When it comes to choosing a college, there is an outrageous amount of pressure on high school seniors. All the marketing tells us that the choice of our college could greatly impact the rest of our lives. It is by far one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. Looking at SEU Ohio, where it’s more of a smaller and intimate experience, that comes with bigger pressure. Do you want the more tradition experience or do you want a more personalized experience?

I was curious, so I asked our on campus students why they chose SEU Ohio over other universities. About 40% responded, and in those responses, some patterns emerged. Many students noted the family-like atmosphere and opportunities only available on a small campus community.  For example, Kyle Sapp, a first-year student, said, “I chose SEU Ohio because SEU is an awesome place to be a part of.  It is a family-like atmosphere and there are a lot of opportunities for us students to grow and make lifelong friendships.”  Chloe Gambrell, another first-year student, also commented on that type of atmosphere: “…I wanted a smaller community that felt more like a family and was very Spirit based. Where I felt like I could grow and help.”  Jason Martin, a freshman who recently transferred to SEU Ohio, noted, too, that if he had to pick somewhere else, he wouldn’t.

The second most common themes that emerged were price and location.  Freshman, Sarah Pike, spoke at length about cost, “…I wanted an affordable private Christian education. There is no other private Christian college that is even close to the price (of SEU). I knew that I could come to college here and not be in debt for years and years after graduation. I also chose SEU because of the practicum classes!”

Location-wise, this seemed to be the perfect fit for Jared Keene, a sophomore who told me about his transition from South Carolina: “I wanted to be back home and wanted to start over in Ohio and make new friends. I felt God calling me to reach kids in Ohio and felt that moving here would fulfill the calling God placed on my life and take me out of my comfort zone.”

Jazmynn Wilson, a second-year student, echoed other students’ comments on the atmosphere, location and cost: “…the education is highly rated, it is extremely affordable, it is in one of the greatest locations (Polaris), and the atmosphere is so rejuvenating and welcoming. We are truly one big family.”

In my opinion, SEU Ohio is focused on helping students find the calling God has placed on their lives and on preparing them for that future; other students have noted this, as well. Sophomore, Gino Colavecchio, said, “…it was the first school close to me that would allow me to follow my calling. I’ve heard about all the other big Bible colleges but there’s nothing like Columbus, and there’s nothing like the people I’ve met here.”  Another student obedient to God’s calling was Abbey Woods, who told me, “God laid this school on my heart in eighth grade and I knew it would be the best school to go to for the career I feel called to pursue (a worship pastor).”

Finally, students cited a few other reasons for choosing SEU Ohio.  Sarah Pike told me that she chose SEU Ohio because of the practicum classes, which are internships that allow students to gain hands-on experience in a variety of ministry, worship and business environments. Ronald King, who is a non-traditional student with a prior earned bachelor’s degree, said about SEU Ohio, “It offered the curriculum that I needed to pursue worship ministry. I didn’t have to relocate to Tulsa and it was the most affordable. God said, `Go back to school.’ He didn’t say where.  I just knew I had to go somewhere, and SEU made the most sense. Plus, they showed up at every church I had attended so it was kind of like a sign!”

SEU Ohio is a great family community, bringing people from all across the state together to learn more about Jesus and follow the calling He has placed on our lives. We are so blessed to know each other, but even more so to have a place like SEU Ohio to call our home.


Abigail Stout, SEU Ohio student leader.