College and More!


Okay, so a friend suggested i ask a group of people what they think…

First off, i want to say, im asking for opinions and prayers.
Second off, Thank you in advance.

Okay, ill give a little backstory first: I am a senior in highschool, and i am taking my classes at the nearby community college(still working on my diploma, but just taking high leveled classes) And I have been doing my applying for colleges and stuff, and I live in the florida area, and recently got accepted to 1/5 colleges applied to.
I have applied to
Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio)
Our Lady of Holy Cross (New Orleans)
Ave Maria (Naples, FL)
University of Florida (i dotn even kno why i applied, i dont like this school)
Spring Hill (Mobile, AL)

I got accepted to Franciscan university, and it was the one i applied to long after the others (considering applying means finishing it totally)

I was praying about it, and more and more the franciscan lifestyle, and school has appealed to me. Not to mention, i was babtized in St Francis church in my city, and my confirmation saint was one who is instrumental in the oncomming of the Franciscan Order.
And that made me think about the other colleges and how they might fit into my life like FUS has, like maybe things supplying my interest in those schools, and didnt find any as abundant as the things ive thought about FUS (franciscan).

I was wondering if any of you could give me opinions on any of these schools, and maybe give me an opinion on how i should further discerm it, and pray for me as well. Because school is not cheap, especially catholic schools. And i come frmo a low-income family (not really low, but we can barely pay bills because my parents choose to have a nice house, hopefully theyll sacrafice it for my schooling) and i am just hoping the Lord will provide for me as he has provided for my friends that go to that college (who are also money-deficit-disordered :slight_smile: )

Its not really much of a big stress in my life, as i know the lord will deliver me where he wants me to as long as i trust in him, and follow what i believe to be his calling… but still its times like these that God leads me to so that i may learn, becasue i cannot learn on my own, i have to venture out and see other people, if not then i better have God speaking to me through bushes or something :smiley:

(if anyone wants to further question my faith, and stuff so they can help me out i guess, ill be more than happy to answer)

May the Grace of God be with you always


Oooh boy do I remember this process…

Anyway, I’ve heard very good things about Fransciscan. They have perpetual adoration and really do bring the Catholic faith into daily life. However, I’ve heard they aren’t too generous with financial aid. From what I hear, they’re also more charismatic, but they also offer the Latin Mass as well as a Byzantine Divine Liturgy monthly.

Ave Maria I’ve also heard is a very good school. I would just check to make sure they’re accredited (I think they are, I’m not sure though).

What do you plan to study???


Don’t sell the private schools short on financing. Between the FAFSA and the financial aid forms, a private school might be in a position to give you more money than a public one, evne though the public one charges less for tuition.


I spent several years at summer conferences at Steubenville, and although I was never there during the school year, all the service jobs and all the tasks that make the conference run smoothly, ushers, escorts, runners etc. were done by students, so I have had the blessing of getting to know them on that basis. I have spend a lot of time on college campuses through the years learning and teaching and I have never met a more wonderful group of students. I would hire a Steubenville grad on that basis alone. There is definitely something rare and wonderful about what they call “the Steubenville experience.” You can’t go wrong, if you have not already done so get the financial aid process going, because you will probably find they can offer you a package which will make it competitive with what you would pay at a state school.


My oldest daughter graduated from Franciscan in 2005 with a degree in theology with a concentration in Religious Education.

A bit of advice: first off, have some idea of what you may want to do with your life as far as career goes. There are many options and you need to discern this before you start the academics.

Franciscan has many great programs but they do not offer evrything, so you need to know if FUS will prepare you for a career. As the parent of children in HUGE debt from college, I think this is critical.

As for financial aid, do not expect much money from Franciscan unless you come from a huge Catholic family or have some sort of connection. Or if older siblings have attended that may help also.

One way to cut down on costs is to work as a residential assistant - FUS will give you free room and board if you do but you still have to pay tuition. You must be an upperclassman to do this.

Even if your parents have a nice house, unless they have $20,000 extra per year to dish out for you, they will have to borrow it. Or you will have to borrow it, which means it needs to get paid back.

I highly recommend Franciscan, but these realities need to be known up front.

My daughter owes $60,000 for 4 years of college and will be in debt for a LONG time. Her salary working at a Catholic High School is ok, not great. Just be aware that the bills will come due in 4 years and it is not easy paying it back.


May God bless you in your search for the right university for YOU!
I’ve heard wonderful things about Fransciscan and Ave Maria… but being a Florida Gator myself I have to say it’s worth keeping on your list (if you get in… I know it’s so hard these days!)…

I remember going through this process…
When I first left for college I went to a small Catholic college up in New England. I was looking for that “perfect Catholic experience”, and for me and my personal situation… I just didn’t find it there.
It was quite a trying time, faith-wise, in my life.
But God eventually led me home to date my future husband and to transfer to the University of Florida.

It IS possible to find a strong Catholic community at a public college. (the student center at St. Augustine’s at UF is wonderful)… so don’t rule that out of your plan, if that’s where God eventually leads you…

God bless… you’ll be in my prayers…

  1. I am looking to Study Theology
  2. I definitely am not ruling out public schools as an option, it just so happen to be that i didnt apply to any, God only knows why, maybe i was subconciously veering away, who knows. But i honestly dont think i would not go to one for fear of my faith, just fear of not doing what i want ?? if that sounds good enough?

When i grow up i wanna either be
A) A teacher
B) a priest
C) something in Medicine?? (not too sure about this one, but its my excuse so people dont bug me about the first two and how much money i WONT be making, which is inevitably needed, but not wanted, which is probably why Franciscan lifestyle appeals to me whether or not FUS is deep franciscan ordered lol


I thank you all for your advice, and hope that if anyone else has advice that they would help me out a little.

And dont forget the prayers :slight_smile:

May the Grace of God be with you



I have two or three young friends who went to Steubenville. They loved it and are now about 35 years old and doing alright. Not rich by any means, but financially OK and happy. If theology is your game, I can’t see any of your other choices as being better. I will pray for you.



I graduated from Franciscan University this past May. Of course, I’d highly recommend it :D. If you want to study theology, this is a very good place to do it. If you want to study medicine, the biology/chemistry dept here is excellent as well!

Financial aid and scholarships are not as abundant here as other schools, at least that was the case when I was applying to schools and I worked in the fundraising dept for a little while during my time there and it’s difficult to get much money from alumni who are graduating with theology degrees themselves, so that’s partially why we have a lack in financial aid many times. However, God will provide!

They have many areas of study, esp. compared to other associated Catholic colleges and pretty much everything but the engineering dept is amazing.

The faith life there is amazing and that’s what drew me to it. Everyone is so friendly and daily mass is crowded, there’s praise and worship, perpetual Adoration, great speakers, truly Catholic professors. I could go on forever!

I graduated with a degree in accounting (after spending my first two years studying social work and theology with a minor in Spanish) and my husband earned a degree in math (with a teaching certificate). We both graduated with roughly $60-80K each in loans. Was it worth it? You better believe it! I wouldn’t trade these last four years for anything. Also, it is where I met my husband :). They do have a pretty good program for those discerning the priesthood too.

Besides Franciscan though, Ave Maria is another excellent school - just not as big or as well established. I have a few friends who currently go there/went there. Any more questions, feel free to ask or PM me :). God bless your search!


**As another Franciscan grad I can share my opinions on the school as well. My husband also went there for a masters in Theology. I went there for a BA in Communication Arts/Radio?TV and graduated in 2003.

Please don’t expect much financial aid there unless you know people or come from a huge family. I am an only child and my parents had a combined income of 35-40,000 a year when i first started there. FUS expected my family to contribute 15,000 a year to my education.

The most important piece of advice financially is DO NOT TAKE OUT A GATE LOAN THROUGH FUS. This is the company they offer loans through when you can’t cover your balance. The company does not do consolidation when you graduate plus they will not defer or place loans on forebearnce at any time if you have problems.

My parents had horrible credit and got denied the plus loan which is a blessing because then you are eligible for a larger stafford loan. I worked in the development office so i knew what scholarships had money in them. Plus i had made it a point to get to know the head of financial aid who is an amazing man and will go out of his way to help if he can. Yes the school has a work study program but really you’re an indentured servant because you have to work off the 500 each semester.

I hear good things about the science department, and of course theology is why most people go there. I can say if you major in thoelogy please DOUBLE MAJOR in something you can use and actually make money with.

The best way to save money is to live off campus but i think you’re not allowed that option until your a jr. If you have any questions please feel to ask or pm me:)**


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