Catholic Colleges on the East Coast

Jul 08, 2020

The East Coast of America encompasses many states in the North and South. From Maine to Florida, there are several states and Catholic Colleges in between. This overview covers a smattering of some of those schools.

School Comparison

While these schools all share a Catholic affiliation, they differ greatly in many other aspects. We'll look at the location, enrolled student population, and tuition for each. Since you may consider living on campus, we'll also look at the cost of room and board.

School Name Institution Type Population Location Tuition (2019-2020)* Campus Room & Board (2019-2020)*
Saint Joseph's College of Maine 4-year, private not-for-profit 2,106 Standish, ME $36,720 $14,090
Boston College 4-year, private not-for-profit 14,720 Chestnut Hill, MA $57,910 $14,826
Fairfield University 4-year, private not-for-profit 5,273 Fairfield, CT $49,830 $15,150
Marymount University 4-year, private not-for-profit 3,418 Arlington, VA $33,330 $13,575
Belmont Abbey College 4-year, private not-for-profit 1,556 Belmont, NC $18,500 $10,386
St. Thomas University 4-year, private not-for-profit 4,227 Miami Gardens, FL $32,000 $11,700

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Overview of East Coast Catholic Colleges

These schools are all private institutions, and they mostly have small student populations, apart from Boston College. We'll explore how the Catholic faith is integrated into each college, as well as detailing their rankings and academic offerings.

Saint Joseph's College of Maine

Starting at the top of the country, we'll look at the only Catholic-affiliated college in Maine, Saint Joseph's College of Maine. Of the students enrolled in the college, 98% receive tuition assistance. St. Joseph's offers both on-campus and online programs. As of 2018, there were more than 40 campus programs and 37 fully online undergraduate programs. While mass attendance isn't required, seeking spiritual time with service is highly encouraged. In fact, there are several worship groups and prayer times that meet on campus to provide an opportunity for students to strengthen their relationship with God.

Boston College

Ranked #32 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report in 2018, Boston College is one of the highest ranked colleges on this list. Its philosophy and religious studies program was also ranked seventh in the nation by Collegefactual.com in 2018, and its psychology program was 18th in the nation. The academics don't stop there; the eight internal schools offer over 70 undergraduate degree majors, including majors in Russian, perspectives on Spanish America, and Islamic civilization and societies. Boston College is a Jesuit college, meaning that it believes both faith and reason have a relationship and place in the world.

Fairfield University

Located in Fairfield, CT, Fairfield University encourages different ways to be involved with the church during your education. From self-discipline and study to a 10-week directed Ignatian prayer series, the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Center for Faith and Public Life, and the Center for Catholic Studies offer many faith-based activities to enrich your education. There are nearly 50 undergraduate majors from which to choose, including studies in studio art, Spanish, software engineering, and international business. Along with education and spirituality programs, Fairfield has over 80 clubs and organizations.

Marymount University

At Marymount University, 98% of students typically receive scholarships and grants to help cover education costs. The U.S. News and World Report rankings for 2018 name Marymount 52nd in regional universities in the South. AS of 2019, the college will offer a terminal degree in cybersecurity at the doctoral level. Currently, the master's-level cybersecurity program has 100% job placement for graduates. Along with these programs, there are 24 bachelor's degree programs in various subjects, including politics, media design, fashion merchandising, criminal justice, and business administration. Students will also be expected to fulfill liberal arts core requirements with courses in natural science, social science, math, humanities, communications, and religion. There are also faith formation, worship, prayer, and music ministry opportunities on campus.

Belmont Abbey College

As the most economical of all the schools in this list, Belmont Abbey College has the least expensive tuition and room and board. Catholic traditions and faith are spread throughout academic programs and campus activities at the college. Even the athletics teams are encouraged to promote the church and morals through practice and matches. Belmont has 25 men's and women's teams, including triathlon, baseball, wrestling, bowling, and cycling. The U.S. World and News Report named Belmont as the eighth best regional college in the South for 2018. Belmont offers only baccalaureate level programs.

St. Thomas University

At the southern end of the East Coast, Florida's St. Thomas University offers 80 programs online and on-campus. Some of the degrees that can be earned are the BA in Liberal Studies, BA in Sports Administration, BS in Nursing, BS in Fire and Emergency Services Management, MS in Mental Health Counseling, MS in Cyber Security Management, and the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation. Students can grow in their faith through retreats, informative gatherings, fellowship and prayer. Weekly, there is a faith sharing meeting, where students meet to discuss their faith in every day experiences. There are three on-campus residences: Villanova Hall, Cascia Hall, and University Inn. The latter is reserved for graduate students and select undergrads.

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