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College quandary

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All Catholic parents planning to send a child to college next year -- and going through the usual rounds of applications and campus visits -- should consider the following difficulty: (1) higher education for a Catholic is necessarily a philosophical education; yet (2) almost no colleges, even ostensibly "Catholic" institutions, require students to take courses which amount to a sound philosophical education, and there are very few campuses where it is even possible to get a sound philosophical education by taking electives.

So, unless you take some definite steps to deal with this problem, your child will almost certainly not get a good education -- not by the correct, objective standard -- for all the tuition dollars you may spend.

As a preliminary point, understand that we are simply no longer in the situation (if we ever were) where an institution could be trusted to provide a good education simply because it had a good reputation, or, more precisely, a prestigious name. You should no more send your child to a university now because its name sounds prestigious, than you should have entrusted your retirement account in 2007 to an investment bank because its name sounded prestigious.

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