Why would I even consider choosing a big university over a small liberal arts college? Everything I’ve read convinces me that the advantages of a small college far outweighs those of a large school, small class sizes, opportunities for leaderships, and professors that know your name. I am ready to finalize my list of schools, about eight that I’ve researched extensively and begin completing my college applications. However I’m beginning to get some pressure from friend to add a few major universities. Any final bits of advice from the expert?
– JS Littleton High School
Dear JS, I must admit I’m a big advocate of small liberal arts college because, in general, they provide a more personal educational setting and an opportunity for the individual to participate in class discussion and take an active role on campus. However, I must relate to you my experience on a recent weekend at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. It brought back all my memories of many years ago when I was a college student at the University of Michigan. It was football Saturday and the opening game of the big 10 season for the University of Wisconsin against the University of Michigan, a game that UW hadn’t won since 1994. As we walked to the stadium, students and fans were all dressed in red, the UW colors; they were partying and enjoying the ambiance of the event. The colors, the fraternity houses adorned with signs, the smell of brats cooking. And then before a cheering crowd of 83,000, the ultimate, winning a very close game between staunch rivals. A memorable day and something to be considered by those who truly enjoy football Saturdays and big-college spectator sports. After the game, the quarterback was interviewed and declared, “I think that was probably the most unbelievable atmosphere I’ve ever been in in my life. The fans were unbelievable. I couldn’t believe how loud it was.” Some students love and look forward to these events and require them as part of their college experience. If you are one of these types I suggest you consider adding a big university to your list, just in case.