyCTBobbyCT Posts: 1,128Registered User Senior Member
    ^ Although Sewanee and Washington & Lee are very good LAC's, it may not be the best for the OP if they don't want a heavy Greek or party scene. Furman is a very good LAC, my D is a current sophomore there. It has less of a party scene and more religious/conservative atmosphere than most, however it is not a Christian school and there is also a Greek scene. Davidson is outstanding academically but I don't know much about their social scene. If possible, I would visit and do an overnight stay at whatever school interests you the most. Good luck to you!
  • happy1happy1 Posts: 3,367Registered User Senior Member
    Maybe look at Notre Dame and a few of the top Jesuit universities (such as Georgetown, BC etc.). These schools are likely to be more conservative, will provide outstanding educations, and they don't have frats. Also there would be ample opportunity to get involved with church-related activities if you desire.
    Also some universities have wellness dorms for freshmen which may work well for you.
  • RyanMKRyanMK Posts: 788Registered User Member
    @HereWeGo2
    People with strong faith backgrounds tend to be more accepting? Really? From my experience, that is completely wrong. I've found that religious people tend to be the least open to differing opinions and most likely to discriminate against those different than them.
  • NYU2013NYU2013 Posts: 1,749Registered User Senior Member
    I'm going to have to agree with RyanMK. A large portion of the conservative christian world still thinks sexuality is a choice and condemns those people who aren't the "right" sexuality.

    US political leaders who identify as Christian vote against gay marriage. I don't see that as "open and accepting" of other beliefs.
  • snarlatronsnarlatron Posts: 615Registered User Member
    Hillsdale College in Michigan

    Hillsdale College - Home
  • SuixxiSuixxi Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    I'd encourage you to go ahead and apply to those ivy league schools. You're going to find conservatives and christians at every college, it's really up to you how involved you want to be in those groups. I understand the concern about your social fit, but don't give up academic quality because of the fear that you won't "fit in". Believe me, liberals and atheists who are worth hanging with aren't out to scorn every christian conservative they meet. I've had personal experience with many christian conservatives who went to more liberal colleges and they have all been thankful for the experience.
  • floridadad55floridadad55 Posts: 2,262Registered User Senior Member
    Southern Methodist University
    Texas Christian University
    Furman
    Washington & Lee
  • SLUMOMSLUMOM Posts: 3,610Registered User Senior Member
    Flagler College (FL)
  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom Posts: 3,674Registered User Senior Member
    You might find the college guide "Choosing the Right College" helpful. It's published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute referenced by sadilly. The "right" in the title refers to schools with more conservative values.
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