What is a Liberal Arts College?
What is a Liberal Arts College? Former Admissions Officer Amber Lewis has the answer! Join her as she explains what exactly is a Liberal Arts College and the different career path a student can take if they decide to attend one. The webinar will start with a 30-minute presentation and end with a 30-minute live Q&A. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2022-05-19 What is a Liberal Arts College?
[00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on What is a Liberal Arts College? My name is Rachel D’Amato. I’m a Northwestern university graduate and your moderator today. Welcome to our webinar and to orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q&A on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q&A tab.
Hi everyone. My name is Amber Lewis. As you can see there, I’m one of the four associate directors of admission here at CollegeAdvisor.com. I’m also a former admissions officer at Stanford university, and I have the privilege of working on certain premium packages with our students here at CollegeAdvisor.
[00:01:00] So as you can see, they’re a little bit of my background. I am an alumni from Stanford university. I graduated in 2018. My major was international relations. Was modern languages. So I studied Spanish and Portuguese. Um, one of my first loves, I just love connecting with people and speaking those languages enables me to connect with more people from different backgrounds that probably wouldn’t be able to connect with otherwise.
Um, and I just would like to say too, and the theme of what this presentation is about. So Stanford university itself is actually a university that isn’t necessarily categorized as. College or university, um, it’s much more well known for its undergraduate and graduate resource. We search as an institution.
However, it does still offer and pride itself on providing a liberal arts education. And this includes for the stem and the engineering students. And we’ll get a bit more to breaking this down during tonight’s presentation and Q and a on what, the differences, what that means. Um, so naturally let’s start off tonight by defining our terminology.
So what [00:02:00] exactly is a liberal arts? And if you go to the next slide, But before we do that, it looks like we want to do a poll here. Yes. Um, we’re going to run just a real quick poll. Um, what grade are you in? I’m going to start the poll now. Um, and Amber, uh, while folks are starting to respond to that question, I have a question for you, if you didn’t, if you could.
Get to experience undergrad twice. What is another institution that you would have liked to have gone to? That is such an interesting question. Um, because the way that my mind works, I just kind of what I’m given with. I go forward with it and I’m, and I don’t have regrets from where I went. Um, just out of curiosity to see what it would be like.[00:03:00]
I don’t know, but maybe UCLA, just the Northern California versus the Southern California, um, vibe for lack of better words or just the atmosphere and the ambience are different. And I, I think I’d be curious to see how that played out on them and what the environment, and it’s also like more urban, um, and Stanford is its own.
It basically feels like its entire own city, own police, own firefighters on post office. Like you literally don’t have to leave. Um, so I think that would be good just to get kind of a more urban feel and the Southern California environment. That’s that’s what I’ll say. Got it. Yeah. I love that answer. Um, I asked this in a webinar last week and folks, um, mentioned, um, some international schools as well, that it would have been cool to get that.
Um, in addition to the wonderful four years that they had at their institution, another wonderful four years that a, um, you know, a non domestic university. Um, so. I’m going to close the poll. Now, the responses that we got are, um, [00:04:00] a majority of folks, 80% are in the 11th grade. Um, 10% are in the 10th grade and 10% are identifying as other, so Amber, I’m going to pass it over to you and give you permission to move the slides as well.
Awesome. Sounds good. Thank you. My apologies. All right, so getting ahead of ourselves. We do want to define this terminology and it do also want to acknowledge that liberal arts is a pretty nebulous term. So that’s why we’re having this presentation tonight. So here you’ll see the philosophy behind liberal arts, um, more or less, it just speaks to a commitment to inquiry, to rational discussion and creative problem solving.
So you’re going to see every facet of what’s considered a liberal arts college or university side. And because of the variety of nuances that come into play when having this conversation around liberal arts colleges, liberal arts education universities, we’re going to focus tonight’s conversation [00:05:00] specifically to private liberal arts colleges.
And that’s because almost 90% of liberal arts colleges. Our private, um, and we will appropriately note some exceptions just sprinkled in throughout the presentation. Just again, to provide a layout of what is out there and give you a picture of what it is that you could look to get into. If you’re looking to see if a liberal arts college could be a good fit for you.
So when it does come to this conversation around liberal arts, there are pretty few absolutes, and there are several factors that typically exist within liberal arts colleges, institutions, and curricula that emphasize. Liberal arts education, which again, I’m about to break down. Um, so there are some private universities that may not be recognized as liberal arts colleges, universities like Stanford, as I just mentioned.
Um, but they might pride themselves on offering that liberal arts education and philosophy. So think of those, uh, very well-known elite and Ivy schools, Princeton, Stanford brown. You might be more familiar with those as [00:06:00] their top elite universities, and they often do have a liberal arts philosophy. But today we’re going to be focusing our conversation more on those schools that maybe are perhaps less known, but truly categorized as liberal arts colleges.
And. To start off and kind of ground this conversation as a launching pad. Um, I believe that the words that Princeton has on their page pretty well encompassed the value of a liberal arts education and will help navigate us throughout this conversation we’re having tonight. So they say that a liberal arts philosophy.
And education challenges you to consider not only how to solve problems, but also trains you to ask which problems to solve and why preparing you for positions of leadership and a life of service to the nation and all of humanity. Pretty big task. We provide a liberal arts education to all of our undergraduates, including those who major in engineering.
And that’s also a point in a frequently asked question that comes up with liberal arts colleges. Yes, there still are typically pathways and avenues to pursue stem and engineering. Majors, there’s just also that broader [00:07:00] curriculum. And so what you’re going to find here with that next bullet point is that with a liberal arts college and curriculum, there aren’t really any distinct professional pre-professional or vocational tracks.
So you’re not going to see your typical pre-law or pre-med or. That said many undergraduates will still go on to pursue postgraduate studies in those areas and more, and there’ll be able to satisfy the requirements for those post-modern institutions. It just requires that they take more ownership of the process, and it may not necessarily be laid out in a particular curriculum by the school they’re attending, but they are able to fulfill those requirements.
And sometimes those liberal arts colleges even have pre-law or pre-med advisors though. They don’t necessarily have that as a major. You’re also going to see in liberal arts colleges, that there’s an emphasis in undergraduate studies. So with some larger or research-based institutions, there’s more of a focus on the graduate studies, but you’ll find with liberal arts colleges, they really pride and in on, and invest in their undergrad.
Now [00:08:00] getting to the term liberal arts, I often I find it easy to, and to understand the term is interchangeable with interdisciplinary. So the focus is an interdisciplinary education, a well-rounded education that encourages exploration. And you’re actually pretty familiar with this with the K through 12 typical setup.
Think you’re used to taking your science, math, social studies, English, and perhaps a forum like. This is just an, a bit more of an advanced format, which we’ll actually get into in our next slide, but it is going to be again, less focused on graduate studies, then counterpart university. And also there’s going to be smaller class sizes and smaller student bodies in general.
You’re often going to see a maximum of 2000, a couple thousand enrolling students. And oftentimes it’s more so between that range of 1400 to 1700 and the unrolling class. So they’re promoting this interactive environment between students and faculty, between students and amongst students. Um, and you’ll often find that with these small student bodies, these institutions.
Even if you’ve [00:09:00] never heard of them, we, there are many more than 2000 US-based colleges and universities, and there are over 200 liberal arts colleges and universities. So inevitably all of us are going to be ignorant to. And again, just because they’re not well known or we haven’t heard of them doesn’t mean that they don’t offer amazing opportunities with wonderful resources that would turn out to be great fits for you for your children, if your parents watching this.
And that’s why I really want to set shed some light on the opportunities and just get a better picture of what can be offered, um, from a liberal arts college and a liberal arts education. So you’ll often find with these institutions that they’re likely going to be private. Um, not always, again, almost 90% of these liberal arts colleges are going to be private.
Um, and oftentimes some of the contributing factors have to do with just the costs of maintaining high quality faculty, um, providing unorthodox non-professional programs that encourage students to think creatively outside of the box and have a well-rounded education. And so as you’ll see here [00:10:00] on the slides, I have some examples of liberal arts.
Can’t be exhausted with over 200 there. Uh, but you also see that I have some that are underlined and I have the U S military academy, which is better known as west point underlined because that is one of the exceptions. Um, that is a public liberal arts college. I also have Morehouse college underlined as it represents.
Um, it comes from the historically black colleges university cohort cohort. Um, so it is a historically black college, um, overnight. Over 90% of the students who attend are black, but you don’t have to be to attend that school. And I also wanted to underline the acute little rivalry between Anne Hurst, college and Williams college.
Obviously you’ll see, they’re both located in Massachusetts. Um, so that’s always just fun to pick out little, um, unique facets about each of these schools and what you could get into, um, going to liberal arts colleges and all of these that you see listed here. You’ll find in the top 50 of the liberal arts colleges.
So they’re all offering amazing opportunities. Again, I’m hoping that this conversation will be good ground for you to launch your research [00:11:00] and to try to see if there is a right fit for you and a liberal arts college arena or not. So moving to the next. As promised. I want to talk a bit more about what that curriculum can look like at a liberal arts school.
Um, so similar to the K through 12, again, you’re used to those five, four to five subjects here. It’s going to be broken down into these different categories, typically humanities. So humanities can encompass from literature to English and history. Then you have the arts, which are exactly that from drama to video, to photography and music, dance drawing.
It’s going to emphasize the arts. There’s also the sciences, which we’re accustomed to. So physics, math, biology, chemistry, then there was social sciences classes like, um, and courses and majors like political science and economics. Um, as well as these additional majors and concentrations here, but many schools can have over 80 concentrations or majors.
Those terms are somewhat interchangeable. And depending on the school you go to, um, I have some [00:12:00] of the more common. Um, focused on majors down there. So obviously computer science, American politics, there’s chemical engineering. There are some pretty unique little facets within engineering, biochemical engineering, uh, biomechanical engineering, mechanical engineering.
As you see there, psychology international relations linguistics was I almost majored in and that lists truly is a very extensive. And then with many of these liberal arts colleges, again, remember that they’re wanting to encourage that creative thought. So a lot of them actually offer the opportunity to be able to create your own major design, your own study.
And so just to give a personal example, I have a friend who went to a liberal arts college and he started off as a mechanical engineering student. Um, one in a more structured path still got the benefit of a liberal arts education with some of the general requirements. Um, but realize that he was much more of an entrepreneurial spirit.
And so it was actually able to create his own major around his junior year and switched paths and his major, he graduated with it’s called visionary entrepreneurship. And so all the [00:13:00] focus of a liberal arts college is not necessarily to prepare students for direct entry into the job market. Unlike, again, some of these more research focused universities that doesn’t mean that students will not end up in fields directly or indirectly related to what they do.
Um, and one of the benefits again, of a liberal arts education is that it can give students options. Funny enough, my major, uh, my friend who majored in visionary entrepreneurship could not have designed a better major for himself. He’s currently living the entrepreneurial lifestyle very well. Um, and then just to give a personal example for myself, you know, that I majored in international relations and language.
Again, because I love to connect with people. Um, and language gives me the access to do that. I’m still working to expand my repertoire of languages even to this day. Um, so I had the opportunity to translate outside of my main work with students, because it is still a joy of mine. Um, and I also find.
Informal opportunities to be able to translate whether it’s just meeting new people in the grocery store or at restaurants, it doesn’t really matter. Cause it’s enjoying a habit of my side. I’m really glad that I took more [00:14:00] time to dive into those languages, to be able to travel, um, to Brazil a couple of times while I was in my undergraduate and enhance my ability to translate and just connect with people.
So those are just some personal anecdotes just to personalize this conversation a bit more, but generally speaking, I know we want to know what is a liberal arts degree. Good for. So in our next slide, it’s good. First off for providing you with a range, um, just an expertise and experience in a range of disciplines.
So it’ll give you a fundamental knowledge. So it will equip you with the ability to critically think and succeed in a range of disciplines. It’s going to focus on fostering your ability to think outside of bounds, that those who might be specifically trained and solely trained for one particular discipline are trained to stay within.
So it does give you. Critically thoughtful advantage. Um, they’re also gonna focus that degree is, is good for being able to simulate a well-rounded and creative, critical [00:15:00] thinker in you. So even if you are on a vocational or pre-professional routes at a liberal arts school where that’s not your major, but that is your route, you can still thrive in this type of environment and bring that interdisciplinary lens that you gain with replication into your postgraduate specialization.
So there is also the path for those who go directly into the workforce. You’ll be equipped with an adequate education that helps you to again, think outside of the balance of typical constraints and to use that interdisciplinary education in a way that might set you apart from your peers, coming from these more public and research basis.
That said there’s a wide range of career options that are available to you. Um, and you’ll be equipped for that. So it’s not necessarily specialized getting a liberal arts degree to any particular industry. It can be depending on your major, especially if it’s stem based or, um, engineering based. Perhaps you might be qualified for several jobs that don’t necessarily require that specialized skill.
And in a sense, you’re not pigeonholed into a particular [00:16:00] career. And we have research to that. That’s coming out that shows that successful and happy adults sometimes shifts careers several times throughout their lives. So it’s not necessarily that you have to be committed. If I go to school for this, this is what I have to study for the rest of my life.
So even just having that perspective can be helpful when approaching your. Career in general and especially a career potentially at a liberal arts college and university and moving to the next slide. So now I want to dive a bit more to the particular benefits of a liberal arts education. We’ll also be talking about potential disadvantages later on.
So trying to keep this at a balanced conversation, one of the things that I really appreciate about a liberal arts education, that it gives students the ability to figure it out when you’re 17, 18, sometimes 16 years. We know you don’t have it figured out, even sometimes you, you think, you know, you don’t and then some of you might be more humble and realize you don’t know that’s okay.
Um, and some of you [00:17:00] might be certain that you know what you want to do. And some of you might know that you have no idea what you want and either way that’s okay. Um, but many liberal arts schools are not going to require you to even make a decision about your major until the end of your sophomore year.
So generally speaking, you have more time to literally explore the courses and figure it out. Now for those of you who have an idea that you might want to dive into a more stem, heavier engineering based major. I do want to get a caveat here that you still will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of a liberal arts education at an institution like this.
But you will want to be sure that you do your research on the graduation requirements. Typically, these schools are going to require certain courses anyways, that will enable you to experience the full breadth of a liberal arts education. In addition to your majors required. But you might not have as much wiggle room, um, as those choosing to pursue more humanities and arts and social science based majors, just because the requirements for your major, um, are going to require more of you other than it have be [00:18:00] heavier units.
And in credit space, I’m going to require, they’re going to require more credits, more units of you. Um, but ultimately the emphasis. General education like courses at a liberal arts school is more of a type of learning than a particular class that you have to take in order to give you that liberal arts experience.
Again, pulling from a personal experience at Stanford that provides a liberal arts education. It was not necessarily known as a liberal arts college. Um, but the way that they approach this is that they embed something known as the ways of thinking and doing into each student’s graduation requirements.
It represents again, ways of thinking and doing. Eight categories that a student needs to fulfill with 11 different classes and each different class can sometimes count for multiple categories. And you’ll just select which one you want it to count for. But these categories are very intentional. Um, for example, there’s a category called scientific method and analysis.
So yes, even if you are an artsy or as we call it Stanford, a fuzzy major, you’re still going to have [00:19:00] some interaction with more scientific aspects of it. Another category is called ethical reasoning. So if you find more comfort in the linear and formulaic side of learning, you’re going to be pushed outside of your comfort zone to think more philosophically all in the name of, again, expanding your perspective and deepening your critical thinking.
Yeah. So the stem and science-based majors, usually again, are going to require more majors. So you’ll want to be sure that you, again, plan accordingly with all relevant personnel. So sometimes you might be offered a pre major advisor or a college counselor be. So you get on the same page with them about your intentions, your bowls, again, especially if you’re looking to do a more stem based major, um, just to make sure that you’re able to get all your necessary credits and graduate in a timely fashion that you would like to do.
At a liberal arts college, we just certainly want to be able to take advantage of all the opportunities for greater interdisciplinary learning to give another school example, there’s a liberal arts college called Hampshire college. And they’re not traditional in the way that they do not [00:20:00] recognize typical for your classes.
So instead of the freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior division, they actually divide their students population into three divisions. So division one is going to introduce students to basic principles and ideas and very specialized classes. And this division of the students have the opportunity to experiment before they settle on.
What’s called a concentration, the same idea as a major. And that’s where they’re going to focus on individually. And finally division three, the graduating division students are challenged not only to complete an individual project, but also to teach and mentor other students while also having the opportunity to take graduate level courses before graduating with.
Degree. So there are several options in terms of what it looks like to enrich students with this liberal arts education and give them a wide range of fundamental knowledge and in several areas. Um, but these are just two school examples that I want to highlight. Um, again, they’re encouraging another benefit is encouraging the deeper creative thinking, thinking outside of the box, which we’ve touched on.
And one of the ways [00:21:00] that they can do that is the experiential learning. And so, as I briefly mentioned before to have the opportunity to go abroad. Um, and specifically translate. One of the places I got to translate was actually in the Olympic village during the real 26. Olympics, it’s not lost on me.
That that was an incredible opportunity. Um, also accelerated my ability to learn because I was steeped in the culture. I not only had to get a taxi, get my groceries, talk to people and interact. I’m a very personable people person. Um, but I was also on the job translating between, um, fun part of the Russian delegates and not the rest of delegation, the Georgia delegation, um, the country, not the state I am from the state.
Um, and the Brazilians who were in the facility. Very fun. Very good, very hands-on experience with learning for what I wanted to do. Um, and they often offer several opportunities for study abroad and overseas learning. There are also other outside of the classroom learning opportunities. Um, typically at these liberal arts colleges and universities, um, where students can take internship or research opportunities and you’re able [00:22:00] to apply what you’re learning or apply what you’re interested in outside of the classroom and directly to something that you could see yourself potentially doing beyond your.
And so again, I mentioned that these schools have smaller class sizes. So going to the average student to teacher, teacher, to student, um, student to teacher ratio, typically at most non liberal arts colleges, you’re going to see that the public university, you’re going to see an average of about 15 to one, um, in terms of the student to teacher ratio, um, for an average nonprofit private university, which is most liberal arts colleges fall into this category, you’re going to see about a 10 to one, um, student to teacher.
And so this kind of intimate setting allows for more personable and intimate discussion. Um, the learning environments are typically more open and encouraging of original and creative thoughts. So you’re going to see less of the streamlined that’s the wrong answer, unless you’re in a, particularly the calculus class in an engineering class where there was a right and wrong answer, but in these more humanities based courses, which everyone will be seeking.
They’re going to encourage creative and original thought. [00:23:00] Um, there’s also, again that emphasis on faculty to student and student to student interaction. Um, and in keeping with that emphasis on interpersonal connections and relationships, we often find that the alumni networks at these liberal arts colleges often flourish, um, There is due to their small size.
Um, they’re often usually elite institutions, even the ones that we haven’t necessarily been exposed to. We haven’t heard of given the circles we run in. Um, so that tends to create this sense of loyalty within the alumni community at these different liberal arts Institute. And that tangibly results and many opportunities and a willingness from the alumni community to give back to up and coming alumni, current students in terms of job and mentorship opportunities, internships, you name it and just facilitating connections.
Um, you’ll also see that there are higher graduation rates at liberal arts colleges and some of the factors that. Makes sense as being the smaller class sizes where there’s more accountability in relationship between [00:24:00] faculty and students. There’s more accessibility to faculty. If there are any questions or concerns.
So there’s not as much of a concern of having a large thousand person lecture, um, where a student can get lost in the crowd. So again, that interpersonal connection is something. Also a pretty foundational facet when it comes to liberal arts colleges and universities, and can help with that higher graduation rates.
So with 2021, um, the U S national graduation rate was about 62, excuse me, 62%. Whereas the private non-profit university, um, graduation rate in the U S for 2021, which again, almost 90% of liberal arts colleges fall into this category was about 78%. So there was about a 16% difference. And then finally for the fun part, there’s just sometimes unique traditions.
So Oberlin college, for example, again, one of the top 50 liberal arts colleges they have, this is a simple one and a fun one. They have Oberlin rocks. So there are these three large rocks formed by glaciers sometime ago. Um, so there’s some historical value there [00:25:00] that are now. Um, they, they serve as monuments from two different graduating class.
In the 18 hundreds, and then they also give homage and honor to the founders of the college. But for the past, over 40 years, students have just decorated these rocks with graffiti birthday wishes, announcements, billboards, whatever they wanted to creatively demonstrate, um, on that rock. We also, um, again, Stanford liberal arts, not, not a college of liberal arts, but they had the philosophy, plenty of, uh, traditions.
I’m sure you’ve heard of fountain hopping. Um, and then rivalries again that Williams and Amherst rivalry you’ll find fun. Woven into there
and. It looks like we are ready for another poll. See if you guys, yes. So now we are going to do, where are you at in the application process? So I’m going to start pulling, um, and Amber while, uh, while folks are responding to the question, I’d love to hear a [00:26:00] little more, um, I know that you are a former admissions officer and I’d love to ask you the question.
You know, what is. What is an aspect of an application that is really important for folks to prioritize when they’re building their, um, college application? Yeah. It’s definitely going to be your personal narrative, um, because everything that you do is going to flow forth from your personal narrative and what I mean by that, you can call it your brand.
You can call it your candidate profile is. All of it’s the factor. It’s what it is about you. That connects everything you do. Um, so for me, for example, I love, and many people love helping people, and that’s not something that you should write off, but just dig a little bit deeper. So I know I love to help people.
I thought I wanted to go to law school, figure it out. I did not. Um, but I love to connect with people and be able to, with whatever resources that I have and that I’ve. Be able to lift other people up to give other people a voice. Um, so advocacy is something that matters to me and I engaged in several opportunities, several engagements that have [00:27:00] allowed this to flourish.
And even my translation from the time that I was a kid, um, I would draw, I was more drawn to the ESL students and I’d often be translating for them. Because I was a respected student for what I did, um, in the school. People often gravitated towards those people just based off of my religion, but that’s something that I like to do.
I love to connect people. I love to give people a voice and that’s something that I say speaks more to my personal narrative and something I can leave out through. If I were applying to college again, all my extracurricular endeavors, my responses to my essay, et cetera. So once you have the foundational understanding, again, I understand you’re 16, 17, 18.
It’s in reflection. Um, but once you have a foundational understanding of what matters to you, most that’s able to be painted throughout the entire application, and it’s really going to make for a component of the patients of the initiative officer’s percent perspective. Awesome. Thank you, Amber, for that insight into, um, you know, how to really.
Create a well-balanced and well-crafted, um, application. Um, so I’m about to close the poll. We [00:28:00] have 6% of folks haven’t started yet and they’re in the right place. Um, 83% of folks are researching schools. 11% of folks are working on their. Um, and no folks are getting their application materials are almost done.
So you’re in the right place to learn a little more and get some insight. And maybe if a liberal arts college is the right college for you. So Amber I’ll pass it back over to you. Yeah. Awesome. And asset earlier. Want to keep this as an honest presentation? So also want to speak a bit to potential disadvantages of a liberal arts education, again, depending on your fit.
What you’re looking for is. So while there are many exceptions to this, um, I attended, um, a university that offers a liberal arts education, um, and gives many opportunities to students. Post-graduation you might need to pair your undergraduate degree with a graduate degree in order to become [00:29:00] equipped with the necessary skills for a particular profession.
Um, again, exceptions for this would be for. Those who major in major studies, computer science, engineering, or a major that’s specified by a job of your interest. Just making sure that you have that major. If you know what you’d want to go into. Um, I have several friends who, again, are successful entrepreneurs.
I spoke about one early. I have a friend, a couple of friends actually, who are thriving at Google as computer science, engineers. Um, they majored in computer science or a major that has computer science as a facet of their major. Um, but even they in talking with them or are thinking about pivoting careers soon.
So it’s not to say that whatever you choose in college has to be able to, again, what you do for the rest of your life, but it can be great in terms of setting you up for a successful start. I’d also say that the cost of tuition, which I have posted here can be a scary factor or an inhibitor to applying to a liberal arts college.
But I also want to dig a bit into that. So, um, you’ll see. There’s the [00:30:00] ticket price versus the actual cost. Oftentimes financial aid and scholarships can really offset. Potentially scary to take it price, um, or sticker price that a school has. And you want to do more digging, especially if you’re finding liberal arts colleges that are really appealing to you, and you want to give yourself the opportunity to flourish there definitely apply to scholarships, um, apply for financial aid because even if you think you might not qualify, you you’d be surprised.
There are some factors take into consideration. I E if you have students who are siblings who were also in college at the same time, um, So definitely do your research there, but I did want to highlight Berea college here. That’s located in Kentucky because they are a very unique case. Um, when talking about again, the cost of tuition.
Self-proclaimed they are the only of America’s top colleges that makes a no tuition promise to every enrolled student. Instead, every student on campus works, they get a job and this school was also the first integrated and co-educational college [00:31:00] in the south that was founded in 1855 by a Presbyterian minister and abolitionists.
So. That noted. They truly are an exception, but if that is something that is a concern, um, the cost of tuition, definitely a school to look into, um, a beautiful green campus, um, located in Kentucky. And so typically. Again, just speaking to the cost of tuition, they can be understandably alarming, um, in comparison to their public school counterparts, especially if you’re looking at in-state versus out-of-state tuition.
Um, but again, I just want to note that that can largely be offset by financial aid and by scholarships, which if you’re working with some colleges, Advisors here at called advisor. We’re happy to help you with the application to scholarships. That that’s fun for us. We want to help you get money and make the approach to college less, um, less scary, less angsty, but that makes.
And some moving to the next slide. This is an understandable [00:32:00] question that we’re going to get from students, from parents, anybody who’s looking into the future. Um, understandably, you’d like to know where this is going. Um, and due to the elite nature of many private liberal arts colleges and their strong alumni resources that I got to speak to earlier, and the network, the graduates are usually not scarce on their opportunities to enter directly into the workforce if they so choose.
And again, I just want to reiterate that I’m not here to sell you on liberal arts colleges. I’m simply here to give you some more context and information to inform you in your research about seeing if they’re a good fit for you. Um, so when having this conversation, I just think it’s helpful to paint a picture about also a typical Ernie, um, for students postgraduate as well.
So according to the strata education network, individuals with liberal arts degrees typically do not earn as much as their. Counterparts, graduating from stem degrees or even degrees in healthcare that said it’s also important to note that two out of five. So roughly 40% of liberal arts graduates [00:33:00] will go on to pursue their postgraduate or graduate degrees.
And this population does see a resulting increase in their average January. So again, in having this conversation, I think we should also remember just how many job opportunities don’t necessarily require that specialized training as much as they simply require a post-secondary education or degree or a particular degree qualification that will still exist at a liberal arts college.
So there are a wide range of job opportunities for students with liberal arts degrees from politics. And you’ll see several politicians who have studied at either. Liberal arts institutions, colleges, and universities, or elite institutions that support a liberal arts philosophy. So for example, Former president Barack Obama graduated from Columbia university and not a liberal arts college, but they do support a liberal arts philosophy.
Um, then we have from business to education marketing there’s product management, which there’s definitely a lot of room for growth and advancement in that, in [00:34:00] that sector, human resources, journalism, if you’re really after hard hitting stories. And then of course the arts entertainment realm, again, arts then entire section, um, that.
Plays a role in the curriculum for a liberal arts college and university. So especially for the students who aren’t necessarily looking for a path that’s already well beaten and clearly defined. Um, these are great schools to consider. There are also extended learning opportunities that students can take advantage of if they so choose.
So from year long fellowships, um, with programs like AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps has several branches of year longer. So programs in different industries like law education. Um, to internships and one more popular and prestigious fellowship that you might be familiar with, but I won’t take that for granted in case you’re not is the Fulbright fellowship.
Um, so this is a very prestigious year-long fellowship that allows for. The applicants who are selected to design their own study, their own research in one of around [00:35:00] 140 countries outside of the U S and as an undergraduate student or a graduate student applicant, students will have to apply through their school, um, in order to get selected.
And so I encourage you to look into that as well, if you’re interested in doing research post grad, but if you feel like you are a research. Oriented, even during your undergraduate education, I encourage you to just look at different options. See what schools seem to have the resources that could help supplement your path.
The point that I really want to make is, is just that with a strong grounding in a liberal arts education, should you choose this path? And if you feel that is a right fit for you, the opportunities are going to have to apply a liberal arts education in the workforce are pretty wide ranging. And so as we wrap up.
We this question naturally follows. Do employers like a liberal arts education. We understand. And as you see here on the slide that a big focus of a liberal arts education is to again, encourage creative and critical and original thought. And we’re going to [00:36:00] come back to that always when we’re speaking about liberal arts colleges, and I’d like to say that in the age rife with both creativity and plagiarism, even on informal platforms like tic talk, the ability to inspire original thought is something that employers in various industries are going to find valuable.
So at the end of the day, you might watch this presentation. Ask the questions that matter most to you with a question and answer session, you might go off and do your own research. Um, and you might realize that a liberal arts education is a great fit for you, or you might realize you’re really not interested in what a liberal arts education has to offer you.
And you would benefit from a more structured in particularly designed to do. That’s okay. Either way. What’s important is that you, as students, as families are able to take ownership of your understanding of the different options available to you and will be a best fit for you. And I called adviser.
We’re just hopeful that today’s conversation will be a good starting point for you to understand a little bit more about what could be out there. So my encouragement to you is to take into consideration some of the factors that we’ve been able to discuss here today, [00:37:00] and that we’re going to discuss in the question and answer section.
And I do encourage you to begin thinking about the different types of opportunities and experiences for your post-secondary education that matter to you.
Well, thank you so, so much, Amber, that was a great kind of overview and introduction into what a liberal arts college is. So, um, as Amber mentioned, that is the end of our presentation part of the webinar. Um, I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download this. From the link in the handouts tab, we’re now going to move on to the live Q and a.
So I will read through the questions that you submit in the Q and a tab, um, publish them so that they can be seen by all, and then read them out loud before our panelists gives you an answer as a heads up. If you’re having a hard time submitting questions, just double check that you join the webinar.
Some link in your email from big marker.com and not [00:38:00] from the webinar landing page. Um, so start submitting your questions. And the first question I have for you, Amber, is, um, can a liberal arts college be a good choice for me if I am planning on applying to medical school? Yes, that’s a great question.
It’s a question that often comes up and I’m glad that students are asking for thinking critically. Yes. Um, it’s going to depend again on your path, which is again, a fun answer. Everybody loves that answer. Um, but so long as you take ownership of your journey to medical school, you’ll still be able to benefit from a liberal arts education.
So. We’ll be able to know what courses and requirements you’ll need to take, um, in order to get to medical school. So just do your research, go, go to those medical schools that you’re interested in and see what courses, what other requirements are necessary and make sure that you’re intentional about getting those completed during your undergraduate research and just to provide a bit further context.
Typical, um, typically typical majors that come up with pre-med for example, our [00:39:00] biology, um, Human biology as a more specific counterpart. Um, sometimes people will major in completely humidity based like history. Um, and then they’ll still also supplement their education with the classes necessary to go to medical school.
So that might make for a busier class schedule. But again, this is the importance of having conversation with those college counselors, with your pre major advisors, to be able to plan out and map out, especially if you are a student from those where you want to. Matt those four years out. So you’re still able to enjoy the liberal arts curriculum, but you’re also not stressed and worried about making sure you have everything you need to pursue your postgraduate education.
Yeah, thanks so much for that Amber and, um, a little anecdote from me. I have a friend who, um, studied theater in undergrad and took the, you know, did their pre-med prerequisites in addition to their theater courses. Um, but didn’t, didn’t, you know, didn’t major in a traditional, you know, biology or chemistry and love their experience went on to, um, a real.
Fantastic medical school and is now a [00:40:00] resident, um, physician. And so, you know, as long as you, you get those, you know, science courses completed that you need to it’s, it doesn’t matter what you major in. It’s what feels right for you. And, um, what works best with your personal narrative as. Um, so my next question then, Amber, um, someone asks if a student is not sure about what they want to major in, um, when applying, is it okay to put undecided down or should a student pick something just to pick it?
Yeah, that’s a good question. And a fair question. Provide this framework for that question. So, uh, just as we spoke about the importance earlier, I’m in that in-between time throwing the poll about the most important aspects of an application being the personal narrative. This is, this is a factor. This is something that is going in admissions.
Officer’s going to want to connect to your personal narrative. So. I [00:41:00] definitely provide a wa a word of caution to just randomly picking a major, um, because let’s say you’re, you are undecided and speaking from the admissions perspective I did, I do remember this particular student who I was happy was admitted.
Um, And she was undecided, but that was truly her. And so I could see in the activities that she was in political science and was reaching out to send it in and having getting presentations, um, and, and in public offices. But she was also interested, I believe, I’m trying to remember. There were several different areas that she was heavily pursuing and she truly stood out as an undecided major, but someone who, when they made a decision in that.
Sincerely pursued what they’re doing. And then they just changed their mind. Again, you’re 16, 17, 18 years old. It’s not that we’re not expecting you to change your mind, but there is some level of commitment and consistency that an admissions officer is going to want to see. So what I’ll say is that if you are truly undecided, do your best, it’s a balancing act.
Um, if you’re undecided, [00:42:00] but you’re thinking that there are certain majors that you. Would make sense and that you are interested in, but you just need to learn more about doing your research and see if that lines up with your interests, because then you can better highlight your personal narrative. So, um, let’s say you have.
Done some community outreach. Um, and you’ve noticed, uh, in a clinic, right? Like you’ve done several outreach opportunities. You also might have some family members who are meds, et cetera. You’re doing more research to see like, oh, could I be interested in medicine? I don’t know. Like you’ve done several activities that line up with that.
Perhaps you could put that down. It’s okay. To change. What we don’t want is for you to put something that does not make sense. So let’s say you’re like doing everything, art space, you like sculpting and drawing and photography, but you’ve been told that, oh, schools don’t want to see an art space major.
They want to see business or computer science or whatever. And so you put computers. That makes no sense in the might admissions officers that, that [00:43:00] doesn’t compute. So you’ll want to make sure that whatever it is that you select, if you select a major is something that aligns up with what, you know you want to do or something that you could see yourself doing.
And then on the flip side of that, speaking to the student that I had, who was an undecided major, who was admitted. If you aren’t truly undecided, just make sure you demonstrate how you’ve pursued every avenue and how, what it means that you want to decide. And not that you were undecided in sitting down and just contemplating people and not doing anything, but, but what it is, um, that makes you when decided and how you pursued several avenues, um, and trying to pursue what it is that you would like to do.
Fantastic. Thanks so much, Amber. Um, next question that we have is why do you think so many top schools prioritize a liberal arts education? That’s a good question. I would say, and this is going to be opinion anything. I can’t speak for all the liberal arts institutions out there. Um, but I can at least speak to some of the benefits of a liberal arts education.
Again, it can kind of give you an [00:44:00] edge in the sense that it’s training you to think more critically, um, to have more, to bring more of an interdisciplinary lens to life. Um, philosophy is definitely one of those humanities that’s going to be explored. So it’s going to teach you to think critically, um, And then it also just gives you kind of an extended version of what I was saying that like K through 12 education we’re used to like the broad ranging, you still get to specialize in college, but it’s taking out the assumption that, you know, what you want to do at 16, 17, 18 years old, and still giving the opportunity to play as an almost adult, um, and play intentionally and try to see, okay, well, this is something that could be, and she said, oh wow.
And you get to do it at a more advanced level. Um, so you might have a better sense of like, I don’t want to be a doctor, but I. Organic chemistry, or I just cannot stand blood, which like, well, how did I not think of that before? But you’ll have more opportunities, more hands on opportunities. Um, more classroom discussions, more access to faculty just to pick their brains.
Um, and see if the majors that you thought you could see yourself in are actually gonna line up. What [00:45:00] do you want to do what you want to study, what you might want to do? Post-career if it is a more career oriented major. Um, so I say that that’s one of the huge benefits that it takes away. That assumption that like, you have to know what you want to study and or what do you want to do.
And it gives you a more well-resourced opportunity to play and explore and figure it out as you learn. And as.
Thanks Amber. Um, another question that we have here is, um, w the, the person’s wondering, you know, what is the difference between attending, um, a school that, um, You know, prioritize a liberal arts education, like, you know, Northwestern or some, you know, a school that’s a colleague, one of, uh Stanford’s is colleges.
What’s the difference between that and going to a liberal arts college define liberal arts college. Is there a difference? That’s a very good question. Um, there’s from institution to institution, there’s going to be a difference. Um, I’ll start by saying that, um, [00:46:00] And that’s, that’s really, as far as I feel, I didn’t have the jurisdiction to respond to that question.
Um, just in the fact that yeah, even liberal arts college to liberal arts college, um, they’re going to play out, um, the emphasis on critical thought and rational inquiry in different ways. Um, Really at, yeah. At the end of the day, in terms of considering what could be the best fit for you, it’s, it’s a much more advantageous endeavor to dive into what school you feel offers the best education for you, because they’re going to have a lot of similar things, um, a school that offers a liberal arts institution, but might be more known as a research institution might just be more well-known.
Um, so again, your Stanford early IVs, Northwestern, et cetera. Um, and then a liberal arts college. Again, it might not be as well known, but there are so many hidden jewels that are so valuable, have great alumni resources, great resources for you to explore, um, and still provide you with an elite institution, elite education.
I’m an elite [00:47:00] network of alumni. They’re just not as well-known out there because they’re not necessarily known as research institutions. They are truly known as liberal arts colleges. So I said that those are factors that exist, but not necessarily when it comes to considering where you should go. That is much more of a question.
Doing your individual college research and seeing where the best fit lies for you. Great. Thank you. Um, and another question, this person is curious to know what is the difference between a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts. Okay, good question. Yeah. So, um, typically that’s pretty, um, it’s pretty straightforward.
So with the bachelor of science, you’re going to see more of your science based majors on the bachelor of arts. It’s not necessarily an arts, like a. Photography or journaling or sculpting, et cetera, but anything that’s really not science-based. So for example, I got a bachelor of arts in international relations.
You wouldn’t necessarily consider that an artistic major. Um, but that’s going to be the predominant, um, majority of those majors that are, [00:48:00] that are not science based majors. So not your, um, not your chemistry, your biology, or, um, et cetera. So that, that’s a pretty, um, that’s a pretty straightforward delineation.
Awesome. Um, so I’m going to take a quick break in the Q and a and while we were taking this break, um, you know, for folks to submit their final questions before we end tonight, um, I want to talk a little more about, um, CollegeAdvisor, um, and I, you know, uh, about what we can offer. So CollegeAdvisor has a network of over 300.
Former admissions officers and admissions, um, experts who are here to help students and their families navigate the college admissions process in one-on-one advising sessions, um, you know, uh, adviser and Amber is one of these advisors who is able to help and they’re able to help you navigate kind of building a [00:49:00] college list, building a well balanced college list.
Um, Crafting a really strong, um, narrative as well as, um, you know, amongst other things within the admissions process. Um, and so if you aren’t interested, you should head to our website, app.CollegeAdvisor.com, um, where you can sign up for a free consultation, um, to get a little more insight into how you are setting yourself up for success in the college admissions process.
Um, at. Our website, you can also check out our other webinars. Um, Explore new schools do your school research. We have a really awesome application portal where you can organize all your applications and supplemental materials among other things. So again, if you’re interested in getting connected with our team, go to app.CollegeAdvisor.com and when we exit this webinar, it’ll actually.
Send you over [00:50:00] to that website to make it as easy as possible. Um, so now for the final minutes of our Q and a session, again, keep submitting questions. We got a question in Amber, can you provide additional insight, um, to several of the liberal arts colleges, um, kind of outside of the top 10, um, like budget sound, Occidental, university of Richmond, Bates, et cetera, that offer strong liberal arts education.
Yes. So that’s a great question. Um, and definitely something worth pursuing. So I don’t want to step outside again of, there’s not much deep, meaningful insight that I could give you that you couldn’t find on their website. So I’d highly encourage you. Um, just to look into them a bit more, um, that there are again over 200.
So those aren’t particularly schools that I am personally and have extensive knowledge in. So I don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction. Um, but definitely, especially in the age of COVID a lot of these schools. More resources available to be able for you to get [00:51:00] to know the schools more. So they have virtual information sessions and, um, even sometimes they’ll have student panels that will have several opportunities, virtual tours, several opportunities for you to get a different look at the school, especially since they had to weather and survive through that period where people really weren’t able to conduct visits.
Um, so I definitely encourage you. I think you’ll find a wealth of information. Yeah. Also want to put a plug. Um, for all of our CollegeAdvisor students, we have, again, a network of around 300 and growing advisors from several hundreds of different schools. Um, so as part of our student base, we, we like to tap into that network.
So even if you are a match with a, an advisor who doesn’t go to school at. We have access to the network. And so if you want it to ever interview, um, or just pick someone’s brain. So we went to a particular school, you can tap into that network and we can just get you to have a one-on-one conversation, even if they’re not your assigned advisor.
So just wanted to also plug those resources that we have for our premium students, but [00:52:00] you don’t have to be a premier student to be able to access the several resources that are available post COVID. Um, and since COVID in terms of just getting better tools and what they offer. Great. Thank you so much, Amber.
Um, and that’s a good reminder. Um, I wanted to also mention earlier when I was talking about CollegeAdvisor a little more in depth, we have some really awesome teams, um, including our financial aid team, um, our college list team, our college essay review teams. And so in addition to the one-on-one resources that we have, we also have opportunities for folks to connect.
Um, advisors within our network, outside of their advisor, um, to get additional help and support in different aspects of the college admissions process. Um, so thank you for that reminder. And I did want to talk about that as well. Awesome. I’m going to give, um, A few more seconds for any final questions before we kind of conclude today.
[00:53:00] So this is your chance. If you have a final question question, please submit it now. Um, just give it a quick moment.
Awesome. Well, I think that. Makes the end of our webinar today. Um, thank you all for joining and thank you so much to Amber for taking the time out of your schedule, to chat with us a little more about, um, the liberal arts college experience, um, and kind of how we can define a liberal arts college. Um, so again, thank you, Amber, and for the folks in the room we have.
Wonderful webinars for the rest of this month that you should definitely check out. Um, in addition to some great webinars that will be, um, posted to the website in the very near future. At four June. And so next week we have a webinar on how to admissions officers make decisions, um, as well as a [00:54:00] webinar for parents on standardized testing trends in the college admissions process.
And finally, on the 31st, we have maximizing your admissions odds as a first-generation student. So again, you can access. Seminars and register for [email protected]. And as soon as this webinar exits, you will be sent over to that website to get to explore our many offerings that we have for free and offered on our website.
So again, Amber, thank you so much for a great presentation and thank you to our attendees for joining. Thank you for having me take care, everyone. Bye.