It’s a reality that once you know someone in the honors college, you feel impressed by it. Accepting the honors college and staying with me requires hard work and determination. There are many benefits of honors college. However, did you know that there are cons to honors college too?
Being in the honors college is truly a great achievement. However, let us also look at its downside, or are there any of it? In this article, you will learn that honors colleges are worth it.
What is an Honors College?
Before we proceed to the pros and cons of honors college, let us first determine what an honors college is. Honors College is a program offered to the top performer students. Universities like Arizona State University and the University of South Florida offer a housing program to the students who belong to the honors class for an enriched, unique, and rigorous curriculum. The admission is highly selective, resulting in fewer students in class compared to a regular class in college.
Frequently, honors college and honors program are used interchangeably. Honors College is another discreet school in the university, while the honors program is not separated from the college. For example, in a large university, an honors college differs from the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Business, while an honors program is part of these colleges.
What are the Advantages of Joining an Honors College?
There are many advantages when you join an honors college. Below are some benefits of honors college according to the different universities.
A small number of students.
Since getting into the honors college is highly selective, it leads to a fewer number of students being accepted. For example, in the University of Florida, the acceptance rate in 2022 is only 17%. Out of 9,242 applicants, only 1,571 were admitted. There is a small number of students during class discussions. Therefore, there is an enriched exchange of ideas between the students and the professors. Moreover, there is a higher chance of getting a closer relationship with the other students and mentors that will help you grow eventually.
There is more room for opportunities and other resources.
In the honors college, there are plenty of opportunities that you can grab, such as scholarships and study abroad. For example, the Mississippi State University offers honors scholarship for study abroad. They aim to provide their students enough time to participate scholarly endeavors. You may also enjoy the financial benefits that the university offers students in honors college tuition and miscellaneous fees. You will be able to cut education costs and prevent student loans.
If you are in the honors college, you can choose your major and minor class since you are a priority. You can also modify your mentorship, internship, and research opportunities based on your needs.
Your learning does not only occur in the four corners of the classroom. You will have the chance to be exposed to community services and other real-life experiences. You can apply what you have learned in the theory discussed in the classroom. You can even apply to study abroad and enhance your skills and knowledge.
You are a priority.
You will be considered a priority if you are in the honors college. You can choose your major and minor classes before the regular students can choose their classes. Even in the registration, you will need to enroll first. You are also a priority for one-on-one consultation with the faculty, ensuring your academic progress.
There are more opportunities in research and internship.
The opportunities for research and internship will be first given to the students in the honors college. For example, the University of Houston offers Smithsonian Internship Program that will provide the honors students more chance to explore the world. Thus, you will have more accelerated experiences in terms of research and internship. It is one of the greatest amenities in the honors college.
Enjoy the facilities.
Regarding the university’s facilities, the honors college students are first to enjoy its benefits. For example, study areas, libraries, computer laboratories, and residence halls can be used.
You will have the chance to access the university’s biggest and widest library, with a wide range of books and other resources. You can borrow the books for the entire semester instead of using them for only two weeks as a regular student does. You will also receive special training from the library professors.
It opens new doors for the future.
After you graduate from the honors college and apply for a job, your employer will take note that you came from the honors college. It will give you an edge over the rest of the applicants since the employer knows how rigorous the curriculum is in the honors college.
You will not only have more opportunities in looking for a job, but you will also be the top priority in graduate school admission. If you want to pursue your graduate studies, being in the honors college can also be your edge over the other applicants. Most likely, you will be accepted easily.
Hear talks from a common hour and symposia.
You will be able to hear talks from successful people at the university. You may learn and get inspiration from their talks. Be ready to listen to the lectures of the successful ethicist, winning author, singer, philosopher, and cartoonist on campus.
Disadvantages to Consider in Honors College
Of course, honors college is not always perfect. It also comes with a downside. Some of the disadvantages that the University of Florida mentioned are the following:
You still need to take traditional classes.
While it’s true that in an honors class, there are a few numbers of students during the class discussion, however, there are also other traditional classes that you still need to attend. It means that you still be joining the large classes. It may be challenging to adjust and deal with different students, particularly if you get used to small classes.
In addition, you still need to deal with the larger student body using some of the university facilities. It means you still need to fall in line and wait for your turn before you can use the facilities. It may be difficult for you because of the pressure to maintain your academic performance.
No fun life!
It is one of the most common disadvantages reported by students in the honors college. Being in the honors college requires hard work and determination. It may mean no time for fun and extracurricular activities because your main focus is academic activities.
Additional requirements during registration.
It was mentioned that the registration to the honors college is highly selective. You need to prepare your complete pertinent documents ahead of time. Plus, you may be required to write an essay. Hence, it would help if you practiced how to write an essay that stands out from the rest of the applicants before enrollment.
3 Factors to Consider Before Deciding to Enroll in an Honors College
It will be your pride and honor once you are accepted into the honors college. However, like any other decision, there are factors your need to consider before making up your mind about whether to proceed or not.
Are you ready with the additional requirements in your application?
You may need to write an essay which is an additional requirement in the honors college. Are you willing to go through it knowing it would take your time and effort?
Are you willing to take on the challenge of having a rigorous curriculum?
The curriculum in the honors college is not easy. It is different from a regular college. Are you willing to take the sleepless nights to study or finish your requirements? Are you willing to reduce your time for extracurricular activities or even fun time to focus on your academe? Are you willing to do everything to maintain the required GPA?
What are the available housing options?
Will the university give you a housing program? Are you willing to live in the university housing facility? Can you easily deal with other people that you may live with? How many students are there in one house? How many are you in the room?
Are Honors College Worth It?
One of the questions you may have is: Are honors colleges worth it? Because only a few students were allowed to enter the honors college, the answer is YES! It comes with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. As listed above, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
As long as you work hard and are determined, being in the honors college can open more doors for success in the future. It helps you save on the financial cost of education. After you graduate, the employers will immediately hire you. You can even choose the company where you can work.
Wrapping Things Up: Pros and Cons of Honors College
There are many benefits of honors college. As mentioned above, it gives you more opportunities to develop skills and knowledge through a specific but difficult curriculum. You will improve in the field of research and internship. You will have the chance to learn outside the four corners of the classroom by serving the community and dealing with the real world.
There are many scholarships and study-abroad chances too. However, if you are in the honors college, be prepared to have less time for fun and extracurricular activities. You must maintain your academic performance and stay on top until you graduate. Being in the honors college can help shape your future; it is worth it!