Admissions 101: You Can't Always Judge a School By Its Size
I have worked and consulted for small and large schools, attended a medium sized school for my undergraduate and masters, and a very large school for my PhD. The reality is that there are very large schools where students can have very limited options, either because they have such structured programs that it is hard to explore more than one possibility, or because their programs are so siloed and slow to change that many are outdated - interestingly, you can find small schools with exactly the same problems. Of course, there are also large schools that give every bit of the depth and range of options Jay describes, but in fairness there are smaller institutions that give nearly as much if not more. The assumption many make is that smaller schools give more personal attention. That is surely true of many, but there are also plenty that fail thoroughly in that respect, just as there are large schools that do exceptionally well at giving personal attention.
Bottom line - the idea that the volume of students attending a school is the best indicator of options or attention is entirely misleading, a glaring logical misconception. The culture, programs, atmosphere, and policies of institutions are the source of attention (or inattention), as well as array of options (or lack thereof).
Washington Post Editors
| April 28, 2009; 10:57 AM ET
Categories: Admissions 101 | Tags: small schools vs. large schools
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