Difference between student bodies of 1,500 and 2,500

<p>My preference for a college would be a student body with around 2,000-3,000 students. My high school is ~450 students. I love the smallness but want something bigger than that for more options. </p>

<p>I'm looking at some of the Colleges That Change Lives schools because I'm attracted to the good academics plus good merit and financial aid. However, most of those schools are in the 1,000-1,500 range approximately. I was thinking that might be too small. I've read more about people feeling a college was too small in that range than the 2,000-3,000 range, but would like to know if there really is a significant difference.</p>

<p>Depends entirely on you and entirely on the location of the school and its rigor. </p>

<p>Its highly subjective. But in general there is not much difference between 1500 and 2500. Not enough to notice. What will be noticeable are differences in academics as there are lots and lots of good, but not top drawer (third tier) small schools for the average student and such schools will give you outstanding financial aid and scholarships. But you have to decide if its a good academic fit for your or not. Also, lots of second tier schools and even some elite LAC"s fit that description for you.</p>

<p>I also prefer smaller schools.</p>

<p>I also prefer smaller schools for my kids. I would focus less on the number - as previous poster said - I don't think 1500 vs. 2500 is the issue - I would look more closely at the amount of activities/clubs that interest you on-campus. Are there at least several activities that you can see yourself participating in? Look at the area surrounding the campus - what is there to do within walking distance? Is there bus transportation to nearby towns/cities or will you have a car? </p>

<p>I personally attended a small LAC and my biggest complaint was lack of things to do - particularly on the weekends. So, I think my unhappiness there had less to do with the size of the student body and much more to do with the lack of on-campus activities and the fact that the surrounding town was very economically depressed and there was nothing in walking distance.</p>

<p>I agree, a schools actual size may feel different depending on location. Though in general a school of 1500-2500 wouldn't be a range to be concern about when speaking of size difference.</p>

<p>Thank you! That makes a lot of sense.</p>

<p>I start with my bias ... I like a lot of the academic advantages of small schools ... but worry about the social situation in two dimensions ... 1) is there a dominant social scene and will the student fit it ... 2) will the school feel too small by the time the student graduates. Given these two concerns I think the difference between a 1500 and a 2500 person school could be pretty substantial ... the 2500 person school is 67% larger than a 1500 person school ... that allows a lot more room for differing social groups, more ECs, and more new people to meet. Of course your mileage may vary.</p>

<p>One thousand people. </p>

<p>sorry had to do it</p>

<p>some schools to look at for this comparison:</p>

<p>1,500 student range
Pomona
Swarthmore
Grinnell
Bryn Mawr</p>

<p>2,500 student range
Middlebury
Wesleyan
Colgate
Wellesley</p>

<p>the size of school is important for social reasons, but most important is the size of the classes from an academic standpoint. Some smaller schools, even Ivies, still have many larger classes. So if you are looking for close contact with full professors, even schools with 3000 students can have classes of 50 or more which takes away that "small school" advantage. Take a look at how many classes in your area of study will be larger lecture classes.</p>

<p>Small schools are fine, but by definition, will decrease the amount of true diversity since the number of different viewpoints and life outlooks will be less. Some of those schools in that book are very fine schools, but also may actually be quite homogenuous in outlook, so you have to choose carefully.</p>