College Dilemma


I’m almost done with my first year of college at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. This place is certainly unlike any other! The students, the professors, the Christian fellowship… it’s all amazing! :thumbsup:

The problem is that I’m not sure whether I should return to Franciscan next semester or move back home. :confused: Franciscan isn’t very generous with financial aid. My first year of college cost my parents more than $17,000. Franciscan, unfortunately, awarded me less financial aid for the next academic year. I was appalled when I received my financial aid award, since I was expecting more financial aid. Costs of tuition and housing, in addition, will be increased by more than $1,000. Another year at Franciscan would cost my parents more than $20,000! :eek:

I really like Franciscan, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the money. I’m majoring in social work, so I’m assuming that it doesn’t really matter where I earn my bachelor’s degree, as long as the school is accredited. I feel bad that my college education is costing my parents so much money, even if my parents have told me that I shouldn’t worry about the money and that it’s up to me to decide.

I’m also not sure if I actually *want *to return to Steubenville. Although I like my school, it’s really easy to get homesick here. There’s so much that I miss about San Diego- particularly family, friends, and the warm weather! :stuck_out_tongue: I know that I’d be happier living in San Diego than in Steubenville, but I also know that I’d be happier attending Franciscan University than any of the schools in California. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle being away from my family and friends for another three years, but I’m also not sure if I’d be content attending school in San Diego. If I do move back home, I’d have to attend community college for one year (since I don’t have enough transferrable units yet) and then I’d have guaranteed transfer admission to San Diego State University.

The problem is that I’m not sure whether I want to return to Steubenville or move back home after this semester. I can’t seem to make up my mind and I don’t have much time left to decide. :banghead:

Any advice and prayers would be greatly appreciated! :slight_smile:


It sounds as if your parents are willing and able to pay the money for you to attend a Catholic college. So, it’s not about the cost of a social work degree— which could be had much cheaper at a state school. It seems your parents are willing to spend this money on your overall formation-- which is quite commendable.

A social work degree will likely bring many ethical dilemmas with it-- challenges to your Catholic faith. So taking the training at a solid Catholic university does in fact have some advantages over a state school. You will likely take classes in Catholic ethics and how to apply them in your field. Theology training is useful as well.

At a Catholic college you will not be forced into a practicum as an abortion counselor, for example. I’ve seen such dilemmas posted on here-- people in state schools in programs such as social work, counseling, and nursing forced to compromise their beliefs or receive a failing grade.

Have you talked with the career counselors at Steubenville? Have you talked to a financial aid counselor at the school to see why you received less aid and how you could receive more?

I also understand your desire to move closer to home, and missing your friends and family. The first year is the hardest, but for some being away from hom is just too hard, period. Is there a Catholic school that is orthodox and closer to home? Somewhere in CA fo example?

There is nothing wrong with attending a public college, I received an excellent education from a state university.

Many things to think about. Don’t let the money be the overriding factor-- look at where you will be happiest and receive the best training for your future career.


I think you should do what you think is best for you more so than what is best for your parents since they have told you that they are willing to make the sacrifices in order for you to attend at Steubenville. Then one day you can do the same thing by offering your futre children, should you choose to have any, the same opportunity. Your parents want this for you so if you want it then don’t feel guilty but be thankful and use the opportunity.


Well, I’m a university student, and my education costs about that much. The difference is, my parents could never pay for my education themselves. They set up a savings plan for me when I was little, and the money saved there will cover some of my costs. I work during the summer months. I will probably end up taking out a loan at some point to cover the rest, but I will only be, max, $16k in debt, which is great. My parents are always there to cover my butt if I ever got into deep financial trouble, but we’re paying for my university together. You’re lucky to have parents who are willing to pay all that money for you… perhaps you could work, and pitch in some money of your own, so they won’t pay so much, and continue going to Steubenville?


I suspect this is the case for every college. They want to get you in the door, then once they do, they give less scholarship support. This happened to me at Gonzaga Univ. As soon as I discovered the cut in scholarship money, I went to the dean of engineering and told him that I really would like to continue at Gonzaga, but I would not be able to unless they restored the scholarship money I was given the first year. Without having to fill out another form the scholarship was restored. :thumbsup:

Don’t just accept a cut in financial aid. Complain. They might respond favorably.


As a social worker that finished my master’s program two years ago, I can tell you that at almost any other university you’re going to run into some major issues that contradict your faith.

Social work in general is a liberal field. I had to listen to a number of speakers promoting gay lifestyle acceptance and write papers on the subject. I took a human sexuality class that was supposed to be for marriage therapy–however “couples” therapy is the preferred term, whether they be gay/straight, living together, etc. We watched movies in that class that were outright porn. In many classes the Catholic church was “bashed”.

I pursued social work because I care about people and want to help, but didn’t think I’d run into all of those moral issues. By the way, think twice about joining NASW; who knows where your money is going…

Anyway, we need good moral Catholic social workers. If you are strong in your faith and can tolerate running into these things at other universities, then that may be your best bet. Otherwise, I’d say stick with Franciscan. I’d be interested to know how social work is taught there…


Need based financial aid is based on what the FASFA says your family can contribute. That doesn’t mean that you will get enough financial aid. It also is determined by the need of your classmates. If one classmate has more of a financial need for need based financial need they will get more which may mean you will get less. But if that didn’t happen then the person sitting next to you in human services class may not have been able to go to school. BTW tuition goes up every year at most schools it has to due to inflation and repair work…

Since your parents said not to worry about the money aspect, think about your needs as a student. One of the easiest ways to do this (at least for me) is to make a pro/con list on the same sheet of paper. List all the things you like about the school then all the things you don’t like. This is to include distance from parents, travel expenses, and good things such as friends, atmosphere. Then make a list of what you see of the pros and cons of moving home and going to a school closer to home. Social work should be offered at many schools.

Going to school at home doesn’t have to mean you will lose the catholic influence on your schooling, you could volunteer at your parish and for placements, many schools offer the option to find your own field work placements. It would have to be approved by the coordinator, but it’s possible, (at least at all the schools I know of…) that way your field work wouldn’t interfere with your religion.

in the end go with what feels right, only you know best


Well, I graduated from San Diego State. It’s not a bad school, but it definitely is a party school. I think if sending you to Franciscan was a real financial drain to your parents, going to SDSU wouldn’t be too terrible. I did enjoy my years there. However, if your parents say they don’t mind the tuition, I’d stick with Franciscan. Even if you think you are missing life in San Diego, you’d have to realize if you came back, everything wouldn’t be just the same as it was when you were in high school. Chances are your friends have moved on with their lives. Your college years are important formative years in your life. You might even meet the person you marry while you are in college, so it would make some sense to go to the college where you are likely to find someone with your same morals.

Right now, I’d say don’t stress about it too much. If your parents say they can swing the tuition at Franciscan, then trust them. If they can’t, well SDSU is kind of a fun place.


**As a graduate of Franciscan, i will say once you are able to move off campus it will save you a GREAT DEAL!!! Rent off campus is only 150-300 a month depending on where you live…if you’re parents are willing to pay for FUS and not break the bank doing so then i would say go for it…

Also check out they email you scholarships that match you when you fill out their questionaire…plus they are free which is even better!!!:slight_smile:

Do i think FUS is worth 20,000 a year? No but i don’t think any college should cost that…i enjoyed my time there for what it was and i loved the Comm Arts department!

unfortuntely for us we didn’t have that, so i have a ton of student loans from FUS…**


I think that this may be the case for me. My first year of college has been very difficult, primarily because I’m so far away from home. It’s less difficult for me now, but still difficult.

There are only two Catholic schools in California that are orthodox: Thomas Aquinas College (in Santa Paula, close to Los Angeles) and John Paul the Great Catholic University (in San Diego).

TAC is a liberal arts school, with no majors, so I doubt my credits would transfer.

JP just opened last semester. It’s a business/communications school and is still unaccredited.

University of San Diego is Catholic (well, kind of :p). I’m not sure if it would be a good idea to transfer there.


You could also check out Santa Clara University, St. Mary’s College, Loyola Marymount, Notre Dame de Namur, Mount St. Mary’s, and University of San Francisco. No comment on the orthodoxy of any of these schools.


Thanks for the advice. :slight_smile: I worked during my last year of high school and saved most of my income, so I’ve been paying for my own textbooks. I work while I’m at home during vacation, but don’t really have enough time to work while I’m here in Steubenville. Minimum wage here in Ohio isn’t very high, anyways. :stuck_out_tongue:


Thanks, I’ll try to complain. I doubt that it’ll help, though, since Franciscan isn’t a very wealthy school. Franciscan has to depend on donations from its alumni to fund a lot of scholarships. Ironically, most of the alumni are in debt. :stuck_out_tongue:


Ha! I can imagine! My little sister is about to graduate from there with her masters in Theology. Including her undergrad which she obtained from another Catholic Univ she’ll end up with over 60K in debt. I used to jokingly tell her that I’d have to quit missionary work and get a really good job to help her pay off her debt!

In reguards to schooling, if you cannot attend Steubenville I understand. However, I would strongly encourage you to find a small school. I graduated from a small college (less than 2,000 students) and am now attending a large university (over 30,000 students). Here I am not even a number! I have had to jump through SOOOO many hoops and it seems as if no one cares. To top it off, it is not really that much cheaper than the private school. I also found that at the private school it was easier to find out about scholarships and other opportunities.

When I was discerning whether or not to return to school for theology and convert the world I did visit Steubenville. On option you might want to explore is that you could take on a job on campus like a full time cafeteria job or a house keeping job. My understanding is that if you work 35 hours per week you can get free tuition.


This is one of the major reasons why I decided to attend a Catholic school that’s orthodox. I know that I can tolerate running into issues that contradict with my faith, since I attended a public high school, but I’m not so sure if it would help me become a good Catholic social worker.

I’m not really sure how social work is taught here at Franciscan, since I don’t take any social work courses until next semester. But I’ve taken psychology and sociology courses here, and we use the same textbooks that other schools use. The only difference is that we learn from a Catholic perspective. I’m a member of Franciscan’s psychology/social work club and we have speakers who talk about issues like depression, homosexuality, etc. from a Catholic perspective.


According to my FAFSA results, my parents are expected to contribute less than $10,000. But FUS is expecting my parents to pay more than double of what they should be contributing. :eek:

Thanks so much for the advice! :slight_smile:


**Actually most of the housekeeping and cafeteria jobs are done by SWOP workers which is just basically an indentured servant:)

To get free tution you have to 35-40 hours full time during the week for the university in a “real” job such as the development office, head of maintence, etc! I know this because i went to franciscan.**


Yes we are:) I will say you should get to know your financial aid officer very well… Its how i got extra money every semester! Much of the financial aid is also who you know there sadly.



When were you there? I was at FUS '02-'03. I was a Comm major Spring '03

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