These universities are established state-wide and have many separate campuses in different locations. Think: SUNY, Penn State, University of North Carolina, and UMass. Their various locations allow more students from in and out of state to gain the rewards of an education in that system. For you, if you choose to live at home and commute to college, you would be able to find a campus near you. In contrast, if you wanted to move further away from home, but still get the perks of being in-state, you can do that too!
In terms of academics, large public universities offer a wide variety of majors and programs. These can be typical majors like Business or English, or rare and specific majors like, Meteorology (SUNY Oswego), Design and Theatre Technology (UNC-Greensboro), and Peace and Conflict Studies (UMass Lowell). In addition, many universities offer EOP programs and Honors programs for students that qualify. (These are extra opportunities to get involved on campus and find the resources that are going to help you the most while in college.) Additionally, large public universities offer research grants for students to take part in. Whether they are small scale studies or larger ones, you can still gain experience working in your field through research!
Campus Life on large public campuses is its own entity, they have so many things to offer to students, no matter their backgrounds. Students can join a sorority or a fraternity, can be involved in student government, can play a sport, or can simply enjoy the event and activities that happen daily on campus. These universities appeal to such a wide array of students, so they need to offer many different clubs, events, and experiences for all of their students. Joining a club and taking an active role in an aspect of campus life will really help you make friends and find your belonging when on a campus of 10,000-50,000 students.
Finally, a pubic university can oftentimes be the most affordable option of your college choices. Many times these universities will charge a specific, discounted rate if you are a resident of that state. This can greatly impact the amount of money you are spending on your college education. Also, if you choose a university which is close to home and choose to commute for a year or two, that will help you save even more money on your education.
If you are unsure of whether a large public university is for you, I suggest that you visit a campus and check it out. Like I said, each one has their own unique character with their own values, mission, and expectations for students. Go and check them out and find the one that best fits your educational goals!!
enjoy the chase,