First and foremost, liberal arts colleges are not for everyone. Universities have their own list of positives, including larger social groups, more graduate connections, and often much cheaper tuition.
If you are dead set on your major and future job, a university may be the better choice. If you are at all similar to how I was in high school however, you don’t know what you are passionate about nor do you have the slightest idea. If this is the case, then a liberal arts college is the answer you have been looking for.
The following three advantages of liberal arts colleges can help you decide which type of college is the perfect fit for you!
1. Student to Teacher Ratio
One of the main advantages that liberal arts colleges offer is small class sizes. This depends on which college, but for the most part you won’t have to experience the giant lecture halls. If you are a student that likes to build a personal connection with teachers, this will greatly benefit you. Small classes encourage class participation, critical thinking, and in depth assignments. In addition to being small in size, all classes at liberal arts colleges are taught by professors. At many of the state universities, these lecture halls can be taught by teacher assistants, who recently graduated themselves. The class size and professor requirement help to guarantee a return on your investment of time and money that you are putting into college.
2. Requirements to Graduate
Many liberal arts schools require students to complete divisional classes before they can graduate. For example, Wake Forest required me to take two math classes, two science classes, two english classes, two language classes, two health classes, and two social science classes before I could graduate. This is a pain for students who know what they want to major in and wants to graduate quickly. For a student like me however, this gave me the chance to taste every subject before I decided on my major. This helps students discover their passions and find out which fields they are skilled at. If you are open-minded to this approach and try your best in each class, it will greatly benefit you in the long run. Employers often claim that they are looking for well-rounded individuals, and the graduation requirements at liberal arts colleges ensure that you will meet this expectation.
3. The Facilities
Parents are often hesitant about paying the tuition that is required for a liberal arts education. It helps if you think of this tuition as an investment into your child’s future. Liberal arts colleges often give returns quickly on your investment through state of the art facilities. Since the students at liberal arts colleges are paying an increased rate compared to universities, it gives the colleges enough resources to constantly update their campus. The gyms, research labs, clubs, activities, and sports organizations are often well funded and not very crowded. Each student has easier access to these facilities and often times the ability to create their own club or organization if they can’t find one that suits them. This wealth that liberal arts colleges have is reflected in the overall attitude of the staff, the well kept campuses, and the up to date facilities.