Friday, May 21, 2010

Big U vs. Prestigious U vs. SLAC/PUI

Another juicy discussion at FSP on the relative merits of a Big U, etc. Go see it...

Here are my comments:

I went to a Big State U for undergrad because I assumed I couldn't afford anything else. I did graduate with no debt- yahoo!

I was brought up that "college is what you make of it" and since I am a relatively assertive and confident person, I did fine at a Big U, seeking out the resources I thought I needed. I found out in grad school, however, that my academic preparation could have been a bit better.

Hub went to MIT, and though he did well academically, he really floundered socially/ mentally/ spiritually, and it took a long time for him to recover from that. So I'm not sure he got the best education he could at a prestigious U. He was one that 'slipped through the cracks', even though he graduated with a good GPA.

When I applied to teach at at SLAC/PUI I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I assumed that the students that were attracted to a small school like ours lacked confidence to make their way at a Big U. I was wrong about that. They come for many reasons, but I wouldn't say that a lack of desire to compete for resources is a general charateristic of SLAC/ PUI students. I do know that nearly every one of them benefits *greatly* from closer Prof/ Student relationships. Students in our department get a GREAT education. While there are a lot of students that do great at Big U's would say that the student population in general does better at a SLAC/ PUI. JMHO.

I haven't yet decided how I feel about Big U's vs Prestigious U's vs SLAC's If my kids had no preference where to go, I would recommend them to go HERE (SLAC) as long as they wanted to do so in one of our shining departments, and to go far away from here if they wanted to major in something we stink at!

But for grad school? Prestigious/ Big/ Resource-Rich ALL THE WAY.


There's some really good comments in this thread, many of which I agree with. unfortunately, there's also another that I agree with: that there's a certain degree of homogeneity among our student body. Looks like I need another post for that...

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