A college degree is not at the top of the list of priorities for the Duggar family, but does the decision to forgo secondary education extend to those who marry into the family? Having children often seems to be the next step for these couples after marriage, not schooling. Josiah Duggar recently announced that he is engaged and many are wondering if his fiancée is working toward a degree. Is Lauren Swanson in college? Not much has been shared about her life, but that doesn't mean she isn't hitting the books.
Duggar and Swanson announced their engagement on March 5, sharing the news over the family blog and with the media after a short courtship. Duggar told Us Weekly that the two are excited by the big step that they are taking together and they have a lot of family history in common. “The place where I proposed to Lauren is the exact spot where her parents were engaged," he said. "There’s a lot of family history on this property, making it a special place for Lauren.” Swanson comes from a big family of eight children and has been close to the Duggar family for years.
Considering the fast pace of their relationship thus far — courting for just a couple of months before making their engagement official — a wedding is likely soon to follow. Swanson is just 18 years old, the age when many young people decide to pursue a college education. But with wedding plans underway, college may not be at the top of her to-do list right now. The Duggars tend to take an alternate route to their education, so Swanson may decide to do the same.
The Duggar parents, as fans know, decided to homeschool their children until they were old enough to get their GEDs. Mom Michelle explained in a blog post for TLC that she and her husband Jim Bob were inspired by another family to take the homeschooling route:
There was just such a closeness between the parents and the children — a real, genuine love and respect for one another. Jim Bob and I thought, "That's what we want. That is the fruit we want to see in our children and that oneness in our family."
After finishing their GEDs, some of the Duggar children have gone on to take college classes through an online program called CollegePlus, which Michelle has described as "a distance learning program, for the most part, and then you have a coach who will come alongside you and assist you in studying and preparing for your courses." She also explained that while her kids do take classes, they are more interested in gaining experience than a degree:
A few of our kids are taking courses right now, and I think some of them will go for their degrees in whichever areas they decide, and then I think some of them may not really go for the full degree — but they're getting knowledge and information for skills that they want to gain. All my kids are different, and it will be interesting as time goes on to see which direction each one will take.
Swanson hasn't shared much about her goals and plans after marriage, so it all remains speculation at this time. But it would certainly be a shame if her marriage to Josiah meant that college was off limits for her. Fans have raised concerns about another Duggar spouse missing out on the opportunity to get a degree due to early marriage, according to In Touch Weekly. Some believe that Ben Seewald would have been able to follow through with his college plans had marital and paternal obligations not taken precedence.
Until the members of the extended Duggar family chime in on their educational aspirations, fans can't be sure what they do or don't plan to accomplish. Swanson is still very young and has plenty of time to hit the books, should she decide to do so.
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