The Ten-Step Guide to College Financial Aid By Zachary Freeman

Class Warfare in College

Good morning readers!  I recently received this question and wanted to answer it for all of you; I think it’s something that all college students think about.

“How important is class size when choosing a college?  I want to be able to talk to my professors if I need help and I’ve heard that I can’t really do that at large colleges.” –Student in Lexington, KY

First of all, your relationship with the professor will depend on your willingness to open up to them.  In other words, you have to learn to be a suck up – a teacher’s pet, if you will.  From this point forward in your life, things will be a lot more competitive.  Scholarships, college, jobs, and promotions – you have to find a way (preferably a legal and ethical one) to get ahead of the pack, so talk to your professor.  Your relationship with a professor is not dependent on how many other students listen to their lecture.

The bottom line is this: most students rarely care to speak to their professor, so if you make an effort to connect with them, the professor will be much more likely to remember your name.  If you’re doing your homework and giving good effort in your work, they will be far more inclined to assist you.  Generally, professors are required to have “open office hours”, which allows students the opportunity to ask questions and acquire knowledge outside of the classroom.  In fact, I would venture to say that most people that teach for a living are elated when a student wants to gain more knowledge.

There are always a few bums in the lot; there will be professors that would rather watch soap operas than help you with your homework, but perhaps the most important thing to remember when you are trying to get the attention you need is this: you are the boss.  Your tuition pays their paycheck.  Professors are obligated to help you, because you’re paying them for it.  (Read this article to see how much you really pay your professor to hear them talk.)  If all else fails, send emails and make phone calls until you get the meeting that you want.  Persistence is often the best way to get what you want, and if you genuinely want knowledge, no university or professor should have the audacity to turn that away.

Do you have questions about college or financial aid?  Email them to!

Zachary Freeman is the author of Free Money Please!: The Ten-Step Guide to College Financial Aid.  He can be reached at


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