Big colleges or small universities?

When you're filling out a college application, selecting whether to attend a large college or a smaller university can be a big decision. Although you should focus on applying to degree programs that you find interesting, you might want to think about the kind of school you want to go to.

Larger universities have bigger student populations. They have larger campuses, and may offer specialized facilities like science and computer labs, extensive art studios or expanded athletic facilities. If the school has dormitories on-site, they may be a little bigger than some smaller schools. Larger colleges may offer a wider range of degree programs to choose from, or specialized subsets of established majors.

Smaller schools, on the other hand, have fewer students. They typically offer a smaller range of courses, and have less buildings on their campuses. They may offer a solid range of degree programs, but fewer than some larger schools. The facilities may be very good, but space could be limited, and you may find yourself waiting to use science labs or art studios.

One benefit of larger schools is their increased range of degree programs. As they have larger campuses, many bigger colleges can offer a range of specialty courses of study that smaller schools cannot. The facilities may be bigger or better, offering you easier access to materials and work spaces that you may not have had otherwise. There may be a greater choice of after-school clubs and activities, and dorm rooms could be bigger. Although this isn't always the case, degrees at bigger colleges are usually cheaper.

However, class sizes will be larger, meaning there will be less individualized time with your professors and lecturers. It can be harder to feel like part of a community at a larger school, and the size of the student population can be intimidating.

An advantage of smaller schools is the reduced class sizes. You could get more time with your professors, and smaller classes could make it easier to make friends. Smaller schools tend to foster a stronger sense of community, and this might help you feel more at home during your time in college.
Ultimately, you should choose a degree program that interests you. Arrange to visit the campuses of smaller and larger schools that offer the program you want to take. See how the campus feels, and what the student population is like. 


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