What Are The Biggest Colleges in the US?

01/02/202416 minute read
What Are The Biggest Colleges in the US?

When students think about applying to college, they often consider the size of the school. Whether a university falls into the category of small, medium, or large can significantly influence different facets of the college experience, including academics and social life.

In this blog, we'll focus on the five largest colleges in the US and explore their unique characteristics along with the pros and cons of attending a large school. Understanding how school size affects the college experience can help students choose the right school by thinking about things like class size, community dynamics, and opportunities for involvement.

Five Biggest Colleges in the US

1. Arizona State University

Located in Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University (ASU) stands as one of the largest and most dynamic public research universities in the United States.

ASU has been ranked the #1 most innovative school in the US by USNews for nine years straight due to its renowned commitment to innovation and sustainability. The university offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs across a diverse array of disciplines.

2. Texas A&M

Located in College Station, Texas, Texas A&M University (TAMU) stands as one of the largest and most prestigious public universities in the United States.

TAMU is renowned for being a research-intensive university dedicated to addressing global challenges. Its world-class research facilities and faculty expertise contribute to groundbreaking discoveries and innovations around the world.

3. University of Central Florida

Located in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida is one of the largest public institutions in the United States.

UCF is an innovative technology and research university, serving as an expert in fields like nursing and engineering, which are ranked among the nation’s best degree programs.

4. Rutgers University

Located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers is one of the leading comprehensive public research universities in the nation.

With undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs, Rutgers conducts cutting-edge research that addresses crucial issues in health, environmental sustainability, social justice, and cultural enrichment.

5. Ohio State University

Located in Columbus, Ohio as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Act, Ohio State University is one of the nation’s largest major comprehensive public research universities.

OSU is home to more than 200 academic centers and institutes, where research, policy-making, knowledge creation and student engagement happen daily across many disciplines.

Acceptance and Enrollment
Arizona State UniversityTexas A&MUniversity of Central FloridaRutgers UniversityOhio State University
Acceptance Rate90%63%41%66%53%
Undergraduate Enrollment114,48460,729 59,54847,92751,078
Total Enrollment145,65577,491 69,320 67,20265,405
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How College Size Comes Into Play

The size of a college is a crucial factor to consider when choosing the right academic fit, as it can significantly impact various aspects of the college experience.

One of the most noticeable effects of a large college is on class sizes and faculty-student ratios. In larger colleges and universities, class sizes tend to be larger, and faculty-student ratios may be higher, meaning that students may have less individualized attention from professors.

Additionally, college size influences the availability of resources and opportunities on campus. Larger institutions typically have more extensive facilities, libraries, research centers, and academic programs, offering a wider array of options for students to explore. These resources can provide students with diverse academic and extracurricular opportunities, including internships, study abroad programs, and research experiences.

Moreover, the size of a college can impact the overall sense of community on campus. Larger colleges may have a more diverse and bustling campus environment, offering a broader range of clubs, organizations, and activities, but it may be more challenging to form close connections with peers due to the sheer size of the student body.

Ultimately, choosing the right size of college is a personal decision that depends on individual preferences and academic goals. Some students thrive in the vibrant and diverse environment of a larger university, while others prefer the intimate and supportive atmosphere of a smaller college. By considering factors such as class sizes, faculty-student ratios, available resources, and the overall sense of community on campus, students can make an informed decision to find the perfect academic fit.

Classes and Resources
Arizona State UniversityTexas A&MUniversity of Central FloridaRutgers UniversityOhio State University
Classes With Fewer Than 20 Students40%24%30%42%41%
Student/Faculty Ratio19:119:129:115:117:1
Number of Libraries75112610
Number of Faculty5,000+4,100+13,000+ 9,000+44,000+

Pros and Cons of Attending a Big College

Attending a large college offers several advantages that can enrich the college experience, but it also presents some drawbacks that students should consider.


  1. Diverse Academic Offerings: Large colleges typically offer a wide range of academic programs and majors, providing students with numerous options to explore their interests and pursue their desired career paths.
  2. Extensive Resources: Large colleges often have extensive resources, including state-of-the-art facilities, libraries, research centers, and specialized equipment. These resources provide students with valuable opportunities for hands-on learning, research, and collaboration with faculty and peers.
  3. Robust Social Scene: Large colleges typically have vibrant campuses, offering a rich array of cultural, social, and extracurricular activities. Students have various opportunities to meet new people, join clubs and organizations, attend events and performances, and engage in campus life.


  1. Potentially Larger Class Sizes: In large colleges, introductory classes and popular courses may have larger class sizes, resulting in less personalized attention from professors. Students may find it more challenging to actively engage in class discussions and receive individualized feedback on their academic work.
  2. Limited Accessibility to Resources: Despite the abundance of resources available at large colleges, students may find that certain facilities, equipment, or specialized programs are oversubscribed or inaccessible due to high demand. This can impact students' ability to fully utilize and benefit from the resources available on campus.
  3. Potential Feelings of Isolation: With a large student population, it may be more challenging for students to find their niche or establish a sense of belonging within the larger campus community, leading to feelings of alienation or social isolation.
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Academic Offerings and Majors

Large colleges offer a diverse range of academic offerings, catering to a variety of interests and disciplines. Additionally, large colleges boast robust research opportunities, allowing students to engage in cutting-edge research across various disciplines and collaborate with faculty mentors.

Specialized programs and initiatives further enhance the academic experience, offering honors colleges, interdisciplinary studies programs, and accelerated degree tracks.

Overall, the diverse academic offerings at large colleges ensure that students can tailor their educational experience to their career goals and pursue their passions with ample resources and opportunities.

Arizona State UniversityTexas A&MUniversity of Central FloridaRutgers UniversityOhio State University
Undergraduate Majors350+140+240+150+200+
Undergraduate Minors and Certificates250+45+140+130+100+

Student Life at Big Colleges

Dynamic student life at large colleges is full of exciting opportunities. With an array of clubs and activities covering a wide range of interests such as sports, arts, academics, and community service, there is something for everyone. On top of that, campus is always buzzing with events such as parties, concerts, and festivals.

One of the best things about large colleges is the diverse student body, with people from all over bringing different perspectives and experiences to the table. It's a great place to meet new friends and learn about different cultures and backgrounds.

Plus, there are plenty of networking opportunities to connect with alumni and professionals, which can be exceptionally helpful for future career paths.

And if you're looking to develop your leadership skills, there are plenty of chances to get involved in clubs, student government, or volunteer organizations. Overall, student life at large colleges is vibrant, diverse, and full of exciting possibilities!

Arizona State UniversityTexas A&MUniversity of Central FloridaRutgers UniversityOhio State University
Student-Led Clubs/Organizations1,000+1,300+650+750+1,400+
Countries Represented135+50+150+120+120+
Varsity Sports Teams (Men & Women)20+15+15+20+35+
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Application Process and Tips for Success

Applying to large colleges can be a daunting process, but with careful planning and attention to detail, you can increase your chances of success.

  • Research and select colleges that align with your academic and personal preferences
  • Gather all required documents, including transcripts, standardized test scores, recommendation letters, and a compelling personal statement
  • Secure recommendation letters early from teachers who can speak to your abilities and character
  • Craft a personalized personal statement that highlights your strengths, experiences, and goals while demonstrating your fit with each college
  • Stay organized, proofread thoroughly, seek feedback, and start the application process early to minimize stress and ensure a strong application.

Follow these tips to ensure that you present yourself effectively to admissions officers and increase your chances of admission to large colleges.

For assistance in the college application process, contact us for a free consultation with one of our admissions experts. Our students are guided by Former Admissions Officers, Ivy League and other top school graduates to ensure the highest level of personalization and success, with 98% of our students admitted to at least one of their Top 5 school choices.