A Miraculous Way To Pay For College
We've loved reading your responses to our series of posts on college. Some of you feel called to go; others of you feel called to opt out. Some of you are heading off to Christian school to be trained to minister while others are heading to secular campuses and praying to be salt and light.
There is no doubt about it, decisions about college are important. It is an area we want to encourage you to surrender to prayer and to earnestly seek God's will about.
But here is another piece of the puzzle. How will you pay for college if God is leading you to go?
With the average annual cost of tuition hovering at about $20,000 for a public school and $35,000 for a private school, how is it possible to live out biblical principles for wise money management? The culture says the only way is to accrue tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. In fact, earlier this month we featured a post by a guest blogger who suggested avoiding college debt. Many of you commented that seemed impossible. But we think God is able to provide in the area of college funding just like He is able to provide in every other area of your life.
Want proof? Check out Talia's story.
I started taking classes at Bethel College my senior year of high school. I instantly loved it, and I did well in the couple of classes I was taking. The professors, the classes, and the atmosphere were perfect—everything I was looking for in a college. It was close to home, and it was even the place all my closest friends had chosen to go.
But during my senior year, God made His plans for my family clear and final ...
He was sending us to Kenya as His missionaries. We had been involved in an abandoned baby center ministry in Kenya through our church for years. My dad had helped to finish building the center and had been there at least fifteen times. My mom, brother, and I had been three times, too. It was close to our hearts and we were excited for all God had planned, but God's timing made for a very difficult decision for me. Should I go? Or should I continue my education at Bethel?
For the rest of my senior year and most of the next summer, the answer seemed pretty obvious. There was no way I could go to Bethel because there was no money to send me. I didn't believe God wanted me to accumulate $120,000 of debt to get a college education. I believed God would provide a way if I was meant to go, and that way just wasn't showing up.
We were all set up to leave for Kenya the following April of 2012. I had worked over the summer and saved up enough money to take a few classes during the fall 2011 semester while we were still in the States. My mom and I went to Bethel on the last possible registration day in July to sign me up for one or two classes. That day I experienced miracle upon miracle. To be honest, I couldn't even tell you how it happened. But I drove home from that campus with a full semester load of seventeen credit hours and an on-campus housing assignment. And here's the kicker: I only owed $3,000 for all of it.
Our departure date for Kenya had to be delayed for fundraising and training reasons, so my schedule was cleared to stay at Bethel for the spring 2012 semester as well. Of course, it wasn't going to happen unless I got another miracle. We prayed, and God came through. I didn't have to pay a thing. Not one penny. Even my books were provided for.
I still have my doubts and struggles just like every other believer. I still don't know if I'll be able to go back to Bethel this coming fall. But I know that if God calls, God provides. My family leaves for Kenya in August, and if the money isn't there for Bethel, I'll be heading to Africa with them. I know God will make His will clear to me. I believe that with all my heart. And I believe without a doubt that miracles do still happen.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).