Big medium, or small …Choosing a university is not as simple as it might appear at first. While it might seem great to attend a large nationally known university, that might not be the right fit for every student. At the same time, the small- homely feel of a smaller campus might be claustrophobic for a student who wants a big-university education. Students should consider what size of university they want, as they choose their university.
Bigger Is Better…But wait!
These schools make the top rankings. We’ll define them as schools with more than 35,000 (a number I picked, by looking at the size of some Big10 schools, and going down a bit). Schools in the Big10 and Eastern Conferences, schools renowned for their football teams, are schools that would qualify.
Big schools offer a larger variety of stuff. There’s not a much better way to describe it, they offer more stuff. This stuff ranges from majors, classes, degrees, people in classes, classrooms, residence halls, activities on and off campus, opportunity. Bigger schools tend to have more money, which means they might have access to more scholarships and opportunities for international students. They will tend to have better sports programs, because these programs will have access to more funding.
So it’s simple, bigger is simply better…but not really. Bigger schools have their downfalls, too. Many students veer away from bigger schools, fearing they will be lost in the mass of student. Classes tend to be larger, which does not allow for personal one on one time with professors. While students may have a professor for every class, they are often dependent upon teaching assistants for individual help.
Medium is Mediocre…Maybe Not
These are schools like my alma-mater (where I went to school). They have under 30,000, but more than 10,000 students.
While they might be medium in size, their academics often can be as good as those of the larger schools. They will have similar on-campus programs and housing options to that of the big schools, scaled down only slightly. Classes tend to be a bit smaller, and interaction with professors is a bit easier. More classes might be taught directly by teaching assistants, but these classes are the introductory classes. Academics are often comparable to that of the larger more prestigious, just unknown because they’re size. They are often a little cheaper than big name schools, but offer similar opportunities. I admit, I am partial to middle sized schools.
I went to a medium sized school, and must admit I don’t understand what would drive people away from them. Again, the size can be intimidating to many students. These schools are often said to have the appeal of a big school and the feel of a small school. For students who want to live on a big school campus, the small school feel can be claustrophobic.
Small Stinks…Says who?
Small schools, those with less than 10,00 students by my definition, have their own perks and disadvantages. These are often schools which are less well known. They are often private schools or sometimes community colleges. They offer even more individualized opportunities, and a close knit community. Often, they don’t have quite the same opportunities that a larger or even medium sized school might have. Class selection is much more limited, but most classes (even the entry level) tend to be taught by professors.
Elissa Yonkers is a recent graduate from Bowling Green State University, with a Bachelors of Science of Journalism with a focus on Public Relations, and a very strong minor in German. With several internship experiences under her belt, she is looking to widen her experience and knowledge with a job in corporate communications, public affairs, or work in a public relations agency. Connect with her here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/elissay