When it comes time to choose a college, the size of the student body might prove to be an important deciding factor. For some, a small and intimate college environment might be just what you’re looking for. Others might prefer something on an entirely different scale.
The US is home to some exceptionally large universities, some of which nearly qualify as cities unto themselves. Let’s take a look at the top three.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University has a total of four campuses, but the Tempe location takes the top spot not only in Arizona, but in the entire country. Its enrollment is over 58,000 students, which represents a mixture of undergraduate and graduate students. Located just a stone’s throw from the metropolitan area of Phoenix, it might be easy to feel overwhelmed with the scope of things at ASU. Rest assured; you’ll be making your way around like a pro in no time.
University of Central Florida
Taking the number two spot is Orlando’s University of Central Florida, with over 56,200 students in attendance. UCF was originally a technical school when it was founded, but in the many years since then it has expanded its course offerings and is now home to a bustling community of liberal arts students. Students at UCF say that it was their top choice because it’s a bustling hub of activity, offering plenty of opportunities to meet new people and try new things. Despite its size, however, UCF maintains a “classic campus” feel with brick buildings, artful landscaping, and plenty of shady spots thanks to the many trees on campus.
Ohio State University
Located in Columbus, Ohio, OSU comes in a close third place. With diversity at an all-time high, including in-state, out-of-state and international students, Ohio State boasts a total enrollment of just over 56,000 students. Ohio State University is well known for the quality of its professional schools, particularly the accounting and business-related concentrations. Thanks to the size of its student body, the university boasts a great variety of student clubs and organizations, which means you’ll have little trouble finding people with similar interests.
The Campus at Home
If we’re strictly using enrollment as a means of ranking colleges in the US, then it would be difficult to ignore the increasing number of students attending online college. Based on the most recent figures available, researchers at Babson College estimate that more than six million students took at least one college course online in 2010. That number represents almost one-third of the total enrollment of degree-granting institutions.
That’s nothing to scoff at. What it proves is that online colleges are being seen as an increasingly advantageous substitute for, or complement to, what we might call the “traditional” college experience.
The most obvious fit for enrollment in online college are students who can’t afford to stop working in order to earn their degree. Consider: you can earn your PhD online in the evenings after you’re done working your job and you’ve spent some time with the family.
Whether you’re about to enroll in one of the United States’ largest universities, a local community college, or you’re completing online courses in your spare time, here’s the bottom line: you’ve taken your first steps toward a brighter future.