Are you a big school student or a small school student?
This question shapes your entire experience on your path towards a bachelor’s degree. Many variables change when comparing a university and a smaller, fine arts school, but when it comes down to it, it’s a matter of preference.
Here are some of the main differences in what your bachelor’s degree will look like when comparing the two types of schools.
Your Bachelor’s Degree: How It’s Affected by School Size
Student Body Size
Let’s start with the most basic of aspects to point out: the amount of students is vastly different when comparing a big school and a small school. Although this may be obvious, the way that this might change your bachelor’s degree path isn’t necessarily as clear.
At a university, your classes are going to be a lot bigger than at a fine arts school, and this can change the entire dynamic depending on what you want to get out of your courses. Would you rather be in a class made up of 13 students or 300 students? Of course, it’s not always going to be that much of a jump in numbers, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Smaller classes allow for a more personal relationship between you and your professor and classmates. On the other hand, larger classes can give you a greater sense of community between you and your classmates, which might give you more resources for the course.
Advice and Resources for Your Bachelor’s Degree
While the work toward a bachelor’s degree rests primarily on your shoulders, it’s important to know that there are many people who are more than willing to help you. However, these resources can vary drastically from a big school to a small school.
Big schools are obviously going to have a higher number of full-time staff than smaller schools. This means that you are likely to have professors that work at your school exclusively, so they would have more available office hours than a teacher that is working three jobs. A bigger staff also allows for a bigger number of advisors in each of the academic departments, and that means that there are plenty of people who are skilled in helping you reach your goals.
But those reasons don’t mean that large schools win in the advice category. Small schools may have a smaller staff, but they also have significantly less students. That means that you can have a stronger connection with your teachers and advisors because they have less students to interact with. And that means that you have more people invested in you earning your degree.
Types of Classes
Large schools and small schools cater to two very different types of students, and that means that the types of classes offered for your Bachelor’s degree are going to be very different.
Smaller schools, such as fine arts colleges, are attuned to help their students follow their passions, no matter how strange. For example, at my school, many gen ed classes (i.e. math, science, speech) are geared toward students in their specific majors. One course is called Physics for Filmmakers, which teaches physics through movie scenes. There are also classes focused on Harry Potter and being a DJ. Imagine taking those classes at your school.
Courses for your bachelor’s degrees at large schools, on the other hand, tend to be broader as there are more people who need to take each class. However, there are a wider ranger of majors offered, so you can dabble in a variety of subjects while earning your degree.
Ultimately there’s no right or wrong way to go. What you do need to do is examine the offerings at both large and small universities, and then pick the one that speaks to our unique learning style. The better the fit, the more successful you’ll be in your bachelor’s degree program.