Liberal Arts College vs Public University
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24-09-2016, 08:18 AM
Liberal Arts College vs Public University
Hey everyone! I'm in a bit of a situation here that we all have to face at one point in our lives. It's about my education. So I'm a male Senior in high school right now and I'm applying for colleges and scholarships scheduling visits, etc. My top two schools are between a liberal arts college about one hour from where I live and a public university about an hour and 45 minutes away. Honestly there are pros and cons about each school and I'm not making a decision yet, but I'm curious as to what you all would have to say.

Pros regarding the liberal arts school it that it is small. Only about 600 students. So it is good that the classrooms are smaller and I can be more interacted with my professors. Plus if I go to this school it will only be because I decide to play basketball. This is the only school that has considered me so far. Finally, this school has a work studies program that would allow me to pay for my tuition and with all factors considered I wouldn't be owing any money when I graduated.

Cons regarding the liberal arts school there too. For one they don't offer many majors. The only one that I'm considering that they offer is education. I don't know what I plan on majoring in is why this is such a big deal to me. Also, it is a CHRISTIAN school! No denomination but they implement Christian values in their school. I hope not the education. I don't know if they teach evolution or not and probably not the Big Bang theory. Plus, I feel like I would be overwhelmed if I went here. 10 hours of work studies a week, 15-18 hours of education(that's what the basketball coach pushes for), and then basketball and weight lifting. I just feel like it would all overwhelm me and pressure me too much, but at the same time maybe make me a man? Finally, this a school is in the middle of nowhere I mean the campus is not as bad as people say, but anything outside of it is.

Pros of the Public University is that it's far away for a college experience, but not too far from home. There are about 10,000 students, but the classrooms still aren't too big. A lot of people from my high school go there every year. It's a secular school so I don't have to worry about dealing with a dogma and I can be 100% sure I will get taught real science. I'm considering a few other majors such as astronomy and astrophysics, physical therapy, and philosophy. I won't be playing basketball or doing work studies so in my free time besides studying there will be plenty to do there such as clubs, intramural sports, recreational centers, restaurants, and other things to do in my free time.

The cons, however, are right there with the pros. I'm afraid I will change my mind too much about my major and should just become a gym teacher so I could coach and be safe with that decision. Plus I don't feel like I'm smart enough to study planets even though it interests me. With this school I'm going to have to pay of course. Yes, I'm doing everything I can to recieve scholarships and financial aid. I'm already eligible for some, but I will have student loans if I graduate at this school. Plus, I feel like I would regret not playing basketball. Finally, people talk about partying at this school and I don't plan on partying, but anywhere you go that can occur. I'm going for an education and I don't know how you all view partying, but I feel like it's not a good idea to even have to face that temptation.

Thank you all so much!

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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24-09-2016, 09:11 AM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
(24-09-2016 08:18 AM)goldenarm Wrote:  The cons, however, are right there with the pros. I'm afraid I will change my mind too much about my major and should just become a gym teacher so I could coach and be safe with that decision. Plus I don't feel like I'm smart enough to study planets even though it interests me. With this school I'm going to have to pay of course. Yes, I'm doing everything I can to recieve scholarships and financial aid. I'm already eligible for some, but I will have student loans if I graduate at this school. Plus, I feel like I would regret not playing basketball. Finally, people talk about partying at this school and I don't plan on partying, but anywhere you go that can occur. I'm going for an education and I don't know how you all view partying, but I feel like it's not a good idea to even have to face that temptation.

I bolded the bits that jump out at me. Firstly. If you ever think you'll be no good at something, then you won't be any good at it. Learn to think of yourself positively. Honestly maths and physics and all that stuff sounds pretty scary but like everything else in life it's all about doing the basics right.

The money is obviously a concern. Think about what you want to do later on too. If you can get a loan but then get a decent job and pay it back then you've come away with something positive. On the other hand no debt at the end of your degree also sounds attractive.

The other thing is definitely, if playing basketball is your passion then that obviously counts for a lot. Is it definite that you couldn't play basketball at the public university? Also how good can the basketball team of a small college with only 600 students really be? (I ask in ignorance, I know nothing of the sport). Personally I believe in following your passion if you can, but... you can follow your passion without it overriding everything else in your life, so maybe you could keep basketball as your free time sport without being as serious about it?

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24-09-2016, 09:15 AM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
In your shoes, I'd go to the public university based on the broader offerings and opportunities, especially since you haven't focused on a major yet. It's easier than you might think to create a comfortable space inside a large institution. (In terms of partying, believe me there will be plenty of that at the smaller college as well. Many Christian college students party; they just feel extra guilt along with their hangovers.) You should also ask about the science curriculum at the private college--there are many religious-affiliated colleges that have excellent science programs, as long as the religious affiliation isn't one of the anti-intellectual fundie ones. The opportunity to get an education without post-college debt merits serious consideration.

I'd also recommend that you not close your options down too far (to just two colleges so early in the application process) and that you ask lots of questions. The good news is that colleges are usually happy to provide specific information when asked.

We went through a similar assessment process last year with my son, who is now a freshman at a public university and enjoying it very much. While his campus is relatively large, his program is small, so he will be getting to know all of the other students and professors in his department.

Best of luck in your search.
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24-09-2016, 11:42 AM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
goldenarm,

I agree with the previous poster; options and opportunities at this stage. Whatever you choose, all the best for your future. Smile

D.
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24-09-2016, 01:04 PM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
(24-09-2016 09:11 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(24-09-2016 08:18 AM)goldenarm Wrote:  The cons, however, are right there with the pros. I'm afraid I will change my mind too much about my major and should just become a gym teacher so I could coach and be safe with that decision. Plus I don't feel like I'm smart enough to study planets even though it interests me. With this school I'm going to have to pay of course. Yes, I'm doing everything I can to recieve scholarships and financial aid. I'm already eligible for some, but I will have student loans if I graduate at this school. Plus, I feel like I would regret not playing basketball. Finally, people talk about partying at this school and I don't plan on partying, but anywhere you go that can occur. I'm going for an education and I don't know how you all view partying, but I feel like it's not a good idea to even have to face that temptation.

I bolded the bits that jump out at me. Firstly. If you ever think you'll be no good at something, then you won't be any good at it. Learn to think of yourself positively. Honestly maths and physics and all that stuff sounds pretty scary but like everything else in life it's all about doing the basics right.

The money is obviously a concern. Think about what you want to do later on too. If you can get a loan but then get a decent job and pay it back then you've come away with something positive. On the other hand no debt at the end of your degree also sounds attractive.

The other thing is definitely, if playing basketball is your passion then that obviously counts for a lot. Is it definite that you couldn't play basketball at the public university? Also how good can the basketball team of a small college with only 600 students really be? (I ask in ignorance, I know nothing of the sport). Personally I believe in following your passion if you can, but... you can follow your passion without it overriding everything else in your life, so maybe you could keep basketball as your free time sport without being as serious about it?

Thank you. That does give me a lot to think about for sure. I do need to be more positive about myself and with hard work I can do it. The money thing I will continue to see how I'm able to work on that. Finally, with basketball at that level( D-1 public school) it's not impossible, but very unlikely for me coming right out of high school based on my school level.plus I have no offers. I love the game and sometimes I'm motivated to play at the next level, but other times I don't know if I will feel like doing it because sports are like another job in college.

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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24-09-2016, 01:07 PM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
(24-09-2016 09:15 AM)julep Wrote:  In your shoes, I'd go to the public university based on the broader offerings and opportunities, especially since you haven't focused on a major yet. It's easier than you might think to create a comfortable space inside a large institution. (In terms of partying, believe me there will be plenty of that at the smaller college as well. Many Christian college students party; they just feel extra guilt along with their hangovers.) You should also ask about the science curriculum at the private college--there are many religious-affiliated colleges that have excellent science programs, as long as the religious affiliation isn't one of the anti-intellectual fundie ones. The opportunity to get an education without post-college debt merits serious consideration.

I'd also recommend that you not close your options down too far (to just two colleges so early in the application process) and that you ask lots of questions. The good news is that colleges are usually happy to provide specific information when asked.

We went through a similar assessment process last year with my son, who is now a freshman at a public university and enjoying it very much. While his campus is relatively large, his program is small, so he will be getting to know all of the other students and professors in his department.

Best of luck in your search.

Thank you so much! I will consider everything you said. Also, I agree that I need to look at a few more schools. I have about 2-3 more at least that I will look into.

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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24-09-2016, 04:25 PM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
goldenarm,

You are in a very good place in your life. Bowing

D.
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24-09-2016, 04:46 PM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
The scene opens on a small, secluded private school in the middle of the woods. Cue insane clown music.

(24-09-2016 08:18 AM)goldenarm Wrote:  Cons regarding the liberal arts school there too. For one they don't offer many majors.

That isn't a good sign. Do you mind if we ask what school it is? Easier to give you a more accurate evaluation of it.

Quote:I'm afraid I will change my mind too much about my major and should just become a gym teacher so I could coach and be safe with that decision.

Don't worry about your major. It's more important that you do it well than what you do. There's a fair bit of freedom to change it up later so long as you can demonstrate that you're competent.

Quote:Plus I don't feel like I'm smart enough to study planets even though it interests me.

The more likely problem can be that something you are interested in is not necessarily something that you'd enjoy doing professionally. I messed up my first degree that way.

Quote:Finally, people talk about partying at this school and I don't plan on partying, but anywhere you go that can occur. I'm going for an education and I don't know how you all view partying, but I feel like it's not a good idea to even have to face that temptation.

Partying happens. It's healthy in moderation. Just pick your friends well and don't be afraid to spend your Friday nights stdying when you have to. You're going to face temptations throughout life so you might as well learn how.

Have you considered taking a year off? Get out into the workplace, earn some money, give yourself some time to think.

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24-09-2016, 10:19 PM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
(24-09-2016 04:46 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  The scene opens on a small, secluded private school in the middle of the woods. Cue insane clown music.

(24-09-2016 08:18 AM)goldenarm Wrote:  Cons regarding the liberal arts school there too. For one they don't offer many majors.

That isn't a good sign. Do you mind if we ask what school it is? Easier to give you a more accurate evaluation of it.

Quote:I'm afraid I will change my mind too much about my major and should just become a gym teacher so I could coach and be safe with that decision.

Don't worry about your major. It's more important that you do it well than what you do. There's a fair bit of freedom to change it up later so long as you can demonstrate that you're competent.

Quote:Plus I don't feel like I'm smart enough to study planets even though it interests me.

The more likely problem can be that something you are interested in is not necessarily something that you'd enjoy doing professionally. I messed up my first degree that way.

Quote:Finally, people talk about partying at this school and I don't plan on partying, but anywhere you go that can occur. I'm going for an education and I don't know how you all view partying, but I feel like it's not a good idea to even have to face that temptation.

Partying happens. It's healthy in moderation. Just pick your friends well and don't be afraid to spend your Friday nights stdying when you have to. You're going to face temptations throughout life so you might as well learn how.

Have you considered taking a year off? Get out into the workplace, earn some money, give yourself some time to think.

Thank you for your response. I agree with you on every point that you made. As far as taking a year off I can't do that or I won't get my financial aid and scholarship money I've earned I'm pretty sure. Finally, the private school is Alice Loyd college.

" That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
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25-09-2016, 05:29 AM
RE: Liberal Arts College vs Public University
(24-09-2016 10:19 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  
(24-09-2016 04:46 PM)Paleophyte Wrote:  The scene opens on a small, secluded private school in the middle of the woods. Cue insane clown music.


That isn't a good sign. Do you mind if we ask what school it is? Easier to give you a more accurate evaluation of it.


Don't worry about your major. It's more important that you do it well than what you do. There's a fair bit of freedom to change it up later so long as you can demonstrate that you're competent.


The more likely problem can be that something you are interested in is not necessarily something that you'd enjoy doing professionally. I messed up my first degree that way.


Partying happens. It's healthy in moderation. Just pick your friends well and don't be afraid to spend your Friday nights stdying when you have to. You're going to face temptations throughout life so you might as well learn how.

Have you considered taking a year off? Get out into the workplace, earn some money, give yourself some time to think.

Thank you for your response. I agree with you on every point that you made. As far as taking a year off I can't do that or I won't get my financial aid and scholarship money I've earned I'm pretty sure. Finally, the private school is Alice Loyd college.

Okay, I've changed my mind. Alice Lloyd College should be your very last choice, the school you take only if no other college accepts your or you can't afford to go anywhere else.

I just looked them up. The course offerings are extremely limited. The college mission seems largely to be to train up "good" (that is, competent, unquestioning, and Christian) employees for your region, while holding its costs down with all of that free labor, while also making sure the students are too tired from working and doing their assignments to have experiences or even discussions that might make them raise impertinent questions.
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