Paying for College

At a dads’ get-together a few days ago, one of the guys said that he was planning on having his kids pay for college themselves because he wanted them to stay Catholic.

At this rather-bizarre-on-the-face-of-it statement, many of the guys had questions, and this fellow proceeded to say that from his experience, kids who had college given to them used their free time to do “the college thing,” which was, um, not very positive, and fell away from the Church. 

Those who had to pay for college themselves, though, had to hold down a job at the same time as going to college, which meant (a) they had less time for tomfoolery and (b) they had more of a sensation of needing God to support them. 

In sum, he said that based on what he’d seen in many families with twenty-something children, those who had been given a “free ride” had almost universally lost their faith, while those who had had to come up with funding on their own were almost universally still in the Church.

Have you ever heard this theory?  What do you think of it?  What kind of evidence do you have for or against it?


Eric Pavlat is a convert from Unitarian Universalism who entered the Church in 1996. He lives in Maryland with his wife and six children. He is also a perpetually professed Lay Dominican in St. Pius V Pro-Chapter, located in Catonsville, MD. He founded Democrats for Life of Maryland, Inc., in 2004, served one term as president, and stayed on the board of directors until 2010. He now considers himself more a Distributist than anything else. Eric teaches 10th grade honors and special education students in English literature, composition, and grammar at his alma mater, Parkdale High School.

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