Archive for Wednesday, August 21, 2002

KU rates low on studying, high on prayer

August 21, 2002


Kansas University students don't study much, but compared with students on other campuses nationwide, they sure pray a lot.

At least one educator saw a possible tie in the findings released Tuesday by Princeton Review.

"Maybe they pray to get good grades," said Richard Johnson, dean of students.

The results were part of Princeton Review's annual book, "The Best 345 Colleges." The company, known for its test-preparation courses, surveys about 300 students at each of 345 colleges and universities.

The survey is best known for its list of top 20 party colleges a list KU made in 1997 and 1998 but hasn't been on since.

But KU was ranked No. 14 for "students who pray on a regular basis" and No. 18 for "students who (almost) never study." It also was ranked No. 15 for "great college newspaper," for the University Daily Kansan.

Thad Holcombe, director of Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave., said he wasn't sure what to make about the survey's results on praying.

"I know we have a large number of students that understand (prayer) is an important discipline in their life," he said. "As far as being ranked No. 14, who cares?"

Nathan Bachert, a Lawrence junior who attends Heartland Community Church, 619 Vt., said he wasn't surprised many students told Princeton Review they prayed on a regular basis.

And some, he said, probably ask a higher power with help on homework or a test.

"I'm sure that comes up around finals time," he said. "That could sway their results."

As far as the studying goes, Dave Donaldson, an Omaha, Neb., junior, said he didn't think KU was much different from other campuses.

"To be honest, I never really studied that much in high school, either," he said.

Johnson, the dean of students, said many factors could sway Princeton Review's unscientific survey. For instance, he said, authors could have interviewed students on their way to Ecumenical Christian Ministries, which is across from the KU campus.

"I think we have a very typical student body," he said. "We have some who like to party, some who like to pray, some who like to go to football games. And maybe the praying and the football games go together."

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