Sometimes the colleges and universities of the public imagination are huge places where tens of thousands of student flock to earn their degrees amongst the crowd, lost in thousand-seat lecture halls. But the numbers say that very few institutions of higher learning have more than 7,500 students enrolled at any given time.

The fact of the matter is, most colleges and universities are small, intimate places with small class sizes and campuses. Even some of the more well-known universities like Carnegie-Mellon or Baylor are surprisingly small. On the other hand, some of the largest universities in the country aren’t exactly household names.

So does size matter when deciding which colleges and universities matter? Check out our infographic below and decide for yourself…


Key Facts

Colleges with 2,500 students or less make up 46 percent of U.S. colleges.

1,136 colleges fall into the “between 7,500 and 2,500 students” category.

13.6 percent of colleges fall into the between 7,500 and 15,000 category.

Only 7.4 percent of colleges and universities fall into the between 15,000 and 25,000 category.

Schools with more than 25,000 students make up only 5 percent of all colleges in the U.S.

Liberty University is the largest university in the U.S. with a whopping 64,096 students between its on-campus and online degree programs.

Miami Dade College is the second largest college with 54,094 enrollees.

University of Texas–Austin has 50,170 students.

Cameron College in New Orleans is the nation’s smallest college with only 9 enrollments as of 2011.

Source: National Centerfor Educational Statistics 2011 Study,

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