Pre-Med Christian Colleges: Worth the Debt?

Can I have some suggestions for a pre-med christian college? Preferred baptist or nondenominational. Also, private schools are expensive, so should I just save my money and go to University of New Orleans, where I don’t believe I will have any debt? Or should I just go to some place like Baylor and drown in 40+k of debt each year? Thanks!

P.S. I’m just really nervous that UNO will hinder me from getting into Med School.

$40k debt per year will require substantial parent loans or cosigned loans, which are generally not a good idea.

And if you want to go to expensive medical school, an extra $160k of undergraduate debt added to the mountain of medical school debt ($300k+) will restrict your career and life choices due to the financial pressure the debt will impose on you.

I agree it’s not a good idea. I don’t want to go to anything expensive, I just want to make sure I get a quality education that med schools will appreciate. Thanks for the wisdom!

Med school don’t care which UG you graduated from or what major you concentrate in as long as it’s an reputable 4 years college that provides all the premed requisites.

A degree without debt is the best choice for a premed.

Thank you for the response!

As with any undergraduate school, ask where recent grads have been accepted to med school. That can either put your mind at ease or give you a warning flag to look elsewhere.

If you’re talking about 40K+ annually for debt, do you qualify for need based aid? How about merit aid? At many colleges, sticker price is not the only one out there, so run some NPCs at colleges.

Union (TN) is one you might be interested in checking out. If your stats are higher, they have merit aid - though I’m assuming you’re a junior and are applying next year. This year I believe it’s already too late to be considered for top merit awards.

Why specifically a Christian college? There’s nothing wrong with them - my oldest graduated from Covenant College and enjoyed his time there while getting a good education. However, limiting yourself to one isn’t necessary. My other two lads chose secular schools for themselves, also graduated having received good educations - and quite honestly… their faith seems to be deeper than their brother’s - so if you’re concerned about “losing” your faith you don’t have to be. That’s all between you and God regardless of where you go. There will be other Christians at pretty much any school giving you opportunities to enjoy sharing your faith with peers. The additional “plus” of a secular school (IME) is you will get to interact with representatives of all aspects of society (at least of college bound society). That’s helpful for a future doctor since you will be interacting with the wide gamut of society on the job.

My current second year med school lad went to a secular undergrad and has no regrets.

Limit your undergrad debt. For specific LNO pre-med questions reach out to the advisor, after having read the pertinent info:

@TheBlueRock Take a look at Biola in CA. Depending on your stats, you could get up to 20K in merit, bringing the cost down to about 32K/year. Need-based aid also available. Run the numbers and see if they fit your budget.

Consider Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

Medical schools won’t care for one hot second if you go to a Christian school or not.

You can totally be a Christian in a secular school. Find a faith based group and stay involved with them. Baylor is never ever worth $40K/year debt. In fact, debt in general is something most Christian’s are taught to avoid.


My parents say it must be a Christian school. I should qualify for something with a 3.8 gpa (unweighted) and based on my ACT practice tests and the one I took in December (I got a 30, but my science was horrible because I got nervous. Everything else was 30’s, and I didn’t practice), I should score a 33-34 (I take it in March at my school). I go to a top public school in Louisiana, so I’ve had a lot of opportunities to grow academically. I’m not a national merit semi finalists - I scored in the top 5%, not the top 1%, so quite a few scholarships are out of my reach. I know I can get scholarships, but how much, I’m uncertain. I can’t get anything need based, but my parent’s won’t be paying anywhere near what these calculators the colleges have suggest (many said my parents will pay 20+k, and that’s far from reality).

Thanks for the reply and sorry for any typos!

@carachel2 I agree, and i’m trying to avoid debt because, in my opinion, it would be bad stewardship in this situation. I was completely on board with going to a secular college. I go to a very liberal school where no one shares the same beliefs as I do (we have a few southern baptists, but no other fundamental from what I know), and I’m fine. I was looking at Clemson, University of Arizona, and others before my mom said it has to be christian. I’ll try to talk to her about that, but not now.

No need-based aid (according to NPCs) but parents cannot or will not pay tends to be very restrictive on what colleges may be realistic for you (note that Clemson and Arizona*, as out-of-state public universities, are unlikely to be affordable unless you earn full ride merit scholarships). Your other thread indicates that your parent’s restriction is that it must be the local school (presumably the low cost UNO), or a Christian (and not Catholic) school (which imposes an additional constraint along with the already highly limiting cost constraints for schools other than UNO). Are other Louisiana public universities unacceptable to them? If you earn a full ride merit scholarship at a school that is not Christian (for your parents’ definition of such), would they not want you to attend?

Note that earning a full ride merit scholarship typically means attending a school that is much less selective that you can get admitted to, so that you are one of the top students in the school. This means that you have to go down the prestige scale. But it also means that you are more likely to reach the top of the grading curves for the A grades that a pre-med needs (although less selective schools also tend to have less grade inflation).

*Largest out-of-state merit for grades and test scores at Arizona is a little less than full out-of-state tuition according to , but that still leaves living expenses that are probably above your budget.

You can only borrow ~$5500/year. Your parents would have to borrow the other $35k+/year. Are they willing/able to borrow ~$140k plus interest for your undergrad?

I wouldn’t agree to that kind of debt. It would be better for you to take a gap year (or 2 or 3) to work and start at an affordable school when you don’t need your parents’ financial info. or permission. Don’t let them force you into life crippling debt.

@austinmshauri No I’m not willing to get into that debt. Thanks for the advice.

@ucbalumnus they may allow it. Not certain. And I agree, I feel very restricted. Thanks for the response.

@TheBlueRock - would your parents accept a school that is not Christian but has flourishing Christian life on campus - like strong on-campus Christian student organizations? I think I’d want to understand the root of why they are insisting this needs to be a Christian college. What do they think you’ll get from a Christian college that you won’t get at a secular one?

@juillet Maybe? It’s really my mom, I think. She’s worried about bad influences. My brother really has gone off the rails of how he was raised to be, so I believe she’s worried about the same happening to me. I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference.

@juillet , I think my father would be fine with a secular school.

I’m sure you can’t be the one to tell your mom (parent/child deal), but for your knowledge, there’s nothing at all about a Christian college that stops one from opting to change their life from how they were raised. I work at a public high school and know plenty of students who choose Christian colleges along with my own son’s experience. Every single one of them has told me kids will do what they want to once away from home. They just might have to hide more if the rules are strict.

What you or your brother or anyone does once they are in their upper teens to adults is totally up to them. It’s the way our brains are designed. Your faith is either yours or it isn’t. There are actually a fair number of students from non-religious homes that come to faith once out on their own too.

Getting back to considering school searches, you’ll need to look for those offering considerable merit aid and that’s easier to do once you have your official scores from March’s test. Until then google Christian colleges, see what pops up, and do some “college hunting” to see if any look appealing keeping merit aid in mind. Union (TN) is still one to consider IMO. I fully understand some parents insist on Christian Colleges. It happens. Your life and med school life won’t be doomed by attending one, so find some options you like that are potentially affordable. Grove City is one local students like that is often less expensive than others, but I don’t know if they have large merit awards. You can check if they look appealing. Taylor gets good comments, but again, I don’t know their merit awards. My own lad enjoyed Covenant and they were affordable for us at the time (he graduated 5 years ago).

I’m thinking you could also look at some secular schools to have as comparisons. If you show your mom the Christian clubs available at these places she might realize there are intelligent and faithful Christian students in pretty much every college. This could come in handy if they end up being more affordable.