The benefits of small colleges stand out in every important aspect of college life. Consider the following three categories for assessing a college, focusing on size.
Available majors: You, the student, need to make sure that your major is offered in the college of your choice. More importantly, the quality of the department you wish to study is an important concern. It is true that small colleges will not necessarily offer as many majors as larger ones, but it may possible to specialize and focus on the major of your choice to a greater extent in a small college if it is offered. It is worthwhile to look for a small and specialized school concentrating on the subject of your choice, for in the end you can either be the master of one topic, or a mediocre amateur of very many.
Location: Cities have a lot of appeal to prospective college students. The busy clockwork routine of a large city and a large college is an attractive prospect. If the city draws you in, a small college in a city is a wiser choice than a large school in a city. This is because a small college will focus more efforts on providing you with activities than a larger college. In more rural and suburban settings, the difference between large and small ones is even more pronounced when it comes to social activities, as there is no longer that lively city to fall back on. Smaller colleges will be more sensitive to the desires of its students regarding social activities, and you will have a greater influence on deciding what it is you want the college to organize for you. After all, being one in a crowd of 1000 is much more conducive to getting your voice heard than being one in 10,000.
Social Life: A small college means less students, which means that you have a better chance of getting to know more of your classmates on a more personal level. The small college will start to develop that comfortable feeling of a well-known residence – the aura of familiar faces and welcome. A larger college may never be owned by the student in this manner, simply because of its sheer immensity.
The decision boils down to the amount of control you are desirous of exerting over your four years of college – control over your surroundings, learning, and actions. Smaller colleges let you take your life into your own hands to a slightly greater degree than larger colleges; instead of going with the overwhelming flow present in a large college, you have more potential to shape the course of your years in a small college, making it an experience truly and uniquely yours.