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Is finding lasting love in college possible?

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Content provided by Grand Canyon University

(ARA) - Just a few decades ago, women would boast about going to college simply to get an "MRS" degree, when they were less likely to pursue higher education and more likely to pursue married life. But today, with career aspirations of both women and men at an all-time high, the likelihood of coming away from a college education with a potential spouse is much less.

An exception to this trend, however, appears to be at private religious universities, where students who share the same values and plans for the future often do find their life partner in college.

"Our best estimates are that around 60 percent of our students meet their future mates here," says Mik Milem, pastor at Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix.

A 2001 study by the Institute for American Values found that 63 percent of college women hoped to find their future husband in college, but with men comprising an estimated 42 percent of the nation's college students, the statistics are not promising.

However, in the case of private, non-secular institutions, where students have similar backgrounds and life plans, the trend seems to favor the quest to find a spouse. The experiences at GCU support this theory.

Blake Schilly, 25, of Phoenix, met his wife, Julie, at GCU when he was involved in student government and she worked on the school newspaper. They married in May 2008.

"Finding a wife wasn't at the forefront of my mind, it's something that just happened," he says.

With an abundance of extracurricular student activities and smaller classes, students share more experiences and interact with each other more often than a public university where the student numbers can top 40,000.

"I had no intentions of marrying until I was 30 or 32, but she definitely knew it was in her future," says Brent Kuiken, 25, of his wife Michelle, who he met and married while at GCU. Both sociology majors, the two met on a mission trip and now reside in a small town north of Sioux City, Iowa.

When Grand Canyon University CEO Brian Mueller addresses parents during annual orientation at the private Christian university, he shares with parents his own experience when he first attended his alma mater, a private Lutheran college.

"The university president told all the parents to take a look around you, because someone in this room will likely be your child's in-law," he says.

The prophecy came true for Mueller, as it did for several others who now work at the University. Athletic Director Keith Baker met his wife at the University, and his father and uncles all attended GCU, where they each met and married their wives.

"It makes homecoming a lot like a family reunion," he says.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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