UC or small LAC(not big names)

<p>SHould i go to a small liberal arts college-not prestigious- Rhodes/Furman
or a big state school (UCSB)???</p>

<p>my dad is worried that i will get lost in the big intro classes at UCSB
My mom tells me to go where i will be happy..</p>

<p>im torn on how to decide</p>

<p>(i got 7k a year from Rhodes, 13k from Furman)</p>


<p>Have you visited Rhodes and Furman?
If so, where do you feel like you’d most fit in? Where would you like to live for four years?</p>

<p>You might as poster Curmudgeon about Rhodes, his Dd had a wonderful 4 years there. My DD went to Cal. Both of these girls are now med students, so it can be done either place, but I think it really depends on the setting which will allow you to be your best. Another of my DDs attended a small LAC instead of a big state school and it was wonderful for her. I will say that my Cal DD is very much an extrovert and that personality type worked well at a UC, my LAC DD is less out there, requires less ‘buzz’ in life. A UC is going to be full of people and red tape and hassle, but exciting, too. Which fits YOU?</p>

<p>How important are finances to your family? My son made the choice of a LAC over UC about 10 years ago, and it was a mistake, largely for financial reasons. Maybe another LAC would have been different – but my son messed up in a couple of classes, and it would have been cost-prohibitive to make them up at the LAC, and he wasn’t able to transfer back into the UC system. He was at a very small LAC (under 1500 students), and while it was nice in the beginning, over time it seemed too small & limiting. So he ended up working for a few years and then transferring to a CSU with about 5,000 students. </p>

<p>My daughter also chose a LAC over a UC - and did extremely well - but she was at an LAC affiliated with a large research university, so she never felt limited in any way by the environment.</p>

<p>Furman & Rhodes are both excellent LAC’s – so IF those are good fit schools, then please don’t worry about prestige or rankings. However – here’s the hard part and what you need to discuss with your dad – college is for 4 years. You need a college that is a good fit for the 18 year old who will start next year, but you also want a college that will be a good fit for the 22 year old you will become. For my son, the school that seemed perfect at age 18 was not a good place at age 20. So try to pick a place that not only feels comfortable to start, but where you think you will have plenty of room for growth. </p>

<p>I think it’s analogous to buying a winter coat for a growing kid. If a parent spends a lot of money for the coat in September, the kid may outgrow it before the winter is over, and it certainly won’t fit the following year - if the mom buys a coat that is a little too large, it will last longer and the kid will be sure to grow into it. So think about whether the LACs will stretch and challenge you … as well as whether the UC will prove too overwhelming as opposed to simply taking some time to get used to.</p>


<p>I like the winter coat example!</p>

<p>Do YOU think you’d get ‘lost’ in the big intro classes at UCSB? If so, why? </p>

<p>IMO too much is made of the ‘getting lost’ at the larger U. It’s really not difficult to navigate and if you’ve performed well enough to be admitted you should be able to figure out what’s needed to succeed there. You won’t have the administration leading you around by the hand but IMO that’s not needed anyway. You don’t need to be an extrovert but you do need to be willing to take the initiative at times to determine which courses to take, alternatives, contact the profs/TAs when you have questions, etc. but you should be able to handle that.</p>

<p>There are only maybe a dozen or so “prestigious” colleges in the country. Furman and Rhodes are outstanding LACs. Curmudgeon’s D turned down Yale for Rhodes. You can easily justify any choice among the three.</p>

<p>can only say what I did. Went to UCSB 1971-1975. Then went on to grad school at Harvard. Plenty of resources to accomplish everything I wanted as an undergrad at UCSB back then, but I worked hard. It’s up to the student. Believe me, you will need the self-discipline at UCSB, but it can be done. Still the best 4 years of my life. If you gravitate more to small class-size and individual attention LACs are a fine alternative as well. By the time I was a senior at UCSB, I was allowed to take a grad course based on my performance and came to know the dept professors and grad students as well. The campus, its setting, always kept me calm–but the focus was my own doing. Of course that was 35-40 years ago, and you need to talk w/current students at all your possible alternatives. That is just as important as visiting the campus. I still love to go back to the campus, much more than I do Cambridge.</p>

<p>You should try to figure out whether you like the experience of being at a LAC and whether you can see yourself being there: going to classes, living in those dorms, etc. I went to a big university in a city my first year and couldn’t stand it. I wasn’t sure what I wanted in the college experience. Transferred to a LAC and loved it. It had its down sides (they all do), but at that particular time it was right for me. I enjoyed going to dinner parties with the faculty, etc., and liked the intense atmosphere. But this experience is not for everyone. </p>

<p>If money is an issue, the UCs are still a really good deal, although I don’t know about Merced.</p>