In a recent article, written by alumnus and reporter Peter Jesserer Smith (’09) for the National Catholic Register, attention is drawn to Wyoming Catholic College, which recently announced that it will reject all federal student loans and grants. With this decision, they join Christendom College in making this bold stance in Catholic higher education — a move that Christendom made at its founding close to forty years ago, leaving it free to teach the truths of the Catholic faith without government interference.
College founder Dr. Warren Carroll made the decision from the beginning to neither seek nor accept any federal funds for the college, in an effort to avoid any chance that the government would try to use student loans or grants as leverage against Christendom. Oftentimes, when other institutions accept federal funding, they open the door to the possibility of massive government intrusion — something Christendom has managed to avoid.
“We wanted to be free from any entanglement from the federal government, so we could be free to be Catholic fully, to teach as the Catholic Church teaches,” said vice president for enrollment Tom McFadden in the article.
While the choice was made in the 1980s, when government intrusion in Catholic higher education seemed less likely, Carroll’s prudential decision has proven prophetic in the years since Christendom’s founding. Efforts by the federal government to intrude upon religious freedom with healthcare reform have caused dismay amongst other Catholic and Christian institutions, as have new plans to use funding conditions to promote policy preferences, such as in the new college ratings plan.
By not accepting any federal funds, Christendom remains free from any such concerns, and will continue to remain free going into the future. While Christendom does not accept federal student loans, it does offer a plethora of scholarship opportunities, including a unique scholarship matching program, in addition to grant money and college funded student loans.
Generous donors help make up for the lack of federal funding, with private donations providing students with the financial assistance that others receive from the federal government. Many donate specifically because of Christendom’s rejection of federal funds, according to McFadden.
“We would not be able to operate this way without the generous donor pool that like what we do and the fact that we don’t take money from the federal government,” he said in Smith’s article.
At Christendom, the rigorous liberal arts education has always been, and will always be, in accord with the Magisterium, allowing the college, in all of its functions, to remain truly Catholic. To find out more about why Christendom rejects federal funds, please visit here.