Six Reasons to Take a Closer Look at Small Liberal Arts Colleges.
Colleges come in all shapes and sizes, but small liberal arts colleges offer some distinct benefits for students.
- They’re focused on undergraduate education (and all classes are taught by professors)
Universities educate both undergraduate and graduate students, whereas small liberal arts colleges focus more on undergraduate students. Professors, not graduate students, teach the classes, and they get to know the needs of their students.
- Students get a lot of attention
According to research by US News and World Report, the typical small college has a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 10:1. About two-thirds of classes enroll less than 20 students and almost none have more than 50. By comparison, students at major research universities are often in classes with several hundred other students, especially in their freshman and sophomore years.
- They’re more hands-on
There are plenty of research and other extracurricular academic opportunities at big universities, but students don’t always take advantage. And they’re certainly not required to. Not so at many small liberal arts colleges, where engaging students in such opportunities is often part of the curriculum.
- A liberal arts education
As you’d expect, small, liberal arts colleges are dedicated to a liberal arts education, which experts say prepares students broadly for whatever career they pursue. Businesses want liberal arts students because they can think and adapt. With the changing nature of the workplace, students graduating today can expect to have many different careers, some of which don’t even exist yet.
- Higher graduation rates
Thanks to the extra attention students receive, many small liberal arts colleges boast far better graduation rates than their big-university peers. The graduation rate at four years is higher than most public universities at six years.
- Extra help for first-generation and low-income students
In addition, because of this additional attention, small liberal arts colleges often have programs in place to help guarantee first generation and low-income students’ success.