A Ring By Spring: The MRS Degree

Your dream has finally come true. You’ve made it into a private college, you’re paying upwards of $50,000 per year for your education, and you’ve just met the man of your dreams- a wealthy and intelligent man, who you plan to marry upon graduation. Congratulations, you have just been awarded your very own ‘MRS‘ degree… and will never have to work again!

Possible holders of an MRS degree (pronounced EM-AR-ES) are women who attend college just to meet potential husbands with high social standing and future earning potential.

This phenomenon, which occurs predominantly at private Christian institutions, has turned America’s ‘Bible colleges’ into ‘bridal colleges’. On these campuses, engagement is not only an eagerly awaited (and accepted) part of a relationship, but marriage is often promoted and planned around graduation.

“I don’t care how young I am. I love my boyfriend and I know we will get married and start a family when I graduate,” says one eager Baylor University female. “Never having to work – that’s just fine with me.”

Conversely, this push to wed is in opposition to the values taught at many large public universities, which promote female students’ independence and career planning.

“I find it completely unattractive,” says Ryan Bruels, a recent graduate from the University of Colorado. “One of the most important things to me is that my wife has a passion for something- not just becoming a breeder.”

Bruels’ perspective may be shared by others, but the times speak otherwise. Many students in relationships push the envelope by exchanging ‘promise rings,‘ symbols of an engagement soon to come. Sororties , for example, add to the marriage madness with caqndle ceremonies pronouncing the engagement of a fellow member – typically, by lighting a candle and passing it around the room until the newly engaged sister blows it out and the describes in detail ‘how he proposed.”

And these wedlock-bound coeds have even taken to the internet. Hundreds of Facebook users have created groups in support of the MRS cause. Student-led groups range from the ‘Future Homemakers Club‘ to one called ‘College is my Backup to Becoming a Trophy Wife!’

One group in particular, entitled ‘I Don’t Really Care as Long as He Has a Trust Fund,’ describes its membership this way:

“We know men want sexy, but they also need someone sophisticated enough to take home to Mama… Heck, he’ll be graduation soon, and if he already has, then you’re only a few steps closer to the day you are both driving Beamers and Benzes.”

Although independence and career goals for women are now accepted on college campuses, evidence still exists of women going the old-fashioned route: investing their money in pursuing a future lifestyle rather than in an academic conquest.

You have the ring on your finger and the diploma in your hand. The future is up to you.

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