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September 2022

Give Me That Mountain!


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Three Reasons Students Don't Attend

By Daniel Webster


I have been privileged to help high school students get to Welch College since 2017. During this time, I’ve heard three primary reasons a Welch College education is not possible: too expensive, too far, and you don’t have my major. I’d like to share my response to these objections.


Welch Is Too Expensive

If you visit and view the “sticker price,” it can be scary! But I have good news. Welch’s tuition is half that of the national average, and for the 2021 academic year, 100% of traditional, undergraduate students received financial aid. Most students, after financial aid, pay only a fraction of the sticker price.

Also, it is important to note Welch does not have an in-state and out-of-state tuition pricing structure; students from Hawaii pay the same rate as students from Tennessee. Students at Welch take advantage of all types of scholarships, grants, and loans. Funding remains available, and the enrollment team at Welch will gladly help your family “look under the couch cushions” for the aid available to you.

If your family is concerned about finances, start with these four steps:

  1. Complete the application at Welch charges no application fee, and it only takes a half hour or so to complete.

  2. Complete the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at Make sure you use the Welch College school code: 030018.

  3. Request a financial worksheet from your admissions counselor so you have the exact dollar amount to make the decision.

  4. If, after you have taken these steps, you still cannot afford Welch College, write an appeal letter for more institutional funding.


Welch Does Not Have My Major

This is the greatest admissions misnomer among Free Will Baptist students. Welch has 50 programs of study leading to the completion of associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. While we do not have every degree, we have a degree for every career or ministry path because we offer an assortment of associate’s degrees. For instance, if you are interested in completing a bachelor’s degree in computer science, Welch does not offer a bachelor’s degree in this area.


However, if you commit to two years in one of Welch’s associate degree programs, you can transfer credits to the four-year school of your choice, since Welch is both nationally and regionally accredited. Keep in mind Welch College has the same SACSCOC accreditation as well-known schools like Vanderbilt University, University of Alabama, and University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill.

If your family is concerned about credit transfer, take these two steps:

  1. Complete the application at Welch charges no application fee, and it only takes a half hour or so to complete.

  2. After you are accepted, request from your admissions counselor to speak to a faculty member about your career or ministry plans. A faculty member from your area of study will review the course plan for the four-year degree you are seeking, and determine the appropriate associate’s degree for you.

If you choose this path, keep in mind that Welch offers more than just a degree; you will build friendships that last a lifetime and receive a biblical foundation that will support your future. It is also important to remember a third of undergraduate students change majors before completing a bachelor’s degree. For students unsure about their future, what better place to gain more direction than Welch College?


Welch Is Too Far from Home

Honestly, I don’t have a great answer for this objection. If a student wants to stay next door to his or her parents, and Welch is 500 miles away, I cannot change that. However, at Welch you gain a second family—your Welch College family. Welch has a high freshman retention rate, which means first-time college students love Welch and return the following year. At Welch, you will be surrounded by peers and teachers who love you and want the best for you. And, as you go into the world to pursue career and ministry to the glory of God, you can lean on the network of friends you met in college who will continue to sharpen you for the rest of your life.

And, it is true your life back home is very important! So much so that the mission of Welch is to educate leaders to serve Christ, His church, and His world through biblical thought and life. It is our goal to send you back home as a leader in Christ’s service. Imagine the good you will accomplish for your friends and relatives when you receive a Welch education that instills in you a biblical worldview and return home to impact the beloved community where you grew up.

Choosing a college is a big decision! Paying for college can be overwhelming; deciding on a major that will impact your future can be intimidating; leaving family and friends can be frightening. The Welch Enrollment Services team is here to guide you through these challenges. If you have questions, reach out by email ( or take the first step by applying at

About the Author: Daniel Webster is director of enrollment services and adjunct instructor of music and Bible at Welch College. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in church music, and he directs the music at Immanuel FWB Church in Gallatin, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife Kimberly and their three children. Read more from him:


©2022 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists