Many parents fear large high schools for the swarms of students, high student to teacher ratios and the reduced likelihood of their child standing out in any way in such a large mass of bodies. However large high schools have many benefits for students that smaller schools simply can’t offer. Large high schools typically have more than 2,000 students to qualify as one of the biggest schools in the state.
A large high school offers students a taste of the real world and helps them earn their stripes. When you’re competing with thousands of other students to earn those top GPA or starting football spots, you’re going to have to work harder and network to get to that point. Because of the intensity, there are many players, musicians and artists who are under recognized, but just earning a spot, even if it is far from the starring role, has much more weight with college programs coming out of a large school than a smaller one with far less competition.
In sports, for example, players at all levels of the game are scouted as they are all good – there is enough talent to create a powerful team from first string on down. College recruiters know this and seek out these large powerhouse teams and programs to recruit from as they get more bang for their buck. The third string player on a large school’s football team can very likely stand a better chance at a scholarship than the star player on a private or small high school’s team.
The same is true of academics. Earning a spot in the top ten or fifteen percent of students in a school with thousands competing for that level of success is far harder than in a smaller school that has less individuals vying for competition.
When it comes to college acceptance, high school matters a great deal. Many of the more rigorous programs are fully aware of the background students bring from certain high schools. While some small programs are noteworthy, especially magnet schools that focus on a certain area, the larger campuses have the benefit of name recognition with college admission personnel. Doing well and being a productive member of a large high school known for tough academics and high levels of achievement is certainly a feather in your cap when it comes to moving on from the high school level.