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Advantages of Liberal Arts Colleges?

nbafan135nbafan135 Posts: 690Registered User Member
edited December 2009 in College Search & Selection
Anyone here that can tell me the advantages of going to a liberal arts college? What kind of people are they good for? Anyone who goes to one here that can describe em a but and how they like em? Thanks
Post edited by nbafan135 on
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Replies to: Advantages of Liberal Arts Colleges?

  • cheri bcheri b Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    I went to a liberal arts college, and basically, it means that you are taking many different classes in all different areas over your four years. Liberal arts schools usually focus more on student-to-faculty interaction, and have a lot more personal attention from faculty (and smaller ratios as well). Their majors are more broad usually (not business, but Economics...not journalism, but English Writing, etc.) but they prepare you for MANY careers and options upon graduation, instead of just one. They are good for students who have different interests, want classes with discussion, and want a well-rounded college experience! Hope this helps...
  • fault/fracturefault/fracture Posts: 26Registered User New Member
    ^she didn't mention this specifically but smaller class sizes.
  • shennieshennie Posts: 2,467Registered User Senior Member
    Also, it is much easier to develop relationships with professors. At most LACs, they are required to have extensive office hours where they are available to meet with students. I used to stop by sometimes to ask a question about something from class and still be there several hours later talking about something completely different. I learned an amazing amount from these discussions, not just about the subject matter, but about how to think about the subject and how to critically analyze information.
  • nbafan135nbafan135 Posts: 690Registered User Member
    thank you guys for your replies. i have know idea what i want to do, so this might seem like a good option for me. and cheri b's last line is what id like from college too.

    and wow it seems like a great choice.


    how are the job opportunities if one gets a bachelors from a lac?
  • shennieshennie Posts: 2,467Registered User Senior Member
    They are no different than the same major at a university. If you major in English at an LAC your job chances are the same as if you major in English as Big State U.
  • CatlinjonCatlinjon Posts: 71Registered User Junior Member
    Surprisingly, a lot of businesses flock to LAC's for recruitment. I'm talking Wall st firms. It has been pretty much proven that a LAC degree is equally as qualifying as a degree intended for a specific profession. Best example: Economics at a LAV vs Business at a business school. Same value overall.
  • redsoxgirlredsoxgirl Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    How good are LAC's for medical school? Are they the same as a big state university or do they supply a slight edge for acceptance?
  • MSUDadMSUDad Posts: 487Registered User Member
    You will never have a TA. That's the best reason right there.

    As for med school:
    The LAC I attended isn't on anyone's list of "the best" anything. You've never heard of it. Yet, for 6 straight years they never had anyone turned down for med school.
  • HighlandMomHighlandMom Posts: 1,009Registered User Senior Member
    ^^ Agree with you MSUDad. I'm curious about your alma mater. My dd has ONE school on her list (a very highly regarded LAC) and I want her to broaden her options. Her criteria include being in the mountains though :) She also wouldn't do well in the northeast, I'm afraid the winters would kill her.
  • SabsterSabster Posts: 424Registered User Member
    LACs are great lead-ins to med school. They're undergrad focused, provide more opportunity for research, and since you know the teachers, they'll give great personal recommendations.
  • FLVADADFLVADAD Posts: 1,602Registered User Senior Member
    I'm sure some will take issue with this, but depending on your specific goals, I think LACs generally offer a significantly superior undergraduate academic experience, and prepares you better for graduate and professional studies. The quality of work and instruction is higher due to the added intensity of work and close relationships formed with professors. The professors are usually very accomplished, but unlike those at large universities, their first priority is most often teaching versus other endeavors. The degree of interaction makes a big difference.

    The main drawaback for some is that LACs are relatively small, and that kind of environment does not suit everyone. Many students want to attend schools with greater scale and national recognition. Large universities also can also offer a greater number of specialized studies related to specific vocations.

    That said, most LACs take great pains to bring a number of national figures and programs to campus, giving their students far more access to such guests while on campus. I had some great experiences meeting famous novelists, politicians, broadcasters, entertainers, and others on campus when I was in school. D is currently enjoying the same benefits at her school now. I always tell her how jealous I am.
  • nbafan135nbafan135 Posts: 690Registered User Member
    Where does your daughter go flvadad?

    And Im very surprised at some of these responses. I hadnt even heard of LAC until not so long ago, all i heard about were like ivies and states, but now it seems that LAC's are just as good if not better than any regular college.

    Isnt UVA a LAC school?

    And are there any LAC's near some big city or with a lot of people?
  • WeskidWeskid Posts: 1,288Registered User Senior Member
    nbafan: UVA is, as far as I know, not an LAC. They, like most colleges, have a college of arts and sciences, but if they also have more specialized programs (engeneering, nursing, business) and/or significant graduate school presence, they are not an LAC.

    LACs are, IMO, not inherently better than "any regular college," or vica-versa. There are some great LACs and some "regular" ones, just like Unis. Some people prefer LACs for their undergraduate focus, student-faculty ratios/interactions, lack of TAs and community feel (LACs are all fairly small), some prefer Unis because of the larger class selection, bigger campus feel, and access to some grad programs, first class research, etc.

    Some LACs in/near big cities are: Barnard (in NYC, only for girls), Sarah Lawrence (close to NYC, very unique program of studies), Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Myer (pretty close to Philly), Occidental (in LA), the Clermont colleges (Pomona, Claremont McKenna, Scripts, Pitzer and Harvey Mudd, which are all fairly close to LA, and in a consortium with each other, so that the total student population in the area feels more like a small uni), Reed (right outside of Portland), Lewis+Clark (also outside of Portland), Macalister (in one of the twin cities, I think Minneapolis).

    My school, Wesleyan has about 2,800 students, and is about as large as you're going to get in an LAC, though there might be a couple that are closer to the 4,000 range; I forget which ones those are, though.
  • shennieshennie Posts: 2,467Registered User Senior Member
    UVA is not a LAC, it is a small university. LACs are usually under 3000 students, many being under 2000. They are located all over the country in every kind of environment from large cities to suburbs to small towns to out in the country. Some of the bettern known LACs in or near big cities include Swarthmore, Macalaster, Reed, Lewis & Clark, and Pomona. (There are many others but they aren't coming to me right now.)

    Small universities are often seen as the best of both worlds in regards to LAC vs. large State U. They usually have 5,000 - 10,000 students, are pretty focused on undergrads but do have graduate programs as well, have a fairly high number of smaller classes, offer research opportunities, and many of the professors are interested in teaching as well as research. Examples of this type of college include Tufts, Rice, Rochester, CMU, UVA, Northwestern as well as many others.

    Different students are looking for different experiences. I loved my LAC experience. I would have been completely overwhelmed by a large State U. Two of my 2 sons attended LACs and also have had wonderful experiences. However, I know lots of folks who were quite happy attending very large schools.
  • kcphobokcphobo Posts: 27Registered User New Member
    Both my kids went/now attend LACs. Both went to huge high schools and were faces in the crowd. Our eldest left hs without a clue, but found her academic passion in college. She's now pursuing that passion at an Ivy grad school. She gives much of the credit to the mentoring she got from her LAC professors. She's certain that she would not have received that attention and guidance at a larger school. The younger one is still a freshman, so we shall see. For both, another benefit of the LAC small school size is the opportunity to swim competitively with teams that value academics over athletics and fun over winning. They even have a chance at setting school records, something that was outside of their reach at their large high schools.
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