There’s no doubt about it: attending college is commonly cited as one of the most important experiences in a person’s life. It’s a time to meet new people, learn new skills, and perhaps most importantly, make important discoveries about who we are and who we want to be.
Getting the most out of your time at college will most certainly depend on finding the right college. For some, that decision will rest almost exclusively on the courses being offered. For others, the atmosphere and size of the college will be the deciding factor. Do you want to immerse yourself in a city-sized college? Would you prefer something with a more intimate feel?
If the latter type of college is more your speed, read on for a look at some of the smallest colleges in the United States.
Alaska Bible College
The Alaska Bible college has been around for just 40 years, making it a relative newcomer in the college scene. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, it takes the top spot in our list of smallest colleges. With just 38 students in attendance, there’s a very good chance you’ve attended classes with more students. It’s certainly a far cry from the top online schools, which can accommodate hundreds or even thousands of students all taking the same course.
If you have an interest in Christianity and an affinity with the outdoors, you’d do well to at least consider ABC; the time you spend outside of your classes could be spent dog sledding or ice fishing.
There are just 81 students at Shimer College, which has styled itself as the “Great Books College of Chicago.” As a result, the school definitely caters to a certain type of scholar. Shimer College was founded by Frances Wood Shimer and Cinderella Gregory in 1853, meaning it recently celebrated its 160th year in operation.
One of the college’s primary priorities is studying some of history’s “Great Books,” including The Bible, Paradise Lost, Spirit of Laws, The Iliad, and many others. Despite its small size, Shimer College has historically produced some of the best-rounded literary-minded students in the country.
Thomas More College
Located in Merrimack, New Hampshire, Thomas More College is a truly unique school. Every student who studies there spends one semester studying abroad in Italy, where they attend classes on the school’s Rome campus just a stone’s throw from St. Peter’s Basilica. After just four years of study, students find themselves translating the works of Homer, Cicero and other legendary, classical authors. At any given time, the college is home to about 84 students.
Sterling College is located in the sprawling Green Mountains of Vermont. These majestic and tranquil surroundings serve as a backdrop for the college’s environmental studies, which are divided into six areas of study. These include Sustainable Agriculture, Conservation Ecology, Outdoor Education and Leadership, Natural History, Environmental Humanities, and Northern Studies. Sterling College has adopted an experimental approach to education, providing its 105 students with unprecedented hands-on experience.
A school like this is perfect for students who crave immersion in the natural world, but that doesn’t describe everyone. For the student who learns better in a self-driven and controllable environment, an accredited online college might be the way to go.
Above all, remember this: there’s a college out there where you’re certain to thrive, no matter what area of study you’ve chosen.