Catholic College


I am a current high school senior and I have to make a decision in may regarding where I want to go to school next fall. My decision is primarily between the University of Dallas and Fordham College at Lincoln Center. Both schools have a Catholic affiliation, but Fordham is specifically Jesuit, and is located in the heart of New York City. I have received generous scholarship offers from both schools, so cost is not a primary issue.
What I mainly want to know is if anyone on here goes or went to either of these schools. What are the pros and cons of attending? How is student life? How is academic life? Do you feel you are stronger in your faith by having gone there? Do you feel you had opportunities for intellectual growth as well?
Any advice is very welcome!
Thank you and God Bless!


Not familiar with either of these schools but I want to say congratulations and wish you well. I will pray for you to be lead to the school which will provide you the best opportunity for growth in your faith and a great education in the major you will choose.


University of Dallas by far. Dallas is recommended by the Cardinal Newman Society ( as it is faithful to Catholic Teaching. Fordham is Catholic in name only.

According to Wikipedia, “Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university based in New York City, United States. It was founded by the Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841 as St. John’s College, placed in the care of the Society of Jesus shortly thereafter, and has since become an independent institution under a lay board of trustees, which describes the University as ‘in the Jesuit tradition.’”

God Bless


Just to add to the above post and make life easier for you, you want to get into the Guide part of the website:


One of my daughters got scholarships to both Fordham and Georgetown as well as to other schools. She chose Georgetown, so I can’t speak from anyone’s experience of Fordham except to say that there is little reason to believe there is a great difference between them.

Perhaps due to her very unpleasant experiences at Georgetown, and despite having had the good fortune of having had a personal friendship with (now retired) Fr. Schall, she sent her eldest daughter to U of D.

The “unpleasantness” she experienced was the really “not Catholic” nature of Georgetown and what she felt was an unusual degree of immorality among the students. U of D, however, is very much a Catholic university.

While I would not paint all Jesuit universities with the same brush, my son attended one for a year and a half, but then transferred to a state U where, in his words “I won’t have to listen to anti-Catholicism all the time.” And he didn’t.

Which of Fordham or U of D would give one the best resume for employment later probably depends on where one intends to live. Academically, though, I doubt there is a lot of difference between them.


I don’t know anything about Dallas.

However, I love Fordham! Living in Connecticut, the main Fordham campus (the one in the Bronx- Rose Hill) is only like 25 minutes from my house. I’m a junior, so we visited it for the junior open house last November, I believe. The school is really, really, nice. The administration is dedicated to teaching its students in a Catholic, Jesuit learning tradition, teaching the mind, body, and spirit and really promoting intellectual development.

Now, I have never been to the Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan. I only know that that is mostly for the arts and humanities. At Rose Hill, which they will shuttle you to, they have a beautiful church, with resident priests, a nice and active campus ministry, and priests on the administrative board, I think as well.

Fordham University is at the top of my list! I see that you are in Colorado, have you visited New York to see the school?

From their website,

“From the very beginnings, Jesuit education has been characterized by a number of different qualities:
We have a great emphasis on care for the individual student; We have a great desire to introduce excellence and rigor into the classroom and every subject we teach; Third, we believe that students have to be invited to wrestle with the great ethical issues of their time. We want them to be bothered by the realization that they don’t know everything and bothered by injustice.”

—Joseph M. McShane, S.J., President of Fordham University
Quotation taken from the David Hartman PBS program,
“A Walk Through the Bronx.”

As you can see, the President of Fordham is a priest!!

Look around this area of the website, too, where it talks about campus ministry and Catholic life!

May God bless you on your college search! :slight_smile:


Thank you all for your replies! You have all been very helpful. I visit Fordham March 6-8, and Dallas April 11-12.
It means a lot to me to receive such kind and helpful advice, as well as offers for prayers! I will definitely be returning t this site often.


The choice is all yours, so be thorough in your research.

Have you checked the list of graduates of each school yet? That always impressed me.

God bless your travels and let us know which one you pick!


P.S. Can I ask what you’re going to be majoring in? That is the ultimate decision maker to me - which school would better suit your career goals.


Oh sorry I didn’t mention it. I’m looking at a Communications or International Studies Major. Both are helpful degrees to have to work for non-profits like Catholic Relief Services and the like. However I feel that I could be called to any number of vocations.
Thanks again for all the support!:slight_smile:



If you search the forums, you might gain more insight. Putting in “university dallas” gave me this, among other threads:

Searching for “Fordham” gives

You might want to start a thread with the names of the colleges in the subject title. Maybe it will catch the attention of people who have gone there.

I know a student at Fordham and a professor there, but neither of them are Catholic so I can’t help you. The student loves it, but as he’s a theatre major, he is thrilled just to be living in New York! I have heard people warn about scholarships-- be sure that it is for all four all years, not just one year.


Didn’t attend either myself - but I have three siblings who attended the University of Dallas and absolutely loved it. They will speak toward the high level of academics (opportunities for intellectual growth) and the Catholicity of the school. My oldest sibling discovered her vocation to a Cistercian monastery while there. All three of them met a great group of friends with whom they will be friends for life. I was almost disappointed I didn’t get to go there - but they didn’t have a music major. So I went to Ave Maria University (which is also a great place) and will graduate in May.



Congratulations on your acceptance and scholarships to these two schools! What a nice dilemma you have!

My son attends Loyola University MD (senior), and has had a terrific experience there, both academically and socially. It is a Jesuit institution, and may have a stronger Catholic identity than Fordham. University of Dallas would have an even stronger overtly Catholic ethos, I suppose.

However, immorality is everywhere, including on Catholic campuses. To choose a university primarily because one wants to avoid it is unrealistic. Sometimes our faith can flourish when it is challenged, when we’re forced to examine it and grow into it as a young adult. I know there are some campuses that seem like “Pagan U.” but even there one will find fellow Catholics who choose to live their faith and get an education.

Many “faithful” Catholic colleges are home to students who judge their peers as not being Catholic enough, and many secular universities offer opportunities for their students to live their faith among fellow Catholics.

College is what you make of it, there is no guarantee that the smaller, more “faithful” school will be a better environment for you. Visit both schools if you can, ask questions of the student guides, go to the campus ministry offices and get a feel for the programs they offer. Then, as in everything, it will be a leap of faith!

I wish you all good on this exciting new adventure, and pray Our Lord and His Blessed Mother will keep you safely in their arms!


P.S. Amanda - one of the things my son at Loyola has been so impressed with in his four years there is the level of caring for the students among his professors. They are universally accessible, patient, and ready to help their students in any way, even beyond strictly academic matters. He is convinced this is due at least in part to the strong Jesuit ethos at the university. You will probably find this same atmosphere at both schools you’re considering, but it is important to keep in mind that professors who are accessible and committed to their students (not just their own research) become their students’ mentors and sources of career direction and advice going forward.

Just a thought .


Here’s some encouraging news about Ave Maria University:

Recently, the Cardinal Newman Society ran an article about Ave Maria University in Naples, Florida. I was very pleased to hear that out of 194 graduates this year, 22 are engaged to a classmate. Within the last several years, 1 of 5 students married a classmate, and these are “good, Holy Catholic marriages that are true to the magesterium and will be fruitful and sincere.”

I don’t think Patrick Reilly would mind if I put this here, so Here is the link to the article:



You also may want to check out Wyoming Catholic College, or a college in Denver that is close to the Augustinian Institute. Those are both very Catholic. I also think the Archdiocese of Denver has quite a bit for Young Adults and for College Students.

The Augustinian Institute has several seminars from time to time where Catholics are invited to attend. If you went to a college close by, you could attend these seminars.

You also might be able to find a college in your state that has a FOCUS missionary and/or a solid Catholic Student Center. UC-Boulder might have a good one - I don’t know.



You are so right about immorality being everywhere, even at Catholic colleges. I attended a Catholic college in San Antonio years ago where there was as much sex, drugs, and rock and roll floating around as the two state colleges that were an hour drive away. Years later, I returned to college (at a state school) and returned to the Catholic faith due to a strong Catholic Student Center. Besides, two and half years there (I paid my own way at Texas A&M) costs me about the same as one year tuition and fees at a private school, so I definitely got a bargain.

There are many good Catholic Student Centers at state funded colleges. Texas A&M, the University of Kansas, the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (Like A&M, I know a few priests who are alumni) and many others have good centers. I heard Virginia Tech also has a good one. One key is a balance between spiritual and social, as well as faithful Catholic teaching. The ones that are well attended are faithful to the magesterium, while the ones teaching “dumb it down” and “feel good pop psychology” are dying off.

By the way, I do recommend engineering students to go to a state school. Normally, it’s cheaper, has more ties to industry, and are more well known. You can find one (like KU, A&M, or Virginia Tech) that has a good Catholic Student Center, or if you are in a larger city, you may be able to go to Mass at a Catholic College (like Providence College or CUA) on Sundays.

I also agree college is what you make of it. One can go to even Harvard or Yale (even West Point) and get involved with the wrong crowd (well, at West Point, the bad crowd would be gone by Thanksgiving, but I digress). My little brother went to the University of Dallas (which I do recommend from my many visits there, particularly in recent years - strong academics and many students taking their faith seriously), and yes, the University of Dallas did have some troublemakers and bad apples there, but most of the serious students are good at reading these people.

Remember there are temptations anywhere, and your mother isn’t there to give you a curfew. Discipline and time management is something any college student must learn, as well as choosing the right friends.


Here’s some other college recommendations:

I have heard good things about is Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. Dress code, daily Mass offered, and rules of etiquette that are enforced. Christendom offers even the Traditional Latin Mass is said on Sundays. Christendom has also had many vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

The College of St. Mary Magdalen has had some turnover over the past few years. It is in Warner, New Hampshire. A new president arrived circa 2010, and enrollment has doubled. It’s a little small, but it sounds like a good place. Like Christendom, there is daily Mass and a dress code, as well as rules for study and for student behavior. Dating is allowed, but there are guidelines.

I will say that some Catholic colleges are just “Catholic in name only” I recommend a state school with a strong Catholic Student Center any day over a “Catholic in name only” school, and the state school is much more affordable than many “Catholic in name only” schools. You could even go to a junior college in your hometown, and get involved with some young adult Catholics in your hometown.


I remember someone mentioned that one of the campuses had a newman centre. I used to belong to the one in my area and it was amazing.

To be honest, I don’t know anything about either college so I can’t say which one is better than the other. I am however a graduate student therefore hopefully I can give you some advice student to student. I have learned that it isn’t enough to simply read about the various schools: you have to visit them preferably with a parent or mentor.

I recommend that you do your best to visit the campuses because you get a feel of the atmosphere and the campus. I know they have this option at many universities and colleges around North America. When you are there, ask to be a student for the day. Bring a notebook and take notes on your observations and take pictures so you can return to different moments as it becomes time to decide.

As you begin your campus tour, ask the person to put you in touch with the services they have for Catholic students. Visit these services and learn more about them. I would try to meet some of the professors in your program, visit the chapels and local parishes.

I would even arrange to meet with the priests from the local parishes closest to your college because they will be able to give you an idea on how the universities treat their Catholic students. Furthermore, by visiting you will be able to see if you would feel comfortable attending mass there and if you trust the priest because during your time at college you will have questions that will need answers. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with him, that is something to consider when you begin to do the pros and cons list.

Research the student groups you are interested in. It can begin right now. I know several groups will have facebook groups which are often accessible through their student websites if not, look it up on facebook. Look for these facebook groups, join them and when you are visiting the college, arrange to meet some of the people from this group for coffee. You could even try to schedule your campus visit on a day they have having an event. I would ask questions and see what they say. Ask yourself: do you feel comfortable with this group. If you don’t put it on the con list. Plus if you get along with the people, perhaps someone will be able to help you find a roommate if you aren’t living in residence and it can begin to build a new friendship base which you will need to develop.

As you visit, pray to God and ask him to guide you. If you don’t feel comfortable at one place- then don’t go. I would bring your camera and take pictures. Once you have completed the campus tours, you will have an idea of where you feel the most comfortable in.

It’s not an easy decision to make but by visiting them, over time, you will make the best decision for you. Afterall, it is you who will be spending the next two or three years there and no one else.

If you have some other questions, please message me. I am here.


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