Are Liberal Arts Grads happier than Private and Public University graduates?
A survey conducted by the Annapolis Group of alumni from 130 liberal arts schools, the top 50 public universities and private universities reveals disparities in their assessments of the quality of their undergraduate educational experiences.
According to the study, 77 percent of alumni from liberal arts colleges rated their undergraduate experiences excellent, compared to 59 percent of alumni from private universities and 56 percent from the top 50 public universities. Liberal arts school alumni reported that their college experience made them better prepared for life after college including their first job, career changes, and graduate school than did alumni from other sectors.
The study places much of the credit for these outcomes on the smaller classes, enhanced faculty-student interaction, teaching focus, and greater emphasis on reading and writing of liberal arts college environments. Large public universities have attempted to compensate for their educational shortcomings by starting small honors colleges designed to offer a small college feel. Since a mere three percent of American college students attend liberal arts colleges, it is incumbent upon our private and public universities to improve the quality of the class-room experience for their students.
How Families and Student Applicants Can Identify Strong College Learning Environments
Families and students can find the best academic environments by paying attention to student selectivity, class size, attrition and four year graduation levels, and student and faculty resource figures found in US News and World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” issue. Additional inquiries can be made with the departments of possible majors on class size, the percentage of professors in the class-room who are tenured or tenure-track, and placements in strong graduate programs and good jobs.
David Dickson wrote this article to help guide people as they choose between Liberal Arts colleges and traditional public/private Universities. For more information on Top Test Prep’s admissions experts and private tutors, call (800) 501-Prep.