Is Bryan Really Worth the Cost??
With the rising cost of receiving a college degree, skyrocketing student loan debt and a weak job market it is no wonder that there are articles written every day asking about the value of higher education. Even President Obama has called for colleges to find ways to rein in exorbitant tuition increases. It is certainly true that college is not cheap. Harvard stickered at just under $40,000 this year! Undoubtedly, even at half the cost, more than a few students have to weigh the value of starting or continuing their education at Bryan, attending a public university or dropping/delaying school attendance altogether. It can be a complex and difficult decision.
The Positives of a Bryan Education
Sometimes the hype surrounding the latest media topic can obscure the facts and lead to an uninformed or misinformed decision. There are a lot of aspects that can go into making choices about college. Ultimately you have to consider the options and make up your own mind, but I would like to share just a few areas that may give you some additional confidence about being or becoming a student at Bryan.
Increased Earning & Less Debt
· A college graduate earns $412 more per week ($21,424 per year) than students who did not attend or finish college
· A Bryan graduate, on average, who works from ages 25 to 67 can earn an extra $899,808 that amounts to a 7.6% annual return on an average $61,000 tuition investment
· The average student at Bryan is burdened with $11,950 ($15,700 vs. $27,650) less student loan debt after school than the average student at other private non-profit colleges nationwide
Preparation for Life after College
· A college graduate has significantly more marketability in a world where the average working American will switch jobs 11 times over the course of their career
· A liberal arts education from Bryan is designed to give graduates a broad knowledge base and the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in an ever-changing marketplace
Statistically Higher Job Opportunities
· The unemployment rate of those with a college degree is half that of those without a college education
· Employers and ministries who have experienced the skill and adaptability of a Bryan graduate are significantly more likely to seek out Bryan grads to fill other open positions
Competitive Graduation Rates
· Students who enter college for the first time as freshmen at Bryan are 3 times more likely to graduate from Bryan within 4 years than freshmen entering the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC ) are to graduate from UTC within the same timeframe
· Bryan graduates a higher percentage of students than any other college or university in the area, including UTC, Tennessee Wesleyan and Lee University
Low Cost & Generous Institutional Aid
· The cost of one year of a private, Christian higher education at Bryan is within $3,700 of the net price of attending UTC
· Bryan tuition rose from 2010-11 to 2011-12 at less than half the rate of UTC and a year at Bryan costs 16% less than the average Christian college
· 96% of Bryan students receive gift aid from the college versus only 26% of their UTC counterparts
Ability to Live Out a Vibrant Christian Faith
· Bryan’s efforts in and out of the classroom, from teaching a biblical worldview to an emphasis on spiritual formation, focus on making servants of Christ who will be able to make a difference in the world
· Many secular schools are downright hostile to the Christian faith, including some who ban Christian student groups that attempt to hold to their values
· Bryan provides an environment during the pivotal college years where faith can be analyzed and strengthened and students are equipped to face and shape the broader culture with confidence
The Eye of the Beholder
As you can see, there is a ton of value packed into an intimate, Christ-centered, academically rigorous private college education at Bryan. However, worth is often found in the eye of the beholder. You might be drawn or called to some other school or some other endeavor. If so, don’t ignore it. But if you are comparing apples to apples Bryan makes a lot of sense and cents. That’s the bottom lion.