As a college admissions consultant with College Coach, I’m frequently asked to compare academics at two different institutions. “Which school offers the better academic experience?” This is an impossible question to answer because of the incredible variability between institutions and their offerings, not to mention the incredible variability between students (goals, talents, abilities, learning styles, comfort zones, etc.). Nevertheless, it is a question that is asked and so I thought I’d provide an answer… at least to a part of it.
Below is my nearly verbatim response to a student who asked me to compare academics at a large public research institution (call it Big U), a medium-sized public liberal arts and science hybrid (call it Hybrid State College), and a small, niche liberal arts college (call it Lakeview College). Names have been changed to reflect the generality of the discussion: