As you explore which colleges are the right match for you, consider the size of the campus. How many undergraduates attend the college? This can make a big difference in your experience on a college campus. Think of college sizes in these four categories (based on undergraduate students attendance only).
Boutique Size (<2000)
Over 500 colleges in the US are under 2000 students. Ideal for students with a strong Participant learner approach to college. You get to know your teachers and fellow students very well. It provides opportunities to maximize involvement in activities. A great way to construct your own learning experience. Mostly private schools, examples of boutique size campuses are Julliard, Amherst, Pomona, California Institute of Technology, Davidson, Haverford.
Liberal Arts Size (2000-5000)
Over 3oo colleges in the US fall under the Liberal Arts size category. Some of the most well known and prestigious colleges fall into this category: Dartmouth, Rice, Middlebury, Carleton, Vassar. Learning is individualized and diversity is fostered on campus.
Just right Size (5,000-10,000)
“Just Right” refers to the college that is not too big, not too small, as Goldilocks stated, it is “Just Right”. The college is bigger than most high schools. Yet, it is small enough to still retain the personal feel students are looking for. This is the smallest group of colleges in the US, with just over 200 campuses. Both public and private schools fall into this category. Many of the most prestigious campuses fall into this category: Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Brown, Duke. Public schools fall into this category as well: College of William and Mary, many California State Universities, Texas A & M Corpus Christi, and many more. This is a size many students feel most comfortable at.
Comparable to the size of a large town or small city, many large, particularly public universities fall into this range. Students benefit from lots of choices and options. The trade off is you must be willing to be your own advocate and reach out. You have to find your own personalization within a campus this size. Of the 58 colleges in this category, most are public schools. City Universities include, Arizona State, UCLA, UC Berkeley, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Michigan, Florida State, Texas A & M, College Station. There are a few private schools in this category, notably New York University, Brigham Young University and Liberty.
Sarah C. Reese Informed Educational Solutions March 2, 2016