College Visit: Houston Baptist University
Before you say you aren’t interested in Houston Baptist University, let me tell you I’ve had many students attend HBU for less than it would have cost them to attend a state university. HBU actively seeks interested students and has scholarships, even for students in the bottom half of their class. You may want to consider HBU.
Houston Baptist University is a small Christian school with 2400 undergraduate and 700 graduate students. The HBU campus is located in a residential neighborhood with a corner of campus next to the highway and Memorial Hospital Southwest. Recognizing the realities of a city campus, HBU is enclosed and the three gates to campus close at 11pm nightly. Students and visitors can always access with a current student ID number. (College visit hint: check out the area surrounding any campus. I’ve seen great schools in questionable neighborhoods.)
Unlike some universities that have a religious affiliation in name only, HBU asks students to learn the history of Christianity and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with these beliefs. Students are required to take three religion courses and earn 80 Community Life & Worship (CLW) points prior to graduation. CLW points can be earned by attending weekly convocation with guest speakers, participating in Bible study or worship, or serving the community through a variety of service projects. While HBU is affiliated with the Baptist faith, a majority of students aren’t Baptist and approximately 30% of students aren’t Christian.
Interesting Campus Facts:
- Improve HBU’s recognition and influence nationally
- Increase the size of the university
- Establish strong residential life on campus
- Increase the number of student from outside the Houston area
- Develop recognized graduate programs
- Add a football program (HBU will play in the Southland Conference)
With a location next door to a major hospital, it isn’t surprising that pre-med and nursing are two of the most popular majors on campus. 85% of nursing graduates have a placement upon graduation and 90% pass the nursing exam on their first try. Between nursing and pre-med students, biology is a popular department. (This is a view from the newest dorm; the white building on the right is Memorial Hospital Southwest – across the street from campus.)
As part of it’s attempt to grow and increase in national recognition, Houston Baptist offers a wide-range of merit scholarships to draw qualified students. Students in the top 15% of their class with above average SAT scores qualify for the Founders Scholarship ($14,00 per year). President’s and Legacy Scholarships are automatically offered to students in the top 35% with above average SATs. Additionally, a student with top SAT scores could add Achievement Scholarships.
Student A: bottom quarter (top 80%) with a 1300 SAT (reading + math)
Award: $5,500 per year based on SAT scores only
Student B: top 34% with a 1200 SAT
Award: $11,000 per year Legacy plus $4,500 per year for SAT scores
Student C: (our super-high achiever) top 10% with a 1500 SAT
Award: $14,000 per year Founders plus $7,500 per year for SAT scores
With these numbers, you can see how a private school education becomes affordable and many students are paying less at HBU than they would at any of the state schools.
HBU is a great option for students looking for smaller schools with a service minded approach. Students will find involved professors, a family-like atmosphere, and great on-campus housing options. (I’m sure dorms never looked this good when I was in college!) If HBU sounds like a good match for you, schedule the time to visit campus and see for yourself.
Are you an HBU graduate or current student? Use the comment section below to tell us more about Houston Baptist University.