Bigger Isn’t Always Better

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Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Parker Primrose, Staff writer

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As we draw closer and closer to high school graduation, students everywhere are faced with the task of deciding which college is the best fit for them. With the presence of peer pressure ever more common with today’s usage of social media, it feels like more and more students assume they have to go to a well-known college instead of a smaller school that no one’s heard of, as if the bigger the school, the better the education. In reality, that’s just not the case.

A major advantage of attending a smaller school is that class sizes are much smaller. A large school like the University of Oklahoma has a student to faculty ratio of 24:1, with 74 percent of its classes having 20 students or more. Meanwhile, Austin College has a student to faculty ratio of 12:1, with just 28.2 percent of its classes have 20 students or more. This means that you get more time with your professor and are more than just a number in the classroom, providing you an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the material and the subject.

Another reason to choose a smaller college is that you graduate with a lot less debt. For example, Baylor University costs about $34,900 per year, while Sam Houston University costs about $11,260 per year. This allows graduates to emerge from college without having to continue to pay for it years later, although this varies depending on the university.

Some may argue that going to a larger college helps you earn a higher-level job faster, but that is not the case. The average starting salary for a University of Texas graduate is $52,200, while the average starting salary for a Midwestern State University graduate is $44,900. For the large difference in tuition, this difference in pay is rather small. So by going to a cheaper college, you’re not missing out on higher-level jobs.

Overall, picking a college is like shopping for cereal in the grocery store. Name brands appear front and center, and after all the commercials you’ve seen, you feel like you just have to buy that box of Lucky Charms. But in reality, store brand is just as good, and for half the cost. In the same way, don’t just pick the college that is most popular, but is the smartest educational and economic fit for you.

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