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My Incredible Shrinking College List

Happy New Year!

The last few weeks of the year, my mailbox began filling with Christmas cards—and college brochures. 

I was sifting through the stack of glossy marketing collateral when I felt my old college application PTSD kick in. For months, our house was deluged with thick application booklets and brochures from dozens, a hundred schools. A child of peak American meritocracy, I thought it was my duty to apply to—and get into—the “best” schools in the country. I applied to at least 12 or 13 of them, maybe 14. I waited too long to narrow down the list and start any of the applications, so I ended up spending my entire senior year Christmas break stuck in a house at a ski resort, sitting in front of a typewriter, painstakingly punching out essays.

Kids, in those days, no adults helped you; you were on your own. I had to come up with the list of highly exaggerated extracurriculars myself, neatly pack the applications into the FedEx envelopes myself. 

All my parents did was run them out to the post office seconds before the deadline—oh, and pay the tuition. (You’d never believe me if I told you how low it was). How many parents on the Westside of Los Angeles made that midnight dash down the only all-night post office in the city, which is at the airport?

All the schools I applied to promised the same fantasy: old-growth trees on a leafy campus, storied brick buildings with Gothic architecture, esteemed professors in bow ties, impressive libraries, raging bacchanalian parties with boys who dressed like James Spader in Pretty in Pink. Like this, if you’re too young to remember the movie:

I was careful to cross-reference my aesthetic preferences and academic snobbery with the inside dirt on the student body, which I found in Lisa Birnbach’s essential, now out of print, college handbook. Birnbach, of course, wrote the famous Preppy Handbook, and she used her college version to reveal what we female prep-school seniors wanted to know: which Ivies had the cutest guys and the most raging parties. Not this:

In the end, I went to my dad’s alma mater. But I didn’t do that bad; his alma was still one of the “best” schools, but I was considered it a failure, since I was raised as a meritocratic snob who’d narrowly missed her chance at her dream school due to, shall we say, “excess socializing.”

It all worked out in the end, since I managed to graduate with all my body parts intact—can’t say that about Yale anymore, folx:

Or Harvard:

So Where to Send Your Kids?

College still matters, I suppose. You can’t homeschool astrophysics or pre-med. Not that my children will be doctors anymore—I crossed that profession off the list when medical schools started teaching the Science According to Fauci and how to perform late-term abortions on pregnant indigenous men.

The other metric is price. Why would you pay $60K a year to turn your daughter into an unpaid prostitute? I’m sure you can get her working the streets for way less than that.

My current college list is short, and growing shorter. Since I am the last rat on the sinking ship California, my list includes local schools where my biologically intact male children may face armies of rabid gender orcs, but at least they can retreat back home for sanity whenever they want.

One school on my list, USC, just got crossed off thanks to the fatal shooting of a USC-employed security guard outside a student apartment building near the campus. The killer was a drugged out homeless man who the security guard had ordered off the property.

UCLA? This local prestigious public college used to be on my list. Then I found out that the last freshman class is only about 10% white male. No matter how good their grades, my children have no shot.

Let’s check in on America’s storied Catholic colleges, shall we? What about that old standby, the University of Notre Dame? That’s still safe, right? 

They do still have a football team with a racially insensitive name, although it’s sort of refreshing to see drunken leprechauns with anger problems represented in NCAA sports.

Sadly, even their football team’s questionable mascot wasn’t enough to keep gender orcs from invading the campus. You know the ones I mean.

This summer, Notre Dame offering a $5,000 two-week program for high schoolers called Gender and Culture in American Society. The description starts with “Are you male or female, both, or neither? How do you know?” 

The instructor is a they/them with a dumb haircut who calls theirself “Dr. Pam Butler. “Their areas of expertise include: U.S. histories of gender, sexuality, and empire; feminist political economy; reproductive politics; and the carceral state……….”

Sorry, I dozed off there for a second.

America’s greatest colleges have fallen to the enemy; send a child there at your own risk and do not be surprised when he or she comes home for Christmas as a they/them.

Good news: The Cardinal Newman Society offers trusty guides to K-12 schools and colleges. They list classical and Catholic schools that meet their strict criteria.

Can your child survive a mainstream college, when most mainstream colleges are run by rampaging gender orcs who smell man flesh—and want to change it to female?

I suppose that depends on the child. I prefer to take no chances. We work hard to keep the gender orcs away from our household, so my teens may not be fully prepared for what awaits them at State U. I can hear them now on freshman dorm move-in day, eyeing my wholesome, devout 18-year olds. “What about them? They look tasty!”

Looking for A Few Good Schools

Here is a peek at some schools on my very, very short list. This includes schools I know and schools where friends have sent children and declared them safe. By “safe,” I mean their kids graduated with their souls, their brains, and all their other body parts intact.


Wyoming Catholic

University of Dallas

Thomas Aquinas College

University of Tennessee



University of Mary 



John Paul the Great


Are there any others? If you have any other suggestions, let me know! And if you’d like to know more about how we can win the culture war we find ourselves in, you definitely should pre-order my new book

Until next time,

—Peachy Keenan

Twitter: @keenanpeachy

Author of the forthcoming Domestic Extremist: A Practical Guide to Winning the Culture War (June 2023, Regnery Publishing) and Contributing Editor at The American Mind

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