Catholic schools are seeing a spike in Muslim students – but why?
Enrollment of Muslim students in Catholic colleges has seen a steady increase in recent years, according to the Higher Education Research Institute. Last year, Catholic schools even had a higher percentage of Muslim students than the average four-year institution in the United States.
Muslim students – most often from Saudi Arabia – say they enroll at Catholic colleges for the usual reasons: strong academic programs, engaging professors and attractive campuses. But the schools’ spiritual culture has proved to be a major draw as well.
Catholic school rules line up with multiple Muslim cultural values, including daily prayer, periodic fasting and separate dorms for men and women.
By making religious worship a priority, there is some overlap between Catholic schools and Muslim faith – Muslim students can feel they fit in better in an overtly religious setting, even if it’s not their religion.