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Do I have to go to a big college to get a good education?

I don't want to go to a big college, but I still want to get a good education and learn the profession that I want to learn without paying the money to go to a big school.

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Paul’s Answer

The best education I attained in my life came from two year junior, community and technical colleges.

Classes are smaller, the courses are taught by the actual professor, and the environment is more personable and student oriented, compared to a large university.

I learned all my technical and career related skills at these smaller colleges. No, you do not need to go to a large university in order to achieve your life goals. In my opinion, the best education I ever had was from these two year colleges.
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Finn’s Answer

Hello Lela,

I'm currently in my senior year at a big college (The University of Cincinnati), and I have some tips for getting a great education without breaking the bank.

I would recommend enrolling in a community college for the first year or two of your college career. The first two years of college are designed for you to try different things and see what you like, while also focusing on general education (Foreign language, Calculus, Science, and English), and I would not recommend you paying top dollar for these basic education courses. This strategy works even better if your high school offers a dual enrollment program with a local community college, so you can gain college credits while simultaneously completing your high school graduation requirements, and it's FREE if offered through your high school. If not, you can start when you graduate high school, and in this case look into scholarship opportunities that can help cover the cost for community college.

If you want to join a big college, wait until after the 1-2 year period of completing your college general education courses. What I've found is that most of these general education courses are "copy and paste," using McGraw Hill or Pearson. They are typically online structured courses and they're all about the same. This 1-2 year community college gap will allow you plenty of time to try things out, figure out a desirable profession, and what to major in without having to spend money going to a big school. Using this strategy, your last two years of college would be spent learning from teachers that are world class in the profession that you want pursue, maximizing the value you receive for as little money as possible.

Also, the same degree from a big university that is granted to students that spent 4 years there, is given to students that transferred in with community college credits.

Thank you for your question, and good luck!
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Kami’s Answer

You do not have to go to a large school to get a good education. As a matter of fact, where you start is not where you have to graduate. You just need to make sure that the basic classes you take are accepted at the school you want to graduate from. You do not want to transfer more than once, but you can start somewhere that is at a campus you feel more comfortable with.

You education proves to an employer that you are willing to commit yourself to a higher level of education to learn to think a new way, meet strenuous deadlines and learn how to use resources while collaborating with others. The campus you choose needs to connect you with people of similar interest and may help you decide if you truly are on the correct career path.

What is important in your choice of education is that you are in an area that allows you to be at a distance that you are comfortable being away from home. The first year of learning to adult is hard and you will need some support on occasion. But you need to be where you plan to graduate by the end of your sophomore year. Look for opportunities to intern or part-time work in your field of interest starting in your sophomore summer break. This networking and resume building carries a lot of weight when applying for jobs post-graduation. You'll save some money along the way and lots of times have easier access to professors and supportive resources at some of the smaller schools.
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Roxie’s Answer

Not in particular! It's about how you take in your classes and the work you put out for the most part. I would thoroughly look at your options and what feels best for you. Also if you're considering a big school, consider looking for scholarships they might offer!
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Richard’s Answer

You do not need a big college or university to get a good education.

You also do not need a big boat to cross the ocean.

What is important to remember though, is small boats can be tight during a long voyage; so when you are out there in the tiny boat, three years into your journey and a large cruise ship goes by with thousands of people on it, that will be an apt comparison to the two different experiences.

When you get off the oceanliner with thousands of people, you will likely be friends with a good number of them (not thousands but maybe 50 - 100). On the other hand, if you and your 5 pals make it across the ocean in your tiny boat, you will either be great friends or ready to take a break from each other for a while.

So if you are planning this out as the start to your career, do you want to embark with 100 strong allies in 4 years? If so, maybe a larger university is a better strategy after all.

Also - this applies to all schools. You need to apply yourself. Get serious about volunteering, and academics and be the first person in your high school to apply to 100 university scholarships, broaden your horizon in terms of where you apply, there are a lot of fantastic universities and colleges of all sizes that will award your academic and personal efforts to improve yourself and society. If you do not apply to scholarships, or only apply for one, your chances of getting one will be limited in equal proportion to your effort. Get serious about applying, it is your part-time job now; congratulations you have been hired.
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Toni’s Answer

Small-sized schools hold immense value too! Choosing to study at a smaller or state school can be a cost-effective option. Plus, they usually offer smaller class sizes which can be advantageous for personalized, one-on-one assistance. Remember, the prestige of the school you attend isn't everything. What truly matters is how actively you participate and the rapport you build with your professors.
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Christopher’s Answer

You don't need to go to a big or expensive school to get a great education or have a fantastic career. It is more important that you find a college that matches your personal goals. Once you graduate, recruiters do not pay nearly as much attention to what school you went to as most people think. work with people who went to small schools and people who went to Ivy League schools and the school they went to is not a strong predictor of how good they are at there job. Find a college that is a good personal fit and will complement your career goals! Do not worry about what others think about your choice.
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