Liberal Arts Colleges - Reed College

The Benefits of Attending a Small Liberal Arts College

Why a Tight-Knit Community, Broad-Based Education, and Hands-On Learning Opportunities Might Be the Right Choice for You

An Argument for putting Liberal Arts Colleges on your College List

Small liberal arts colleges are often overlooked by high school students and their parents when it comes to the college search process. They assume that larger universities with extensive course offerings and research opportunities are the only way to go, but small liberal arts colleges offer a number of unique benefits that are well worth considering.

Read on as we explore the benefits of attending a liberal arts college (LAC), and why it might just be the right choice for you.

Strong Sense of Community

One of the biggest benefits of attending a small LAC is the sense of community that you will experience. Unlike larger universities, where it can be easy to feel lost in the crowd, small liberal arts colleges offer a tight-knit, supportive community of students, faculty, and staff.

You will have the opportunity to build close relationships with your professors, who will be able to provide you with personalized attention and mentorship. This kind of one-on-one interaction can be invaluable, both in terms of your academic performance and your personal development.

But even connecting with other students who share your interests and passions can be a lot easier at a small liberal arts college. Most of them offer a variety of clubs and organizations, ranging from academic groups to cultural clubs to service organizations. These clubs and organizations can help you meet like-minded people, form friendships, and also develop your leadership skills.

A Broad-Based Education

At a liberal arts college, you receive a broad-based education that makes you a well-rounded student and prepares you for a variety of careers and life pursuits.

As part of a liberal arts curriculum, you will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of subjects before choosing a major. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial for students who are unsure about their career goals or who have a variety of interests. By taking classes in different areas, you can develop a broad base of knowledge that will serve you well no matter what career you ultimately pursue.

In addition to offering a broad range of courses, liberal arts colleges also emphasize critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills. These skills are highly valued by employers, and will be essential for your success in whatever career you choose.

Hands-on Learning Opportunities

At a liberal arts college, you will encounter numerous opportunities for hands-on learning. Many colleges offer internships, research projects, and community service opportunities that allow students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

These hands-on learning opportunities can be invaluable, both in terms of your academic and professional development. By participating in internships and research projects, you can gain practical experience in your field of interest, develop new skills, and build your resume. Similarly, community service opportunities can help you develop your leadership skills and make a positive impact in your community.

Personal and Professional Growth

Last but not least, attending a small liberal arts college can help you develop personally and professionally. By participating in clubs and organizations, taking on leadership roles, and pursuing hands-on learning opportunities, you can develop your interpersonal and leadership skills.

Besides, liberal arts colleges often offer a variety of resources to help students prepare for life after graduation. These resources might include career counseling, networking events, and job fairs. By taking advantage of these resources, you can position yourself for success in the job market and beyond.

Put a Liberal Arts College on Your College List

Considering all these aspects, it’s worth it to take a closer look at some liberal arts colleges when putting a college list together. When you plan to visit colleges, I would highly suggest seeing some liberal arts colleges, too.

Take an official tour, speak to the tour guides, who are generally students themselves there, and ask them questions about why they chose a LAC and what they like about it most. That’s a good way to make an informed decision and see if a small liberal arts college might just be the college to put on your final college list.


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