Photo by: Nick Conley
It’s no secret that attending Oklahoma Christian University comes at a high price. Some students are blessed to have their parents offer to foot the bill, while others have to pay off school loans on their own.
After paying such a high price for a private, Christian education, are the students at Oklahoma Christian more motivated to excel in their schoolwork than they would be at a state school in order to get their money’s worth?
Junior Dakota Enriquez is splitting the bill for his four years at Oklahoma Christian. Although the stereotype for students like him is to slack off more since they are not paying for everything on their own, Enriquez says he has worked hard on his schoolwork.
“I would say I am motivated just because it’s my own education,” Enriquez said. “Since it is my education, I don’t want to skip class or fall behind. It’s not like high school. This is going to be my career after I graduate, and I chose to come here. So I want to do my best to get ready for life after college.”
Of course many students’ parents generously pay for a portion of their children’s school costs. Some parents even cover all of the expenses.
An article found on NBCnews.com suggests that the more money college students receive from their parents, the more likely they are to put academia on the back burner.
Sophomore Tevin Cleveland said he disagrees with the NBC article. His parents are covering his costs at Oklahoma Christian, which encourages him to keep up his GPA instead of giving him a feeling of freedom to not focus on school.
“I think when parents are gracious enough to help pay for college, then students want to work harder because they know the sacrifice that their parents are making,” Cleveland said. “Students want to make their parents proud.”
Cleveland also said that attending a private, Christian school like Oklahoma Christian motivates students more so than attending a public school, regardless of where the money is coming from.
“I think the environment of Oklahoma Christian helps because there are good Christian people surrounding you, and they want to see you do well,” Cleveland said. “It helps you to get a positive attitude about school.”
Junior Jacqueline Lovejoy said that being in a smaller, Christian environment is a little more ideal for study purposes.
“I would say being on a smaller campus makes somewhat of a difference regarding study habits,” Lovejoy said. “Even though we still have lots of events and activities that are run by the school, it’s still on a much smaller scale compared to places like the University of Oklahoma. Being at Oklahoma Christian, we have less temptation to be distracted from our studies than students in a different environment.”
Senior Suzanna Sawyer said every student is different when it comes to how seriously they take their studies and money.
“My parents pay for part of my school, but I’m also taking out loans,” Sawyer said. “So I think it really depends on the student. A good student is going to take their school and tuition seriously no matter who pays for it.”
However, Sawyer also sees how it could be easy for people to take the same view as the NBC article.
“It’s probably easier to take school for granted if you have never had to pay a dime for it,” Sawyer said. “But I still think a serious student will take their education seriously no matter what.”
Lovejoy is on the other end of the spectrum as she is paying for all of her costs at Oklahoma Christian by herself.
“I think it makes a difference whether you are paying for your school on your own or not,” Lovejoy said. “If it’s not literally the money that you have worked hard for, then it’s not as big of a deal to just continually aim for a passing GPA. When it’s your own money, you don’t want to waste it by not working hard for a good GPA.”
Since Lovejoy is relying on her own funds to pay off her schooling, she doesn’t have much of an option other than to make sure she holds a job or two. She currently works in the Oklahoma Christian admissions call-out center, at Sam’s Club and serves in the Oklahoma Army National Guard.
“If you’re paying for it and trying to multitask work, school and fun, it’s probably going to be more important to you to pass, because you know you are doing more than just school and that you earned it all on your own,” Lovejoy said.