I am working on a page containing a tabular list of schools (see http://www.guidetoonlineschools.com/online-schools/non-profit). This list contains the name of the school, data on its tuition, recommendation rate as well as the ability to compare schools side-by-side. The user is also able to filter the list based on a desired degree program via a drop down menu.
My question is: as drop down menus take up as much space as the options they contain, the first column of this table is quite wide while the 2nd, 3rd and 4th column look cluttered and smashed together.
But if, I narrow the first column, the drop down menu will be narrower than the window that opens below with its contents, so if a user selects an option like "Radiology Technician and Technologist", the drop down box will display cut off text, reading something like "Radiology Technician and."
Which is more important from a UX perspective, that the table as a whole seem better balanced or that the user is able to read the option they selected clearly in the drop down box?