As you begin your search for that perfect college, one of the first key decisions you need to make (and one that will help narrow your list) is size of school.
Colleges range from small student bodies of under 5,000 to large universities with over 40,000 students enrolled. Finding the size that’s right for you depends on your personality, learning habits and academic goals. To determine the right size, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you looking for giant sporting events, a Greek life and lots of social opportunities or is that unimportant to you?
- Do you like getting lost in the crowd or do you prefer a smaller sense of community when it comes to making friends?
- When it comes to learning, would you be more comfortable in a large anonymous auditorium setting or small classes that promote lots of discussion?
- Are you a self-guided student or is interaction with faculty important to you?
- Are you comfortable weeding through red tape on your own to secure classes and financial aid or do you need a stronger support system to ensure you find your way?
To succeed at a big school, it's best to go in having a general idea of the area of study you're interested in pursuing. You also need to be a go-getter who is not afraid to speak up and take advantage of the opportunities a big school has to offer.
Small colleges are best for students who do well in more concise group environments and are stimulated by a high level of student-teacher interaction. Many small colleges emphasis the liberal arts and encourage the pursuit of creative, individual majors focusing in on specific areas of interest. While there are not as many social activities to choose from, friendships are easily made within a tight-knit community.