Deciding which business school you’ll study at to earn your undergraduate degree or MBA means weighing many factors. Something you might not be considering, though, is school size. If you’re evaluating your options, don’t forget to consider the benefits that studying at a small school can offer.
Close Relationships with Professors and Peers
A small school will offer unprecedented access to your professors. There are no crammed lecture halls where professors can’t see all of their students. Instead, you’ll benefit from small classes where you’ll be able to build relationships with both your professors and your peers. The small-school atmosphere is also a big plus when it comes to choosing an academic advisor and other professors to support your educational goals. You’ll find that it’s much easier to secure appointments with advisors, and you’ll also be able to spend quality time discussing your career trajectory with professors who are likely to be invested in your success.
Only Professors Do the Teaching
It comes as a surprise to many first-time students that teaching assistants (TAs) are often left to taught classes at big universities. While TAs may have advanced knowledge in their field, they don’t have the depth of experience or teaching acumen that professors possess. When you attend a small school, you won’t have TAs teaching classes. You’ll have fully trained professors. Of course, that doesn’t meant that there aren’t opportunities for TAs at small schools if that interests you. At smaller institutions, TAs tend to take support roles in the classroom and are given guided opportunities to teach special sections of some classes.
Closer Examination of All Your Work
When you go to a small school, you can count on having opportunities to write more papers and to get more thorough feedback on all assignments. At large colleges, professors and TAs have to wade through huge stacks of grading and often don’t have time to give detailed feedback to each student. Professors at small schools are known for having and taking the time to thoroughly evaluate all student work. You’re likely to get written feedback and may have opportunities to workshop on assignments as well.
Incredible Opportunities for Collaboration
Many business students dream of collaborating with professors on papers, presentations and other projects. Unfortunately, most students who go to big universities will never have these opportunities. Professors at small schools, on the other hand, have more freedom to work with students than their peers at larger universities. If you express interest in working with a favorite professor or advisor, you may just find yourself taking part in serious, university-level research. That looks great on your resume and can even lead to publication.
A Balanced College Experience
Are there parties at small colleges? Of course. However, these parties don’t tend to be as all-encompassing as those at bigger schools. When you go to a small school, you don’t generally have to worry that the temptation to go out and party every night will be overwhelming. You’re more likely to find weekend parties and get-togethers instead of weeknight bashes, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be bored. Small colleges and universities tend to have very active student bodies and clubs. You may also find that it’s easier to make new friends at a smaller school since you won’t be lost in a student body of tens of thousands.
Studying business at a small school is a great way to get ahead in the field while forging close relationships with professional mentors. If you’re building your school prospect list, be sure to include at least one smaller institution or liberal arts college.
Related Resource: 100 Most Affordable Selective Small Colleges for Accounting 2015