It is a scenario that every conservative parent fears: The happy child leaves home for college, only to return with a drastically different set of politics and values. The liberal leanings of university professors and academia in general are well documented, making the proposition of sending a child into any sort of higher learning a risky one. Not all colleges are the same, however. In response to the perceived liberal bias of almost every institution in the United States, many openly conservative universities have opened their doors to welcome students with open arms. These are the top five colleges for conservatives, based on their academic reputation, available majors and political actions.
With prestigious alumni such as Governor Rick Perry to its credit and George H. W. Bush’s presidential library on campus, Texas A&M is home to some of the finest conservative minds in the country. Its greatest emphasis is in engineering, veterinary and agricultural sciences, and it conducts research with many important institutions, including NASA. As home to a student population largely hailing from Texas, it should come as no surprise that A&M leans heavily right. It is, perhaps, the finest school in the country for technically minded young conservatives.
Grove City College
Grove City College sits outside of Pittsburgh and actively disavows a secular education. The liberal arts school believes in integrating Christian values into every syllabus to encourage strong character and compassion in its graduates. The economic work of Ludwig von Mises is emphasized in relevant courses, including a degree program in entrepreneurship. Business, engineering, religion and education are all popular majors. Better yet, the college avoids reliance on the federal government with private loan programs, while still offering some of the most competitive tuition rates in the nation.
Colorado Christian University
Colorado Christian University is presided over by former Senator Bill Armstrong and pushes a Biblically focused education. The university recently made headlines by suing the federal government over the constitutionality of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It actively courts notable conservative speakers, including past presidential candidates like Sarah Palin and Herman Cain. The Western Conservative Conference is held on-campus and provides a valuable networking opportunity for students and alumni alike. As if that weren’t enough, it is also nestled in scenic Colorado, away from the hectic pace of large cities and their corrupting influences.
Founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, this evangelical university has a large student body and a commitment to proving that a Christian education can be superior in every way to a secular one. Theology and law are its two primary draws, but there are well over 100 undergraduate programs to choose from. Besides teaching a conservative morality, including a strident opposition to political correctness, dorms are monitored by volunteer students to discourage unbecoming behaviors. Liberty also provides a strong support system for its students and sees many visiting conservative leaders. Its weekly church services are the largest gatherings of Christians in the nation.
Regent College is a Christian university with plenty to offer conservative students. The annual Ronald Reagan Symposium gathers top right-wing commentators from prestigious publications and Ivy League schools to offer their perspective on life, politics and how to survive in a world that sometimes seems to be actively working against them. Perhaps even more excitingly, the school also hosts debates between some of the sharpest minds in the political sphere, including Arianna Huffington, Steve Forbes, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich. Regent also sees a revolving door of speakers from the highest positions in the Republican party. For any student with political ambition, Regent University demands serious consideration.
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Sally Forrester is a career counselor and guest author at Top Colleges Online, where she has contributed many valuable resources to help prospective students evaluate and select online degree programs.