A small Christian college with a large home-school population is challenging the norms of liberal elite universities and is returning education to “sanity,” the founder of an SAT alternative told Fox News.
“There is an abundance of people with college degrees,” Jeremy Tate, founder of the Classic Learning Test, told Fox News. “There’s a scarcity of people with the kind of work ethic and the kind of integrity that employers are looking for right now.”
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Tate, a former college counselor, said Patrick Henry College’s well-rounded graduates have stronger work ethics than their peers from traditional schools and are better disciplined. He chalked up their success to the faith-based conservative college’s large homeschool population, an on-campus device ban and a dress code for students.
“They’re forming young people in all the right ways,” Tate said. “It’s a return to sanity. It’s a return to common sense.”
Academic rigor, lessons on the American founding and biblical worldview are the commitments that “sets Patrick Henry College apart from any other college in the world,” a PHC spokesperson told Fox News. “PHC prepares its graduates to make immediate and enduring impact for Christ and for liberty.”
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At Patrick Henry, 75% of the students enrolled were homes chooling when they finished high school, according to the PHC spokesperson. Tate, whose company administers an alternative standardized test to the SAT or ACT for college entrance, said home-school students that took the CLT exam surpassed their peers on the test.
Home-schoolers earned average scores of roughly 78 points, while private and charter school students scored 75 and 73, respectively, according to a Houston professor’s analysis of CLT data between 2016 and 2021. Public school students scored the lowest with an average score of 66.
“Home-schoolers are in some ways kind of off the charts,” Tate said. “So when you have this concentration of them at one college … the college itself is able to take that education and expand on it.”
Patrick Henry is “getting students that are coming into the college with a great base, a great foundation,” he continued. “They’re able to offer a program deep in core knowledge, deep in the humanities where students graduate, and they’re killing it on the LSAT.”
In 2021, graduating seniors at Patrick Henry who took the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) scored 171 on average — in the 98th percentile for the nation, the school’s spokesperson said. Undergraduates at the nation’s top-rated colleges averaged 171 or higher, according to U.S. News & World Report.
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Tate said students are drawn to schools like Patrick Henry because of the college’s focus on classical education. He also said that, unlike many universities, Patrick Henry doesn’t fixate on social justice and “woke” curricula.
Nationwide college enrollment has decreased 4.2% nationwide since 2020, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. But Patrick Henry College has seen a surge in applicants since 2017, according to a university spokesperson.
Tate said some of college’s rules also help with its success.
“You walk around campus and as a rule, they’re not on devices and in class they don’t touch devices,” Tate said. “Whereas you sit out in your typical lecture hall at most big public universities and two-thirds of the kids, they’re just scrolling TikTok or Instagram the whole time.”
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Patrick Henry students also adhere to a dress code.
“You compare that to a lot of college campuses right now where it’s like every day seems to be pajama day,” Tate said. “It really changes the culture.”
Tate told Fox News one-third of his staff are Patrick Henry graduates.
“I can’t hire enough of them,” Tate said. “I think what employers really want is they want ethically grounded, hardworking [and] disciplined young people.”
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