Big vs. Small colleges For the prospective student, size can be a major factor in choosing the precise college. The size of a college not only suggests a greater student population, it can also affect the learning style and environment of the college. In picking a college, one must consider the kind of environment each college size offers, and if that type of setting is right for him or her. Your own personality and academic goals play a crucial role in choosing a college.
Small and big colleges are diverse in that each has its own benefits and drawbacks with their expenses, facilities, and campus life. Smaller universities, such as community colleges for the most part are cost effective for the financially struggling college students; on the other hand, small private universities are much more expensive. Financial aid usually covers the majority of expenses at the community college level, leaving the student more time to focus on their studies and less time worrying about tuition.
However in most cases these campuses may not offer on-campus housing. Paying rent, food and car expenses may be more costly than paying for room and board at a large college level, leaving the student to fend for themselves or forcing them to choose a college close to home. Smaller colleges offer fewer courses and academic programs, whereas large universities have multiple degree programs. Community colleges offer two-year associates degree programs, but not much beyond that. Smaller colleges have fewer and smaller libraries, professors, school staff, and class sizes.
Bigger college campuses have larger classes, which many times employ famous professors who have written books, or become celebrated in academic circles, unfortunately they lecture to hundreds of students at a time, so the one-on-one relationship with the student and professor does not develop like they do at smaller campuses. Smaller classes are designed for more student- teacher interaction, which benefits the student, thus creating more opportunity for the student to expand their knowledge.
Another plus for attending a small college is the advisors know the students very well. It is almost impossible to make an appointment for your advisor at a major university. They see a hundreds of students a day and it would be impossible to remember all of their students, much less who may be in one of their classes. Also, there is a greater sense of community at a smaller school. The student is not just a number on an ID card; here the student is a person with a face and a name. The larger the campus is, the more student culture there is.
More parties, more university events, and more athletic choices are available. Small schools may not have the funding available for extracurricular activities for students, leaving a large part of the college experience missed for these students. One of the major advantages of going to a large university is their athletic programs. If you are a sports fan, or an athlete, then attending larger school might factor into your decision. Televised games, pep rallies, homecoming parades, and rivalries are all part of the student culture at large university.
Both college programs have their own benefits and drawbacks, each ensuring a unique college experience to the student. The major factors the student must take into consideration are their expenses, the college facilities, and campus life when selecting a college. The student ultimately must weigh their goals while making this decision. In the end the student really cannot make an incorrect decision regardless of which college he or she chooses as long as they are choosing to further their education to further their life goals.