Mortuary Musing
a mortuary science student's perspective on the study of the dead

Finding A Mortuary Science School

Some people have trouble figuring out which mortuary school to go to. In reality, there are not that many that exist here in the United States. Of those that do exist, there are quite a few that I would not be surprise to see close down in the near future. Maybe I shouldn't leave anything to your imagination. What I am saying is there are quite a few schools out there that don't do well with students passing.

There are several things people should look for when selecting a mortuary science school. To give you an idea, I will use myself as an example as to why I selected Carl Sandburg College as my school.

The state of Illinois has four mortuary schools--Carl Sandburg College, Malcolm X College, Southern Illinois University and Worsham College. There are various reasons for why I picked Carl Sandburg College to go to for mortuary science. First off is the location. Carl Sandburg College is located in a nice, quiet town called Galesburg. It is not too far from Peoria, IL, or Davenport, IA. It is a friendly community with simple, good people.

Malcolm X College and Worsham College are both decent schools located in the Chicago area. Malcolm X is located in Chicago, while Worsham College is located in Wheeling, IL. When I was choosing mortuary science schools, I was wanting to get away from the Chicago area. Although a small part of me misses the area, overall it is better for me that I am not attending school there due to the costs of living. I am paying for college out of my own pockets. Futhermore, Southern Illinois University is located in Carbondale, IL. Honestly, I do like Carbondale, but there are other factors as to why I didn't choose SIU.

The second reason I picked Carl Sandburg College is the cost for the education. The mortuary science program at Carl Sandburg College is roughly around $11,000. The cost for Worsham College is a little over $15,000. To be honest I never checked out the tuition for Malcolm X College since I never had an interest in living in Chicago, and the tuition for Southern Illinois University is of course ridiculously higher than the other schools since it is an university and they throw in extra costs and fees within their tuition.

The third reason I picked Carl Sandburg College is I took the time to met their instructors and I was impressed by them. By the time I did this, I already narrowed my choices between Carl Sandburg College and Southern Illinois University. I eliminated Worsham College and Malcolm X College due to my desire at the time to be away from Chicago and its suburbs. The people at Carl Sandburg College were helpful and informative about the mortuary science program the college had.

I went down to Southern Illinois University to also take a tour of its mortuary science program. Personally, I wasn't too keen on the person I met with down there. I don't want to call the person I met with (unfortunately I can't remember her name) a certain word, but I will say she was not very pleasant. I figured she probably just had a bad day, but still you are not suppose to bring your problems, issues or or whatever is wrong to work with you. That is unprofessional--especially when you have to speak with people who have an interest in your program. By this point, I realize I did not need to be at SIU at all. I already have a bachelor's degree.

However what really sold me on attending Carl Sandburg College is the passing/failing statistics of the Funeral Service National Board Examination (NBE) exam. The NBE exam is the final exam students have to take at the end of the program to continue on in the profession. When I first saw the rankings, Carl Sandburg College was ranked 6th in the nation with a 92% rating. The college did drop down the rankings this past year, as well as most of the other mortuary schools in Illinois, but overall their median average is higher than the other mortuary schools in this state.

If you are interested in entering into mortuary science and have not decided what school to attend, there are several factors you may want to consider first. The first thing you need to to is learn your state's requirements. All states have different educational requirements to be a funeral director. Second, you need to decide if you want to earn a associate's degree or a bachelor's degree. In my opinion if you graduate with a bachelor's degree you will have more options available to you in your future. Third, take a look at the school's pass/fail percentage rate of students who take the NBE or the American Board Funeral Service Education (ABFSE) examination at the end of the year. Fourth, look at the school's curriculum for the mortuary science program. Make sure it is diverse and offers various courses in order for you to get the most out of your education. Also any hands-on experience or field trips are always a plus for a mortuary science program. Finally, check out the tuition rates and location of the schools. Some mortuary science schools might be in areas with higher cost-of-living. You want to make sure you can attend a school with an education that you can afford.

For any additional help or info about mortuary science schools, here are some links you can copy and paste into your browser.


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