When it comes time to choose a school after high school, or even time to begin applying to schools, one of the major choices students make is “big school or small school?”
Should you choose a small school, such as Hilbert College, there are a lot of benefits that you’re unlikely to duplicate at a large public college or university.
1. Sense of community.
We’ve all heard this one before. Smaller schools offer a greater sense of belonging, they work harder to facilitate new friendships and cultivate a community full of opportunity to make sure every student feels like they really belong there. But that sense of community means more than that. It means that when you get involved in a cause, your individual contributions matter, because there’s less competition. You feel like you belong, but you also feel like you’re truly contributing to your community, not just benefitting from it.
2. Taught by professors, not TAs.
Smaller schools typically have all courses taught by professors, not TAs (teaching assistants). While graduate student TAs have their place in the academic world, you’ve undoubtedly paid your tuition with the intention of receiving an education from an expert in the field, not an expert-in-training.
Additionally, you’re likely to get better feedback from professors, particularly in small classes. They aren’t rushing to submit 300 grades, so they can take their time to really show you what you can do better. This is invaluable during your education.
3. Professors are committed to teaching.
Large universities often have a lot of pressure to conduct research and bring in funding for continued research projects. Professors are expected to write and publish on a regular basis. At a small school, the professors’ only professional commitment is to teaching.
4. Less bureaucracy.
You’ve heard the adage “not just a number.” What that means is that your advisors have more time to advise you and come up with a course plan that suits you and your goals. They have time to check in on you. They are able to recommend other activities based on your interests. And when you run into a problem (and you will, because your parents might not be there to make sure everything gets done), you’re more likely to be on the receiving end of some flexibility, forgiveness and assistance.
5. It’s not all about sports.
Sports are great, and at most schools they can still be a big part of life. Smaller schools offer the same sports without insane pressure to make money off those sports. A sporting event at a small school often means everyone comes together as a community to cheer on their friends and classmates.
6. Smaller classes.
Smaller classes mean more opportunities to ask questions, and more opportunities to get to know your professors. Professors can mentor and teach you, and pass knowledge beyond just the course curriculum on to you.
Did you know that good writing skills become increasingly important as you move through school and into the professional world? Now consider a class with hundreds of students and one professor. How many papers do you think that professor has time to grade and evaluate during the semester? A small school with small class sizes means you’ll likely write more papers and really hone your writing skills.
Whether you choose to attend a big school or a small school, it’s important to make the choice that’s right for you. At Hilbert, we believe in the benefits of a small school.
If you’d like to visit Hilbert College this summer and check out everything we have to offer (like small class sizes, dedicated professors, abundant extra-curriculars, etc.), you can schedule your visit here. www.hilbert.edu/summervisit
Hilbert College: small community, great opportunity.