What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

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What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

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

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

You should ALWAYS choose the curriculum first, size and location come later.

Tira HarpazFounderCollegeBound Advice

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

I would look at the following factors when deciding between a small and large school: 1. Do you like the idea of personal attention from your professors or are you more comfortable being anonymous? 2. Does the small school have all the programs you might be interested in and are there any barriers to participating in a program? For example, many small schools have 3-2 engineering programs which mean that you would finish your degree at a different school. 3. Does the small school have all the extracurricular activities you might be interested in? 4. Does the large school have a smaller program, such as an honors college, that will enable you to have a more personal college experience. I would be very careful, however, in basing your decision on the fact that you don’t want to go to a school that is smaller than your high school. At your high school, you knew many people in your grade before you got there and moreover, you knew kids in the classes below and ahead of you. At college, you will know very few people when you arrive and each year a completely new group of students will matriculate. It will not feel the same as high school.

Kris HintzFounderPosition U 4 College LLC

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

Usually size is related to whether the school is public or private, and the choice of public or private is driven by affordability. If your family’s financial situation requires that you attend a public university, you may still be able to find a small campus environment. For example, the SUNY system (State University of New York) is comprised of small to medium-sized campuses throughout the state, as opposed the typical model of a huge flagship campus with a few less selective satellites. Generally, small schools offer a better learning environment for students, because they facilitate more intimate classroom settings and more personal connection with faculty. Many high school students believe they want a large school because of spectator sports, but that does not mean they will thrive in such an environment—many freshmen feel lost in large, anonymous lecture-hall classes and consequently flounder and fail. In fact, many small and medium sized schools offer great spectator sports, “school spirit,” and all the benefits of a large school. If affordable, I would encourage a student to consider a small to medium size school to gain the most transformative college experience.

John Happs

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

Class size, help from professors instead of graduate assistants, distance from one class to the next, how many students will you know, and learning styles. It’s the comparison of living in New York City or Gunnison, Colorado.

Ashley BartonSchool Counselor, NCCBig Picture Magnet High School

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

There are many things to consider when choosing between a small and a large school. At a larger school students will most likely be taking larger lecture style classes ( at least for the first year or so until the student gets more deep into their specific major)…you may be in a class over 100 or more students and may not get that individual attention you need, unless you specifically seek it out. In a larger school you may have to be a bigger advocate for yourself and seek out the professor during their designated office hours. In a smaller school, your classes will be smaller and your professor will most likely know you by name. It may be easier to get more individualized attention, and form a better and closer relationship with your professor. A bigger school may offer more options for activities outside of the classroom like sports and other extracurricular activities, whereas at a small school you may be more limited. In the end you have to think of your preference and what you feel most comfortable with. In either school, you can be successfull as long as you have your goals set and know what it will entail to meet those goals.

Rebecca JosephExecutive Director & Foundergetmetocollege.org

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

You can make a large school smaller but you can’t make a small school bigger. This rule is fairly true. At a large school, you can take advantage of a myriad of resources and have all kinds of academic options. You can join activities and social organizations to help make the university smaller. You can also run the risk of having graduate students teach some classes and may not be able to live on campus all four years. Small colleges are perfect for someone who wants a truly personalized education. You can get access to professors and intense programming. You most likely can live in the dorms as long as you want. You will know pretty much everyone on campus and have an amazing time. So make a list of what you want and see what each campus has to offer.

. .

Be Honest With Yourself

In my 7+ years of working in higher education (in addition to my own experience during the college search process), I’ve noticed a trend in which students get this romanticized impression of a particular school (and who knows what causes it–sports teams, friends, family, news, etc.) but the school actually isn’t a good fit for them. For instance, say you have a high schooler is a die-hard college football fan and wants nothing more than to go to State U. for college because of their great football team. The thing is, State U. is a massive institution, and despite the fact that they have a vibrant campus culture around their football program, the school isn’t a really good fit for the student because he/she does better in a smaller and more intimate environment. Unfortunately, there are times when students aren’t honest with themselves when choosing schools and this often comes back to bite them and they eventually transfer. In short, be honest with yourself when choosing a school. If you know a huge college campus will be too overwhelming for you, don’t fool yourself in attending State U. just because of their football team. Sincerely, Mike Chapman, Owner Chapman College Admission Consulting www.chapmancac.com

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

you should know your learning skills and style in order to pick the right school. in what learning enviornment you will have better chance to succeed?

Wendy KahnPrincipalWendy Kahn College Consulting, LLC

Think about your personal learning style

Small colleges often provide greater opportunities for interacting with professors and class discussion, while larger colleges frequently offer a greater variety of courses and programs and more opportunities for undergrads to get involved in faculty research projects. If you want opportunities for class discussion and smaller seminar-style classes right from the start, a smaller school may be right for you. On the other hand, if you want the greatest possible range and variety in course offerings, or if you prefer soaking up knowledge in lecture classes where the professor does most of the talking, a larger school may be for you.

Patty Finer

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

Who they are! What are they looking for.

Deborah SlocumSchool CounselorCollege Counseling from a Caring Perspective

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

When choosing between a large and small school, students should consider their personal and academic preferences. Students may find it helpful to consider the following: 1) Is it important to you to get to know your teachers or do you prefer attending class without having to engage with the teacher? Most introductory courses are taught in a lecture style but in a smaller college, students more quickly progress into smaller classes involving more interaction with the professor. Alternatively, some students prefer to be in a larger classroom setting where they are less likely be called upon. 2) Are you successful on longer, multiple choice tests? One of the realities of larger universities is that most of the grading in the freshman and sophomore years will be on large tests. At smaller colleges, professors have less grading to do and tend to assign more papers and smaller projects. 3) Is it important to you that a college/university have big sports? Some students thrive on attending large stadium football games found at larger colleges while other students don’t miss them if they are at a smaller college. 4) Do you want to be able to do undergraduate research? While it can differ from college to college, it is typically easier to find undergraduate opportunities for research at smaller colleges. The larger universities typically have graduate students who fill the research slots. 5) Are you a very social person who wants to be able to meet lots of different types of people? Inevitably, a smaller college offers a more intimate social scene. Some outgoing, very social students may enjoy the wider social opportunities available at a larger college. 6) Are you good self-advocate? While college in general requires students to be good self-advocates, larger univerisities have larger bureaucracies. In order to get advisement and the classes they need to fulfill their majors, students at larger universities often need to more persistent to get their academic needs met. 7) Does the college the range of majors you may consider? Larger universities typically have a broader range of majors and minors available to students. Within a university, students will be typically enrolled in a certain division or college. Students should check to make sure that they will be able to cross-register at other colleges within the university if access to those classes is important. Its always about the right fit and each college has its own personality but you may want to consider the above in the debate of large v. small schools.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

There can be a huge range between the number of students in a small school and the number in a large school – from less than a thousand to several tens of thousands. The academic resources available, consequently, will typically be much more extensive in larger schools than in smaller institutions. Many smaller (and larger) schools are successfully pooling their resources by forming consortia with other institutions, thus increasing the academic resources offered to their combined student bodies. The student is enrolled in one school, but has the opportunity to use the facilities at the other member schools of the consortium, usually with certain limitations. This is a very interesting option, which a student would do well to consider. A number of small schools do have healthy endowments, however, and are able to independently provide impressive academic facilities to their students. Carefully look into the resources available at the schools you are researching. In looking at both large and small schools, take notice of the average class sizes. Some introductory courses in both environments may be taught to large classes, but this should not be the rule. Consider too that what is called a “large class” in a small school may be much smaller than a “large class” in a large institution. There is no question that you can potentially access a better education in a small-class environment in which you can participate, ask questions, and become involved. Some larger institutions are meeting that need by having initial lessons presented in a lecture hall environment followed by small-group sessions which are more interactive. Large schools often employ teaching assistants to facilitate classes. These TAs are usually graduate students and may, in fact, do a fine job, but you might want to check to see whether many classes are taught by teaching assistants at the schools you are researching. Because many smaller schools don’t have graduate programs, classes will usually be taught by professors. Smaller schools without graduate degree programs may also be able to offer more opportunities for undergraduate students to become involved with professors in doing research. School spirit can exist in both large and small schools, but students who are interested in the “big game/big crowd” experience will usually find it in a larger school. If that sports aspect is important to you, you will want to find out which sports are big at the schools at which you’re looking. It’s not always football! Another aspect to consider is the social environment which will exist in small schools in comparison to large schools. I am firmly convinced, from personal experience with my own son, of the importance of a student finding his/her “niche” in a college/university. It might seem that it would be easier for a student to find that niche in a small school, but that is not necessarily the case. What matters is for a student to become involved in activities in which he/she is interested no matter the size of the school. It is in the context of these shared activities that students will find their niches and will develop circles of friends/acquaintances with similar interests. Just because a school is very large does not mean that a student has to become lost in the crowd, and just because a school is small does not mean that a student will automatically find his/her place. To reiterate, whether the school is small or large, it’s very important for a student to find that niche! Students who are happy in their environments will perform much more successfully academically.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

There can be a huge range between the number of students in a small school and the number in a large school – from less than a thousand to several tens of thousands. The academic resources available, consequently, will typically be much more extensive in larger schools than in smaller institutions. Many smaller (and larger) schools are successfully pooling their resources by forming consortia with other institutions, thus increasing the academic resources offered to their combined student bodies. The student is enrolled in one school, but has the opportunity to use the facilities at the other member schools of the consortium, usually with certain limitations. This is a very interesting option, which a student would do well to consider. A number of small schools do have healthy endowments, however, and are able to independently provide impressive academic facilities to their students. Carefully look into the resources available at the schools you are researching. In looking at both large and small schools, take notice of the average class sizes. Some introductory courses in both environments may be taught to large classes, but this should not be the rule. Consider too that what is called a “large class” in a small school may be much smaller than a “large class” in a large institution. There is no question that you can potentially access a better education in a small-class environment in which you can participate, ask questions, and become involved. Some larger institutions are meeting that need by having initial lessons presented in a lecture hall environment followed by small-group sessions which are more interactive. Large schools often employ teaching assistants to facilitate classes. These TAs are usually graduate students and may, in fact, do a fine job, but you might want to check to see whether many classes are taught by teaching assistants at the schools you are researching. Because many smaller schools don’t have graduate programs, classes will usually be taught by professors. Smaller schools without graduate degree programs may also be able to offer more opportunities for undergraduate students to become involved with professors in doing research. School spirit can exist in both large and small schools, but students who are interested in the “big game/big crowd” experience will usually find it in a larger school. If that sports aspect is important to you, you will want to find out which sports are big at the schools at which you’re looking. It’s not always football! Another aspect to consider is the social environment which will exist in small schools in comparison to large schools. I am firmly convinced, from personal experience with my own son, of the importance of a student finding his/her “niche” in a college/university. It might seem that it would be easier for a student to find that niche in a small school, but that is not necessarily the case. What matters is for a student to become involved in activities in which he/she is interested no matter the size of the school. It is in the context of these shared activities that students will find their niches and will develop circles of friends/acquaintances with similar interests. Just because a school is very large does not mean that a student has to become lost in the crowd, and just because a school is small does not mean that a student will automatically find his/her place. To reiterate, whether the school is small or large, it’s very important for a student to find that niche! Students who are happy in their environments will perform much more successfully academically.

Karen Ekman-BaurDirector of College CounselingLeysin American School

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

There can be a huge range between the number of students in a small school and the number in a large school – from less than a thousand to several tens of thousands. The academic resources available, consequently, will typically be much more extensive in larger schools than in smaller institutions. Many smaller (and larger) schools are successfully pooling their resources by forming consortia with other institutions, thus increasing the academic resources offered to their combined student bodies. The student is enrolled in one school, but has the opportunity to use the facilities at the other member schools of the consortium, usually with certain limitations. This is a very interesting option, which a student would do well to consider. A number of small schools do have healthy endowments, however, and are able to independently provide impressive academic facilities to their students. Carefully look into the resources available at the schools you are researching. In looking at both large and small schools, take notice of the average class sizes. Some introductory courses in both environments may be taught to large classes, but this should not be the rule. Consider too that what is called a “large class” in a small school may be much smaller than a “large class” in a large institution. There is no question that you can potentially access a better education in a small-class environment in which you can participate, ask questions, and become involved. Some larger institutions are meeting that need by having initial lessons presented in a lecture hall environment followed by small-group sessions which are more interactive. Large schools often employ teaching assistants to facilitate classes. These TAs are usually graduate students and may, in fact, do a fine job, but you might want to check to see whether many classes are taught by teaching assistants at the schools you are researching. Because many smaller schools don’t have graduate programs, classes will usually be taught by professors. Smaller schools without graduate degree programs may also be able to offer more opportunities for undergraduate students to become involved with professors in doing research. School spirit can exist in both large and small schools, but students who are interested in the “big game/big crowd” experience will usually find it in a larger school. If that sports aspect is important to you, you will want to find out which sports are big at the schools at which you’re looking. It’s not always football! Another aspect to consider is the social environment which will exist in small schools in comparison to large schools. I am firmly convinced, from personal experience with my own son, of the importance of a student finding his/her “niche” in a college/university. It might seem that it would be easier for a student to find that niche in a small school, but that is not necessarily so. What matters is for a student to become involved in activities in which he/she is interested no matter the size of the school. It is in the context of these shared activities that students will find their niches and will develop circles of friends/acquaintances with similar interests. Just because a school is very large does not mean that a student has to become lost in the crowd, and just because a school is small does not mean that a student will automatically find his/her place. To reiterate, whether the school is small or large, it’s very important for a student to find that niche! Students who are happy in their environments will perform much more successfully academically.

Cheryl Millington

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

Are you ‘the bigger the better’ or ‘good things come in small packages’ person? Should you choose a small school or a big university? Here are some factors to consider, but note it’s not always black and white, there will always be exceptions: Larger class sizes at bigger schools Less of a selection of course and program offerings at small schools More diversity and international students at large schools Student quality may be lower at small schools Faculty at large schools may be more research focused Less well-known faculty at small schools More student-focused at small schools Less variety of support services at small schools Less extra-curricular activities, clubs, student groups, etc. at small schools More distractions at large schools Smaller alumni network at small schools The bottom line is that there are excellent large schools and excellent small colleges.There are many choices for you to consider, but first start with what might be best for you!

Kristina DooleyIndependent Educational ConsultantEstrela Consulting

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

When choosing between a small and large school you should consider things from two standpoints: academic & social. From an academic side you need to think about how you learn best and what type of classroom setting you’d prefer. Do you like to participate in class discussion or do you prefer to be an observer? Do you want to have accessible teachers or are you okay with graduate students as guides? From a social side you need to decide if you’d like to be a big fish in a small pond or vice versa. Does it matter whether a school offers 300 clubs or 80 to choose from? The best way to find out what’s best for you is to visit, sit in on a class, and spend time interacting with current students.

Kristina DooleyIndependent Educational ConsultantEstrela Consulting

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

When choosing between a small and large school you should consider things from two standpoints: academic & social. From an academic side you need to think about how you learn best and what type of classroom setting you’d prefer. Do you like to participate in class discussion or do you prefer to be an observer? Do you want to have accessible teachers or are you okay with graduate students as guides? From a social side you need to decide if you’d like to be a big fish in a small pond or vice versa. Does it matter whether a school offers 300 clubs or 80 to choose from? The best way to find out what’s best for you is to visit, sit in on a class, and spend time interacting with current students.

Andrew BelascoCEOCollege Transitions LLC

What should students consider when choosing between a small and large school?

When deciding between a small and large school, it is important to consider your learning style, extracurricular interests and professional goals, among other things. Do you prefer an intimate classroom setting with ample opportunities to interact with faculty and your fellow classmates? If so, you should include at least a few small schools on your target college list. Alternatively, If you are determined to pursue a highly specialized major, such as biomedical engineering or entomology, then a large institution may be your only option. On average, large schools have more academic and extracurricular offerings, but demand that students possess a requisite level of direction and assertiveness to take full advantage of existing opportunities. In contrast, smaller schools tend to have fewer offerings but may provide greater access to the activities (e.g. undergraduate research, varsity sports, liberal arts instruction, etc.) that make for a meaningful undergraduate experience.

Suzan ReznickIndependent Educational ConsultantThe College Connection

What is your learning style?

Are you comfortable sitting in large rooms (with over 500 hundred students) listening to lectures and taking note? Or do you prefer more discussion-based classes, where the professor knows your name? In general, smaller schools offer smaller classes with more accessible faculty where you feel part of a community rather quickly. While you can gain a wonderful education at a larger university, you may have to work harder to find your place there. At a big school, there will be more majors, more clubs and of course more students; so you need to be more aggressive in navigating the system in order to receive the type of educational opportunities that you desire. Whereas smaller schools may prove to be more supportive and nurturing.

王文君 June ScortinoPresidentIVY Counselors Network

learning skills and opportunity to compete for graduate schools

students are different in learning skills. small school has benefits of teaching students in a small size classroom and large school may use teacher assitant. the interaction between students and faculties is also a very important fact to consider. large school may not offer too much time for questions and small discussions. seminar style classroom is the always the best no matter what type of students you are.

Wendy Andreen, PhD

Which school is the best ‘fit’?

No doubt you’ve heard this word used a lot but it’s true! It’s all about the right ‘fit’ and that can include academic fit, financial fit, geographical fit, cultural fit, and, of course, size. One of our children elected to attend a major state university of around 50,000 students. Our other child decided a smaller private college around 1,000 students with plenty of activities was a better fit. Talk about extremes! However, each school was the right fit for their personalities. Interestingly, academically they could have switched schools and each would have still received an excellent education but the environment made a difference to each. You definitely need to visit the campuses of the colleges where you are applying especially if they are radically different in size. Despite all your college research, you will get a ‘feel’ for the best campus for you. However, some criteria to consider when deciding on the best fit for size… 1. Are you comfortable with large classes or would you prefer smaller groups and the assurance that the instructor/professor will notice if you are absent from class? Also know that even on extremely large campuses, once you begin taking classes in your major, the class sizes are significantly smaller and your major professors will know you. 2. As a student on a smaller campus, opportunities may come your way a little faster because faculty and administration will know who you are more quickly. On a large campus you may need to be more of a self-advocate to be sure your strengths are recognized. 3. Large universities will have an abundance of majors, minors, and programs. Smaller colleges offer a variety of majors and minors but they may be ‘packaged’ differently. Also, smaller colleges often offer more opportunities to self-design a major. 4. Outside of class will you feel swallowed up by large numbers of students everywhere or does the thought of this energize you? Do you want the raucous tailgating experience of Division I football or are you just as happy to attend a Division III game that still has lots of excitement but on a smaller scale? Do your research but pay attention to your instincts, personality, strengths, and needs. Enjoy the journey! Consider the possibilities!

Nancy MilneOwnerMilne Collegiate Consulting

Large vs. Small school

While it is possible to make a big school feel small, a small school is always going to be, small. Maybe you come from a small high school and liked knowing everyone. Maybe you came from a large high school and didn’t like not knowing everyone! Once on campus at a large institution, you can join groups that will narrow your focus on a smaller population. An honors program, special interest dorm, student activity clubs are all ways to personalize your experience on campus.

Erin AveryCertified Educational PlannerAvery Educational Resources, LLC

Size is Often Ethereal

A rule of thumb is to ask yourself: would you like to know and be known by few, some or all of your classmates, few, some or all students in your year or few, some or all of the students in your entire college?  Another way to unpack what size means is: when you enter a dining hall, would you like to know no one, someone or everyone?

Ellen [email protected]OwnerEllen Richards Admissions Consulting

Small VS large school

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 you professors, or do you work efficiently when you’re independent and can blend into the background of large lectures? Larger universities often mean more variety in everything from courses to activities to people living arrangements. However, they also men 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 previously mentioned larger scholls. And many students find that smaller universities become breeding ground for the high school-esque conflicts and immaturity most of them are dying to escape. Think about the people 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 a good idea to make sure that they’re people you might want to spend time with.

Nicholas Umphrey

Small vs. Large Colleges

I personally experienced both. I attended a small college near home the first two years while I grew up a little and got used to the academic demands of college. After I felt like I had a handle on it, I transferred to a larger state university. Oddly enough, I felt like I got more attention from faculty at the larger school which I was very surprised by. In defining a small school, I am going to say it is a school less than 5000 students. Socially, this can be a lot of fun and often these schools are tight knit communities. They can also be cliquey like high school is cliquey. You know everybody within the first year. You want to find out if the students in this school stay there during the weekends. If it turns into a ghost town during weekends, it will not be fun. Some people enjoy and find comfort in that coming out of high school, but some want no part of it. Large schools have the advantage of a variety of different people from different places in the world. They also have the advantage of having many different academic major options. In smaller schools, if you want to change your major and your school doesn’t offer this major, then a lot of times students will transfer to a school that does. Finally, this is often a question of your own personal values and preferences. That is why it is important to visit schools your are interested in.

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

Size Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Whether a school is truly big or small is a personal determination. The numbers are what they are, but the perspective is an individual one. You can shrink a large school by focusing your energies on a smaller area–your major, a sorority, or a particular activity. In doing so you may fail to take advantage of the wider array of opportunties usually associated with large schools. Meanwhile, wide ranging involvement in things at a small school can make it seem bigger than the numbers say it is. In the end, you will define and create your experience–or at least the truly meaningful aspects of it–regardless of what is offered by the school.

Tam Warner MintonConsultantCollege Adventures

Big or small?

Know what it is that YOU want. A small college gives the benefit of closeness, to other students and to professors. A small college gives undergrads more opportunity for research. A small college has small class sizes suitable for discussion oriented learning. A large university has many, many majors, large class sizes (unless you are in Honors), and usually include sports events and spirit. Larger universities also have more “career oriented” learning, such as engineering or business. Choose the college size that fits you best.

Penny DeckOwnerChampion College Counseling

Size of school makes a big difference in your college experience

Schools of all sizes have their pros and cons and they offer very different learning environments as well as social and cultural experiences. Visiting campuses is crucial to find out which is right for you. As a rule, small colleges are going to offer smaller class sizes and more personal relationships with faculty. You will feel part of a smaller community and may have more opportunities to take on leadership roles and be more involved in research, etc. At a larger school, chances are you will be exposed to a bigger variety of sports programs, academic subjects and a larger variety of clubs and activities. Only you can decide which environment is better for you both academically and socially.

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