Colleges: Big vs. Small

The way a person perceives their future, where they come from, and what their interests are, all have an effect when picking a school to further their education after high school. Some students see themselves at a big university post graduation, other students enjoy a small town feel and will go to smaller colleges. So what is the difference from a student’s perspective on big and small colleges? I sat down with two students, Meghan Pier and Ely King, to see what they think of big colleges and small colleges, what decisions they have made, and why they made them.

First, I sat down with Meghan Pier, a student at a Division I University.

Q1. What school do you go to?

MP: Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

Q2. What year are you?

MP: I just finished my first semester of sophomore year.

Q3. What has been your experience in the classroom?

MP: Intro level classes are large lectures but classes for your major are a lot smaller, they are about 20 people. Sometimes you do feel less inclined to go to classes that are larger lectures because the professors don’t know you and don’t take attendance. There is less 1 on 1 with professors because lectures are so large.

Q4. What has been your experience outside the classroom? What do you do in your free time?

MP: BSU has a lot of different activities around campus. The individual dorm buildings have their own events as well throughout the year like once, my building made toys for the humane society. You can work out at the rec center and there are also concerts on campus. I spend my free time going to bible study and watching Netflix, also attending some campus events.

Q5. What kinds of things are there to do in your college town?

MP: There is a movie theatre, a decent sized mall, farmers market, people hang out at the park along the river, a bowling alley, the Escape Room Game, and the nightlife at the bars for 21 and over students is also very popular.

Q6. What do you imagine a small school is like?

MP: The classes are probably the same size as the classes for our majors, there are probably shorter walks to class, there probably are not as many food options as well. I do feel like there would be better relationships on campus because of the close proximity and you see more of the same people daily. I also feel like relationships with professors would be better.

Overall, Meghan enjoys the atmosphere at Ball State more than she feels like she would at a smaller college because she said she comes from a bigger highschool of about 3,000 students. She looks forward to this coming semester and the years to come!

Next I sat down with Defiance College’s own, Ely King. Ely is a very involved student around campus and really enjoys the atmosphere at DC. Here is what she had to say about her experience at Defiance and how she views a bigger university in comparison.

Q1. What has your experience been inside of the classroom?

EK: Classes are very small, they are definitely more personalized, and there is a lot of 1 on 1 time with the professors. The positive part of the smaller class sizes is that the professor is willing to set the pace of the class at the pace that the students themselves feel comfortable with and professors are very attentive to students individual needs.

Q2. What has been your experience outside of the classroom? How do you spend your time?

EK: I am very involved. A small school allows me to be involved in a collegiate varsity sport, which is softball. I am involved in greek life with APO, service projects, Campus Activity Board, and more. The whole campus community feels more like a family.

Q3. What kinds of things are there to do in your college town?

EK: Ice cream trips, small mall and a movie theatre, small businesses and shops, sporting events, and there is a river and a dam to go visit.

Q4. What do you think your experience would be at a big university?

EK: I don’t think it would be for me, I think I would feel less like a student and more like a number. It wouldn’t be a personalized structure. While there would be more opportunities to do stuff and meet new people, I would have a large group of friends as opposed to a small group of best friends like I do now.


There are positives and negatives to all schools, it all just depends on the environment students wish to surround them as they go on to further their education. For me personally, I think Defiance was the right choice for me and for what I am looking for out of my education. Regardless if the school you chose or need to choose is big or small, go out and make memories with the people around you you’ll never forget!

Written by Haleigh Parrish

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