What's best for you?
You're in your senior year of high school, now its time to plan out the rest of your life...seems impossible right? Where does the search for college even start? Well the first step is choosing whether or not you want to attend a big university, small school, or somewhere in between.
You might ask, just how big...is big? A normal state school is anywhere from 20,000 students to 50,000. Looking at this number it might be a little overwhelming but there are some things to consider. Such as the number of undergraduates vs. graduate students, or how many students are in your specific department. Some schools separate themselves into sub-colleges to the point where their class sizes are no different from the small schools.
- Diverse groups of people
- Wide variety of majors and programs
- More acclaimed sports programs and nationally televised events
- State-of-the-art facilities
- Tons and tons of activities and student groups
- Highly touted faculty
- More housing opportunities
If you're looking to extend past those boundaries of high school and looking to explore new opportunities then a big school might be just right for you. One thing to consider when admitting to a large university, is that it can be easy to get lost in the crowd during classes. You should be prepared to put yourself out there to connect with your peers and professors. If you're okay with having hundreds of classmates during that first year of introductory courses, then you'll do just fine at a big school.
Well if those numbers start to freak you out to the point of hyperventilation... you might want to consider a much smaller school and THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. That is the first misconception of smaller universities, that without the big name diploma you won't be successful. This could not be further from the truth. The best way to succeed is finding the perfect fit for you to not only grow your academic knowledge but your personal self.
Lets take a look at some benefits to a smaller school:
- Small class sizes
- Individually designed programs and majors
- More individual attention from faculty
- Sense of community
- Not as much reliance on teaching assistants
- Stronger connection between peers
So you're not huge into the sports or giant social scenes but are looking to make connections with individuals for lifelong friendships then a small school is perfect for you. You're professors will know your first name, you'll recognize just about everybody that you walk past at the school all forming a sense of community that a big school lacks.
Well I'm Not Either???
Now you might be thinking well I want the social scene of a big school but I want the more hands on learning from a smaller school... Then you are right in between. These schools hover between that 10,000-20,000 student mark. There are tons and tons of schools like this whether they're private or public. These schools thrive off the medium and offer their students countless opportunities. If you're confused about what environment you prefer, then you might just be an intermediary which is awesome as well.
The most important thing to consider when choosing a college is what is the right fit? Where do you see yourself prospering? If you can answer those two questions then you will be just fine. College is a special time and try not to waste any of it because it's going to fly by. So good luck future grads and we hope where ever you land is the perfect fit.