What are liberal arts colleges?
Liberal arts colleges in general are typically small, private institutions with their academic focus on undergraduate education. Liberal arts colleges are dedicated to providing students with a traditional liberal arts education, one that aims to impart students with a broad base of knowledge from areas like literature, philosophy, art, history, music, and other humanities as well as science and math. The overall goal is to create well-rounded, intellectually agile students with well-honed critical thinking skills.
What are national universities?
In contrast to liberal arts colleges, national universities are institutions that may include several distinct colleges and/or graduate schools, pre-professional or professional schools or research programs. For this reason, universities also tend to be much larger than liberal arts colleges in terms of both student population and program offerings.
Which will be a better fit for me?
This depends on your individual circumstances and academic interests. In addition, while the differences between colleges and universities outlined above are helpful generalizations, every school has its own strengths and weaknesses that may be independent of its technical classification.
Overall, a liberal arts college will be best suited for those students who want smaller classes, often more discussion-based rather than lectures; smaller teacher-student ratios; classes taught by professors as opposed to graduate students; accomplished humanities programs; individualized course requirements and smaller campus environments.
Large universities are a better option for students who are looking for a more diverse areas of study, including STEM majors, opportunities for academic research and sometimes access to graduate courses. Universities will also typically have a larger student population with corresponding increase in sports, clubs and other social opportunities, which may be appealing to students who want to broaden their horizons personally as well as academically.
Of course, this is only one small part of the overall college applications process. With so many other factors to consider, it’s worth getting guidance from a team of professionals. If you’re a student or parent in the Fairfield County, Connecticut area the admissions consultants at College Docs can work with you through every step of the college application process, from figuring out which programs are best to meet a student’s long-term goals to creating his or her personalized college action plan.
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