Pros of liberal arts education; why to go to a small school


Sydney Heiberger

A liberal arts college is a four-year institution that tends to have smaller undergraduate populations in order to focus on a close relationship between professors and their students. These colleges also focus on students taking courses in the humanities and arts. Prospective students may feel that liberal arts education means that you cannot succeed in the STEM field or that liberal arts schools cost much more than people are willing to pay, but these are not true and there are many benefits to a liberal arts education.
One of the biggest appeals of a liberal arts college is the small population of students. Most liberal arts colleges only teach undergraduate students, meaning that there is more time for professors to meet with students. Liberal arts colleges such as Bucknell and Oberlin are more well-known among students. At Bucknell the student to teacher ratio is 10 to one and at Oberlin the ratio is nine to one. With these small ratios, students are able to bond with their professors and form closer relationships that could lead to employment opportunities. “I think it is so important to be close with your teachers, so the smaller population really appeals to me,” junior Lindsay Ross said.
Additionally, liberal arts colleges tend to help prepare students who are coming into college undecided of their major and intended future job. Liberal arts colleges feel that it is necessary for students to study and take classes in core subjects. By doing this, students are exposed to different types of career fields and can choose from a variety of majors. In your first year as a liberal arts student you take a variety of introductory courses in the basic core subjects such as English and science.
In the following three years, students will start to take classes that relate to their specific major. For example, for a school such as Oberlin, one of their more popular majors is visual and performing arts, so someone may tend to take more classes oriented around that major. This is just one example of a popular major at a liberal arts college, but others are social sciences, English language and literature and area, ethnic, cultural and gender studies. “I think liberal arts colleges are beneficial especially because of the diverse list of majors they have for students to choose from,” junior Sarah McGrath said.
Across the United States, there are about 7,000 colleges and 630 of those are liberal arts universities. While these colleges do not make up a large percent of the colleges in the United States they should still be considered when people are choosing where they want to continue their higher education. Liberal arts college can be ideal for students who want a smaller school size and are undecided for what they want to major in. “Even though I have not started my college search, I think it is beneficial for me to considering all that a liberal arts education has to offer,” freshman Jordan Rubin said.
The popularity of Liberal Arts schools is revealed as acceptances continue to be released.

Rachel Berman

Staff Writer