Big, Small, Or Online? How To Choose The Perfect College For You

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Going to college comes with a lot of decisions to make. Should you attend the school with the bustling campus, or do you need something more intimate and personal? Is it better to attend classes in person, or would it be better for your schedule to get your degree from your laptop? Be sure to choose the right college for you.

Check out this list of pros and cons for every type of university to see which option works best for you. 

Big Universities

PROS: Larger state universities tend to host a very diverse student body. You’re able to connect with students from all over the world over your shared area of study. With thousands of people to potentially meet, you’re never short on finding a new network to connect with.

Schools with lots of students also tend to have lots of funding. More access to financial resources means that prominent universities can pay for better facilities for their students. This elevates the learning experience and makes it worth your while to pay for tuition.

CONS: Being surrounded by so many students can make you feel lost in the crowd. Professors have hundreds of students to keep track of. If you’re not excelling above the rest of your class, chances are you won’t connect with the faculty. 

There’s also limited access to leadership positions that would look good on your resume. Large universities have to be more selective about who they let fill those positions because there are so many more applicants. Due to accessibility, this is the type of college most students choose.

Small Schools

PROS: Small universities are often underrated if they aren’t well known, but don’t let their size fool you! Having intimate class sizes gives you much more direct interaction with professors. One-on-one learning with an expert in your field of study is a priceless experience to have. 

A smaller student body and smaller campus size also allow for a more tight-knit community. When you run into the same people every day, you have more opportunities to create deep friendships that last well beyond college. 

CONS: Private schools are often small and have a much higher price point. Because these students get much more attention from faculty and staff, they end up paying an average of $35,676 in tuition every year. That’s about $25,000 more than the average cost of in-state tuition at a public university.

School drama can also be much more problematic in a small school than at a big state university. These schools can often feel like a small town- everybody knows everybody and gossip travels QUICK. 

Online School

PROS: Online school is the most flexible option out there. This is especially ideal for working students who have to balance their work schedule with all of their classes and schoolwork. You can watch lectures and learn the information you need to know without being confined to a specific class time.

With online education, you can also do your work remotely. No matter what state you live in or how much you travel, there’s always an opportunity to catch up on classwork.

CONS: Online classes can feel pretty impersonal. Most interaction with your classmates is over Zoom, text, or email. Without having face-to-face interaction, it can be difficult to facilitate group projects and other collaborative work.

It also makes you super dependent on internet connectivity to access your schoolwork. Whenever the wifi goes out, it’s hard to log in to the sites you need to submit important assignments. 

While you choose a college don’t forget to do your FAFSA, and while doing so avoid these mistakes.