Applying to a large university is often preferred by most high school seniors just because their peers are doing so. However, keep in mind that it is not the only option you have. It is important for you to consider other college options without relying too much on your group of friends. Small residential colleges are often overlooked. Also, small doesn’t mean less. Also, larger colleges or universities are not always better than the smaller ones.
Benefits of choosing small college
Choosing small colleges has its own benefits you can consider. Here are several of them:
Choosing one of the top-ranked colleges with high Estimated Family Contribution will not save any money. Hundreds of small colleges with lower ranking can be more beneficial for you financially because they often offer scholarships or discounted tuition without regard to income. You can identify good options by using a college financial advising service.
Admission criteria is more flexible
Many small colleges don’t really pay attention to high score. They often welcome C students. Few of them even have open admission with no regard to students’ GPA. Students with an ACT score of 19 or lower fill a quarter of freshman admission of small colleges. Also, there is no app fee at 39 percent of small colleges. Not to mention that 33 percent of them are both test-optional. Many small colleges are even open to appeals.
Flexible structures to choose from
Different from large universities, some small colleges have a non-traditional school year calendar. You might be interested to choose on of the structures provided for students. For example, some small colleges are located in rural locations, while others are suburban or urban. Some have active Greek life while others are single-sex. The point is, there is always something for everyone. You can choose what you prefer.
More opportunities to come
Small colleges usually provide more research opportunities and independent study options for their students. Not to mention that much of research opportunity is actually publishable. It is also possible for you to double major and still graduate in four years since most small colleges provide you the opportunity to do so.
More attention and guidance available
Smaller colleges mean smaller classes. It means that professors can identify students more easily, providing needed attention or guidance. You can also go to counselor for personal problems. If you need to be academically ‘pushed’, it is highly likely that your professor will be available for you. You can get career, academic, and personal advice from professors.
Graduate ready for employment or graduate school
Faculty at small college often encourage internships, study abroad, publish research, and presentation at state or national meetings. Being involved in several outside activities, you develop leadership skills. Gradually, you build better resume, gain excellent letters of recommendations, and get high placement rate. It is also easier for you to go to graduate schools since you build close relationships with your advisors and professors to help you find the right graduate program and school.