Big or Small Colleges: Which Is Best for You?


Erin Eskoff, Staff Writer

Most students in high school, especially during college application deadlines, feel the pressure of “needing” to get accepted to or play a sport for an ivy league or a prestigious UC school. However, most students don’t really know what type of school is most suitable for them.

I recently took a visit to Loyola Marymount University, a smaller college, and UCLA, a bigger university, and realized that they have many differences that a lot of people don’t see. You may have your heart set on Harvard or Princeton, but many smaller colleges may turn out to be where you’ll want to spend the next four years of education post-high school.


  1. Minors, Majors, Bachelors, Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees

The biggest factor in your decision is what you want to achieve a degree in and if that school provides the courses for it. Larger schools tend to have more options and flexibility in that area, and select smaller schools may or may not have your major. The biggest reason why you are in college is to continue your education.Therefore, a big part of the decision process should be based on that.


  1. Do you want to play a college sport? If so, division one, two or three?

If you wish to continue your athletic career, you also need to make a decision in which division and at which school you most likely want to be recruited from. Division one schools are often bigger schools, such as UCLA and Duke. Divisions two, three and NAIA are often times smaller colleges, such as CSU schools and Loyola Marymount. However, some smaller colleges offer division one scholarships, such as Campbell University and Lehigh University. Being recruited by one of the top college teams in the country isn’t the only option. As my coach always asks me: “Do you want to be a big fish in a small pond, or a little fish in a big pond?”


  1. Friends, Sociality and The Greek System

On bigger campuses with more students, it’s also fun meeting new people every year whether they are younger or older. Also, joining he Greek system, is a fun way to live on campus with a bunch of new friends and roommates for the year. If you want to meet a lot of students in all different grades and classes, going to a smaller school might be better. However, if you like continuing that same high school concept where you meet new people each year, going to a school with a larger quantity of students and possibly a fraternity or sorority will be more suitable.


  1. Football and Basketball Games

A big part of the fun in college is going to the football and basketball games. However, some smaller colleges don’t have football or basketball teams. Bigger schools will most likely have both, and going to games is a great way to spend time with your friends. If you didn’t go to football games in high school just because maybe you weren’t interested, a smaller school may be a better fit for you. Although, if you thought football games were some of the best moments in high school, going to a big university is a great choice.

College is the last step in most people’s education, so it’s important to choose one that you’ll be ecstatic to attend all four years. Private and public universities aren’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing — it depends on what you want to be a part of your full college experience.