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private liberal arts colleges

bishopgurlbishopgurl Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
What are those colleges like and what's the difference between that college an a regular college

Replies to: private liberal arts colleges

  • lotsofquestslotsofquests Registered User Posts: 913 Member
    You have asked a rather vague question. What do you consider a "regular" college? A private college is one that is not directly supported by government funds. When tax money is used to support schools, in-state residents normally pay lower tuition. Private schools, on the other hand, were founded by non-government organizations, often churches, and depend on tuition and endowments for funding. This is an oversimplification and I am sure that someone else could give you more differences. If you can make your question a little clearer, you will get a better answer.
  • LasMaLasMa Registered User Posts: 10,885 Senior Member
    Liberal arts colleges tend to be smaller, and the classes tend to be smaller. You'll probably get to know your profs better.

    Lotsofquests is right. If you can tell us what aspects of college you're most wondering about, we can give you better answers.
  • PinnumPinnum Registered User Posts: 244 Junior Member
    Liberal Arts Colleges tend to have more cross discipline requirements that mix majors. For instance, when you're talking about elite LACs, it is not uncommon to have to take a biology class with a handful of people that will become doctors, econ classes with people who will become investment bankers, and political science courses with people that spend their summers interning on the hill.

    It is different than a lot of the universities that have many different course offerings and as a result you could get a biology course for non-science majors or an into to econ course that is watered down a little more for people without an interest in the subject.

    While there are exceptions to this, over all, I have found it to be the case. Some people like that about universities. They like that they can really focus on their specific major without having to take difficult courses that go in depth in other areas since it allows them more time to focus specifically on their major and go more in depth in that area. While others like the flexibility offered by the LACs and find that being able to focus in multiple areas better prepares them for the uncertainty of what they will do down the road, or just satisfies their curiosity.

    It also has a lot to do with your learning style. If you like class discussion and instruction then the smaller schools typically offer more of this while if you're good at learning on your own and are good at research then the university setting can be a great option.

  • NROTCgradNROTCgrad Registered User Posts: 1,730 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    The simplest answer is that a liberal arts college only grants bachelors degrees -- not master's or Ph.D degrees. They are also typically fairly small; rarely more than 3,000 students and usually closer to 2,000 students.

    Plus their focus is primarily on teaching, in contrast to "regular" universities which give tons of attention to research. In general, you will find the quality of teaching at liberal arts colleges to be superior to teaching at "regular" colleges.
  • NovaLynnxNovaLynnx Registered User Posts: 1,406 Senior Member
    The simplest answer is that a liberal arts college only grants bachelors degrees -- not master's or Ph.D degrees.

    This is not always true. My private LAC offered about 4-5 different masters programs, including Nursing, Education, MBA, Human Resources, and possibly more. These were through a different "school" in the way that large universities have a "school" of business or a "school" of nursing - but the courses were taught by the LAC professors, utilized all the campus resources, and degrees were awarded by the LAC. Their graduations were even combined with the undergrads since the school was so small.

    I agree with all other feedback you received here. I loved my LAC because of the small classes, small campus, excellent teaching, and it still had several research opportunities which were fairly easy to get involved with. I did a TON of writing (which I also loved). However, not everyone likes the small atmosphere - there are fewer clubs to choose from, you get to know most everyone (which can be good or bad depending on your attitude toward it), fewer sports with less hype, fewer living options, more writing (compared to large state schools with hundreds of students in introductory courses - no prof is going to grade that many papers), etc.

    Cost can vary greatly based on financial aid packages. Private LACs may offer full-tuition and partial scholarships, which can make them cheaper than a state school (particularly if you're an out-of-state student), but the opposite can also be true if the state school offers more aid than the private school.

    I'd say your social personality and your learning style are the two biggest influencers on whether you'll enjoy a LAC or a large university - but there are people who'd do well at either one.
  • bishopgurlbishopgurl Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    I was wondering the difference between a regular 4 year college and private liberal arts college
  • lotsofquestslotsofquests Registered User Posts: 913 Member
    A private liberal arts college is a regular college. You are not being at all clear in asking your question. Can you give an example of what you think is a regular college?
  • PinnumPinnum Registered User Posts: 244 Junior Member
    To answer your question: There is no difference; a private liberal arts college is a regular four year college.
  • bishopgurlbishopgurl Registered User Posts: 74 Junior Member
    Like for example hood college vs university of maryland
  • LasMaLasMa Registered User Posts: 10,885 Senior Member
    I'm not familiar specifically with either of those two schools, but it reminds me of the difference between myself and my daughter. I went to a large public university when I was young, something like Univ of MD, and my daughter went to a small LAC, something like Hood. She visited my university when she was looking at colleges, and of course I've been to her school. Maybe if I tell you our different reactions, that will give you an idea.

    What I loved about my big public university: lots and lots of things to do, activities, clubs, sports. It was exciting and vibrant 24 hours a day, there was always something going on, and varsity sports were a big deal. I liked the large classes (one lecture hall holds almost 1000 people!). What my daughter hated about it: She felt overwhelmed and lost when she visited. The large class size was very unappealing to her.

    What my daughter loved about her small LAC: Everyone knows everyone else; there's a much more intimate feel. Students get to know their professors, and can work with them on research if they desire (not an opportunity usually available to undergrads at a public university). The small class sizes mean you really learn, and profs can give you individual attention. She became a student leader of a group, which would have been much harder at a public U. What I would have hated about it (although I loved the LAC for her): I might have gotten bored seeing the same people every day. I like to "hide" sometimes in crowds and big classes, and that's impossible at an LAC.
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