Bigger Isn’t Better: 7 Reasons to Consider Applying to Small Colleges

May 15, 2020
Small College Benefits

Pop quiz: is it important to get a bigger university or a better education?

Of course, the purpose of going to college is to learn more and, eventually, to land your dream job. That’s why it’s important to find a college where you can get the best education.

Most people think that a bigger school equals a better education. In truth, though, you can get more out of the right small colleges than you can ever get out of major universities.

Don’t believe us? Check out the top reasons why you should apply to small colleges in order to get big results!

1. Smaller Classes

One of the biggest advantages of small colleges and small universities is relatively obvious. You’ll get the benefits of smaller classes!

In a large university, it’s not uncommon to have 50 or more students in a single class. In that environment, it can be difficult to stand out or even make a real impression on your teacher or your fellow students.

At smaller schools, though, you’ll typically have a much smaller student to faculty ratio. This leads to a better educational experience and also provides numerous bonding opportunities with peers and mentors.

2. Better Teachers

Another big myth about big universities is that they attract the best teachers. However, this is actually quite false.

For one thing, big universities often assign teaching assistants to handle some or even all of the teaching for a class. Instead of learning from a top professor, you might be getting lessons from someone only a little bit older and more experienced than yourself.

For another thing, major university professors are often living in a “publish or perish” reality. This means they must focus on individual research and publication in order to get tenure. Even if they really care about their students, the publish or perish model splits their focus and forces them to pay more attention to duties other than teaching.

However, small universities and colleges often do not use teaching assistants, nor do they have a “publish or perish” stipulation for all professors. Instead, teacher tenure is typically contingent on how well they teach. Bottom line: at a smaller school, you get actual professors who are 100% dedicated to your education.

3. More Teacher Face Time

Here’s a paradox of higher education: most of your real learning occurs after the class is over.

This is because you will eventually develop a good relationship with several professors. And they will answer your deepest questions after class and during office hours.

On top of that, the best professors eventually become your mentors. They can help shape your research, help you land your dream job, and help you simply grow as a person.

All of this requires you to have face time with the professor, though. If you are just one face in a crowd of 50 students, you may never develop this relationship with your teachers. But the smaller class size of smaller colleges gives you the “one-on-one” teacher time you deserve.

4. Dedicated Advisers

Professors will do their best to help your educational and vocational career. However, you’re still going to need a lot of help from your college advisers.

Advisers help keep you on track for your major. They also help you navigate any unexpected difficulties and also apply for things like scholarships and other financial aid.

Like with your teachers, it’s tough to get one-on-one time with an adviser in a larger university. But at a smaller college, you will get plenty of time and have an adviser dedicated to your success both in and out of the classroom.

5. True Sense of Community

Have you asked your parents or older friends what they loved most about college? Above and beyond the education itself, college is about the friendships that you make.

Think of colleges a bit like towns. It’s easier to make friends in a small town where everybody knows your name than in a large metropolitan area.

Similarly, you are likelier to make friends and form deep bonds at smaller colleges. If nothing else, the smaller classes help you get to know each other quite quickly as part of an informal cohort!

And who knows? Many people end up marrying their “college sweetheart.” Going to a small school may help you find the love of your life!

6. More Collaborative Opportunities

While a liberal arts education can be its own reward, most people look at college as a way of getting the job they want and the salary they deserve. But have you thought about how you’ll get the right job beyond simply graduating college?

A great many students create something while in college to help prove themselves to employers. This may be a capstone project as part of your program or an independent research project. In some cases, even a quality essay about your original research can help open doors for your career.

However, most of the best projects are not solo endeavors. Chances are that you will need to collaborate with fellow students and/or your professors in order to really make a project shine.

The tighter-knit communities of a small school make these collaborative opportunities easier and more plentiful. And more opportunities within the school lead to more opportunities outside of the school.

7. You’ll Have More Relevant Assignments

Here’s something few students want to hear: you’re going to write more essays at small universities and colleges. And believe it or not, that’s a good thing!

Genuine education is about more than memorizing a few answers and surviving a multiple-choice test. Instead, you really learn about a subject by doing your own research and then contributing to existing scholarship by writing papers.

In larger schools, there are more tests and fewer essays because of the huge class sizes. Frankly, teachers don’t have enough time to grade 50 essays several times throughout the semester.

Smaller colleges allow you to write more and therefore grow more. When the smoke clears, you will have learned much more than your large university peers!

Applying To Small Colleges: Your Future Awaits

Now you know the benefits of applying to small colleges. But do you know which school is best for your needs?

William Peace University is an amazing educational opportunity located right here in Raleigh, NC. To see how we can help you reach your full potential as a student, you can apply for admission today!