The College Search

Big Colleges vs. Small

Question: What are the advantages or disadvantages of a large college vs. a small one?

I address this question in my book Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions (Petersons 2002). Below, you'll find an excerpt. Personally, I like the idea of a small but not tiny school--under 3,000 or so but not below about 1,200--for the undergrad years. You'll have a better chance of making your mark on campus when you're not one of a huge multitude. However, some students really thrive in a huge university community. As my co-author Sid Dalby likes to say, "It's easier to make a big college small than a small college big."

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