Big Colleges versus Small Colleges

Which One is Right for YOU?

When trying to find a school that is the best fit for you, one of the major deciding factors is whether or not you want to attend a big or a small school. You’ll need to determine what is most important to you while doing your college research.
For example, are you comfortable being 1 of 150 in a classroom or do you need a smaller classroom setting?
Whatever the size, all schools, have a lot to offer. If you are undecided about what you want it is important to plan a visit to a variety of schools will help get a feel of what to expect. There are schools as large as 35,000 students and colleges with as little as 1,000 students.

While not all large schools are the same, you can expect most will have a wide variety of majors and courses as well as a wide range of academic choices and student activities.
Most large schools have state of the art research facilities as well as quite distinguished faculty. However, often times a teaching assistants teach classes for the faculty.
The well-funded sports programs that exist at larger schools are also quite appealing for some students. If you crave new experiences and enjoy meeting new people you will most likely be successful at a large school. With all that a big college has to offer, you still may need to be your own advocate and seek out opportunities for yourself. If you are ambitious and outgoing, you might do well to take advantage of the countless opportunities offered at a large school.
If you crave a strong sense of community and know that you learn best in smaller class setting, then you will most likely want to be at a small school. You will have the opportunity to get know your professors and be exposed to smaller class sizes and more hands-on learning opportunities at a small school. These colleges offer more individually designed majors. They have the luxury of providing a more flexible curriculum in addition to academic advisors who will help with following your unique path. Naturally, the smaller class sizes require class participation and ultimately fosters close relationships with peers and faculty. As you walk through campus, it is likely you’ll run into quite a few people that you know.
Do research and keep an open mind on your college visits. Try to get a real sense of what your experience would be like in each environment. There are a variety of things to consider when making such a big decision regarding your future.
You should have a good sense of who you are, what you want, and your ideal learning environment. It is important that you do your homework.

  • Go on visits.
  • Do your research
  • Talk to students,
  • Learn as much as possible about your school of choice.

Keep in mind that not all small schools or large schools are alike. These general statements cannot adequately define the unique environments and communities that exist at each college. College is what you make of it. Your choices, personality, and interests will define your college experience. I think it is important to visit all types of schools before making up your mind. Good luck!
In the end, college is what you make of it. Your choices, personality, and interests will define your experience. Good luck!