Benefits of Going to a Large School

Larger Schools Can Offer Both Breadth and Depth

View of an American Football Game
David Madison / Getty Images

When people think of college, several images frequently come to mind: Football games. Students sitting in the quad. People attending classes. Graduation day. And while these events are common no matter where you go to school, different kinds of institutions understandably offer different kinds of experiences. If you're interested in going to a large school, then, just what are the top benefits you should consider?

(Note: This list addresses general benefits. There are also many academic benefits.)

Diverse Community

Whether it's in the classroom or in your residence halls, big schools offer an enormous set of resources and perspectives. The more people there are in your community, after all, the larger the pool of knowledge. The way you interact with your fellow college or university community members doesn't have to be formalized and in the classroom; many students have life-changing, perspective-altering conversations in casual places like residence hall common areas or the campus coffee shop. When you're constantly surrounded by a diverse community of smart, interesting, engaging people -- whether they're faculty, staff, or students -- it's nearly impossible not to learn and grow from those around you.

Live in a Metropolitan Area

Even though there are exceptions to every rule, large schools tend to be in major, metropolitan areas, thereby offering a fantastic theater for you to further engage with during your college experience. Whether you take classes that connect you with the history and resources of your city, you volunteer in the local community, or you simply take advantage of the museums, community events, and other jewels that your town has to offer, going to school in a major, metropolitan area offers unique and significant benefits. Additionally, in contrast to a small school in a small town, you may have more opportunities for things like internships, student jobs, and other work experiences that can help prepare you for the job market once you graduate.

A Degree from an Institution with a Well-known Reputation

While small schools can offer an education of equal caliber to your large school, it can sometimes be frustrating -- if not awkward -- to constantly have to explain to people (and potential employers in particular) where your college is and what kind of experience you had. When you attend and graduate from a large school, however, you often receive more name recognition of the institution behind your degree.

An Incredible Event-filled Experience

While college students everywhere complain of being bored, larger schools seem to have a nearly-24/7 event calendar. At larger schools, there is virtually always something going on. And even if it's across campus, at an on-campus theater, or in the lobby of your residence hall, big schools constantly offer experiences that can both supplement and complement what you're learning in the classroom.

A Large Community to Connect With After Graduation

If your school has thousands of students graduating every year -- if not every semester -- than the alumni network will be quite extensive. Whether you're watching football games at a local pub or trying to build professional connections, larger schools can offer both depth and breadth when it comes to finding other graduates who share your student -- and post-college -- experience and alma mater pride.