College Admissions Advice Column

The following article is from the Unigo Expert Network.

The Unigo Expert Network is a group of top education experts from across the US answering questions submitted by students and parents about college admissions and succeeding after high school.

“My brother keeps telling me that I should consider size as I start applying to schools but I’m not sold – what makes a school large or small, and what are some of the more subtle advantages/disadvantages of both?”– John W., Portland, OR.

A: Super-Size Me! The BIG advantages of attending a large university
Big things come in big packages too! Attending a large-size university has many perks, including more college classes in a wide variety of academic disciplines. Expect campus libraries to have the resources you need. Plus, there’s a strong bet your professors have conducted plenty of research. Want to get out of your high school fishbowl and enjoy a much-needed dose of anonymity? A large school attracts students from all over the map, including international students. Socially, think: diverse clubs and activities, Division I sports teams, and even cool speakers and rock bands to hit your campus. So think BIG!

– Laura Miller – Director of College Guidance – North Shore Hebrew Academy High School

A: Size of the college is one variable to consider in your college search
Larger universities (over 6,000 undergraduates) offer some advantages over smaller colleges, and are good for students who can advocate for themselves. If a student wants personal relationships with professors and smaller classes then a smaller college would be a better match. Larger public universities can be state funded and therefore charge less tuition. However, smaller colleges may have large endowments with more money to distribute in grants and aid. More students and more alumni can mean more money. That gives large universities a multitude of resources, the ability to hire top faculty and sustain state of the art academic programs and recreational/athletic facilities.

– Jeannie Borin— Founder & President – College Connections

A: One size college does not “fit” all students
You have to decide what you specifically want from a college and then make sure that size can offer you those requirements. If you are going to be a science major, you need to make sure you will be guaranteed a science research slot BEFORE your senior year, that work will be important for you to have when doing grad school applications and you also need to know before senior year if you like lab work. Thinking about med or law school? Make sure you will be in small enough classes where the professor will know you so she can write you a letter of recommendation.

– Francine Block– President – American College Admissions Consultants

Don’t miss answers by the Dean of Admissions at University of Pennsylvania, Wesleyan University, and more – at To send your question to our experts, visit