So, you’ve all heard of liberal arts college.
But uh … what exactly are they?
Liberal arts is the broad education of arts, humanities, social and natural and sciences. If you have a wide range of interests or don’t know what to study, then studying at a liberal arts college is the perfect foundation for you. They have smaller classes, focus on undergraduates, they equip you with lifelong transferable skills, and they prepare you for the future.
Here are 10 reasons why you should attend a liberal arts college.
1. Undergraduate focus
While most large universities focus on research and graduate students, liberal arts colleges focus on undergraduate students. And they only have undergraduate programs. Everything revolves around the students.
2. Strong sense of community
Going to university can be tough, especially if you’re moving away from home. There’s a new place to call home and heaps of new people. Liberal arts colleges are smaller than most colleges which means they’re more inclusive and provide a tight-knit community. This makes it feel more ‘homey’ and gives you a chance to get to know other students on a more personal level.
3. Small classes
Liberal arts colleges have smaller class sizes which are often made up of less than thirty students. This allows students to participate in class a lot more and it gives them a better opportunity to get to know their professors and peers. It also makes it easier for professors to know when students are struggling, so they can provide better help and support.
4. More access to professors
Most classes at liberal arts colleges are taught by professors instead of teaching assistants. Because of the smaller class sizes at liberal arts colleges, it makes it easier for students to get to know their professors. Professors have a better understanding of the subjects and can provide students with more knowledge. These classes also provide great mentorship and networking opportunities for students.
5. Financial aid
Liberal arts colleges are generally more flexible in terms of financial aid. They’re able to offer more scholarships, and some of them even provide full financial aid packages to students. There are different scholarships based on merit, need, and talent.
6. Critical and innovative thinking skills
Most colleges teach you what to think. However, liberal arts colleges teach you how to think. Unlike other colleges where you memorise facts for a test, these colleges provide students with the opportunity to examine ideas and connect these ideas all throughout their college experience. These critical and innovative thinking skills are adaptable and are necessary to create change in the world.
7. Explore your interests
Liberal arts colleges allow you to customise your college experience and explore your interests. They give you the opportunity to study subjects you enjoy that don’t relate to your major. By taking a variety of classes, it also allows you to discover new interests and potentially change the direction of your studies and career choices.
8. Preparation for further education
Liberal arts schools are better at preparing students for further education than most universities because they focus on critical thinking. Undergraduate students also have more opportunities to participate in research activities because at other universities these research activities are usually reserved for graduate students.
9. Stronger recognition by employers
Majority of employers particularly favour candidates with a liberal arts background as they believe students should have a broad knowledge of the arts and science. They also favour candidates who have a broad range of creative thinking, innovation and problem-solving skills, as these skills can be adapted to suit practically any job.
10. Prepares for jobs yet to be created
Not only do these colleges prepare you for jobs that exist, but they also prepare you for jobs that don’t exist yet. They do this by teaching you skills such as adapting, creating, and collaborating, which prepare you for the ever-changing world and can be applied to practically everything. So, in a few years’ time, you’ll most likely be working in a job that doesn’t even exist yet. How exciting is that?
Do these reasons make you want to attend a liberal arts college? Do you already attend one? If so, what do you like most about it?
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Julie is currently studying s Bachelor of Arts (Professional and Creative Writing) at Deakin University in Australia. She's a hardcover book and journal collector, she owns way too many planners, and she keeps telling herself that one day she will go to Paris.