Around this time of year, seniors are getting ready to apply for colleges and visit campuses. At Seaholm, it seems like everyone’s top choice is Michigan, Michigan State, or even both. Last year 97 of the graduated seniors went to one of those schools. But why do students feel the need to go to such a big school with so many their high school classmates, as opposed to a smaller college where they could get more of the typical experience?
Small colleges have a lot more benefits than most people think. Small colleges often award scholarships to students who aren’t scholar students or top athletes. According to scholarships.com, “While [colleges] do consider your GPA, the minimum may be 2.5, rather than 4.0.” Smaller colleges also have a tendency to give out less money, but to more students. Albion College awards merit scholarships of more than $40,000 as soon as applicants are accepted.
Another perk of small colleges is the opportunity to form closer bonds with both teachers and students. In a lecture with 600 people, it would be hard to get to know the teacher. Fewer students allow for better student to teacher relationships. This is extremely useful if you need help in a class or a job recommendation later on. There would also be fewer students with the same interests as you so you’ll get to know most if not all of them.
Small colleges are especially useful to consider if you want to get a fresh start. Compared to schools like MSU and U of M, the possibility of seeing someone from high school decreases, which is exciting if you’re like me and can’t wait to begin a new life away from Birmingham. If you don’t know as many people going into college, you’ll make new friends, join new clubs, something. Without the pressure from high school peers, you might be more motivated to just be yourself.
So basically, don’t rule out small colleges. Just because it doesn’t carry the same prestigious name doesn’t mean that it’s a total dump. If you prefer being a big fish in a small pond then a larger college isn’t the place for you. After all, it’s what you make of your college experience that matters, not just where you attend.