Recently, I have been asking why I chose Luther College, why I chose a liberal arts college, and what I felt after studying in a liberal arts college environment. Therefore, I want to write a brief blog talking about the advantages as well as the disadvantages of going to a Liberal Arts College.
First off, I want to start with disadvantages.
Liberal Arts Colleges are usually located in the rural or suburban area. There are still colleges that are in an urban area such as Macalester College, but in general, liberal arts college are still “in the middle of nowhere”.Therefore, public transportation to places is somewhat limited. You would have quite a bit of a hard time finding transportation to go to the place you want.
The school will provide shopping shuttles every once in awhile and shuttles to airports nearby every break but it is somewhat still not enough if you have urgent needs.
Every student cares about the future career and how to get a job when they graduate. Going to a liberal arts college somewhat makes it harder for international students because local companies usually are too small to accept international students. Also, big companies sometimes do not come directly to your school fair to recruit or they have not heard about your school before. Moreover, sometimes your school does not have any alumni that works in the company that you want to apply to, which makes it harder for networking as well as finding new job opportunities.
Since liberal arts colleges are usually in small town, there is not really anything off campus for students to do. They have a limited amount of restaurants, usually only one theater, and some small stores you can look at, some small bars or nightclub and that’s it. Therefore, students might get bored sometime since there are not a lot of things to do downtown. If you come from a bigger city and move to a rural area in the Midwest, you might have to give up the hobby of going to the coffee shop and hang out with friends every Saturday night because the local coffee shop might close at 5pm or 7pm.
To some students, especially science students, fulfilling general requirements is a pain because they do not have enough time and credits to take all the class they want in their field. A liberal arts education requires students to have understanding and knowledge in various fields to develop students in many aspects. However, with science students, sometimes, it is more beneficial for them to take classes that related to their professions.
Also, some schools do not offer enough specialized classes, such as some business classes or some engineering classes.This is mainly because of the student body size. Liberal arts college’s size is in the range from 500-3000 students and the school usually offers 50+ majors, therefore, some specialized classes do not have enough students to open.
So those are the disadvantages of going to a liberal arts college. Now, it’s time to list out the advantages:
1.Class size/faculty accessibility:
Due to the small student body, liberal arts colleges provide small size classes. A normal class usually has 20 to 30 students. With this small size, professors usually remember their students so finding help from them is not that hard. Asking questions in class or meeting a professor after class to ask questions are doable. Also, since the class is small, you can become friends with your classmate somewhat quicker.
Like all the other bigger school, liberal arts college has a lot of resources (you can read my previous blog here to know more about these resources). However, with a smaller body, it is easier for students to access these resources. For example, it is easier to set an appointment with the career center or the counseling service than the bigger university. Sometimes, with a task like fixing resume, you can even walk in and receive help from a worker.
3.Strong connection with alumni:
A unique thing that I have noticed is that liberal arts college has a really strong connection with alumni. Even though the number of alumni of these schools is not big, alumni have a strong connection with the school. If you need help and reach out for help, they will be more willing to answer your questions and help you.
4. General requirement:
These general requirements are both disadvantages and advantages. These general requirements will help students to experience with more area and aspect of the world; therefore, improves a lot of necessary skills for students. Moreover, with students coming in being undecided, these general requirements will give students choices and experience that later they will be based on to decide their major and find their interests.
Last but not least, a funny reason I usually tell my friends to explain why I love liberal arts college is that I can focus on studying here. Not having a lot of parties and entertainment forms, liberal arts college provide fewer distractions and give me more time to study. :)
So, what about you, how is your experience with liberal arts college and national university? You can share your experience with me and others by commenting below or email me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
A big thank you to Capstone Vietnam for sharing this article with Study in the USA.