College Admissions: 3 Myths About Liberal Arts Colleges BUSTED
Monday, July 18, 2011
1. Graduates of a liberal arts college have a harder time getting a job after college.
The truth is that if you look at employment rates from liberal arts colleges vs. universities, there is not a significant difference. Recent statistics for Amherst College show that 63% of graduates were offered full-time employment within 6 months of graduation vs. 65% from Boston University. 80% of students from Colgate find employment within 6 months of graduation, while 83% of UCONN grads land a job in 6 months.
2. Liberal arts colleges lack school spirit and excitement around sporting events.
If you think this is true, go visit a hockey game at St. Lawrence on a winter weekend, a Lacrosse game at Trinity or a football game at Amherst. Division 3 schools have a close knit campus which usually supports athletic teams, and weekend activities often involve going out to cheer on friends. Chances are at a D3 school, you will know an athlete on most teams, and that breeds a sense of excitement and personal ownership in team sports. Painting yourself orange isn’t reserved for big D1 schools like Syracuse.
3. Liberal arts colleges are more expensive than public universities.
While the sticker price may be higher at liberal arts colleges (many exceed $45K per year now), there is also a lot more need-based and merit aid available. Many liberal arts colleges like Colby, Bates and Haverford meet more than 90% of demonstrated need for students. In addition, merit scholarships are popular and generous at liberal arts schools like Clark, Denison and Furman. When the financial aid awards are all in, it can often be much less expensive to attend a liberal arts college than a large university.
There may be justifiable reasons for a student to attend a full-service university. Perhaps they want a larger school, or to study engineering or nursing (usually not offered at liberal arts colleges). However, families shouldn’t rule out liberal arts colleges simply because of cost, job placement rates or the perceived presence of school spirit.
Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC which provides strategic, college counseling and athletic recruiting services for students. www.collegeadvisorsonline.com.
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