When creating their shortlist of preferred schools, some students do not even consider their state college. This is mainly because of a few myths doing the rounds that have given these institutions a bad reputation.
Myth #1: You’re just another number at a state school
Fact: State schools can accommodate upwards of 25,000 students. With such massive enrollment numbers, the question uppermost in most students’ minds is “Will I ever have the opportunity to stand out?”
This may sound like a valid question, but if you ask any student currently studying in a state college, they will be quick to allay your fears. While these schools may have a higher number of students, they also have a larger number of student organizations based on a wide range of interests. This will make it easier for you to find your niche, make friends who have a common interest and build up a strong portfolio in that particular field.
Once you gain more experience and mastery in a specific niche, you will eventually stand out and will no more be ‘just another number’ in the school.
Myth #2: You’ll never get individual attention from professors because of the larger class sizes
Fact: Most professors take pride in providing personalized attention to their students, no matter how large their class size. State college professors are no less qualified or less dedicated than professors in private colleges. Some of the best professors choose to teach at state colleges for various reasons, most commonly because family commitments require them to teach in a college close to home.
Myth #3: You should only consider state colleges if you do not get accepted into any of the other schools you applied to
Fact: It is a mistake to consider state colleges solely as a backup plan, to apply to only if nothing else works out. These institutions offer a wealth of benefits, from significantly lower tuition fees to a larger variety of courses to choose from and the opportunity to live closer to home.
The savings itself are substantial enough to consider state colleges as your first choice. State college should also be your first option if you are not sure about your major, for two reasons. Firstly, they offer almost endless options with regards to courses of study and majors. Secondly, with their lower tuition fees make it easier to explore different areas of study without stressing over how much extra it is going to cost you.
Myth 4: It is difficult to feel you belong in such a large community
Fact: All colleges, including state colleges, instill a fierce sense of community and school spirit in their students. Any student who has attended a state college will attest to this.
Some students may feel isolated regardless of whether the school has a large or small student body while other students feel a sense of community and belonging in just about any setting. Ultimately, what you make from your college experience is up to you.
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