What Are The Core Differences Of College Environments?

college sizes and enviornmentsLet's take a look at two major considerations; the basic surroundings and the college’s actual size. There are three basic surroundings terms: rural, urban, and suburban. 

Considering Your Environment

Rural Schools – Schools in rural areas can be a great place to study sciences or agriculture.   Socially, students who love hiking, bike riding, and kayaking may find these schools appealing.  Keep in mind that just because a school is in a rural area, doesn't mean it's a small school or one with nothing to do.  Some school sizes rival small towns.  Just don't expect your rock star bands to be stopping by anytime soon.

Urban Schools – On the other extreme are schools in large cities.  Some surrounded by millions of people.  While there is always the never ending rabbit whole of things to see and do there also is the danger of being caught up in the night life and flunking out.  There tends to be higher crime rates as well.   Consider your own personality and self-discipline level and make sure you can handle this environment.

Suburban – Schools in this range tend to offer the best of both worlds.  Many are within reasonable driving distance to the big cities and just far enough out to be driving distance to adventures in the wild.  Towns of this size can also have the "everybody knows everybody" syndrome which those coming from larger cities may find a bit much.  All and all, these communities are close to each other and offer a good compromise for students looking to stay away from both extremes. 

Considering the Size of the School

Large Schools – Large Schools have larger everything.  More students, more clubs, more course choices, and on and on.  They are often best for independent students who can learn on their own as class sizes tend to be large as well.  If you are a student who is looking for a school that offers a whole lot of options, a large school may be right up your ally.  Depending on how you would define large, schools in this category range from 10,000 on up to over 20,000 students.

Mid-Size Schools – Most colleges fall in this range of 3,000 – 10,000 students.  They have fewer options than the large schools but can offer a more personal experience.  Class sizes can range from 25-50 people on average but in some cases still get up into the 80-100 range depending of the demand of the course. 

Small Schools – For some students these smaller schools of less than three thousand will be exactly what you’re looking for.  Small classes and lots of familiar faces.  Students attending these schools often get to know everyone or at least come in contact with others on a consistent basis.   Class sizes are usually small and allow for more open ended discussions with professors and other students.  Be careful though before making your final decision with a school of this size to make sure they have all the classes and extracurricular activities you’re expecting to take.

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