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Debate: Are small town colleges a better choice than big city colleges?

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Debate: Are small town colleges a better choice than big city colleges?


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Round 1:

Side 1: There is a huge emphasis on going to a college with a big name and a big campus, but this ignores the benefits that a small town college can give that none of the big-name city campuses can ever offer. One large benefit is the sense of community. At a small town college, it’s easier to get to know people from various fields of study. There’s more familiarity and a better chance to facilitate campus-wide communication. This can only benefit students since they get the chance to hear perspectives outside of their areas of interest and expertise, creating a greater opportunity for diverse thought. And, because small-town colleges tend to have smaller campuses, it’s easier to get involved in groups and clubs on campus and in the local community. Smaller campuses also add to a sense of community because they tend to have smaller classes. Smaller classes mean more time for discussions in class, which again leads to better communication and sharing of ideas and experiences. And since our society is built on the sharing of ideas, this sense of community is a facet of our education that can’t ever be ignored.

Side 2: I understand the sense of community and even though colleges in big cities do not have much emphasis on community, they do emphasize networking. Getting to know your fellow students is definitely important, but wouldn’t it be more beneficial to students if they got to know industry professionals while in college? I have frequently heard of stories where industry professionals visit colleges to meet new students and if they find any student who can help the company, they do not hesitate to offer internship opportunities or sometimes even a full-time position. Since the school is also in the same city, this opens up new possibilities such as part-time internships which cannot be done if you are studying in a town far away from a city. Smaller classes definitely help, but universities in big cities are also encouraging this since they have the necessary resources. Since the university is in a city many professors who also hold executive roles in companies tend to take up teaching positions and work as a visiting professor in these universities. This not only facilitates sharing of ideas, but also of experiences as people from various backgrounds and experiences can visit the students to guide them on a proper career path.

Round 2

Side 1: Granted, a city does offer a lot of opportunities that a smaller town wouldn’t. There are more experiences to be had and there can be more opportunities for networking. But those same experiences can work against students as well. A large city, with all of its sights and sounds, can be a distraction from studying if the student is unprepared for it. All of those places to relax and explore can also eat up time, leaving students behind or halfhearted in their work. A smaller, quieter town is less likely to cause the same problem. This is a great way to relax and it also looks good on a resume. However, all of those experiences and networking opportunities come with a price tag. Namely, the price of tuition and housing. Rent in large cities tends to cost more than in smaller towns, and tuition typically follows that same pattern. Also, not only do small town colleges save money and avoid some of the distractions that can come from city life, but they offer an aspect of education large city campuses can’t typically do: more communication with professors and more opportunities to write. The writing, something not done as much in large classes for grading reasons, is very important since very few jobs don’t require a fair bit of it from their employees. These small benefits may not seem like a lot, but it’s the little things that make the difference, and the little things are better in the little towns.

Side 2: Studying in a city also helps as a stress buster. Sometimes college can get too overwhelming. Students often look for an escape which is tough to get in a student town as there are not many places to visit and nothing much to do outside. Whereas in a city, it’s very easy to escape as there is a whole different world outside the campus. It might be exploring the city or eating different cuisines or even a bus ride can be refreshing and act as an escape for the student. Cities are also well-connected and home is never far away. I feel students also learn more about the realities of life when they study in a city. Not every place is safe and not everyone you talk to is friendly. When students graduate and move for their jobs, they end up living in cities and it is beneficial for students if they have some prior experiences by studying in a big city with a huge campus. Also, there is never a shortage of resources if one is studying in a city. Nothing is far away and everything seems to be accessible, such as some public library or an industry professional. They have the opportunity to meet recruiters on a weekend over coffee to discuss their career, while students in a small town have to wait for a career fair.

Side 2 argued by Sai Rajeev Devaragudi

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The Student News Site of Michigan Technological University
Debate: Are small town colleges a better choice than big city colleges?