Does class size matter?

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Our Counselors Answered:

Does class size matter?

Brittany MaschalFounder/DirectorB. Maschal Educational Consulting

Does class size matter?

In my opinion, yes. But for some students, no. If you went to a small high school where class sizes were small and the learning environment was intimate, you may want this type of learning environment in college. Large lecture utilizing auditorium style seating may not be for you. If you went to a larger school with larger classes, you may value small class size less and find it to be further down the list as a requirement in a prospective college or university. I find that small classes are more conducive to learning and despite the fact I was shy in college – I preferred small classes to larger lectures. I didn’t want to be lost in the crowd in class and felt like if I needed extra help or support I was able to get it in my smaller classes and less so in my larger classes.

Debra

Does class size matter?

In general, small classes will likely get you better access to the professor and a better chance to build a rapport with the professor. There will also be more chance to have discussions or get questions answered. However, how much you get out of a class depends on what you put into it and what your learning style is.

Drew D’AmbrosioConsultantIndependent

Does class size matter?

This depends a great deal on the student. I’ve found that a lot of students can do just fine in a class of 400 people, while others feel lost and left out. I personally always enjoyed a smaller class. You have more opportunity to interact with the instructor and students. I also found that in a small class the risk of being called on at any moment made me prepare more for those classes. The stronger relationship with my instructor and classmates also made me work harder to avoid letting anyone down and looking stupid. Some people would hate that situation described above, implying that a large class is better suited for you. Eventually in your college career you are going to have a smaller class. Be prepared.

Ryan VannAcademic Counselor

Does class size matter?

I believe that class size does matter. The smaller the class, the more attention can be paid to students inside of the class. My preferred class size would be between 15 and 25 students. Students may also engage with each other more with a course this size and familiarize themselves with their instructor and classmates. This also comes in handy when there are group projects. I have never been a fan of lecture hall courses.

IRMA TORRES

Does class size matter?

IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS OR ARE A BIT SLOW LEARNING AVOID LARGE GROUPS IN CLASSES THE PROFESSORS ATTENTION WILL BE MORE FRAGMENTIZED.

IRMA TORRES

Does class size matter?

IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS OR ARE A BIT SLOW LEARNING AVOID LARGE GROUPS IN CLASSES THE PROFESSORS ATTENTION WILL BE MORE FRAGMENTIZED.

Natalie Sanchez CamposOwnerNext Step LLC

Does class size matter?

Every person has their own preferred learning style – for some, class size will matter a great deal.

Natalie Sanchez CamposOwnerNext Step LLC

Does class size matter?

Every person has their own preferred learning style – for some, class size will matter a great deal.

Judy ZoddaFounder and PresidentZodda College Services

Does class size matter?

Class size does matter, and so does the teaching style! Are you going to thrive in a class that has 300 or more students and you’re being lectured to, or are you going to do better in a small, discussions based and/or hands-on experiential learning environment? I attended a very large university because I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know there were different types of colleges as my parents weren’t college grads. I would have liked smaller classes that were discussion – based. I would have like if my professors knew my name, that is, when I actually had a professor! Small discussion groups had about 75 students, and grad students were running those discussions. They were probably more interested in their own research and studies than they were in us. Eventually your going to need a professor to write you a letter of recommendation for grad school or for a job. How easy do you think it will be to find one who knows you really well enough to do this, if your classes are huge and your professor doesn’t know your name. I know that I have a small school bias and I admit it. That’s because I’ve experienced the opposite side during my undergrad experience. Since graduating, I have taken many courses with a small class size, where I am not intimidated to speak up and contribute my opinion or knowledge. I’d like to go back to college for a complete redo! This time around, I know much more about what I should be looking for in the next step of my education and how to find it!

Reena Gold KaminsFounderCollege, Career & Life, LLC.

Size does matter!

It depends on your learning style. Some students like large (think 250 students) lecture classes because it allows them to remain anonymous and they don’t feel pressured to always participate. Other students prefer smaller classes where they can have frequent debates and discussions with their professors.

Joyce Vining MorganFounder and college counselorEducational Transitions

Does class size matter?

Short answer: yes. HOW does it matter? If you like to discuss the matter taught, a small class is better for you. If you would rather listen, watch, and absorb, you would probably prefer a large class.

Carol StackPrincipalHardwick Day Inc.

Yes!

Absolutely class size matters — research tells us that the undergraduate educational experience is best when it involves discussion style classes, lots of written and problem solving assignments, opportunity for oral presentations and group work. Pretty hard to create a course syllabus with these elements in you have 200 students in your class. pretty easy (and more intellectually fun) to do when you are teaching a class of 15!

Patty GibbsVice President for Student Affiars & Dean of StudentsWesleyan College

Class size does matter

Class size matter, depending on your learning style and what motivates you as a learner. If you enjoy lecture style classes, large lecture halls might be your thing. If you like discussion based learning and interaction with your faculty member, I’d suggest smaller class sizes of 20. It’s also important to consider your personal motivation. Are you more likely to skip class if you are a number or a face in the crowd? Will you focus on you work and be prepared for each class if you are in a smaller class?

Sterling Peterson

Class Size Matters

Paying for an education is expensive. You want the most out of your classes. Smaller classes give you a more personal relationship with the professor. Larger classes tend to be more generic in information and not specialized to the student. A good relationship depends on understanding from both sides. Make sure you get the best shot to hear and be heard. Smaller classes equal a more personalized education.

Scott WhiteDirector of GuidanceMontclair High School

Does class size matter?

Does size matter…that one has been argued over the ages. There is more interaction in smaller classes and this is probably better for learning for most students. It is not always valuable. Small classes filled with students who do not talk or who have not done the assigned reading are no better than lecture classes. My wife went back to school as an adult and went to a local state college. In many classes, she was one of the few students who talked in class, so for her, it was just like a small seminar.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

Does class size matter?

Yes, it does matter greatly. some students will not fit large class size. however, class size normally does not impact Chinese international students becuase of the difference in leading style and study skills.

Nina BerlerFounderunCommon Apps

Class Size

The size of an applicant’s high school class matters to some extent, for it provides a relative measure. However, colleges do not prefer an applicant from a smaller school over a larger school. The reason is that there are so many measures of a candidate’s effectiveness. These include course selection, recommendations, test scores and activities about which a student is passionate. Schools vary so much not only in terms of size but in terms of resources and geographic diversity, among other factors. So students should not believe any statements in a vacuum relative to class size.

Betsy MorganFounderCollege Matters LLC

Just The Stats…

Average class size; student to faculty ratio – I have never been on a campus tour or in an information session where these statistics have not been touted. However, there are simply too many factors which can alter this statistic. How many professors are on sabbatical? Are professors allowed to “buy out” of teaching assignments to research? How many classes does each professor teach; how many do students take? Is the majority of the campus in the same department with huge classes, while the less popular majors have very few? Ask good questions in order to find out what size YOUR classes are likely to be.

Maura KastbergExecutive Director of Student ServicesRSC

Understanding yourself is More Important than Size

When students think about class size they need to relate what that size means to them. Large classes can be impersonal, have a higher level of competition, and you may have to struggle for resources. With a smaller class size you may be friendlier with your teacher and the competition may not be as stiff but the smaller classroom is frequently less diverse and there is more conformity. One or the other is not necessarily better it depends most on the student and how they fit into the setting. If the student craves anonymity and is very competitive they may feel stifled in the smaller class but a student that needs more interaction with their teacher and a gentler approach would probably perform better in the smaller classroom, and finding the place where the student can perform to thier potential is really the key.

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

To Each His Own

Small classes may be important for students who value discussion-based learning or for whom background noise is distracting. Meanwhile, some students may relish in the opportunity to hang back and let the professor do the heavy learning lifting at the front of the lecture hall. Think hard about how you best learn. Choose schools that offer opportunities that match your ideal.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

Class Size

Class size does matter. Many first-year introductory classes will have a larger number of students, but the actual size of the “large” classes varies from one institution to another. This is an important aspect to consider when researching schools. Some universities break down their larger classes into smaller seminars or tutorial groups as a follow-up to the large group lecture. Ideally students will have a chance, not just to listen to a lecture, but to process the material through discussions in which they can actively take part.

ldx

Does class size matter?

yes

Marilyn FettnerPresidentFettner Career Consulting

What’s the best class size for you?

Based upon my training, experience, knowledge about how learning occurs, and feedback from students, class size does matter. The best advice is to know your learning style and the conditions under which you learn best. Of course, the smaller the class size, the better the chance the instructor will have more time to answer your questions and provide explanations and examples to help you grasp the material. Also, if you’re more extroverted, you may be energized by a larger class size. On the other hand, if you’re more introverted, you will probably be more comfortable, less distracted, and more apt to ask questions, in a smaller size class.

Ms. Marytherese RyanNational Certified Counselor/Independent ContractorRyan Consulting

Student Teacher ratio is important!

You need to know your personal learning style. Are you competitive? If so, then you will want to stand out, be able to listen to your professor AND be heard. Colleges with smaller class sizes will meet your needs for interactive learning. If you are a more passive learner who enjoys soaking in information, then a larger class size or auditorium-style classroom will be for you.

Becky Checketts

Does class size matter?

I personally feel like class size doesn’t matter. At Utah State University, we have some classes that have 300 students in one class. That may seem like a lot, but what USU does is provide whats called a Recitation Class. This basically means that it breaks down the class of 300 to smaller groups of 30-40 students. Each group meets outside of class where the student will get more one on one attention, more opportunities to ask questions, and they will do a review of the material that was taught during the week. All of the bigger classes at USU require all the students to sign-up for a Recitation section, along with the regular lecture class.

Becky Checketts

Does class size matter?

I personally feel like class size doesn’t matter. At Utah State University, we have some classes that have 300 students in one class. That may seem like a lot, but what USU does is provide whats called a Recitation Class. This basically means that it breaks down the class of 300 to smaller groups of 30-40 students. Each group meets outside of class where the student will get more one on one attention, more opportunities to ask questions, and they will do a review of the material that was taught during the week. All of the bigger classes at USU require all the students to sign-up for a Recitation section, along with the regular lecture class.

. .

Size Does Matter

Will you feel the impact of an 18 vs. 20 difference in class size? Probably not at all. Will you feel the difference between a class size of 8 v. 20? Yep. Class size does matter if there are significant differences between two schools. That said, we can’t always assume that every single student wants a small class size. Some students enjoy being in big lecture halls where they don’t have to participate as much and are able to maintain a more anonymous stature within the course. On the other hand, some students aren’t able to learn as effectively in large class sizes. As a general rule, the introductory level courses at most colleges are larger than the the upper-level courses. Sincerely, Mike Chapman, Owner Chapman College Admission Consulting

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

Does class size matter?

This really depends on what you are comfortable with, but I can’t imagine that being in a bigger class in the hundreds is going to benefit you more than being in a class of twenty five. Just being able to discuss certain topics, ask a question a lot easier, know that you are being taught by a professor and not feel like a number has to benefit a student more and be integral in what kind of grade they will get in a class.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

Does class size matter?

This really depends on what you are comfortable with, but I can’t imagine that being in a bigger class in the hundreds is going to benefit you more than being in a class of twenty five. Just being able to discuss certain topics, ask a question a lot easier, know that you are being taught by a professor and not feel like a number has to benefit a student more and be integral in what kind of grade they will get in a class.

Trevor CreedenDirector of College and Career CounselingDelaware County Christian School

Does class size matter?

This really depends on what you are comfortable with, but I can’t imagine that being in a bigger class in the hundreds is going to benefit you more than being in a class of twenty five. Just being able to discuss certain topics, ask a question a lot easier, know that you are being taught by a professor and not feel like a number has to benefit a student more and be integral in what kind of grade they will get in a class.

Reena Gold KaminsFounderCollege, Career & Life, LLC.

Size does matter!

Class size does matter. If you are a person who learns better and feels more comfortable in one-on-one situations, you want to look for schools with smaller class sizes.

Lisa BlakeHead School CounselorPhoenix Christian Unified Sch

Does class size matter?

I feel so passionate about this one! Of course it does! To answer this question though, you have to take an honest look at yourself as a student. Imagine if you will, entering a huge stadium-style seating auditorium with 300+ other students. Your professor (hopefully it’ll be the professor and not a teaching assistant) begins his Philosophy lecture and literally lectures on the teachings of Kant for 60+ minutes. Even if you had a question that you were bold enough to ask in front of 300+ other students, would the professor even notice your hand raised? Would you have the confidence after class to connect with the professor and ask? So for some students, that environment might be appealing. They need little if any one-on-one guidance and if they need help, they will certainly find a way to ask. You have to be the one to decide? Can I excel in this environment or will I shrivel up?

Corey FischerPresidentCollegeClarity

Does class size matter?

For most students class size does matter, but it is also important to know yourself. Are you the type of student who will feel more comfortable asking questions in a smaller class? Will you feel intimidated by a class of 100+ and not speak up? or are you the type of person who does not care who else is there and will just talk and ask questions? Few large classes are able to have discussions, so if you learn better from being involved in a discussion, bouncing around ideas and thinking a topic through from various angles, a large class may not be for you. Some students like the anonymity of a large class, but is that the best learning situation for them? It also makes it more difficult to get to know your professor when the class is large (or you may have a TA-Teaching Assistant). A positive relationship with your professor can be helpful in many ways–recommendations, internships, research opportunities–so you do not want to go through college as an unknown.

Corey FischerPresidentCollegeClarity

Does class size matter?

For most students class size does matter, but it is also important to know yourself. Are you the type of student who will feel more comfortable asking questions in a smaller class? Will you feel intimidated by a class of 100+ and not speak up? or are you the type of person who does not care who else is there and will just talk and ask questions? Few large classes are able to have discussions, so if you learn better from being involved in a discussion, bouncing around ideas and thinking a topic through from various angles, a large class may not be for you. Some students like the anonymity of a large class, but is that the best learning situation for them? It also makes it more difficult to get to know your professor when the class is large (or you may have a TA-Teaching Assistant). A positive relationship with your professor can be helpful in many ways–recommendations, internships, research opportunities–so you do not want to go through college as an unknown.

Tracey EcholsCounselor

Class size

Well, sure class size does matter. Most public universities will have introductory courses in topics such as math and english that have 400-600 students. There is one instructor who you typically never work with and have TA’s (teachers assistants) who do the leg work and work with you on assignments. A lot of students (at least in my experience) have a hard time adjusting to that feel–they are used to one on one attention whenever they need it in a class of no more than 40. But this is the next level of education. If you’re a dedicated student and know that you need this class, than class size won’t matter and you’ll get through whatever you need to, however you need to pass. If, however, a class size like that would be too overwhelming, there is always community college classes for a few classes, a semester or even 2 year transfer options. Community colleges (often negatively labeled as community ‘high’) have classes that are small, with teacher interaction and one on one help. If you struggle in math and need the one on one help, maybe you should take a class at a community college for transfer where you can get the help you need but if you’re okay with science or writing, take that at the university.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

Does class size matter?

Yes, it does matter greatly. some students will not fit in a large class setting. however, class size normally does not impact Chinese international students becuase of the differences in leading style and study skills.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

Does class size matter?

Class size is a reflection of how much individual attention college faculty will offer you. If building a relationship with professors and getting them to invest in you personally is important to you, picking a school with a high faculty to student ratio is key. However if you are a more independent student then class size may not be an issue for you.

Chip LawCo-founder Managing Director Educational Avenues

Absolutely! It may be a very important factor in your future success…

How big were your classes in high school? When the class increased in size how did you do? What kind of access did you have to your teachers for help? When you were not doing well or did not understand a new piece of information, were you comfortable in going to the teacher and getting the help you needed to get the right information. Do you know your learning style? Can you tell a teacher how you need to taught to maximize your potential to learn in his class? Lots of questions and all of them can have a direct bearing on class size and your ability to stay up with and perform your best in college course work. Large schools generally teach the basic (101 level ) courses to 100’s of student at once. In order to offer help, the classes are divided into sections and most offer up grad students (TAs) as the way to get help if you have problems. Unfortunately grad students usually work for the professor and are measured on how much they contribute to the professor’s research projects-NOT how many students they help. Getting even a few minutes with them will be a challenge. If you did not learn how you best acquire and retain information you will not know how to approach the TA or any other instructor with a way to describe how you need to be taught. One solution, which still requires a lot of effort on your part, is to look for schools that have a majority of classes that are taught ONLY by professors and where the class size drops below 20-30 students as you become more immersed in your major. Of course at small colleges this is a relatively simple thing to accomplish, but it can be done at a large school by employing a strategy of carefully selecting courses that limit class size and use only the professor to teach the class. You still must communicate personally with the prof AND you must advocate for yourself as you tell him what you do not understand AND how you need to have information presented to you for optimizing your learning experience. Yo DO have a choice and with some work on getting to know and advocate for yourself you will have some control over how you want to deal with class size in the college of your choice.

Chip LawCo-founder Managing Director Educational Avenues

Absolutely! It may be a very important factor in your future success…

How big were your classes in high school? When the class increased in size how did you do? What kind of access did you have to your teachers for help? When you were not doing well or did not understand a new piece of information, were you comfortable in going to the teacher and getting the help you needed to get the right information. Do you know your learning style? Can you tell a teacher how you need to taught to maximize your potential to learn in his class? Lots of questions and all of them can have a direct bearing on class size and your ability to stay up with and perform your best in college course work. Large schools generally teach the basic (101 level ) courses to 100’s of student at once. In order to offer help, the classes are divided into sections and most offer up grad students (TAs) as the way to get help if you have problems. Unfortunately grad students usually work for the professor and are measured on how much they contribute to the professor’s research projects-NOT how many students they help. Getting even a few minutes with them will be a challenge. If you did not learn how you best acquire and retain information you will not know how to approach the TA or any other instructor with a way to describe how you need to be taught. One solution, which still requires a lot of effort on your part, is to look for schools that have a majority of classes that are taught ONLY by professors and where the class size drops below 20-30 students as you become more immersed in your major. Of course at small colleges this is a relatively simple thing to accomplish, but it can be done at a large school by employing a strategy of carefully selecting courses that limit class size and use only the professor to teach the class. You still must communicate personally with the prof AND you must advocate for yourself as you tell him what you do not understand AND how you need to have information presented to you for optimizing your learning experience. Yo DO have a choice and with some work on getting to know and advocate for yourself you will have some control over how you want to deal with class size in the college of your choice.

Erica WhiteCollege & Career CounselorMiddletown High School

YES!!

The smaller the classes the more professor interaction you will have. This equates to more one on one attention, more chances to ask questions and participate in class which in turn increases how much you are learning. Also, The more the professor knows you, the more you know the professor. The more you know each, the more oppurtunites you will have for assistantships, research, networking, internships, etc. However, if you do not like to participate in class, enjoy having a teacher lecture or are good at learning material on your own, you may be okay in a large lecture hall style classroom.

Benjamin CaldarelliPartnerPrinceton College Consulting, LLC

Does class size matter?

Class size matters a lot. Regardless of your learning style I would be interested in classes that are small and taught by professors that were readily available outsize of class. Faculty student ratio only tells part of the story however. Many of the universities that have the lowest ratios have many professors who teach very little.

Dale BonavitaCounselorFalcon Virtual Academy

Class size matters!

Absolutely class size matters! Your first year of college is vastly different than high school! It is so much more difficult! yes, really!! If you are in all lecture size classroooms that have between 150-300 students, you will not receive the individualized attention you are accostumed to getting! I highly recommend taking classes that are smaller in size and thus more individualized!

Barbara Jones

Class size can matter

Students with individual needs can find that smaller classes can accommodate their need easier in small classes. Students can work together in groups and learn from each other with classes being smaller. Instructors are known more easily and can assist more in smaller groups.

Liam DunfeyChief Operating OfficerUniversity Advisors

Yes.

Class size is important for many reasons. Some students learn best in a small intimate environment while others are perfectly fine being in a large lecture hall.

Luci Paz

Does class size matter?

Class size matters because it is related to your learning style and personal discipline and motivation to learn. If you are a disciplined student class size will not matter because you will do agood job without outside pressure. However, if you need some guidance, small classes where rhe professor will knowwho you are will be to your benefit.

Nicholas Umphrey

Does class size matter?

Does class size matter by itself? Not really. However it is one piece of the puzzle that college admissions committees consider. Many schools, including my own, have done away with reporting class rank to colleges so that their GPA and test scores can stand alone on a student’s application. If your school does rank, colleges will take your class rank or decile into account. In most cases, they are more interested in your GPA, test scores, resume, and recommendations. It is also important to note that over time, high schools and colleges develop connections. Expecially if your high school sends a high number of students to one particular college. College admissions people know that the class rank from school A with 5 National Merit Scholars in their senior class of 80 students holds more weight than school B with a class of 80 with 50% of the students attending a four year college. In short, it is a very small factor.

Dr. Bruce NeimeyerCEO/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

A twist on the old, “It’s not you it’s me”!

Student can begin to answer this question by knowing a little more about what their learning needs are. There are many forms of classrooms in today’s learning environment. You can have a very large class with hundreds of students, a medium sized classroom with just less than a hundred students and a very small class of twenty or less students. Keep in mind that the actual size can also be impacted by the learning environment. In many schools today they offer completely online coursework as well as hybrid courses where some of the class is online and the rest is face-to-face classroom time. Even with hundreds of students present online or in a hybrid course, the experience can be very different that the traditional classroom setting. In which of these settings would you be most comfortable asking a question? For some students it could be all, for others only one or two may fit the bill. Think about where you may be the most vocal so as to get the most out of your classroom experience. The information you will learn will be challenging enough and so layering on an uncomfortable classroom setting can spell educational disaster that comes at a real price – lost tuition dollars! Another consideration is the teacher. Some faculty are very effective in any of these arrangements and yet others are only effective in one or two. I have seen some faculty do amazing jobs in front of large lectures as if they were performing on stage! Yet in a small classroom where there is intense questioning and conversation, they are unable to go off the planned routine and they flop! Others feel self conscious about being on stage in these large classes and it is painful to watch them get through these lectures. But in the small intimate class, they are engaged like it was a nice dinner conversation. So keep in mind that beyond your ability as a student to function in these size settings, your teacher must be appropriately matched as well.

Dr. Bruce NeimeyerCEO/PartnerGlobal College Search Associates, LLC

A twist on the old, “It’s not you it’s me”!

Student can begin to answer this question by knowing a little more about what their learning needs are. There are many forms of classrooms in today’s learning environment. You can have a very large class with hundreds of students, a medium sized classroom with just less than a hundred students and a very small class of twenty or less students. Keep in mind that the actual size can also be impacted by the learning environment. In many schools today they offer completely online coursework as well as hybrid courses where some of the class is online and the rest is face-to-face classroom time. Even with hundreds of students present online or in a hybrid course, the experience can be very different that the traditional classroom setting. In which of these settings would you be most comfortable asking a question? For some students it could be all, for others only one or two may fit the bill. Think about where you may be the most vocal so as to get the most out of your classroom experience. The information you will learn will be challenging enough and so layering on an uncomfortable classroom setting can spell educational disaster that comes at a real price – lost tuition dollars! Another consideration is the teacher. Some faculty are very effective in any of these arrangements and yet others are only effective in one or two. I have seen some faculty do amazing jobs in front of large lectures as if they were performing on stage! Yet in a small classroom where there is intense questioning and conversation, they are unable to go off the planned routine and they flop! Others feel self conscious about being on stage in these large classes and it is painful to watch them get through these lectures. But in the small intimate class, they are engaged like it was a nice dinner conversation. So keep in mind that beyond your ability as a student to function in these size settings, your teacher must be appropriately matched as well.

Jonathan DunnDirectorCreative College Counseling, LLC

Does Class size matter?

It all depends what a student seeks to gain from their college education. Some students come into my office and specifically state that they would like to be a minnow in the ocean and they do not care if their classes have hundreds of students in them with exams graded by TAs and professors who never know their name. Other students say that they want to attend a college with small discussion based classes taught directly by professors with whom they will develop a personal connection. My goal as a college counselor is to help students be completely honest with themselves and facilitate the selection of colleges that will truly be right for them.

William KolePresident/FounderNo Stress College Counseling

The Smaller the Better!

This is a question many students do not consider or care about during the admissions process. I recall my college counselor constantly asking me, “Do you want to be a name or a number?” At the time I found it to be the “stupidest question I had ever heard,” and did not realize how important it was until I attended college. Small class sizes will give the students access to the professor, and often will help when it comes time for grades. When the professor knows the student’s name and knows he or she has been a diligent student, the professor is more likely to give them the benefit of the doubt. In addition, large classes will be supplemented by Teaching Assistants (TA’s as they are often referred to). TA’s will often times teach these classes and will be the providers of outside help, if even offered at all. While this may not seem like a big deal, students truly need to have the actual professor teaching them the material, and not a TA who may not even hold a Bachelor’s degree!

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Class size matters

How do you learn best? In a group? In a discussion based class? In a lecture taking notes? Do you want to know your professors? If you are a participant learner, someone who wants interaction with other students and prof’s, if you enjoy discussion and debate, you need to choose a college which will offer you small class sizes. It may be a smaller liberal arts college. Even the largest university knows this secret: smaller class size is conducive to greater learning and retention. The manner in which this is achieved at a large university is in their Honor College, a small liberal arts college in the middle of a huge university. If you want to be interactive and proactive in your learning, check out smaller colleges or university Honors Colleges. For more information, here is my blog on the topic: http://collegeadventures.net/blog/2011/11/11/college-size-matters/

MacKenzie LeFort

Class Size

Class size does matter if your going to a more prestigious school. If you are going to go to a Public College/University your class size wont really matter. If you have any other questions feel free to email [email protected]

Susan HanflikEducational ConsultantSusan Hanflik and Associates

Size Always Matters, But Not Always in the Way You Think It Will

Students moving out of a typical high school setting often focus on class size, primarily because being in a class of several hundred sounds overwhelming and very different from what they are used to. Smaller classes do provide more opportunity to interact with the professor, and can be especially important as you move through your major into advanced classwork and seminars. Rest assured that in a small class it will be very obvious if you do not come, come late, or come unprepared. However, larger classes which are primarily lectures can be fine as well, particularly in beginning survey classes. One of my students pointed out several years ago that being anonymous some of the time is not such a bad thing. Usually those large classes break down in to small, recitation sessions where students have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with their instructors. Some of the negatives of large class size are difficulty focusing with so many distractions in the room (particularly for students with attentional deficits), and the fact that your small group instructor will probably be a teaching assistant or graduate student, not your professor.

Lin Johnson III

Sure, if you are an attention hog!

Whether class size matter depends on what type of learning experience you want to gain in college. Small class sizes can provide personal attention from professors, more interactive classroom discussions, challenging course materials, and opportunities to dig deeper in a particular topic. Also, small class sizes are often founded at liberal arts colleges rather than national and private universities. Hence, the choice between small and large class sizes might influence your decision to attend a Big 10 university versus a New England liberal college. Admittedly, I am biased toward smaller class size as someone who went to a liberal college where there was two students in one of my advanced economics classes. However, small class size do have some disadvantages. First, smaller classes may have less diversity of ideas and experiences. Second, smaller classes are often dictated by the classroom discussion, which can feel less structured. Larger class settings are usually more guided because it would be too unwieldy to allow the class steer off track. Third, smaller class sizes allow very little room for you to come unprepared and unnoticed. If you do not enjoy being called upon or expected to contribute, a larger class size may take this pressure off your shoulders. Overall, class size is very critical and it is often overlook in the admission process. However, it can play a major factor in how enjoyable the learning experience is and how you succeed in college.

Lin Johnson III

Sure, if you are an attention hog!

Whether class size matter depends on what type of learning experience you want to gain in college. Small class sizes can provide personal attention from professors, more interactive classroom discussions, challenging course materials, and opportunities to dig deeper in a particular topic. Also, small class sizes are often founded at liberal arts colleges rather than national and private universities. Hence, the choice between small and large class sizes might influence your decision to attend a Big 10 university versus a New England liberal college. Admittedly, I am biased toward smaller class size as someone who went to a liberal college where there was two students in one of my advanced economics classes. However, small class size do have some disadvantages. First, smaller classes may have less diversity of ideas and experiences. Second, smaller classes are often dictated by the classroom discussion, which can feel less structured. Larger class settings are usually more guided because it would be too unwieldy to allow the class steer off track. Third, smaller class sizes allow very little room for you to come unprepared and unnoticed. If you do not enjoy being called upon or expected to contribute, a larger class size may take this pressure off your shoulders. Overall, class size is very critical and it is often overlook in the admission process. However, it can play a major factor in how enjoyable the learning experience is and how you succeed in college.

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

Class Size Matters–But You Can Impact How

Class size matters in the college learning process, but students can minimize the impact. Obviously the interplay in a 250 student lecture class is different from that in a small seminar, but both can be effective teaching forums. Lectures are great for the dissemination of ideas while the seminar is the better forum for a spirited exchange. One big difference is whether the instructor gets to know the student—no small thing when it comes time to seek recommendations for graduate school. However a student can bridge that gap by making an effort to get to know the teacher. Engage them after class and go to office hours. This can not only help the teacher get to know you but will also provide additional exposure to the material. You can be a passive learner or an active one—it is up to you.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Class size matters

How do you learn best? In a group? In a discussion based class? In a lecture taking notes? Do you want to know your professors? If you are a participant learner, someone who wants interaction with other students and prof’s, if you enjoy discussion and debate, you need to choose a college which will offer you small class sizes. It may be a smaller liberal arts college. Even the largest university knows this secret: smaller class size is conducive to greater learning and retention. The manner in which this is achieved at a large university is in their Honor College, a small liberal arts college in the middle of a huge university. If you want to be interactive and proactive in your learning, check out smaller colleges or university Honors Colleges.

Laura O’Brien GatzionisFounderEducational Advisory Services

How do you learn best?

This really depends on your learning style. Are you more comfortable being part of the crowd, absorbing the lecture without being singled out? Or, do you thrive in small class discussions and getting to know the professor more personally?

Tyler BurtonPresident Burton College Tours

Sit in on a class

When students are choosing which schools that they will apply to they must consider what type of classroom setting they learn best in. This is part of identifying a good academic fit. Most high school students have never attended a large lecture class and many students have never sat in a classroom with 15 students. Begin your school visits early in your junior year of high school and visit different colleges with large class size and small class size. Schedule a class visit ahead of time by calling the admissions office of that school. It would be best if you asked to speak with the admission representative from your area to both introduce yourself and to learn how you should proceed in scheduling a class visit.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

Class Size

Class size does matter. Many first-year introductory classes will have a larger number of students, but the actual size of the “large” classes varies from one institution to another. This is an important aspect to consider when researching schools. Some universities break down their larger classes into smaller seminars or tutorial groups as a follow-up to the large group lecture. Find out what is done at the colleges you’re looking at. Ideally students will have a chance, not just to listen to a lecture, but to process the material through discussions in which they can actively take part.

Ellen [email protected]OwnerEllen Richards Admissions Consulting

Size does matter.

It’s important to know how many people you’d like to be surrounded by – will you learn better when you have small classes and personal attention from your professors, or do you work more efficiently when you’re independent and can be blend into the back ground of large lectures? Larger universities often mean more variety in everything from courses to activities to people to living arrangements. However, they also mean you can get lost in the shuffle at a time when you might need a tightly-knit community of support the most. conversely, smaller universities can offer more personal attention, but only the more elite universities will have the same variety in classes, activities and people as mentioned. And many students find that smaller universities become a breeding ground for the high school-esque conflicts and immaturity most of them are dying to escape. Think about the people will make you’ll be going to school with, because, unless you live at home and commute, these people will make up your friends for the next few years, and it’s good idea to make sure that they’re people you might want to spend time with. Just remember… it is not a good idea to a go to a school just because a bunch of friends are going there, or because the love of your life will be a starting freshman basketball player.

David AllenManaging DirectorGlobal College Counselors Ltd

Yes

It all depends on how best you learn; class size will determine your average time spent with your professor, especially in the early years. It will also have an effect on where in your class you graduate, which might have an effect for Grad school applications. It’s easier to be first in your class if there’s only 30 or 40 in it!

Jennifer Tabbush

Class size

Whether or not class size matters is a very individual thing and also depends greatly on what subject you are studying. For example, a large English class just doesn’t work; you need to be able to talk with the professor and fellow students and engage in a lively discussion of literature. For psychology, maybe a bigger class isn’t such a negative. Know that even at very large universities, when you get into classes in your major junior and senior year you are not likely to find any classes above about 60 students. How can you make big class feel smaller? Sit towards the front of the room. Go to office hours to talk with your professor. Go to the TA sections and talk with your TA about the class. Form study groups with other students in the class.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

The Rules of Engagement

Class size gestures at something more significant: student engagement. The level of engagement a student experiences in their classes impacts not only student satisfaction but often the mastery of the content being learned. The NSSE (people in the know refer to it as the “Nessy”) is a self-reported survey given to students at a large number of US universities each year. The fact is that most colleges don’t want their NSSE results published because the engagement students report having in the classroom is drastically low. So if you are asking about class size, it is likely that you are concerned about what is taking place inside that class, so check out your prospective colleges’ NSSE if you can google them!

Steven CrispOwner Crisp College Advising

Does class size matter?

Class size is really a personal preference. There are colleges that will have 300 students plus in an auditorium setting. Then there are colleges who will never have more than 20 students in a class. Which do you prefer? Small classes give you more one on one interaction with the professor and are usually a more interactive class. Larger settings are limited as far as interaction, but you can still have access to your professor it will just be a little harder. If you are considering a larger school you want to find out what the class size will be for your major. For example, you might be in a 300 seat auditorium for Biology 101, but how many students will be in your Organic Chemistry class. Your higher level classes are more likely to be smaller.

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Big lecture vs. small discussion groups

Class size matters depending on your personal learning style. There are some students who much prefer to remain anonymous and blend in with a big auditorium full of people. Other folks enjoy the opportunity to be known by the teacher, dig deeper into a discussion, hear other’s thoughts on a topic; which can occur in a seminar style environment. It is not uncommon for large lectures to also offer small discussion sessions. Even in a large class, a student can get to know the professor by utilizing office hours and sitting closer to the front of the class. Some faculty members employ the socratic method, regardless of class size. If you are more of a listener than a talker, this may make a difference to you. Learn what you can about the teacher, so you choose a course that matches your learning preference.

CRAIG HELLERPresidentwww.CollegeEssaySolutions.com

CLASS SIZE IS AN ISSUE… IF YOU THINK IT IS

For some students entering college, the number of students in each of their prospective classes is an important issue. Large lecture classes, with hundreds of students, aren’t for everyone. Conversely, there are students who thrive on the energy of groups, who can even become motivated by the inherent competition. Others do well in both situations, and enjoy the variety. Therefore, as with many issues surrounding the choice of the right college, the issue of class size is personal. Know yourself, know your child, know the school. Then act on that information.

Alex Restrepo

Class Sizes and Student to Faculty Ratios Determine Your Academic Experience

One of the first steps in determining what type of school you would be interested in attending is figuring out what your classroom setting will look like. If you like large lecture classes, reading on your own, and are shy in the classroom; then you would probably prefer a university with a higher ratio. This normally means more independent work, and possibly being taught by a Teacher’s Assistant (i.e. a Graduate Student) If you like to meet with your professors more one on one, prefer discussion over simply receiving lectures, and don’t want to be a classroom with hundreds of people, then you should really look for a college with a low student to faculty ratio. This means you will have to take your school work more seriously as you will be more likely to discuss the material on a daily basis, but you also have the option of more independent time with your professors.

Helen Cella

Does class size matter?

It depends on how you learn, if you want to interact directly with professors a smaller school may be a better option.

Helen H. ChoiOwnerAdmissions Mavens

Does class size matter?

Your engagement, involvement, and participation as a member of the class matter much more than the size of the class. Of course – if you are in a smaller class — it will be much easier to participate in class discussions, engage with the professor and other students, and obtain answers to any questions you may have. These things are much harder to achieve in a large lecture environment. However, even if you are in a large class, that should not stop you from stopping by a professor’s office hours and participating in discussions before, during and after class!

MONIQUE BATES

Class size is a BIG deal!

Class size matters probably more than cost! Truly, what is the purpose of going to college if you can’t learn because the class a packed lecture hall that doesn’t work for your style of learning? The fact of the matter is that some students just can’t learn well from large classrooms while to others the size of the class doesn’t matter. If you are the type of student who typically likes to be able to ask questions of your professors and friends in your class, beware of the average class size when looking into colleges. Don’t be fooled by brochure average class sizes either. Some schools will boast that they have small class sizes, but when freshman arrive to school they never see them in a general education course. To avoid this trap, be sure to ask the key question “How many students are typically in your largest classes on campus?” Take this advice and you will be sure to be a step ahead of the pack!

Patricia SaddleOwnerThe College Planning Center LLC

Does class size matter?

yes class size does matter. Many students feel more comfortable being in classes with a smaller number of students. Plus professors will get to know you which definitely helps some students.

Joe OraveczSenior Student Affairs OfficerLocated in Nebraska

Does class size matter?

It depends on you – the student. If you want to get to know your faculty, understand the material well, have good class discussion, and actually “learn” rather than “regurgitate” the material – then yes, class size matters. If you just want to pass the class, never interact with the faculty, and just get a grade – then you’ve answered this question on your own.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

Does class size matter?

This is completely dependent upon the individual. Some students do better in a small classroom setting with the lot of group interaction with their peers, their TA’s, and their professors. Others thrive in large lecture halls with a lot of anonymity and limited interaction. I think the best question to ask yourself is: “In what environment do I learn best?” From there, look for schools that match your criteria. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit in a classroom setting that doesn’t meet your learning style. You will be completely unhappy and your grades will suffer.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

Does class size matter?

This is completely dependent upon the individual. Some students do better in a small classroom setting with the lot of group interaction with their peers, their TA’s, and their professors. Others thrive in large lecture halls with a lot of anonymity and limited interaction. I think the best question to ask yourself is: “In what environment do I learn best?” From there, look for schools that match your criteria. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit in a classroom setting that doesn’t meet your learning style. You will be completely unhappy and your grades will suffer.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

Does class size matter?

This is completely dependent upon the individual. Some students do better in a small classroom setting with the lot of group interaction with their peers, their TA’s, and their professors. Others thrive in large lecture halls with a lot of anonymity and limited interaction. I think the best question to ask yourself is: “In what environment do I learn best?” From there, look for schools that match your criteria. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit in a classroom setting that doesn’t meet your learning style. You will be completely unhappy and your grades will suffer.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

Does class size matter?

This is completely dependent upon the individual. Some students do better in a small classroom setting with the lot of group interaction with their peers, their TA’s, and their professors. Others thrive in large lecture halls with a lot of anonymity and limited interaction. I think the best question to ask yourself is: “In what environment do I learn best?” From there, look for schools that match your criteria. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit in a classroom setting that doesn’t meet your learning style. You will be completely unhappy and your grades will suffer.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

Does class size matter?

This is completely dependent upon the individual. Some students do better in a small classroom setting with the lot of group interaction with their peers, their TA’s, and their professors. Others thrive in large lecture halls with a lot of anonymity and limited interaction. I think the best question to ask yourself is: “In what environment do I learn best?” From there, look for schools that match your criteria. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit in a classroom setting that doesn’t meet your learning style. You will be completely unhappy and your grades will suffer.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

Does class size matter?

This is completely dependent upon the individual. Some students do better in a small classroom setting with the lot of group interaction with their peers, their TA’s, and their professors. Others thrive in large lecture halls with a lot of anonymity and limited interaction. I think the best question to ask yourself is: “In what environment do I learn best?” From there, look for schools that match your criteria. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit in a classroom setting that doesn’t meet your learning style. You will be completely unhappy and your grades will suffer.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

Does class size matter?

This is completely dependent upon the individual. Some students do better in a small classroom setting with the lot of group interaction with their peers, their TA’s, and their professors. Others thrive in large lecture halls with a lot of anonymity and limited interaction. I think the best question to ask yourself is: “In what environment do I learn best?” From there, look for schools that match your criteria. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit in a classroom setting that doesn’t meet your learning style. You will be completely unhappy and your grades will suffer.

Charlotte KlaarDirectorKlaar College Consulting LLC

Does class size matter?

Class size can have an enormous impact on your learning. If you need to get to know your professors and classmates and like to get your questions answered immediately, a smaller class is better for you. If you like to get lost in the back of the room and are an independent learner, large classes are not a negative for you. I have found that small seminar type classes work best for me since I like to be able to voice my opinion on the topics being discussed and that I learn best when I take part in meaningful discussion with others. If you are like me, you may wish to find colleges that have smaller classes.

Charlotte KlaarDirectorKlaar College Consulting LLC

Does class size matter?

Class size can have an enormous impact on your learning. If you need to get to know your professors and classmates and like to get your questions answered immediately, a smaller class is better for you. If you like to get lost in the back of the room and are an independent learner, large classes are not a negative for you. I have found that small seminar type classes work best for me since I like to be able to voice my opinion on the topics being discussed and that I learn best when I take part in meaningful discussion with others. If you are like me, you may wish to find colleges that have smaller classes.

Dr. Carol LangloisFounder/CEOHigher Education Specialists

Does class size matter?

This is completely dependent upon the individual. Some students do better in a small classroom setting with the lot of group interaction with their peers, their TA’s, and their professors. Others thrive in large lecture halls with a lot of anonymity and limited interaction. I think the best question to ask yourself is: “In what environment do I learn best?” From there, look for schools that match your criteria. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to sit in a classroom setting that doesn’t meet your learning style. You will be completely unhappy and your grades will suffer.

Mandy ReillyCounselor

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size does matter. However, it only matters in regard to a student’s personal preference. Some of us want or need more individualized attention in an academic setting in order to enjoy it and be successful. In that case you would prefer smaller class sizes. Others enjoy the stimulation and competition created by having larger numbers of fellow students in a class. In that case you might prefer a larger university and larger class sizes.

Kristina DooleyIndependent Educational ConsultantEstrela Consulting

Does class size matter?

Absolutely! Though some may say they are more comfortable in a large lecture hall where they can hide in the back, I feel most students should be active participants in their education. This means having the opportunity to raise your hand and ask a question, hear opinions of your classmates, and to directly engage with your professors. That being said, whether you are in a class of 15 or one of 150, your experience will be what you make of it…so make sure to participate and get those hands in the air! Who wants to just be a witness to their education, anyway?

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

Does class size matter?

Obviously a lecture hall of 500 won’t afford anyone a 1 on 1 with a professor as a small class of 20-30 will. It’s also important to make sure you’re taught by someone who wrote the book rather than someone who read the book. Teaching assistants are not as valuable as a professor who has a biography 3 pages long! Be sure to take all this into consideration in the college selection process.

Andrea Shupert

Does class size matter?

Class size matters if it matters to you. In other words, you need to know something about your learning stye. Can you learn in a classroom of 100+ students and not be distracted? Can you focus when others around you are talking or playing games on their computers? Or, do you learn best when the professor knows yor name and in a small classroom with 12-30 other students? Class size matters because your task at college is to learn through classroom studies and independent study. Therefore, you need to evaluate what size classroom will best allow you to complete that task.

Andrea Shupert

Does class size matter?

Class size matters if it matters to you. In other words, you need to know something about your learning style. Can you learn in a classroom of 100+ students and not be distracted? Can you focus when others around you are talking or playing games on their computers? Or, do you learn best when the professor knows your name and in a small classroom with 12-30 other students? Class size matters because your task at college is to learn through classroom studies and independent study. Therefore, you need to evaluate what size classroom will best allow you to complete that task.

Kris HintzFounderPosition U 4 College LLC

Does class size matter?

Faculty-student ratio is an important measure of the quality of the classroom experience. Of course, every college student will probably have to endure a few large introductory lecture hall classes, but small seminar-style classes should become the student’s norm by junior year to optimize the college experience. For $50K a year, shouldn’t that be expected?

Tracy JacksonCoordinatorVirginia Beach City Public Schools

Does class size matter?

Absolutely! It all depends on your learning style and your need for interaction from the instructor. If you are an independent learner and are willing to seek out your professor on your own when you have a question or concern, then large lecture rooms may suit you just fine. However, if you like or need constant discussion to keep you engaged in the learning process, then a smaller class size is probably what will keep you stimulated.

Nicole PorterAdmissions ManagerPrivate University in AZ

Does class size matter?

Class size matters very much to the student. If you are a student who learns well in an environment where the instructor knows your name and you can develop a rapport with that individual; a smaller school may be better for you. But, if you don’t mind being in a class with 300 people and having very little interaction with the professor, then a large school may be suitable for you. It all depends on the individual.

Mark GathercoleUniversity AdvisorIndependent University Advising

Does class size matter?

I don’t know – does it matter to you? Do you function well in a large lecture class (50-300 students), where you listen, take notes (hopefully!), and review afterward? Or do you learn better in a smaller, more interactive class of 10-25 students, with active discussion and the chance to give your opinion or answers? Just like choosing a university, everyone has to decide what’s important to them. Do that with class size and all the other factors , and you will end up in a school that suits you so well you won’t want to go home for the holidays! OK, maybe not that well……………………….

Janet Elfers

Does class size matter?

Depending on the kind of student you are, class size could be a big factor in your college success. If you learn best by interacting with a teacher and other students, if you like being able to question what you’ve heard or get quick clarification of a concept, if questioning things makes you stay focused, then you’ll thrive in smaller college classes. On the other hand, if you are a passive learner who would rather read and research on your own and aren’t concerned about interpersonal interactions, then large classes probably suit you the best. Take some time to honestly assess yourself and your own learning style. This is the hard part, but worth doing. Once you know how you learn most effectively, then you can try to get yourself in the college that will give you the most chance of success.

Inna BeilinaStudent

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size definitely matters. If you’d like the professors to know and remember your name, face, your history and inner world and not treat you as a number in a huge audience, you want to study in a small classroom. If you’d like to be able to participate in class discussions often, you want to be a student in a small class. If you enjoy listening to the lectures, making notes and you don’t care if the professor knows who you are personally, a huge class size is an excellent option for you. I hope that helps! P.S.: I think good professors are more important than any class size though. If a professor from your dreams teaches in either a small or huge class, it’s worth it to go that institution even if a class size doesn’t match your wishes, because you know the professor really fits your academic interests. Good luck!

Inna BeilinaStudent

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size definitely matters. If you’d like the professors to know and remember your name, face, your history and inner world and not treat you as a number in a huge audience, you want to study in a small classroom. If you’d like to be able to participate in class discussions often, you want to be a student in a small class. If you enjoy listening to the lectures, making notes and you don’t care if the professor knows who you are personally, a huge class size is an excellent option for you. I hope that helps! P.S.: I think good professors are more important than any class size though. If a professor from your dreams teaches in either a small or huge class, it’s worth it to go that institution even if a class size doesn’t match your wishes, because you know the professor really fits your academic interests. Good luck!

Inna BeilinaStudent

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size definitely matters. If you’d like the professors to know and remember your name, face, your history and inner world and not treat you as a number in a huge audience, you want to study in a small classroom. If you’d like to be able to participate in class discussions often, you want to be a student in a small class. If you enjoy listening to the lectures, making notes and you don’t care if the professor knows who you are personally, a huge class size is an excellent option for you. I hope that helps! P.S.: I think good professors are more important than any class size though. If a professor from your dreams teaches in either a small or huge class, it’s worth going to that institution even if a class size doesn’t match your wishes, because you know the professor really fits your academic interests. Good luck!

Edward LaMeireCEOLaMeire College Consulting (lameirecollegeconsulting.com)

Does class size matter?

Everything can matter in admissions. However, things matter only within context. Generally speaking, it’s more impressive to graduate at the top of a class of 800 vs. 80. However, there aren’t a whole lot of schools with an 800 student senior class that could compete academically with, say, San Francisco University High School, which typically has a graduating class of about 90. Of course, different aspect of class size matter differently to different schools. For the University of California, class size generally doesn’t make a bit of difference; what matters are rank and ELC status. With most private universities, graduating at the top of a massive high school is great…but what really matters is the combination of class size, academic reputation, and student rank.

Timothy LLaw ClerkDuke University School of Law

Does class size matter?

The short answer: Yes. The long answer: Yes, but be careful of how class size is determined. Arizona State University recently boosted their rankings by cutting class size. Their approach? Require all freshmen to take a .5 credit course their first year with a class size of 20-25. This offsets the typical English 101 class of 700+ students. That being said, a school like Arizona State University and its large class size and community of approximately 60,000 students and faculty means you’ll experience campus life all its own. In addition, ASU offers the honors college, a “school within a school” targeting folks with smaller class size preferences. Long story short, yes it matters.

adam baerWriter and Editor for Top National Magazines, Websites, and Newspapers

Does class size matter?

Yes. Large classes really allow you to speed through a class and rob you of a solid education. They are becoming a smaller version of Internet classes. Small, seminar style classes will always give you a better education and educational experience, especially if you get involved in discussions with your fellow students and the teacher. Personal attention is also key to getting a truly worthwhile education.

Lynda McGeeCollege CounselorDowntown Magnets High School

Size always matters!

Class size is an important issue to consider when choosing a school, but what is the right size for you depends on your classroom personality. Do you like your professor to acknowledge you personally? Do you feel the need to raise your hand during class and ask questions? Do you enjoy small group discussions? If this is what you like, you need to find a school with average class sizes of 25 or less. This will allow you to be an active participant in the classroom. If you prefer to sit in the back and take notes; seeking out a teacher for a private conversation if you have questions, then a small class size is less important to you. What matters is how you learn best, and only you can answer that question.

Edward LaMeireCEOLaMeire College Consulting (lameirecollegeconsulting.com)

Does class size matter?

Everything can matter in admissions. However, things matter only within context. Generally speaking, it’s more impressive to graduate at the top of a class of 800 vs. 80. However, there aren’t a whole lot of schools with an 800 student senior class that could compete academically with, say, San Francisco University High School, which typically has a graduating class of about 90. Of course, different aspect of class size matter differently to different schools. For the University of California, class size generally doesn’t make a bit of difference; what matters are rank and ELC status. With most private universities, graduating at the top of a massive high school is great…but what really matters is the combination of class size, academic reputation, and student rank.

Barbara StewartCollege CounselorBishop Gorman High School

Does class size matter?

Class size does matter! For some students it is important that the class size is small, that professors know their name and that there is immediate access to the professor should additional help be required. Other students learn independantly and like a bit of anonymity. They function quite well in a larger classroom setting and do not mind the lecture hall style of learning. Professors are still available to help students individually but this assistance usually takes place in the office of the professor during office hours. Students need to seek out the professor in order to receive additional help. In this case it takes a highly motivated student to take advantage of the additional support that is available. It is important that each student is in touch with what he/she needs in order to maximize learning.

Katherine Moyses

Does class size matter?

Yes and no. Having a large section of a class (like an introductory class that may have over 100 students) certainly means that the availability of the class will be there; however, you may feel as though you are lost in the crowd. With smaller classes, you may get the teacher interaction, but schools may cancel sections that have low numbers.

John Happs

Does class size matter?

For some students size will matter greater than for others. Do you want the professor to know you, or are you fine with a large lecture hall and then seminars that go with the lecture. All of us are different and it is important for you the student to determine how you will learn best.

Jessica BrondoFounder and CEOThe Edge in College Prep

Does class size matter?

That depends on you! If you learn better with more one-on-one time with the teacher, look for smaller schools with a higher teacher:student ratio. If you’re okay with large lectures then that’s great, just know that it may be harder to get to the professor. Most lecture classes break up into smaller groups that go over material with a TA, and that provides an opportunity to get more time with a teacher though.

Jessica BrondoFounder and CEOThe Edge in College Prep

Does class size matter?

That depends on you! If you learn better with more one-on-one time with the teacher, look for smaller schools with a higher teacher:student ratio. If you’re okay with large lectures then that’s great, just know that it may be harder to get to the professor. Most lecture classes break up into smaller groups that go over material with a TA, and that provides an opportunity to get more time with a teacher though. Keep in mind that at almost every school, introductory lecture will be large classes, and the more in depth you go into each subject, the smaller the class is likely to be.

Joshua EarsleyStudent Assistance CoordinatorReach Out

Does class size matter?

It depends on your learning preferences. Everybody’s a little different. Imagine yourself sitting in an auditorium surrounded by 500 other students. You’re sitting near the top and can barely see the professor’s face. Yet since there are so many students (in this class alone), It’s unlikely he will call on you to answer a question. Now imagine you’re in a classroom with 12 other students. While your instructor is lecturing, she walks by your desk (multiple times) and calls for your feedback at least once a day. Do you consider yourself someone who blends well in crowds? Would you rather be challenged openly and critically by you teacher? These are only two different perspectives. There’s quite a bit more to consider when choosing (if choice is allowed). But experiencing both is the best way to determine what works for you.

Michael AlepreteAssistant ProfessorWestminster College

Does class size matter?

I am a professor who has taught in a variety of institutions. Yes. Class size matters. It matters in two ways. One it impacts how well the professor will know the students. This is important not only for the class but afterwards when it comes time for things like recommendation letters professors will be able to recall much more about you (hopefully good things). Two, it determines the types of assignments professors will give. The most intensive assignments are more likely to be given in smaller classes.

Katie ParksFormer Admissions Counselor

Does class size matter?

Class size does matter. But, it matters for each person differently. Smaller class sizes give you more face time with your faculty and allow for more lively discussions in class. This gives you more individual time with your faculty which can be useful if you’re struggling with a subject. (This can also be good so that the faculty can get to know you, which will come in handy if looking for recommendations later on.) Smaller class sizes can also lead to students getting to know one another better which can be useful for projects and homework assignments, and making students feel more comfortable openly sharing during discussions. (If you’re nervous about talking in front of large crowds, larger classes may actually work for you, as you often will have break-out groups where you can share with a more intimate group.) Small class size also means accountability. Your classmates will notice if you’ve missed a couple classes – and so will your teacher. This can be great for making up assignments, as your peers will know you weren’t in class and will probably be interested in contacting you to give you your missed work. However, students shouldn’t shy away from schools just because of a few large classes. Many schools have very large introductory courses, but almost all have much smaller upper-level, lab, and major-specific courses. Also, with many of these large intro classes, there are separate discussion sections, where students can get the small class size feel, and get to focus in more on the specific area of the subject material that they are struggling with.

Eric DoblerPresidentDobler College Consulting

Does class size matter?

The importance of class size is really dependent on each individual’s expectations and needs. If you are the type of student who learns best through interaction and discussion, then schools that offer smaller class sizes are definitely going to be a better fit for you than a school where courses are routinely taught in 100+ seat lecture halls. This is the kind of question that begs some return questions: Do you understand HOW you learn? Do seek feedback on your academic progress on a regular basis? Is it important to you to have contact with your instructors outside of class to talk about what you are learning? Do you want to be recognized for your accomplishments? Do you want to be the big fish in a little pond or a little fish in a big pond? Take some time to think about these issues, and you will quickly start to form your own opinion of whether or not class size matters.

John Happs

Does class size matter?

For some students size will matter greater than for others. Do you want the professor to know you, or are you fine with a large lecture hall and then seminars that go with the lecture. All of us are different and it is important for you the student to determine how you will learn best.

Renee Boone

Does class size matter?

Some students are awesome note-takers and do well in large lecture courses where note-taking rather than class discussion is emphasized. In a small class, you will have more opportunities to ask questions and participate in discussions that will stimulate your intellect and support your analytical skills. Getting to know your fellow classmates and professors may prove to be a significant contributing factor to your ability to learn and retain information and to formulate your ideas. The benefits of anonymity in a large class vs the benefits of a more personal, intimate learning experience will appeal to different students. How do you learn best?

Thuy TrangCounselor InstructorMission College

Does class size matter?

This question depends on the type of student you are and the subject being taught but in general, I would say YES, it matters. If it’s a class like English writing, imagine the teacher having to grade and provide feedback for 75 students versus 25 students. The individual attention you would want to have will diminish as the size increases. But let’s say you’re in an introduction to psychology class and there are 200 students in the lecture hall. If it’s purely lecture, this should not impact you negatively. Just be sure to seize opportunities to seek the professor’s attention during their office hours. If the subject is not particularly related to your major but more for general education, some students do not mind sitting in a big lecture hall versus having intimate discussions in a small classroom setting. Essentially, you need to determine how much attention you desire and for what subjects. If it’s important overall, then selecting a college with an overall low student:faculty ratio will be critical to your success!

Allen Regar

Does class size matter?

I think the shortest and best response to this question is the Ancient Greek aphorism, “know thyself.” For some students, class size matters tremendously, while for others, not so much. If you are a strongly independent learner who functions well in lecture-type settings, if you don’t mind the anonymity of being in a class with potentially hundreds of other students, then class size probably doesn’t matter to you. If you feel as though you are one of these individuals, remember this: with but a few exceptions, *no* high school student has had the experience of taking a class with hundreds of other students in the same room. Thus, even if you do think that you will be comfortable in this situation, you should take to heart another maxim, this time from the Boy Scouts of America: “be prepared.” Stay organized, sit in an area of the room where you will be able to attend to the lecture, and resist the temptation to skip class because you can get all of the information from someone else or on the professor’s webpage. Try to get to know your professor by visiting him or her during office hours. Even in a course with a large number of students, you need to be as “present” as possible to achieve your best. For those students who prefer a more intimate environment, look into colleges that pride themselves on keeping the class size smaller and have a low teacher to student ratio. When touring colleges, be sure to ask what the average class size is, but also what the *range* of class sizes are. Even if the average class size seems reasonable, the upper end of the range could include classes with 100+ students. Students who should consider class size important typically prefer more discussion-based learning environments, where it is easier to get to know both your fellow students and your professor. Nevertheless, even in smaller classes, a student can feel anonymous. It is up to you, just as with students who prefer a larger class size, to get the most out of your academic experience by staying connected with the professor, participating in classroom discussions, and visiting during office hours.

Elysa StahlPresidentAdmissions Avenue

Does class size matter?

Class size matters with regard to the manner in which you learn. some students need the more personal attention to do best in their respective classes. other students prefer to be more anonymous and would prefer a larger class size.

Elysa StahlPresidentAdmissions Avenue

Does class size matter?

Class size matters with regard to the manner in which you learn. some students need the more personal attention to do best in their respective classes. other students prefer to be more anonymous and would prefer a larger class size.

Joan Thomas

Does class size matter?

To many students it does matter. You need to determine your best learning environment, do you prefer access to the professor? Can you learn while sitting in a large class of 500-600 students in a large lecture hall format? Are you looking for class discussions? Do you prefer hands on opportunities over reading the text only? All these questions help determine your preferred class room style. While I see student successful in both environments, large & small, it comes down to your preference!

Michael NorrisPh.D studentIowa State University

Does class size matter?

Yes. You don’t want the majority of your classes to have more than 25 students. This class size forces you to be engaged and interact with the professor. Most smaller private schools will have smaller class sizes and if you’re planning to attend a large public school, I strongly encourage you to get involved with a learning community.

Michael NorrisPh.D studentIowa State University

Does class size matter?

Yes. You don’t want the majority of your classes to have more than 25 students. This class size forces you to be engaged and interact with the professor. Most smaller private schools will have smaller class sizes and if you’re planning to attend a large public school, I strongly encourage you to get involved with a learning community.

Michael NorrisPh.D studentIowa State University

Does class size matter?

Yes. You don’t want the majority of your classes to have more than 25 students. This class size forces you to be engaged and interact with the professor. Most smaller private schools will have smaller class sizes and if you’re planning to attend a large public school, I strongly encourage you to get involved with a learning community.

Michael NorrisPh.D studentIowa State University

Does class size matter?

Yes. You don’t want the majority of your classes to have more than 25 students. Smaller class size forces you to be engaged and interact with the professor and that means you’ll likely get the most out of the course. Most smaller private schools will have most class enrollment under 30 and if you’re planning to attend a large public school, I strongly encourage you to get involved with a learning community.

Zicky Villette

Does class size matter?

No, if you want to know your teacher on a personal level and develop that relationship you will. Teachers have study hours, their are tutors, and study sessions will always be available. The class size does not matter as long as the quality of the material is there.

Darrell EdmondsDIrectorOakcrest Teen Center

Does class size matter?

Class size matters. At some schools you can have over 250 students in one class presentation. Its kind of like taking a class in a packed movie theater. In most cases that professor doesn’t even know your name. If you are a student that struggles to pay attention, a class of that size would not benefit you. Small class size gives each student more attention. Professors know you by name. Its also a lot easier to pay attention because there are less people to distract you from the lecture.

Zicky Villette

Does class size matter?

No, if you want to know your teacher on a personal level and develop that relationship you will. Teachers have study hours, their are tutors, and study sessions will always be available. The class size does not matter as long as the quality of the material is there.

Zicky Villette

Does class size matter?

No, if you want to know your teacher on a personal level and develop that relationship you will. Teachers have study hours, their are tutors, and study sessions will always be available. The class size does not matter as long as the quality of the material is there.

Lisa Mauldin

Does class size matter?

Class size definitely matters. College class sizes can range from the signel digits to the hundreds. If you are the kind of student who can listen to a lecture, take notes, and is well-organized, then the larger class size might be just fine for you. Smaller classes generally allow for more discussion and involvement from the students during the class. Remember that you are likely to have the opportunity to enroll in both small and large classes during college. Being organized, ready to take notes or record a lecture, and motivated to ask questions and get engaged in the subject will be skills that will serve you well in most class settings.

Ken PhamTutor/StudentColumbia Basin College

Does class size matter?

Not really. Big class room can be very distracting. Most students tend to agree that if you don’t want to learn, class size wouldn’t be a problem. It would be best to sit up -front and be close to your professor. That way you can absorb more knowledge. Big class size could limit your time on asking questions too.

Cara RaySenior AssociateMontgomery Educational Consulting

Does class size matter?

The short answer is yes, class size does matter. The bigger question though is what kind of a learner are you? Do you prefer hands on learning? Do you like to participate in discussions? Are you more of a quiet listener who likes to absorb material? Do you tend to ask a lot of questions in class? All of these questions are necessary when it comes to considering class size. Class sizes can vary significantly and it is important to keep in mind that even small colleges have some large classes and large universities have small classes. Small classes often give the opportunity for close connections with professors and classmates and ability for engagement in the class through discussion and involvement. Larger classes are good for students who don’t mind being part of a larger environment and being a bit more anonymous in a classroom setting. Think about how you would feel in a large lecture hall with 400 or so students. Would you feel comfortable participating? However, keep in mind that most large lecture classes at colleges also meet at least once a week in a smaller setting for either a lab or recitation that does allow for some discussion instead of just a lecture. No matter the class size, I always recommend getting to know your professors. Stop by their office hours to introduce yourself and don’t be afraid to go ask them questions regarding assignments you are working on, tests you are studying for or research opportunities.

Joan DeSalvatoreOwner/DirectorCollege Bound Advising Today

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size certainly matters. However, it should not be the only factor you use when deciding on a college. Why is it important? One of the best ways to actually learn in the classroom situation is to be engaged in the process. Smaller class sizes can certainly facilitate that engagement. It also means that both students and faculty have accountability for what happens in the classroom. Not only does the student feel greater responsibility for coming to class prepared, he or she is responsible for the way the course, itself, progresses – the tone and topics of the discussion – the questions that are asked and answered. In a smaller class there is much greater potential for the students and faculty member to achieve a level of understanding that works for the more effective education of the class as a whole. Why should it not be the only factor? It is certainly possible to get an excellent education at a college with some or even a lot of large classes. In fact, many students are actually more comfortable in such an environment. As an educator and a parent, I love the idea of the small classroom. When I was a student, however, I was not the most confident person. All small classes would have scared me. By attending a college with both large and small classes, I was able to find a happy medium, gaining confidence as I went along and still getting an excellent education.

Jolyn BrandOwner & CEOBrand College Consulting

Does class size matter?

Yes, size does matter! Some college classes will be very large, 200+ students in an auditorium. In those circumstances, it would be very difficult to ask questions, seek clarification, or even talk to the professor.

William Chichester

Does class size matter?

Yes! You need to determine which class size you learn best in: small class ranging from 5-30, medium class range from 40-60, large lecture class ranging from 70+ students. Before signing on the dotted line with a school, make sure you inclue a class visit with your tour particularly in the major that you wish to pursue.

Raolat RajiSchool Counselor/ OwnerOHHS/Good Counsel College and Career Services

Does class size matter?

It depends on the type of student you are. Is it important for you to know your teacher personally? Are you the type of student who works well independently. If you’re the type of student who doesn’t need help with organization, planning your time, or keeping on task, a school with larger class sizes won’t matter much. Another angle to think about is most schools will have larger 100 level courses, so keep that in mind.

Diana HansonCommon Sense College CounselingCollege Mentors

Does class size matter?

Class size can make a huge difference for some learners. If you’re someone who learns best through discussion, then smaller class sizes will be a huge benefit to you. Similarly, smaller class sizes provide an opportunity to get to know your professors, fostering student/teacher collaboration, even on research projects at many smaller liberal arts colleges. Students who do well learning through lectures/note taking will do fine in the large classes typically found in entry level coursework at larger colleges and universities. Even in that course model, students have weekly smaller meetings with grad students.

Carita Del ValleFounderAcademic Decisions

Does class size matter?

Yes it absolutely does but not as a blanket statement for all college courses in your future. So what are some of the determining factors? Your learning style, your major, the size of school you are looking into, the professor teaching, etc.

Mark GiesmannCounselorCherry Creek High School

Does class size matter?

Of course class size matters. The degree to which it matters, however, depends on your own personality and learning style. Think about the way you learn best and how you interact in the classes you are in now. If you do well by mostly listening and taking notes, then a small class size might not be as important for you. If you thrive on interaction with your teacher and generally ask lots of questions, you should really look for a college with smaller class sizes so you get the individual attention you need.

Joan DeSalvatoreOwner/DirectorCollege Bound Advising Today

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size certainly matters. However, it should not be the only factor you use when deciding on a college. Why is it important? One of the best ways to actually learn in the classroom situation is to be engaged in the process. Smaller class sizes can certainly facilitate that engagement. It also means that both students and faculty have accountability for what happens in the classroom. Not only does the student feel greater responsibility for coming to class prepared, he or she is responsible for the way the course, itself, progresses – the tone and topics of the discussion – the questions that are asked and answered. In a smaller class there is much greater potential for the students and faculty member to achieve a level of understanding that works for the more effective education of the class as a whole. Why should it not be the only factor? It is certainly possible to get an excellent education at a college with some or even a lot of large classes. In fact, many students are actually more comfortable in such an environment. As an educator and a parent, I love the idea of the small classroom. When I was a student, however, I was not the most confident person. All small classes would have scared me. By attending a college with both large and small classes, I was able to find a happy medium, gaining confidence as I went along and still getting an excellent education. Even in a large class, it is possible to become fully engaged. Part of that depends on the faculty member and part on the student. An interested and effective professor can employ any number of methods to create discussion and enhanced learning. On the flip side, I have seen small classes where, despite the number of students, the course is conducted in a purely lecture format – thus reducing the engagement factor.

Margaret TungStrategistYale University

Does class size matter?

Class size matters depending on whether or not you think it matters– Even at schools where the student to professor ratio is really small (like 6:1), you’re still going to end up in lecture courses with up to 300 or 500 students, at least in your first two years. Do you like smaller seminars? If you prefer those over large anonymous classes, then you should apply to schools with a smaller ratio. The other thing you’ll want to consider is–do you want to know EVERY single person in your college class and do you want everybody to know who you are? Or would you prefer some anonymity walking around campus? The followup is, how MUCH anonymity do you want…do you want to be able to walk to class and say hi to 3-4 people you know or do you want to just get to class and sit next to the 2 friends you have once you get there?

Zahir RobbCollege CounselorThe Right Fit College

Does class size matter?

This is a very common question. It can, but a poor professor within a small class is still a poor professor. That said, look at the reasons why the campus has small class sizes. Is this a philosophical decision or merely an admissions issue? Observe a class. Is the professor still lecturing within the small class, or is it discussion based. Small class sizes can provide greater access to the professor, a better relationship with your peers and more opportunity for questions, but only if “small class size” means more than just a number.

Eric ChancySchool CounselorApex High School – 9-12

Does class size matter?

It can, depending on how proactive a student you are, or rather are NOT. In a class of 300, it is not uncommon to walk in and see at least 50% of the class busy with facebook instead of focusing on the lecture. So, while class size could be a factor, you can mitigate that factor by sitting near the front, actually listening to and participating in the lecture, putting away your phone or laptop and having actually completed the readings assigned before class. Class size matters more in your earlier development than it does at the college level, because at that point, it is primarily your responsibility to engage in learning.

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

Smaller means increased odds to get to know professors

In general, smaller classes mean the greater the likelihood that you will get to know your professors better. It isn’t a guarantee that you will get to know your professors more. Getting to know your professors has more to do with your personality type than how many students are in your class. Certainly a class of 20 students helps your chances greatly. If a professor is conducting research and asks for volunteers, your chances to participate are strong. If the professors is writing an article, you have a great chance to get involved with that as well. Classroom discussions are the best way to get to deeper levels of learning compared to just lectures. Getting involved with your professors is still an individual choice that you have to make. Many large universities make their large classes feel smaller by offering labs or discussion groups (many times with teacher assistants) in addition to the large lecture hall. When I attended school, often times I felt like the teaching assistants were much more in touch with the students (and with current research) than some of my professors. I enjoyed getting to know Ph.D. students.

Eva HoltzCollege AdvisorPrepPoint

Does class size matter?

The first consideration is whether it matters to you. Some students don’t mind whether their classes are big or small, while others need a small-class environment to feel engaged. The second consideration is that the most important question is not what the average student-teacher ratio is, but what it will be like based on your major and level. For example, during my first year at Harvard, I took a gen ed class and an introductory chem class with about 200-300 students each. Over the next few years, however, half my classes were language and advanced linguistics with about 4-15 students.

Rachael PlantStudentUAB

Does class size matter?

Not really. While it’s easier to get lost or fall behind in a larger class there is something you can do. Get to know your professor. Talk to him/her before or after class, during office hours, or through email. Big classes are particularly worrisome in subjects you have the hardest time with so don’t be afraid to sit your professor down and explain your worries. You may get singled out during a class, but you won’t get left behind. The better your professor knows you, the more likely s/he is to make sure you understand the material. There is also the option on-campus tutors.

Chuck SlatePresidentCollege Advisors,LLC

Does class size matter?

Absolutely. Originally the idea was to have an interactive learning process through question and answer–“the socratic method”. Unfortunately in many of the current university environments this could not possibly happen. In fact if your class is NOT small enough for discussion or questions then HOW are you learning from the other presumably bright students in your class? Our modern institutions “slant” the teacher:student ratio numbers various ways, so sometimes it is difficult to compare apples to apples when comparing schools. Obviously not all classes lend themselves to discussion/debate, eg: certain lab sciences and math or engineering lower level courses. Ideally, ALL classes should make an effort to encourage questions and some type of interaction. SMALL IS GOOD.

Eric SchenfieldSchool CounseleorNew Britain High School

Does class size matter?

Class size is important for many students to get the most out of a course. The fewer the students the more interaction there can be between a student and professor. Students will feel more involve and be part of the class if the class size is small. Professors are a usually more available for one to one help and feedback in smaller classes. Students might feel lost in a large class and might not get involved in discussions or not even show to class at all because the professor will not notice if they are attending the class or not.

Tony TsoHeadmasterTerasmanna Oikademy

Does class size matter?

Yes and no. Conventional wisdom say small is better, (and hand-made is better than manufactured which is of course depending on whether its jewelry or dishwasher). Most colleges will give you a range of class sizes, depending on the type of class and discipline, say 16 to 40, or 50 to 300. Foreign language classes necessarily have to be small (but even 16 is too big if you need help with pronunciation). Calculus or Sociology 101 don’t really matter. That’s just average and statistics. Does small class size mean better instruction? Only if the professor is any good. Keep in mind that for some small colleges with below capacity enrollment, small class size is an unfortunate reality not an educational goal of the administration. But the fact remains that large class sizes for general requirements is typical of large universities which is more of an assembly-line or cafeteria approach to education.

Cheryl Millington

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size matters. Obviously, the size of the class will affect your experience in that class. However, large classes don`t automatically mean poor experience. Likewise, a small class doesn`t guarantee a positive experience. An excellent professor teaching a large class can still make the class lively and fun. Most schools also offer tutorials to help ensure that you are given an opportunity to ask questions in a smaller setting. What is most important is your comfort level. What works best for you? Do ask about class sizes to school representatives. But remember that it’s usually an average; some classes will be smaller and some will be larger. Also ask current students and alumni if class sizes affected their learning. Note that while first year classes may be large, upper year courses tend to be smaller. Furthermore, class sizes with differ depending on your program so it’s important to get information specific to your intended major.

Cheryl Millington

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size matters. Obviously, the size of the class will affect your experience in that class. However, large classes don`t automatically mean poor experience. Likewise, a small class doesn`t guarantee a positive experience. An excellent professor teaching a large class can still make the class lively and fun. Most schools also offer tutorials to help ensure that you are given an opportunity to ask questions in a smaller setting. What is most important is your comfort level. What works best for you? Do ask about class sizes to school representatives. But remember that it’s usually an average; some classes will be smaller and some will be larger. Also ask current students and alumni if class sizes affected their learning. Note that while first year classes may be large, upper year courses tend to be smaller. Furthermore, class sizes with differ depending on your program so it’s important to get information specific to your intended major.

Cheryl Millington

Does class size matter?

Yes, class size matters. Obviously, the size of the class will affect your experience in that class. However, large classes don`t automatically mean poor experience. Likewise, a small class doesn`t guarantee a positive experience. An excellent professor teaching a large class can still make the class lively and fun. Most schools also offer tutorials to help ensure that you are given an opportunity to ask questions in a smaller setting. What is most important is your comfort level. What works best for you? Do ask about class sizes to school representatives. But remember that it’s usually an average; some classes will be smaller and some will be larger. Also ask current students and alumni if class sizes affected their learning. Note that while first year classes may be large, upper year courses tend to be smaller. Furthermore, class sizes with differ depending on your program so it’s important to get information specific to your intended major.

Donovan BlakeLead ConsultantGriffin Blake Educational Consulting

Does class size matter?

Class size definitely matters. In finding the right college fit, the student must know their learning style. If you were successful at a private high school with a small student to teacher ratio, then you should look for that same senario in your college classes. If you struggled at a public high school with a large student to teacher ratio, then you may not need to take those classes that are in the lecture hall (these are usually the Intro classes). If you were successful in high school due to your accommodations (504/IEP), then you need to discuss your need for instructional support with the Disability Support Services office at the college.

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

Smaller means increased odds to get to know professors

In general, smaller classes mean more likelihood that you will get to know your professors better. It isn’t a guarantee that you will get to know your professors more. Getting to know your professors has more to do with your personality type than how many students are in your class. Certainly a class of 20 students helps your chances greatly. If a professor is conducting research and asks for volunteers, your chances to participate are strong. If the professors is writing an article, you have a great chance to get involved with that as well. Getting involved with your professors is still an individual choice you have to make. Many large universities make their large classes feel smaller by offering labs or discussion groups (many times with teacher assistants) in addition to the large lecture hall. When I attended school, often times I felt like the teaching assistants were much more in touch with the students (and with current research) than some of my professors. I enjoyed getting to know Ph.D. students.

Eric Beers, Ph.D.College and Career CounselorAir Academy High School

Smaller means increased odds to get to know professors

In general, smaller classes mean more likelihood that you will get to know your professors better. It isn’t a guarantee that you will get to know your professors more. Getting to know your professors has more to do with your personality type than how many students are in your class. Certainly a class of 20 students helps your chances greatly. If a professor is conducting research and asks for volunteers, your chances to participate are strong. If the professors is writing an article, you have a great chance to get involved with that as well. Getting involved with your professors is still an individual choice you have to make. Many large universities make their large classes feel smaller by offering labs or discussion groups (many times with teacher assistants) in addition to the large lecture hall. When I attended school, often times I felt like the teaching assistants were much more in touch with the students (and with current research) than some of my professors. I enjoyed getting to know Ph.D. students.

Nina ScullerDirectorCollege Prep

Class size

Class size might matter – it depends on the type of student you are. If you want to interact in class, voice your opinion, or have distractability issues, a smaller class size is important. For those who can concentrate and are not easily distracted, it hardly matters. When a student’s classes are more focused on his/her major, class sizes will decrease dramatically in either case. When I went to college, I caught pneumonia in my first semester. My class size was small, so when I called my professors to tell them of my condition, they knew what type of student I was. Many of them waived my final exam and gave me the grade I earned prior to my illness. Had I been in a class of 40 to 500, I might not have been so lucky.

Geoff BroomeAssistant Director of AdmissionsWidener University

The learner

It depends on the learner. How do you learn best? Do you think that you can handle a large class size, or do you need to be more focused in a smaller setting? Only you can answer that question.

Vicky MoIndependent College CounselorUniversity of California, Riverside

Depends what class

Generally speaking, lectures usually have 200+ people while discussions are around 20-30. When the course requires close interaction between teachers and students (such as English), I prefer having a small class. If it is a lecture on business or psychology, it doesn’t really matter how big the class is. Most of the time even when the lecture’s class size is huge, the discussion remains small so it balances out.

Scott MaciagGuidance counselorNew Providence High School

Yes

Class size can make a big difference depending on your strengths, learning style, and personality. If you are the person who likes to stay in the background you will not like small classes. If you are the type of person who feels more comfortable In a smaller settings and will learn better in that type of environment class size will matter. If you are the type of person who needs to really digest information and has to verbalized to ensure understanding a smaller class will be better for you. Smaller classes are a better learning environment but you have to look at all the other factors of a good college fit to see what is best for you.

Francine SchwartzFounder/ PresidentPathfinder Counseling LLC

Class size matters

Different types of students thrive in different types of college atmospheres. Some students are more comfortable at a smaller college that may have only undergraduates, where classes are all taught by professors and there are few if any lecture style classrooms. There is more chance for interaction with the professor and more personalized attention. On the other hand some students enjoy the opportunities that a large university offers with many classes to choose from and are not phased by having 300 or more students in their introductory chemistry class. Keep in mind that with large lecture style classes there is almost always a smaller recitation section once a week taught by a graduate student in that field. This is to answer questions and have smaller discussion groups. Many science and other classes have a lab attached to them and that is also smaller. So big or small its up to you! Be sure to visit each college you are considering if possible and try to arrange to sit in on a classroom. That will give you a realistic picture of what it would feel like to be a student there. Francine Schwartz, M.A., LPC, NCC Founder and President Pathfinder Counseling LLC

Mary Mariani

Class Size

Class size matters depending on what type of student/learner you are. If you are the type of student that enjoys being engaged with the instructor and the other students on a more intimate basis, class size is very important. If knowing and having contact with the instructor is a vital part of your educational experience, class size is important. But if you are a very independent learner and only want a minimum of guidance, class size is not as important. Sometimes students will find that going to a large university with large classes is acceptable because they will be exposed to some of the big “names” and want the prestige of the large university. But I also feel that many if not most students will perform better when they are in a situation where they feel that they have a personal connection with both the instructors and the other students in the classroom. We all need some personal care and should be able to find that connection at even a larger institution. So much of a student’s success in the academic world is matching up that student’s academic and personal needs with the right institution.

Deborah HellerDirector of College CounselingBeacon School

Class Size

Does class size matter? I think that depends on the student. Some students would rather be in a smaller class with 20 or less students so that they can be really involved in discussion and get to know both their classmates as well as their professors really well. However other students would feel uncomfortable if they were singled out or expected to contribute to class discussions all the time. Those students might prefer a larger lecture where they can blend in to the background and learn just by listening.

Jolei HigginsGuidance CounselorWalker High School

Class Size Matters

Absolutely class size matters. This is one area that I talk in great detail about with my students. I have had many students go off to large 20,000+ colleges and universities only to return one semester later because they could not make the kind of connection with the professor in a biology class of 350 that they needed to have open communication with the professor. You have to know yourself and what your needs are. Did you come from a small town or small high school where your relationships with teachers had a great impact on your performance? If so, then you should look into the size of freshman year classes at the school to which you are applying. A biology class of 40 or 50 allows much more interaction, class discussion, and one on one time after class for questions of your professor. Be aware…looking at the student to teacher ratio on school websites will not always give you an accurate picture of the freshman year experience.

Jeana RobbinsCounselor

Does class size matter?

It depends on you, and your needs or desires. Many students appreciate a smaller class size. It certainly promotes a closer working relationship between the professor and students.

Suzanne ShafferOwnerParents Countdown to College Coach

Yes and no…

Small class sizes mean more attention from the professor and more connection with your fellow classmates. If you’re the type of learner that requires a more intimate setting and interaction, class size will matter to you. If you’re the type of learner that is self-motivated and can study on your own, the size of the class will most likely have little affect on your grade or your learning outcomes.

Lora LewisEducational ConsultantLora Lewis Consulting

Class Size Can Support Your Learning Style

The question is, Does class size matter to you? You’ve had a lot of experience as a student in the past twelve years. If you take the time to reflect on your academic career, you should be able to identify how, when and where you learn best. Are you a person who loves to interact with the teacher and your classmates? Do you thrive on discussion and collaboration? Do you prefer to sit near the back and take notes quietly, only speaking when you have a question or are called upon? What does your ideal learning environment look like? If it’s intimate and allows for frequent discussion and interaction as well as close relationships with professors, then small class sizes might be an important feature of the colleges you consider. Does the idea of sitting around a table discussing literary theory with ten students and a professor make you sweat? If you’re more comfortable working independently (and even anonymously) and don’t feel the need to form connections with professors and classmates, then large or lecture hall-style classes might work just fine for you. Whether your classes are big or small, what matters is that they enable you to learn and achieve to your potential. Only you can know what works for your personality and learning style.

Southwest University

Small Class Size

Absolutely! The average class size at SMSU is 22 so you really get to know your professors. Most professors know their students on a first name basis and take and interest in the personal life outside of the classroom. Knowing that your professors are invested in your success leads to an interactive education and an outstanding job placement rating.

Woodrow DunnAcademic CounselorFreedom High School

Title your answer…Class Size

Class size can be extremely important! Are you from a large or small school? Are you used to visiting your instructors when the need arises. Will it bother you to be surrounded by 200 other students and have the professor using a microphone? Is the closeness of a small class size important to you?

Lynda McGeeCollege CounselorDowntown Magnets High School

Size always matters!

Class size is an important issue to consider when choosing a school, but what is the right size for you depends on your classroom personality. Do you like your professor to acknowledge you personally? Do you feel the need to raise your hand during class and ask questions? Do you enjoy small group discussions? If this is what you like, you need to find a school with average class sizes of 25 or less. This will allow you to be an active participant in the classroom. If you prefer to sit in the back and take notes; seeking out a teacher for a private conversation if you have questions, then a small class size is less important to you. What matters is how you learn best, and only you can answer that question.

Kat Kadian-BaumeyerVocational Guidance Counselor

Size Matters … Dempening on your learning style

If you are a visual o rkinesthetic learner, size may matter greatly to tou. You may need to be in smaller, hands-on classrooms where you are free to ask plenty of questions. Some students are overwhelmed by the size of a Lecture Hall. It can be impersonal and distracting to those who need one-on-one attention. So, late a survey online to determine your best learning style. From the results, only you can judge whether the smaller classroom is best for you.

Leigh MooreCollege CounselorCollege Admissions Planning, LLC

Does class size matter?

Not in my experience. For one thing, the importance of class ranking has been on a steady decline for a number of years (per misc NACAC State of College Admissions survey reports). In highly selective environments, the key question seems to be, “Has the student taken advantage of the opportunities available to him or her?” The college uses the high school profile (a document submitted along with the transcript) to make that judgment call.

Mollie ReznickAssociate DirectorThe College Connection

What is your learning style?

Class size can matter a whole lot depending on how you envision your education and how you learn best. Do you want to be sitting around a table with a small group of other students actively discussing the assigned reading, or would you prefer to be in a large auditorium listening to a professor lecture? Do you need individual attention from professors to thrive or do you prefer to remain anonymous? If you are an active learner who needs to be engaged in discussion to learn best, you might want to find a school that boasts small classes; on the other hand, if you prefer a traditional lecture environment, you might be happier at a larger school.

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