For several years, the Vatican and U.S. bishops have called for a reassertion Roman Catholic identity and teachings at Catholic colleges and universities, but they may not have to worry much about it.
Catholic schools are re-emphasizing their identities as they discover that these qualities are marketable, reports the National Catholic Register (March 21-27). “In general education circles, it began to be apparent that there was an appeal for Catholic education. It’s seen as attractive and safe,” says Linus Ormsby of Niagara University in New York. Schools are finding that their religious identity is a point of differentiation that draws students and keeps alumni support going strong.
While the Catholic tag does not always attract, especially in graduate education and commuter schools, more colleges and universities are up front about their affiliations in their advertising. In a survey of 1.1 million college-bound 1998 high school seniors, it was found that 32 percent of those who want a denominational college want one that is Catholic (about 19 percent would choose a Baptist college).
The Catholic-seeking population has grown during the 1990s. In 1991, it measured only 26 percent, according to the survey conducted by the National Research Center for College and University Admissions.
(National Catholic Register, 33 Rosotto Dr., Hamden, CT 06514)