Now that we’ve dispelled many of the common misconceptions about liberal arts colleges, it’s time to start thinking about whether you want to include one (or ten) on your college list. Before you decide, read on to see if the following list sounds like you / your child.

1. You are not sure what you want to study.

Most LACs require their students to take classes in a range of subjects, from natural science to philosophy, and this is an excellent way to explore your options and discover where your passions lie. The idea is to expose students to varied academic subjects and intellectual methods, so they can approach problems from an interdisciplinary perspective.

While LACs don’t usually offer professional degree majors like accounting, nursing and engineering, they offer a broad educational foundation that is an asset for those headed into the workplace or to graduate school. The curricula at LACs are also often quite flexible, and many institutions actively encourage their students to design their own majors to meet their individual interests.

2. You prefer small, seminar-style classes to lectures.

At a liberal arts college, students can’t hide in the back of a large lecture hall because there simply aren’t any. Some introductory courses might have 40 or 50 students, but most are going to be far smaller. Especially in introductory classes, universities tend to herd hundreds of undergrads into lecture halls and often let graduate students do the teaching. At LACs, the small average class size means that the majority of courses are interactive and discussion-based.

3. You want access to your professors.

Liberal arts colleges exist to teach undergraduates and only undergrads. That’s far different from universities, which emphasize faculty research and graduate students. Star professors at many major universities never go near undergrads, and graduate students frequently teach introductory courses. Firstly, there are no graduate teaching assistants at LACs, and every class is taught by a professor.

Furthermore, professors at LACs choose to work at these institutions because they are committed to teaching undergraduates. This means they usually spend more quality time with their students, getting to know them, evaluating and critiquing their work much more closely.

These relationships go a long way when it is time to secure research opportunities, internships, and letters of recommendation for graduate school

4. You are not terribly concerned with getting involved Greek life or supporting highly successful football or basketball teams.

While some LACs do have a Greek presence on campus, fraternities and sororities tend not to be the focus of the social scene at smaller colleges. Since most LACs are in the NCAA Division III, they usually do not have 50,000-seat stadiums that are packed to the gills during football or basketball season. While that may come as a disappointment for those who planned to become college sports superfans, on the upside, it means that the athletic programs are often more accessible to the average student.

5. You plan to attend graduate school.

As I mentioned in my previous post, if graduate study is your objective, liberal arts schools might well be the best way to go. Indeed, you might notice when visiting different schools that LACs often have a more scholarly atmosphere to them than many major universities. It should come as no surprises, then, that LACs dominate the list of the top 10 institutions that produce the most students who ultimately earn doctorates.

Per capita, liberal arts colleges produce twice as many students who earn a PhD in science than other institutions. It certainly helps that at these schools undergraduates have better access to research opportunities with professors than their classmates at major universities. Furthermore, the intimate environment means that students receive better advising and letters of recommendation are far more personalized.

Finally, it is worth noting that LACs are an especially compelling option for international students. When a student is going to be living away from home for the first time, and home is more than a 12-hour flight away, LACs are able to provide a sense of community and intimacy that can ease this difficult transition. With many international students coming to college from relatively small high schools, the LAC experience prevents them from feeling like a number. Moreover, the small class sizes mean that international students will receive individualized attention, and run less of a risk of falling through the cracks, a major concern at large universities.