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100 best liberal arts colleges in America

When it comes to colleges, big state schools get attention for their sports teams. Technology schools get credit for scientific breakthroughs. But America is dotted with top-notch liberal arts colleges that have plenty to offer.

Many feature core curriculums that require students to sample the arts, humanities, sciences, and languages. Others have open curriculums, challenging students to choose their own paths. Some encourage experiential learning like studies abroad, internships, research, and community service—programs that teach students off-campus independence and on-the-job skills. They may promote community involvement, designing ways for students to contribute in communities or learn cultural diversity and understanding. Some keep religion close at hand, requiring students to attend services or study the Bible.

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At a time when the cost of private colleges is skyrocketing out of reach, a few offer guarantees that students who meet certain academic standards will graduate in four years—or tuition is waived until they finish. More than a few make sure that incoming students get up to speed with first-year seminars in critical thinking, intellectual inquiry, and research skills. Many do not let their students graduate until they learn how to write well.

Stacker compiled a list of the best liberal arts colleges in America using Niche’s 2021 rankings. Niche ranks colleges on a variety of factors including academics, admissions, financial, and student life. You can read more on Niche’s methodology here. Niche defines a liberal arts college as collages where the “goal is not necessarily to train students for a career (though that may happen), but to challenge their beliefs, make them critical thinkers, and poise them to become global citizens.” Military academies are also liberal arts colleges.

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Coe College-Liberal Arts
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100. Coe College

– Location: Cedar Rapids, IA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,392
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 67%
– Graduation rate: 66%
– Six year median earnings: $46,200
– Two year employment rate: 95%

Coe College is a small school in Iowa’s second largest city, and it prides itself on offering the benefits of its intimate size with the opportunities of its urban environment. Most of its classes, more than two-thirds, have fewer than 20 students.

#99. Knox College
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99. Knox College

– Location: Galesburg, IL
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,310
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 74%
– Graduation rate: 75%
– Six year median earnings: $39,700
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Knox College promotes what it calls experiential learning—including study abroad, internships, research, and community service. To that end, it provides Power of Experience Grants, offering every student up to $2,000 to use in their junior or senior year to help pay for items such as travel costs, living expenses during internships, or equipment.

#98. Transylvania University
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98. Transylvania University

– Location: Lexington, KY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 976
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 89%
– Graduation rate: 75%
– Six year median earnings: $44,100
– Two year employment rate: 94%

At Transylvania University, affordability is key. Its tuition is about $10,000 less than what is typical among similar liberal arts schools, and the average financial aid package for incoming students covers about three-quarters of tuition. The school has a “Pioneer Pledge”—guaranteeing that if students enroll for eight consecutive terms, take a full course load, meet academic goals, and declare a major by the end of sophomore year, and do not graduate in four years, the school will cover the cost of tuition while students finish their degree. When the college was founded in 1780, the region was known as Transylvania, which means across the wooded area in Latin.

#97. Berea College
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97. Berea College

– Location: Berea, KY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,631
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 38%
– Graduation rate: 63%
– Six year median earnings: $33,700
– Two year employment rate: 92%

At Kentucky’s Berea College, no student pays tuition. Most of its students come from Kentucky and the Appalachian region, and the mean family income of a first-year student is less than $30,000. Founded by an abolitionist in 1855, Berea was the South’s first interracial and coeducational college.

#96. Saint John's University - Minnesota
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96. Saint John’s University – Minnesota

– Location: Collegeville, MN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,646
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 80%
– Graduation rate: 76%
– Six year median earnings: $60,600
– Two year employment rate: 96%

Saint John’s University is in partnership with the College of Saint Benedict, about six miles away, and students have access to both campuses, courses, and facilities. Women’s housing is located at the College of Saint Benedict, and men’s residences are at Saint John’s, each with restricted visitation. The campuses are linked by a shuttle.

95. The College of Idaho

– Location: Caldwell, ID
– Undergraduate enrollment: 920
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 49%
– Graduation rate: 70%
– Six year median earnings: $40,000
– Two year employment rate: 93%

The College of Idaho, set in a suburb of Boise, offers students a personalized education so they can graduate in four years with a major along with three minors. With its undergraduate curriculum, students focus on four areas of academics—social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and a professional field.

94. Stonehill College

– Location: Easton, MA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,513
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 70%
– Graduation rate: 79%
– Six year median earnings: $60,800
– Two year employment rate: 98%

Stonehill College is a Catholic school located in a suburb south of Boston. In recent years it opened a new school of arts and sciences and a business school, expanding the number of majors available and developing more cross-disciplinary options. With the school’s encouragement, students spend almost 100,000 hours each year doing community service.

93. Ursinus College

– Location: Collegeville, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,408
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 71%
– Graduation rate: 79%
– Six year median earnings: $55,200
– Two year employment rate: 94%

At Ursinus College, all first-year students take a two-semester course called the Common Intellectual Experience—small classes designed to build community and tackle issues and questions across disciplines. Required class readings include selections from philosophy, fiction, poetry, economics, race relations, and feminism.

92. Agnes Scott College

– Location: Decatur, GA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 985
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 70%
– Graduation rate: 69%
– Six year median earnings: $39,400
– Two year employment rate: 88%

Located not far from Atlanta, Agnes Scott College was founded in 1889 to educate women. In 2015, it introduced a SUMMIT curriculum to be completed by all students. It is designed to provide basics such as critical thinking, public speaking, and digital literacy, build a foundation in humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts, and encourage international perspectives and global learning through study abroad.

#91. Hollins University
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91. Hollins University

– Location: Roanoke, VA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 666
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 64%
– Graduation rate: 55%
– Six year median earnings: $35,400
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Hollins was founded in 1842 as a coeducational college but six years later eliminated its men’s programs and became a women’s school. Students are encouraged to learn off-campus—three-quarters complete at least one internship, almost half complete more than one internship, and more than half study abroad.

90. Roanoke College

– Location: Salem, VA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,956
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 72%
– Graduation rate: 67%
– Six year median earnings: $44,700
– Two year employment rate: 95%

Roanoke College has developed a core Intellectual Inquiry Curriculum known as INQ. The classes focus on topics like critical thinking and writing, ethical reasoning and oral skills, decision-making, and problem-solving. Before graduating, students also must take an Intensive Learning Term, a three-week immersion term in May that can be on or off campus.

89. Hampden-Sydney College

– Location: Hampden-Sydney, VA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,070
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 59%
– Graduation rate: 66%
– Six year median earnings: $52,200
– Two year employment rate: 96%

One of the oldest schools in the country, founded in 1775, Hampden-Sydney College is a men’s school about 60 miles southwest of Richmond, Virginia. One of its unique features is its required Rhetoric Program that teaches writing and speaking skills. All graduates must pass a Rhetoric Proficiency Exam, a three-hour essay that tests their ability to write a logical and well-supported thesis and argument.

88. Eckerd College

– Location: Saint Petersburg, FL
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,940
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 68%
– Graduation rate: 68%
– Six year median earnings: $42,200
– Two year employment rate: 89%

The Eckerd College campus features a mile-long waterfront and sandy beach along the Gulf Coast, and it has long used the outdoors for study, research, and as a backdrop for student life.

#85. Westmont College
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87. Millsaps College

– Location: Jackson, MS
– Undergraduate enrollment: 792
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 59%
– Graduation rate: 64%
– Six year median earnings: $48,100
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Millsaps has one of the highest graduation rate of any four-year college or university in the state, a high acceptance rate among its graduates applying to medical school. Its alumni have the highest average salary 10 years after graduation among all the four-year colleges and universities in Mississippi. Students say it is demanding but that they benefit from personal attention due to its small size.

86. Juniata College

– Location: Huntingdon, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,339
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 70%
– Graduation rate: 79%
– Six year median earnings: $49,200
– Two year employment rate: 96%

Juniata College is known for its science programs, including a 365-acre Environmental Studies Field Station on central Pennsylvania’s Raystown Lake. Many students design individualized course plans with the school’s flexible “programs of emphasis” instead of traditional majors and minors. Faculty involvement is high, and students have two academic advisers.

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85. Westmont College

– Location: Santa Barbara, CA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,266
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 62%
– Graduation rate: 75%
– Six year median earnings: $51,400
– Two year employment rate: 89%

Westmont College is a Christian school that integrates faith with academics. Much of student life revolves around campus ministries and worship, and chapel attendance is mandatory three times a week. It was founded in 1937 as the Bible Missionary Institute, later renamed Westmont College, and accredited in 1958. It is known for its science courses, particularly its cellular and molecular biology program.

84. Wheaton College – Massachusetts

– Location: Norton, MA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,751
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 70%
– Graduation rate: 78%
– Six year median earnings: $47,600
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Founded in 1834 as a female seminary, Wheaton College went coed in 1988. It is located about halfway between Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, and features a required Connections program for students to combine studies across disciplines, and Wheaton guarantees funding for every student to undertake a research project or internship.

83. University of New Hampshire at Manchester

– Location: Manchester, NH
– Undergraduate enrollment: 589
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 68%
– Graduation rate: 41%
– Six year median earnings: $51,400
– Two year employment rate: 96%

Attending the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, students can take advantage of opportunities in the region’s high-tech companies, start-ups, and incubators. The school offers an analytics and data science program and majors in such topics as homeland security, biotechnology, neuropsychology, and public service and nonprofit leadership. In-state tuition at the public university is about $15,000 a year and about twice that amount for out-of-state students.

#82. Willamette University
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82. Willamette University

– Location: Salem, OR
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,759
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 84%
– Graduation rate: 74%
– Six year median earnings: $51,100
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Willamette University is strong in international studies. It has an established Spanish and liberal arts study abroad program in Granada, Spain. It also has an extensive global partnership with the Tokyo International University of America under which Japanese students study with Willamette students in specially designed joint and linked courses in Salem, and Willamette students can study for a semester or a year in Japan’s Kawagoe region.

81. University of Puget Sound

– Location: Tacoma, WA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,348
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 88%
– Graduation rate: 75%
– Six year median earnings: $52,700
– Two year employment rate: 92%

The University of Puget Sound campus is set on the scenic Washington coast in the port town of Tacoma, not far from the Olympic Mountains, and many of its students are outdoors enthusiasts. The university has a highly regarded School of Music and a School of Business and Leadership, and it offers a cross-disciplinary Bachelor of Music degree with Elective Studies in Business. It also offers interdisciplinary programs in environmental policy and decision making, gender studies, global development, and Asian studies, and it has a nine-month Pacific Rim Study Abroad Program.

80. St. Mary’s College of Maryland

– Location: St. Mary’s City, MD
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,503
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 80%
– Graduation rate: 80%
– Six year median earnings: $52,200
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Situated on the Chesapeake Bay, St. Mary’s College of Maryland has the benefits of a liberal arts school with small classes and rigorous standards and is a state school with in-state tuition and fees that amount to about $15,000 a year. Its curriculum, called Learning through Experiential and Applied Discovery, or LEAD, combines academics with professional skill development. Each student has a career and leadership development plan and a guaranteed internship or research opportunity.

79. Spelman College

– Location: Atlanta, GA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,123
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 39%
– Graduation rate: 75%
– Six year median earnings: $47,000
– Two year employment rate: 94%

At Spelman College, an historically Black school for women, first-year students take topical seminars called Interdisciplinary Big Questions Colloquia as an introduction to liberal arts and intellectual thinking. Recent colloquia topics have included the role of women in the Black Panther Party, the aesthetics of activism, and the influence of white supremacy in Western thought. Spelman emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and it has been recognized as a leading school in the number of Black women who proceed to earn doctorates in science. It also is consistently among the U.S. colleges that produce the most students who are awarded prestigious Fulbright scholarships for international study.

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78. St. Norbert College

– Location: De Pere, WI
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,083
– Student to faculty ratio: 14:1
– Acceptance rate: 78%
– Graduation rate: 71%
– Six year median earnings: $46,400
– Two year employment rate: 96%

St. Norbert College is a Catholic school that follows the teachings of the 12th-century Norbertine religious order that values community, reflection, and the liberal arts. The school offers a guarantee that students who meet the right requirements will graduate in four years, or tuition will be waived until their degree is completed.

#77. Earlham College
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77. Earlham College

– Location: Richmond, IN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,043
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 65%
– Graduation rate: 64%
– Six year median earnings: $35,000
– Two year employment rate: 90%

Education at Earlham College is guided by principles of the Quaker tradition such as truth-seeking, rigorous intellectual integrity, the instilling of lifelong learning habits, and the just and peaceful resolution of conflicts. It was founded by Quakers who moved to the Midwest from the East in the early 19th century. About 11% of faculty and 12% of students consider themselves Quakers today.

76. Centre College

– Location: Danville, KY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,433
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 73%
– Graduation rate: 81%
– Six year median earnings: $45,500
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Centre College places an emphasis on international learning, and almost 85% of its students study abroad before they graduate. It also has a tradition of alumni joining the Peace Corps, where several dozen are deployed around the world. The school values faculty involvement, and there are no teaching assistants.

75. Lake Forest College

– Location: Lake Forest, IL
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,472
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 58%
– Graduation rate: 69%
– Six year median earnings: $50,900
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Students at Lake Forest College can enjoy the benefits of a collegial residential college and the opportunities provided by its proximity to Chicago. The school puts an emphasis on academics and innovative coursework and on career preparation as well. Every incoming student is assigned a career adviser as well as an academic adviser.

74. Augustana College – Illinois

– Location: Rock Island, IL
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,534
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 64%
– Graduation rate: 74%
– Six year median earnings: $52,000
– Two year employment rate: 96%

Augustana College places importance on guiding and coaching its students, providing each one with a first-year adviser, a first-year peer group, and an adviser in each major and minor concentration. It offers the Augie Choice—$2,000 for each student to use for a research project, an internship, or study abroad.

73. Cornell College

– Location: Mount Vernon, IA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,019
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 61%
– Graduation rate: 76%
– Six year median earnings: $43,000
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Cornell College’s Ingenuity core curriculum is aimed at fusing interdisciplinary studies with real-world experiences. The core curriculum includes a structured series of courses in writing, quantitative reasoning, intercultural literacy, and a foreign language, and each student takes at least one course in fine arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. It includes experiential learning such as internships or community projects, and each student produces a curated portfolio of work that can be shown to potential employers.

72. Allegheny College

– Location: Meadville, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,724
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 64%
– Graduation rate: 74%
– Six year median earnings: $50,900
– Two year employment rate: 95%

At Allegheny College, every student must complete a senior project in order to graduate. The projects are substantial such as a creative work or an independent research project, under the supervision of one or more faculty members, and they are presented to faculty and classmates. The projects might range from exhibits and performances to written and oral research presentations.

71. Concordia College

– Location: Moorhead, MN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,041
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 61%
– Graduation rate: 75%
– Six year median earnings: $44,500
– Two year employment rate: 97%

The Lutheran Concordia College was founded by Norwegian settlers in 1891. Its studies are rooted in the value of “Becoming Responsibly Engaged in the World” which it calls BREW. With a mission of instilling dedication to Christian life, incoming students participate in an array of volunteer projects in the local Fargo-Moorhead community.

#70. Wofford College
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70. Wofford College

– Location: Spartanburg, SC
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,653
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 64%
– Graduation rate: 81%
– Six year median earnings: $51,500
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Seeking to prepare students for life beyond college, Wofford offers a workshop series called Rocket Fuel for them to learn about developing a business, with access to seed funding at its conclusion. It also offers a certificate program in entrepreneurial thinking and how to put ideas into action, an annual pitch competition that provides funding for student ventures, and a paid summer incubator program for students to start and grow their businesses.

69. Hobart and William Smith Colleges

– Location: Geneva, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,208
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 57%
– Graduation rate: 78%
– Six year median earnings: $53,500
– Two year employment rate: 94%

Hobart and William Smith were founded as two separate colleges on the same campus, Hobart for men and William Smith for women. The schools share faculty, curriculum, and administration but have kept their own deans, traditions, student government, and athletic departments. Students are required to complete first-year seminars that build a foundation in critical thinking, communication, and intellectual skills. Seminar topics range from British pop music and golf-course architecture to genocide, sustainable living, and hunger.

68. Southwestern University

– Location: Georgetown, TX
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,416
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 45%
– Graduation rate: 74%
– Six year median earnings: $54,000
– Two year employment rate: 90%

The oldest university in Texas, Southwestern emphasizes holistic, interconnected learning among majors and disciplines in and out of the classroom. It encourages students to undertake immersive programs away from campus such as internships, community-based learning, and study abroad to learn independence and an open world view. Undergraduates have many opportunities to participate in research in collaboration with faculty.

67. Muhlenberg College

– Location: Allentown, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,248
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 62%
– Graduation rate: 82%
– Six year median earnings: $59,400
– Two year employment rate: 96%

Hundreds of Muhlenberg College students study abroad each year. The school has four well-established, discipline-specific programs—a theater program at the University of London, accounting, business, and economics at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, media and communication and film studies in Dublin, and dance in Arezzo, Italy.

66. Ouachita Baptist University

– Location: Arkadelphia, AR
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,529
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 64%
– Graduation rate: 64%
– Six year median earnings: $41,200
– Two year employment rate: 93%

The Christian Ouachita Baptist University describes itself as committed to a love of God and a love of learning. It offers a host of community service projects, weekly student-led worship, and international campus ministry trips.

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65. Illinois Wesleyan University

– Location: Bloomington, IL
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,689
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 59%
– Graduation rate: 79%
– Six year median earnings: $59,100
– Two year employment rate: 96%

Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington encourages liberal arts education and experiential learning, and about two-thirds of students complete internships. It also offers a dedicated May term for students to focus on a single topic or course. In terms of diversity, about one in three students is a person of color.

64. Connecticut College

– Location: New London, CT
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,798
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 38%
– Graduation rate: 81%
– Six year median earnings: $54,900
– Two year employment rate: 93%

At Connecticut College, the curriculum features a variety of small first-year seminars that concentrate on research, writing, and presentation skills. Students move on to interdisciplinary programs that meld coursework with off-campus learning, and seniors present the results of their studies to the college community before graduating. Students get a team of faculty, staff, and student advisers.

#63. Rollins College
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63. Rollins College

– Location: Winter Park, FL
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,433
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 67%
– Graduation rate: 74%
– Six year median earnings: $45,700
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Located in central Florida on Lake Virginia, Rollins College provides a natural setting not far from busy Orlando. The school offers innovative programs such as a five-year bachelor of arts and master of business administration degree, a four-year dual bachelor degree in international business including a semester internship in Germany, and a dual bachelor degree engineering program of three years study at Rollins and two years of engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, Auburn University, or Case Western Reserve University.

62. St. Lawrence University

– Location: Canton, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,407
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 46%
– Graduation rate: 82%
– Six year median earnings: $50,100
– Two year employment rate: 95%

St. Lawrence University takes a special interest in helping incoming freshmen adjust to college life. It offers a first-year living-learning program in which students study and live together with a team of faculty, learning research, writing, and speaking skills and taking a specialized first-year seminar as well.

#61. Luther College
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61. Luther College

– Location: Decorah, IA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,977
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 63%
– Graduation rate: 79%
– Six year median earnings: $47,400
– Two year employment rate: 96%

At Luther College, all first-year students take a common immersive liberal arts curriculum, studying culture and history. It is strong in the arts, sponsoring a half dozen choirs, three orchestras, three bands, two jazz bands, and a theatre and dance program. More than two-thirds of students are involved in recreational and intramural sports, and Luther has extensive trails for cross-country running and skiing.

#60. Kalamazoo College
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60. Kalamazoo College

– Location: Kalamazoo, MI
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,457
– Student to faculty ratio: 13:1
– Acceptance rate: 73%
– Graduation rate: 79%
– Six year median earnings: $48,700
– Two year employment rate: 89%

Students at Kalamazoo College learn through its personalized K-Plan, in which majors are designed with the help of faculty and mentors. Students can study abroad for as many as three terms and complete a career development internship. An in-depth, individualized senior study project is mandatory for graduation.

59. College of Wooster

– Location: Wooster, OH
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,996
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 54%
– Graduation rate: 75%
– Six year median earnings: $46,300
– Two year employment rate: 93%

College of Wooster students and faculty work together one-on-one to design and complete a demanding senior project of mentored research. According to the school, 94% of its graduates are accepted to their first choice in graduate schools.

58. Dickinson College

– Location: Carlisle, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,361
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 49%
– Graduation rate: 84%
– Six year median earnings: $57,400
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Dickinson College encourages off-campus learning, and two-thirds of its students study abroad in more than 40 programs, in locations like Brazil, Cameroon, Ecuador, and New Zealand. The school is recognized for offering studies in 13 foreign languages including Arabic and Latin.

#57. Lewis & Clark College
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57. Lewis & Clark College

– Location: Portland, OR
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,058
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 74%
– Graduation rate: 75%
– Six year median earnings: $46,200
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Lewis & Clark College prides itself on being environmentally aware, and it has a Sustainability Council of students, faculty, and staff to look at learning, policies, and decision-making on campus. Along with its environmental studies major, it offers an environmental and natural resources law program and a graduate level ecopsychology in counseling program. The school also has policies for reducing its carbon emissions footprint, promotes alternative transportation, and has food services that use local sourcing.

56. Lawrence University

– Location: Appleton, WI
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,420
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 62%
– Graduation rate: 80%
– Six year median earnings: $44,100
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Lawrence University has a highly respected conservatory of music that emphasizes core musicianship, theory and technique, creativity, collaboration, improvisation, deep listening, and social engagement. Half of conservatory students are enrolled in a five-year program leading to a bachelor of music and bachelor of arts degrees. Lawrence has an unusually low student-to-faculty ratio of eight to one.

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#55. Trinity College - Connecticut
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55. Trinity College – Connecticut

– Location: Hartford, CT
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,112
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 34%
– Graduation rate: 84%
– Six year median earnings: $66,100
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Located in Connecticut’s state capital, Trinity College has a respected political science department as well as popular economics and history courses. It offers specialized studies in human rights and highly selective concentrations for students interested in such areas as global cities and health care.

#54. Hope College
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54. Hope College

– Location: Holland, MI
– Undergraduate enrollment: 3,032
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 76%
– Graduation rate: 79%
– Six year median earnings: $46,200
– Two year employment rate: 96%

Hope College is a Christian school historically affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. The school hosts annual days of service for students to participate in volunteer projects. Students are required to live on campus for the first three years of college.

53. DePauw University

– Location: Greencastle, IN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,139
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 63%
– Graduation rate: 85%
– Six year median earnings: $54,000
– Two year employment rate: 93%

DePauw University has one of the oldest music schools in the country. It offers degrees in music performance, music education, and musical arts as well as five-year double-degree programs. Every DePauw student completes at least two extended study programs such as internships, independent study, or research and creative projects with faculty.

#52. Oberlin College
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52. Oberlin College

– Location: Oberlin, OH
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,758
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 36%
– Graduation rate: 86%
– Six year median earnings: $40,800
– Two year employment rate: 90%

Oberlin College was the first U.S. college that offered undergraduate degrees to women, and it continues to have a reputation for being progressive and innovative. It has a department called the Experimental College, or ExCo, that sponsors for-credit courses taught by students, administrators, and townspeople. Fall semester ExCo courses include the study of trees, conflict and resistance in Guatemala, animal rights, radical environmentalism, death, and the science of food.

#51. Wabash College
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51. Wabash College

– Location: Crawfordsville, IN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 881
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 65%
– Graduation rate: 71%
– Six year median earnings: $56,300
– Two year employment rate: 94%

Wabash College is a men’s school, founded by a group of ministers in 1832. Wabash has a Center for Innovation, Business and Entrepreneurship for students interested in start-ups, finance, social enterprises, or corporate jobs, and a Democracy and Public Discourse initiative to support discussion, debate, civic leadership, and free speech.

#50. Gustavus Adolphus College
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50. Gustavus Adolphus College

– Location: Saint Peter, MN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,213
– Student to faculty ratio: 11:1
– Acceptance rate: 66%
– Graduation rate: 78%
– Six year median earnings: $51,700
– Two year employment rate: 96%

Gustavus Adolphus College is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and takes pride in its religious and Swedish heritages. It offers a unique “Three Crowns Curriculum” of specially designed interdisciplinary courses that emphasize discussion, and it requires students to take three designated writing courses.

49. Hendrix College

– Location: Conway, AR
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,194
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 72%
– Graduation rate: 71%
– Six year median earnings: $39,700
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Students at Hendrix College, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, are required in their first year to take a course on community involvement called the Engaged Citizen. Every student at the school gets financial assistance in some form. It also offers a Tuition Advantage scholarship program, in which Hendrix will match the in-state tuition at the flagship university in the home states of selected students.

48. Sewanee – The University of the South

– Location: Sewanee, TN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,678
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 65%
– Graduation rate: 84%
– Six year median earnings: $45,500
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Sewanee, owned by Episcopal Church dioceses in the southeastern United States, has a striking 13,000-acre campus with forests, caves, and lakes on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. The school offers an Integrated Program in the Environment that utilizes its extensive campus for research and applied field projects. It also has a volunteer fire department open to students, with tryouts each spring.

47. Rhodes College

– Location: Memphis, TN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,992
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 45%
– Graduation rate: 85%
– Six year median earnings: $53,600
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Incoming students at Rhodes College select one of two curriculum tracks—”Life: Then and Now” and “The Search for Values in the Light of Western Religion and History.” The programs encompass courses on religious studies, Bible studies, ethics, philosophy, histories of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, Enlightenment, and other significant eras.

46. Denison University

– Location: Granville, OH
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,365
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 34%
– Graduation rate: 85%
– Six year median earnings: $48,800
– Two year employment rate: 95%

Denison University’s Launch Lab is a space to learn career readiness and workforce skills for students facing an uncertain economic environment. Using nontraditional and innovative means, the lab is intended to build a talent pipeline for students to reach businesses, entrepreneurs, and enterprises. Denison also has been adding new majors and programs including global commerce, global health, data analytics, and financial economics.

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#45. Virginia Military Institute
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45. Virginia Military Institute

– Location: Lexington, VA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,685
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 51%
– Graduation rate: 78%
– Six year median earnings: $65,700
– Two year employment rate: 97%

Cadets at Virginia Military Institute undergo strenuous military and academic training. They live in sparse barracks, with three to six cadets sharing a room. The rooms are subject to daily inspection. Students declare their majors when they first apply, and the selection is limited to 14 disciplines. Cadets also must participate in four years of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs for the Air Force, Army, Navy, or Marines.

#44. Furman University
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44. Furman University

– Location: Greenville, SC
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,665
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 61%
– Graduation rate: 80%
– Six year median earnings: $51,200
– Two year employment rate: 94%

The curriculum path for Furman University students is called the Furman Advantage. Its focuses move over four years from diversified classroom work to exploration, specialization, out-of-classroom study, and career preparation. All Furman students live on campus for all four years.

#43. Union College - New York
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43. Union College – New York

– Location: Schenectady, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,195
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 39%
– Graduation rate: 88%
– Six year median earnings: $65,400
– Two year employment rate: 94%

Students at Union College follow a Common Curriculum with first-year preceptorial seminars to learn critical reading, analytic writing, and critical thinking skills, and hands-on sophomore research seminars. It also entails classes in literature, natural sciences, quantitative and mathematical reasoning, arts and humanities, social sciences, engineering, technology, language and cultures as well as required writing courses.

#42. Wheaton College - Illinois
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42. Wheaton College – Illinois

– Location: Wheaton, IL
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,326
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 83%
– Graduation rate: 87%
– Six year median earnings: $48,400
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Wheaton is a Christian school that blends faith, a biblical perspective, and evangelicalism with a liberal arts education. All students attend chapel services three times a week. Wheaton also offers high school graduates a gap year to live in what it describes as a Christ-centered community to prepare for college.

#41. Gettysburg College
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41. Gettysburg College

– Location: Gettysburg, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,433
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 45%
– Graduation rate: 82%
– Six year median earnings: $56,100
– Two year employment rate: 95%

First-year students at Gettysburg College can take focused seminars working closely with a faculty member and a small group of classmates. Students in first-year seminars live in the same residence hall, fostering a sense of community as they begin college. First-year seminar class sizes are small and demand active participation.

#40. Franklin & Marshall College
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40. Franklin & Marshall College

– Location: Lancaster, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,290
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 35%
– Graduation rate: 83%
– Six year median earnings: $58,900
– Two year employment rate: 95%

Franklin & Marshall College is known for its government program, and students can participate in off-campus programs in such locations as Washington, London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and Kenya. The college offers a year-long sophomore leadership seminar to teach communication and public speaking and a Life After College Success program to prepare sophomores and juniors for their post-graduate goals.

#39. Whitman College
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39. Whitman College

– Location: Walla Walla, WA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,436
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 50%
– Graduation rate: 87%
– Six year median earnings: $51,300
– Two year employment rate: 86%

Located in the Pacific Northwest, Whitman College has an extensive outdoor program for students that teach skills, risk management, leadership, and environmental understanding. Weekend trips include hiking, climbing, kayaking, and rafting for all skill levels. Scrambles is an outdoor orienteering program for incoming freshmen.

#38. Occidental College
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38. Occidental College

– Location: Los Angeles, CA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,907
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 37%
– Graduation rate: 85%
– Six year median earnings: $50,600
– Two year employment rate: 89%

Occidental College, in the heart of Los Angeles, has Oxy Immersive Semester programs for students to concentrate their coursework and internships around a specific topic, working closely with faculty. It also offers semesters for students to live in New York City and intern at the United Nations. Its Barack Obama Scholars Program, in honor of the former president who attended for two years, provides scholarships to selected students interested in meaningful change and the public good.

#37. Skidmore College
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37. Skidmore College

– Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,585
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 27%
– Graduation rate: 86%
– Six year median earnings: $49,700
– Two year employment rate: 95%

Skidmore College promotes the concept that “Creative Thought Matters,” encouraging students to be innovative, take informed risks, and forge their own paths in education. About half the students take double majors. Skidmore has designed a focused First-Year Experience providing incoming students with specialized seminars and mentoring.

36. Colorado College

– Location: Colorado Springs, CO
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,098
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 15%
– Graduation rate: 89%
– Six year median earnings: $45,400
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Courses at Colorado College are taught in an intensive block plan of one class at a time for three-and-a-half weeks. Full-time students might take three or four blocks in a semester. The structure allows for travel, concentration, deep research, and focused studies.

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#35. St. Olaf College
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35. St. Olaf College

– Location: Northfield, MN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 3,023
– Student to faculty ratio: 12:1
– Acceptance rate: 50%
– Graduation rate: 86%
– Six year median earnings: $50,400
– Two year employment rate: 95%

St. Olaf College has an acclaimed music program, with choirs, bands, jazz groups, ensembles, handbell players, gospel, an early music ensemble, and two full orchestras. Its music majors include performance, music education, church music with an organ or choral emphasis, and composition. St. Olaf College in 2020 established a $100,000 George Floyd Fellowship for Social Change to support the advancement of Black American students with opportunities, mentoring, and stipends.

#34. Pitzer College
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34. Pitzer College

– Location: Claremont, CA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,050
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 13%
– Graduation rate: 84%
– Six year median earnings: $48,700
– Two year employment rate: 86%

Pitzer College is one of California’s five Claremont Colleges. Its emphasis lies in environmental and interdisciplinary studies, arts, and humanities. Students can take classes at the other Claremont schools—Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, and Harvey Mudd College. Pitzer students are encouraged to plan their own academic careers and special majors with faculty guidance.

33. College of the Holy Cross

– Location: Worcester, MA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,913
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 38%
– Graduation rate: 92%
– Six year median earnings: $71,000
– Two year employment rate: 95%

College of the Holy Cross was founded in 1843 by Jesuits, an order committed to education and service. Its Jesuit tradition includes intellectual, spiritual, and personal education, open inquiry, and ethical values. The school offers alternative spring break programs for students to contribute in communities such as Appalachia, Chicago, St. Louis, and New Orleans.

#32. Mount Holyoke College
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32. Mount Holyoke College

– Location: South Hadley, MA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,177
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 51%
– Graduation rate: 83%
– Six year median earnings: $48,600
– Two year employment rate: 87%

Mount Holyoke is the oldest of the Seven Sisters women’s colleges, founded in 1837. Among its newer programs, it has been promoting living-learning communities for like-minded students in residence halls. One such program is aimed at incoming students adjusting to their first year, and another is designed for seniors to mentor younger students. Mount Holyoke’s Frances Perkins Program provides financial support to students of nontraditional age who are seeking an undergraduate degree.

#31. Bryn Mawr College
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31. Bryn Mawr College

– Location: Bryn Mawr, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,350
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 34%
– Graduation rate: 87%
– Six year median earnings: $54,600
– Two year employment rate: 88%

A prestigious member of the Seven Sisters schools, Bryn Mawr College was founded by Quakers, and the religious society’s commitment to social justice remains paramount. Bryn Mawr offers nontraditional, interdisciplinary 360° course clusters for students to participate in multiple courses focusing on common problems, themes, and experiences.

30. Scripps College

– Location: Claremont, CA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,046
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 24%
– Graduation rate: 88%
– Six year median earnings: $54,100
– Two year employment rate: 90%

Part of the five-college Claremont Consortium, Scripps College is a women’s school that values being a supportive environment and collaborative community with leadership opportunities. Scripps has had a tradition of afternoon tea every Wednesday since 1931 that continues to be a popular respite.

#29. Reed College
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29. Reed College

– Location: Portland, OR
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,453
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 35%
– Graduation rate: 81%
– Six year median earnings: $42,200
– Two year employment rate: 88%

Reed College has a reputation for being progressive and creative. Every student takes a year of humanities studies as a freshman, and seniors must write and defend a thesis in an oral examination by faculty.

28. Bucknell University

– Location: Lewisburg, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 3,581
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 33%
– Graduation rate: 88%
– Six year median earnings: $70,800
– Two year employment rate: 95%

Bucknell has a College of Arts & Sciences, the Freeman College of Management, and a College of Engineering. About a quarter of students carry double majors, and the College of Engineering offers five-year dual degree options. The school has a first-year Common Reading program, in which everyone in the incoming class reads and discusses a book chosen by the university to address current events and social issues.

27. Kenyon College

– Location: Gambier, OH
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,721
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 36%
– Graduation rate: 87%
– Six year median earnings: $48,700
– Two year employment rate: 94%

Kenyon has a reputation for writing and literary excellence, and it is home to the prestigious Kenyon Review—the journal of fiction, essays, and poetry dating back to 1939. In its heyday of the 1940s and ’50s, it published works by writers such as Robert Penn Warren, Flannery O’Connor, and Robert Lowell.

#26. Lafayette College
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26. Lafayette College

– Location: Easton, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,603
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 29%
– Graduation rate: 87%
– Six year median earnings: $68,600
– Two year employment rate: 93%

At Lafayette College, first-year students are required to take a semester that serves as an introduction to intellectual inquiry. The seminars entail reading, writing, discussion, and presentation, and students are taught library research skills. Lafayette’s core curriculum includes arts and sciences, courses in quantitative reasoning, multiculturalism, and writing, and a proficiency in a second language.

25. Smith College

– Location: Northampton, MA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,490
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 31%
– Graduation rate: 89%
– Six year median earnings: $46,200
– Two year employment rate: 88%

Smith College is one of the Seven Sisters women’s colleges and a member of a consortium that allows students to take classes and use facilities at Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire colleges and the University of Massachusetts. In a typical year, almost half of Smith’s juniors study abroad in Paris, Geneva, Florence, or Hamburg as well as in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Some of Smith’s noted alumni include Julia Child, Betty Friedan, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Gloria Steinem, and Sylvia Plath.

#24. Bates College
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24. Bates College

– Location: Lewiston, ME
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,832
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 18%
– Graduation rate: 89%
– Six year median earnings: $59,200
– Two year employment rate: 94%

Bates College’s mission is to prepare students for lives of meaningful work, and it takes a holistic approach to finding internships, providing career counseling, coursework, and personal growth. It has a job shadow program with alumni, and a Purposeful Work Infusion Project in which faculty relate course content to the students’ future work and career plans.

#23. Grinnell College
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23. Grinnell College

– Location: Grinnell, IA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,679
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 24%
– Graduation rate: 84%
– Six year median earnings: $49,100
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Grinnell College offers students a wealth of writing classes, including workshops in basic and advanced principles, oral communication such as speech writing, and theories of writing. In its Writers Mentors program, writing experts attend classes to consult with students on their writing skills. The school’s Writing, Reading, and Speaking Center provides one-on-one instruction in areas such as composition, style, and copyediting.

#22. Vassar College
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22. Vassar College

– Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,442
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 25%
– Graduation rate: 92%
– Six year median earnings: $54,600
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Vassar College features community-engaged learning in which students combine academics with work in a nonprofit organization, a government agency, or a business. Almost every department and program at Vassar sponsors community-engaged learning, which typically involves students keeping a journal and doing a final project or paper. Most of the learning opportunities are local to the Hudson Valley campus, but many others are set in New York City.

#21. Macalester College
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21. Macalester College

– Location: Saint Paul, MN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,140
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 41%
– Graduation rate: 90%
– Six year median earnings: $47,600
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Macalester College has designed a Civic Engagement Center that is dedicated to linking students with community service opportunities. Nearly all of the college’s students participate. The projects involve sustainability, health and wellness, housing, food justice, immigrants, refugees, youth, and tutoring.

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20. University of Richmond

– Location: University of Richmond, VA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 3,040
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 30%
– Graduation rate: 87%
– Six year median earnings: $64,500
– Two year employment rate: 95%

The University of Richmond has the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, which promotes ethical and effective engagement in society. At the core of its curriculum is critical thinking and ethical reasoning and cultivating a sense of justice and concern for others. A team of Jepson students competes nationally in Ethics Bowl competitions, typically debating a political or social issue.

19. Hamilton College

– Location: Clinton, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,991
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 21%
– Graduation rate: 93%
– Six year median earnings: $60,200
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Hamilton College’s approach to education is led by the motto “Know Thyself,” and its open curriculum is designed to give students freedom to follow their interests while learning critical thinking and communications. The open curriculum allows students broad leeway in choosing their courses, and there is no core curriculum or distribution requirements. Students do have to take three writing-intensive courses and a quantitative and symbolic reasoning course and meet a physical-education requirement.

#18. Wesleyan University
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18. Wesleyan University

– Location: Middletown, CT
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,928
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 17%
– Graduation rate: 89%
– Six year median earnings: $54,700
– Two year employment rate: 90%

Wesleyan University has an open curriculum, meaning students have the freedom to design their educational path. The school says it encourages students to explore their interests, take chances, and question the status quo.

17. Davidson College

– Location: Davidson, NC
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,843
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 19%
– Graduation rate: 90%
– Six year median earnings: $58,900
– Two year employment rate: 88%

At Davidson College, students sign an Honor Code under which they take home unsupervised tests and take unproctored exams. In 2020 the school started a pilot program making standardized test scores optional for applicants, meaning students can decide whether to include their SAT or ACT scores.The school said that while test scores could be useful, other information is a better reflection of how they will perform.

#16. Colgate University
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16. Colgate University

– Location: Hamilton, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,936
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 25%
– Graduation rate: 89%
– Six year median earnings: $63,600
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Students at Colgate University follow a foundational curriculum to learn critical thinking, communication, analytical skills, and complex problem-solving. Core courses include classes in global engagement, scientific perspectives, and challenges in modernity.

#15. Wellesley College
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15. Wellesley College

– Location: Wellesley, MA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,391
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 20%
– Graduation rate: 92%
– Six year median earnings: $60,800
– Two year employment rate: 94%

Wellesley College, one of the Seven Sisters women’s schools, has what it calls a “full-engagement” academic philosophy. Full engagement means students are involved in nearly all aspects of the college—serving on major committees of the Board of Trustees, participating in faculty searches, and contributing to strategic planning.

#14. Swarthmore College
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14. Swarthmore College

– Location: Swarthmore, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,554
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 9%
– Graduation rate: 94%
– Six year median earnings: $56,700
– Two year employment rate: 85%

Swarthmore College was founded by Quakers and continues to emphasize teaching students to become leaders for the common good. Students’ first semester is pass-fail so that they can take risks and learn without worrying about letter grades.

#13. Barnard College
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13. Barnard College

– Location: New York, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,519
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 14%
– Graduation rate: 92%
– Six year median earnings: $57,900
– Two year employment rate: 90%

Taking advantage of its New York location, Barnard classes often tap into the city as its classroom, with visits to the opera or museums, neighborhood trips, or sessions at the United Nations. Required coursework includes classes in thinking locally about the community and environment, global inquiry, social difference, and historical perspectives.

#12. Claremont McKenna College
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12. Claremont McKenna College

– Location: Claremont, CA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,321
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 9%
– Graduation rate: 93%
– Six year median earnings: $72,900
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Claremont McKenna College was founded as a men’s school but went coed in 1976. It is known for its economics and government coursework, and it features a number of specialized institutes in fields such as Entrepreneurship, Financial Economics, Human Rights and, State and Local Government.

11. Middlebury College

– Location: Middlebury, VT
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,551
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 17%
– Graduation rate: 91%
– Six year median earnings: $58,200
– Two year employment rate: 87%

Middlebury College has highly regarded language schools. Students in its immersive language programs take classes morning to night and sign a pledge to communicate only in the language they are studying—no English—for the length of the term.

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10. Amherst College

– Location: Amherst, MA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,855
– Student to faculty ratio: 7:1
– Acceptance rate: 13%
– Graduation rate: 93%
– Six year median earnings: $65,000
– Two year employment rate: 90%

Amherst College is a member of the Five College Consortium that includes Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students can study at any of the schools, getting access to thousands of courses. Amherst’s student-to-faculty ratio is a low seven-to-one, and the average class has 19 students.

#9. Washington & Lee University
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9. Washington & Lee University

– Location: Lexington, VA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,825
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 21%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Six year median earnings: $76,100
– Two year employment rate: 94%

Undergraduate study at Washington & Lee University consists of two divisions—its college for humanities, languages, arts, and sciences, and The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics for accounting, economics, business administration, and entrepreneurship. It also has the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity and the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability.

#8. Colby College
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8. Colby College

– Location: Waterville, ME
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,000
– Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
– Acceptance rate: 13%
– Graduation rate: 90%
– Six year median earnings: $58,100
– Two year employment rate: 92%

Colby College has humanities labs that provide hands-on experiences and skill building in such topics as cooking and map-making. Colby College’s Lunder Institute for American Art named artist Maya Lin as a senior fellow. She will be collaborating with students online and addressing issues on the intersection of art and the environment.

7. Haverford College

– Location: Haverford, PA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,308
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 19%
– Graduation rate: 92%
– Six year median earnings: $60,700
– Two year employment rate: 92%

At Haverford College, nearly all students opt to live on campus and so do nearly two-thirds of its faculty. It has an honor code under which students take unsupervised exams and have round-the-clock access to labs. Under its curriculum requirements, students must take courses in three major academic fields before specializing in a major.

#6. Williams College
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6. Williams College

– Location: Williamstown, MA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,042
– Student to faculty ratio: 6:1
– Acceptance rate: 13%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Six year median earnings: $59,000
– Two year employment rate: 90%

At Williams College, students choose majors but instead of minors, they take concentrations that pull courses from various disciplines and group them around a given topic. Williams has no required courses, but students must take arts and humanities, social sciences, science and mathematics, writing-intensive courses, a course using mathematical reason, and at least one course that looks at the ways that different cultures and societies interact.

#5. United States Military Academy at West Point
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5. United States Military Academy at West Point

– Location: West Point, NY
– Undergraduate enrollment: 4,589
– Student to faculty ratio: 7:1
– Acceptance rate: 11%
– Graduation rate: 85%
– Six year median earnings: data not available
– Two year employment rate: data not available

Not only do cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point study hard, but each student must be an athlete as well. Student life is regimented at West Point, with frequently mandatory meal times and enforced lights-out at night. Cadets can choose from more than 40 academic majors and typically conclude in their senior year with a team-based project. Graduates all receive Bachelors of Science.

#4. Carleton College
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4. Carleton College

– Location: Northfield, MN
– Undergraduate enrollment: 2,077
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 20%
– Graduation rate: 93%
– Six year median earnings: $54,200
– Two year employment rate: 91%

Carleton College puts an emphasis on quality teaching, and 92% of its faculty hold the highest degrees in their field. The school runs on a three-term academic calendar—fall, winter, and spring—designed to give students the opportunity to take 12 classes a year rather than eight. New students take Argument and Inquiry seminars.

3. Harvey Mudd College

– Location: Claremont, CA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 887
– Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
– Acceptance rate: 14%
– Graduation rate: 92%
– Six year median earnings: $88,800
– Two year employment rate: 89%

Harvey Mudd College, part of the Claremont Consortium of schools, focuses on engineering, science, and mathematics in a core curriculum with humanities and social science courses. Its founder, Harvey S. Mudd, was a mining engineer who sought to expand the traditionally narrow approach to education in technical fields.

2. Bowdoin College

– Location: Brunswick, ME
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,825
– Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
– Acceptance rate: 10%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Six year median earnings: $65,500
– Two year employment rate: 93%

Bowdoin College is home to the McKeen Center for the Common Good, which offers students ways to contribute through public service, creative and artistic work, and volunteering. It has programs in civic engagement, leadership, active citizenship, community responsibility, and mentoring.

Pomona College - Liberalarts
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1. Pomona College

– Location: Claremont, CA
– Undergraduate enrollment: 1,559
– Student to faculty ratio: 7:1
– Acceptance rate: 8%
– Graduation rate: 94%
– Six year median earnings: $58,100
– Two year employment rate: 90%

Pomona College was the founding member of the Claremont Consortium of schools. It offers a close-knit community, where nearly all students live on campus all four years, mostly in its residence halls. The ratio of students to faculty is just eight-to-one, and the average class has 15 students.

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