Catholic higher education is, for the most part, in the pits. There are a few notable Catholic institutions renowned for their orthodoxy such as TAC, Ave Maria, Christendom, or Stuebenville. Each of these colleges have certain problems attending them, as do all institutions, but you can at least expect a youth to emerge from them without believing that it is their "duty to use birth control," as my biology professor told the female half of my class quite seriously. Catholic colleges, though, are few and far between.
The Church recommends that children attend a Catholic school and therewith proceed to go to some Catholic college. I echo such sentiments, although my earlier post may have seemed an attack on those who attend Catholic colleges. But no - as I clarified, it was an attack on the attitude of some who actively reject the world because they view it as irredeemable. The primary purpose of college is to bring students to truth, and it is made a much simpler task if the teachers are ones that are trustworthy. At Campion, I experienced a year of unmitigated bliss because I could trust my teachers. At a community college, there is no such luxury.
Now, as a reader brought up, why would one want to attend a secular institution if there are so many dangers besetting it?
There are several reasons: first, the cost. Catholic families are generally large, and as such, sometimes cannot afford to send children off to Notre Dame or TAC. It has been my experience that Catholic colleges do not adequately meet the financial needs of large families and I have had friends who are in similar straits - though from smaller families. In such cases, a student can either enter into debt (thus precluding them from joining an order or starting a family upon graduation) or attend a secular institution that is cheaper. I choose the latter - and as a result, will emerge with a BA scot free from debt. If I had attended a Catholic college, I would be in debt upwards of $20,000. By modern standards, that really isn't that much considering average college debt ranges from $12-18,000, but it still is a rather hefty amount.
Second, there are Catholics at secular institutions. Quite good ones, in fact. If you can find them, then you can establish a group of friends who are as holy or holier than thou, preventing you (unless you're really trying) from taking a nasty fall and entering into bad habits (and I'm not talking blue sweaters and knee-length skirts). So the situation is not as dire as it might seem on the surface.
Third, I tend to give some credit to Catholic youth. If they were raised right, then they should be prepared to face the world at the age of eighteen. If they were raised in such a way that their faith is on the back burner, or if they are particularly susceptible to bad influences, then ship them off to some good institution. Most of the errors in modern thought/false beliefs can be ferreted out fairly quickly because they are so sloppily put. When a teacher writes on the board "THERE IS NO OBJECTIVE TRUTH" and then quietly says "In our enlightened times, we know that there is no objective truth, that truth is subjective," you can but giggle at them. Or, when a philosophy professor says that Muslim women wear veils so that they can wear miniskirts and makeup underneath --- apply same response, rinse, repeat. Or when a professor simply gushes about how wonderful the Aztecs were (woo! Human sacrifice - right ON!) and what a pity it is that we darned Christians had to ruin their culture when really our gods are all the same - who could resist such rhetoric? (All of these are real-life experiences.) Much "liberal" thought has an effect similar to: "Honey, can you take out the garbage?" "What!? Are you saying I'm FAT?" aherm yes.
It is better that one should attend a Catholic college, but Catholics can remain Catholic in a secular institution and there are valid reasons for attending one. This is just a very brief post and one that does no justice, whatsoever, to the whole education...thing.