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Is it better to go to a bigger school rather than a smaller school?

I am a Sophomore at a small high school, and I was wondering if it was better to go to a big college and/or university? #college #university #school #future

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Wendy’s Answer

It depends somewhat on the environment you are most comfortable in. Are there aspects of the size of your high school that you like?
Going to a small college will provide a more intimate experience. Your classes will be smaller, and you’ll likely have easier access to
your professors. A larger university will be less personal, and you might be in a lecture hall with hundreds of other students, though
they may offer a wider selection of athletics, fraternal organizations, and other types of on-campus communities.
Some students thrive in a smaller atmosphere, and can be intimidated by the vastness of a larger school.

Thank you comment icon Your advice was so helpful! Eric
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice Maeve
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Holly’s Answer

Hi Irma,
Nice to see you back again, I would say depending on what your career path would be. You have choices always, options always. If you want to be a doctor I would say a University, If you want to be a medical assistant I would say a community college. I hope this was helpful.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, it was really helpful. Irma
Thank you comment icon Thank you this was helpful Maeve
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Andy’s Answer

It really does depend on the kind of person you are and what you're looking for, in terms of major and opportunity. Even large universities can have small, intimate majors and courses. Large universities will generally have more activities and majors available while smaller colleges will have limitations in terms of courses that they may offer.


If you really know what line of study that you wish to pursue then pick the university based on its ability to give that to you. For example, if you're really interested in pursuing technology, technical universities would be better. Harvey Mudd, Cal Tech are definitely more technically focused. So if you're looking for a more liberal arts major then you wouldn't preferentially go to those schools.


If you're unsure of what major to pursue, then larger state schools would provide more breadth of majors from which to sample. And then if you do find something that you truly enjoy, you may choose to get more education in a post-graduate degree after graduation.

Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Eric
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Shawn’s Answer

To add onto what everyone has said about doing what makes you feel comfortable, this is something that is more of a personal decision. If you see yourself getting involved around campus, i would say go to a bigger school that will provide more options when it comes to clubs and organizations. If you are a bit more reserved, I would say that going to a smaller school may be more fitting as it will be easier to keep to yourself. However, remember that everyone knows each other at smaller schools so you will want to make sure to keep a good reputation. Enjoy your college years whichever way you decide to go!

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Stacey’s Answer

I also think you should do what makes you most comfortable. I went to a very large university that had large classroom sizes (100+) my first 2 years. I wasn't a big fan of those kinds of class sizes, and it wasn't the best environment to get to know my teachers. However, by the time I became a Junior, my classes had gotten much smaller since they were more relevant to the specific degree I had chosen. I really enjoyed those last 2 years because I felt like I knew my teachers, and I especially liked being in class with other students who shared the same interests as I did. Good luck to you!

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Iain’s Answer

Whether you end up at a large or small school, just remember: this is your education, your experience - and ultimately your choice! Do what feels right for you. I definitely recommend visiting different size schools to get a sense of the environment and activity level. And while academics are of course the reason to attend, it's important to make sure that wherever you go has a culture you can embrace as well. When you're looking at schools, find out about the various student organizations, intramural teams, and other avenues of involvement. Although you'll learn a lot in the classroom, the non-academic experiences you'll have can be just as profound and impacting - so make sure you're in a place where you can pursue the kinds of opportunities that will help you continue to grow into who you'd like to become. Best of luck!

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Linda’s Answer

I will focus on student-professor interaction. At a small college/university, it is far more likely that your professors will get to know you as a student, but also as a person. This is advantageous for you in several respects. You will have professors who, knowing you, are better positioned to write letters of recommendation for scholarships, graduate studies, jobs, etc. You will also have someone who can advocate for you in various situations that may arise during your college tenure. Additionally, the relationships you form with certain professors can last a lifetime. I have longstanding relationships with students with whom I am in contact decades after they graduated. Perhaps, some of these relationships can be formed at bigger universities. My point is that they are more likely to occur at smaller schools. If all depends on if the student-professor relationship is important to you.
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