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Best National Liberal Arts Colleges
Top 100 Consensus Ranked Schools 2020

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Best National Liberal Arts Colleges

The College Consensus guide to the Top Consensus Ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges is designed to give prospective students the fullest possible view of their options when choosing a liberal arts college. Whether they are looking for intellectual challenge, a close-knit community, or entry into leadership in business, government, or the arts, students can look to the College Consensus for a comprehensive picture of the top liberal arts schools in the US.

How Did We Rank the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges?

College Consensus is an aggregate ranking that brings together data from reputable college ranking sites like The Wall Street Journal, Wallethub, U.S. News & World Report, plus trustworthy student review sites like Cappex and Niche. We gather all of a school’s rankings for the Publisher Rating, and all of the student grades for the Student Review Rating. Averaged together, all of these numbers create the Consensus Rating, making up the College Consensus.

The best liberal arts colleges in the nation keep the spirit of traditional college education alive, while reinventing the classical humanities and sciences for the 21st century. In general, national liberal arts colleges focus on undergraduate education (though many have at least a few master’s degrees). While they may encourage faculty and student research, their emphasis is primarily on providing the very best undergraduate experience, with a common core of classes in the humanities, arts, and sciences. The Top Consensus Ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges have a reputation that allows them to attract students nationally for an education steeped in critical thinking, research, and communication.

What’s Different About the College Consensus Ranking?

Since we draw on information from many different sites, with many different methodologies and perspectives, College Consensus gives prospective students the truest picture of what experts and students alike have to say. Since all voices are taken seriously, it’s not just the colleges with the biggest endowments and loudest marketing that rise to the top – it’s the ones with the best academics, best student experience, and best overall quality. Read more about our rankings methodology and sources at our about page.

This ranking highlights the top-ranked, nationally-recognized liberal arts colleges. For students who want the larger size and wider resources of a research university, College Consensus has ranked the Best National Research Universities. For the complete, overall ranking of all US colleges and universities, see the Best Colleges & Universities ranking.

The Top Consensus Ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges are listed in descending order by their Consensus score. In the event of ties, schools are ranked in alphabetical order with the same rank number.

1

Pomona College
Claremont, CA

carnegie hall
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
88.5
College Consensus
92.7
Publisher Consensus
84.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

2

Williams College
Williamstown, MA

168342
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
87.4
College Consensus
93.8
Publisher Consensus
81
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

3

Amherst College
Amherst, MA

3025094299 26e1202016 o
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
87.1
College Consensus
92.8
Publisher Consensus
81.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

4

Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA

washington lee
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
86.2
College Consensus
89
Publisher Consensus
83.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

5

Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, CA

claremont campus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
86
College Consensus
88.3
Publisher Consensus
83.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

6

Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME

Bowdoin
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
85.6
College Consensus
89.6
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

7

Bates College
Lewiston, ME

bates
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
85.4
College Consensus
88.7
Publisher Consensus
82.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

8

Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, CA

Hmc dartmouth entrance
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
84.2
College Consensus
86.8
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

9

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

swarthmore
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
84.2
College Consensus
93.3
Publisher Consensus
75.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

10

Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

8722984165 2f872891d4 z
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.4
College Consensus
88.4
Publisher Consensus
78.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

11

Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT

wesleyan
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
82.2
College Consensus
84
Publisher Consensus
80.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

12

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY

colgate
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.9
College Consensus
86.8
Publisher Consensus
77
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

13

Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY

vassar
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.6
College Consensus
82.1
Publisher Consensus
81.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

14

Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT

Middlebury College Ex
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.3
College Consensus
82.9
Publisher Consensus
79.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

15

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA

1024px Entrance Bryn Mawr
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.6
College Consensus
81.2
Publisher Consensus
79.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

16

College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, MA

holy cross
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.5
College Consensus
81.7
Publisher Consensus
79.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

17

Scripps College
Claremont, CA

scripps
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.3
College Consensus
76.9
Publisher Consensus
83.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

18

Davidson College
Davidson, NC

Davidson
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.1
College Consensus
82.7
Publisher Consensus
77.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

19

Macalester College
Saint Paul, MN

Macalester
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80
College Consensus
80.4
Publisher Consensus
79.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

20

Barnard College
New York, NY

Barnard 1
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79.9
College Consensus
84.1
Publisher Consensus
75.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

21

Hamilton College
Clinton, NY

galleryvideoimager1jpg
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79.7
College Consensus
80.5
Publisher Consensus
79
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

22

Carleton College
Northfield, MN

8617
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79
College Consensus
76.5
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

23

University of Richmond
University of Richmond, VA

richmond
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.8
College Consensus
80.3
Publisher Consensus
77.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

24

Pitzer College
Claremont, CA

pitzer
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.6
College Consensus
77.8
Publisher Consensus
79.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

25

Smith College
Northampton, MA

smith
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.5
College Consensus
76.3
Publisher Consensus
80.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

26

Haverford College
Haverford, PA

founderscrop
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.5
College Consensus
81.9
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

27

Colby College
Waterville, ME

colby
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.1
College Consensus
81.2
Publisher Consensus
75
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

28

Colorado College
Colorado Springs, CO

colorado college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
77.8
College Consensus
76.1
Publisher Consensus
79.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

29

Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA

grinnell
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
77.5
College Consensus
76.4
Publisher Consensus
78.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

30

Lafayette College
Easton, PA

49728004696 0e08ca6e5c o
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
77.2
College Consensus
81.1
Publisher Consensus
73.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

31

Union College (NY)
Schenectady, NY

union college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
76.2
College Consensus
76.5
Publisher Consensus
75.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

32

Whitman College
Walla Walla, WA

whitman 1
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74.1
College Consensus
66.5
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

33

Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA

Bucknell
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.9
College Consensus
71.9
Publisher Consensus
75.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

34

Oberlin College
Oberlin, OH

oberlin
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.6
College Consensus
70.8
Publisher Consensus
76.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

35

Reed College
Portland, OR

reed
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.5
College Consensus
66.8
Publisher Consensus
80.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

36

Kenyon College
Gambier, OH

kenyon
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.8
College Consensus
66.8
Publisher Consensus
76.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

37

Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA

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AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.7
College Consensus
71.8
Publisher Consensus
71.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

38

Spelman College
Atlanta, GA

Spelman College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.4
College Consensus
67.7
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

39

Connecticut College
New London, CT

conn college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.2
College Consensus
68.5
Publisher Consensus
73.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

40

Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA

gettysburg
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.1
College Consensus
64.8
Publisher Consensus
77.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

41

Trinity College
Hartford, CT

trinity college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71
College Consensus
71.1
Publisher Consensus
71
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

42

University of Minnesota-Morris
Morris, MN

University of Minnesota Morris
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.8
College Consensus
66.7
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

43

DePauw University
Greencastle, IN

Depauw
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.8
College Consensus
67.8
Publisher Consensus
73.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

44

Knox College
Galesburg, IL

knox
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.5
College Consensus
64.5
Publisher Consensus
76.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

45

The University of the South
Sewanee, TN

sewanee
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70
College Consensus
64.5
Publisher Consensus
75.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

46

Wheaton College (IL)
Wheaton, IL

wheaton college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70
College Consensus
58.9
Publisher Consensus
81.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

47

Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA

Mount Holyoke
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.9
College Consensus
67
Publisher Consensus
72.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

48

St Olaf College
Northfield, MN

St Olaf College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.5
College Consensus
64.1
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

49

Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY

skidmore
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.4
College Consensus
65.4
Publisher Consensus
73.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

50

St Lawrence University
Canton, NY

stlaw
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.9
College Consensus
61.6
Publisher Consensus
76.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

51

Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA

oxy campus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.6
College Consensus
61.7
Publisher Consensus
75.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

52

Willamette University
Salem, OR

Willamette University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.3
College Consensus
62.1
Publisher Consensus
74.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

53

Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA

dickinson
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.2
College Consensus
64.6
Publisher Consensus
71.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

54

Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA

Virginia Military institute
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.7
College Consensus
66.1
Publisher Consensus
69.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

55

Allegheny College
Meadville, PA

Allegheny
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.5
College Consensus
60.7
Publisher Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

56

Furman University
Greenville, SC

Sustaining Furman
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.2
College Consensus
58.9
Publisher Consensus
75.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

57

Cornell College
Mount Vernon, IA

Cornell College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.1
College Consensus
62.9
Publisher Consensus
71.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

58

Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, IL

Lake Forest College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.1
College Consensus
61.1
Publisher Consensus
73.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

59

Salem College
Winston-Salem, NC

Salem College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.7
College Consensus
68.7
Publisher Consensus
64.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

60

Berea College
Berea, KY

Berea College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.7
College Consensus
69.2
Publisher Consensus
64.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

61

Wofford College
Spartanburg, SC

wofford
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.7
College Consensus
51.2
Publisher Consensus
82.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

62

College of Saint Benedict
Saint Joseph, MN

CSaintBens
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.6
College Consensus
53
Publisher Consensus
80.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

63

Wabash College
Crawfordsville, IN

wabash
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.3
College Consensus
50.7
Publisher Consensus
82
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

64

Hobart William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY

HWSC
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.2
College Consensus
60.5
Publisher Consensus
71.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

65

St. John’s College (MD)
Annapolis, MD

SJC MD
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.1
College Consensus
52.3
Publisher Consensus
79.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

66

Juniata College
Huntingdon, PA

Juniata College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66
College Consensus
56.4
Publisher Consensus
75.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

67

Denison University
Granville, OH

Denison
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66
College Consensus
59.1
Publisher Consensus
72.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

68

Washington & Jefferson College
Washington, PA

Washington Jefferson College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.8
College Consensus
57.3
Publisher Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

69

Susquehanna University
Selinsgrove, PA

Susquehanna University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.6
College Consensus
58
Publisher Consensus
73.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

70

University of Puget Sound
Tacoma, WA

University Puget Sound
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.4
College Consensus
58.8
Publisher Consensus
72
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

71

Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, NY

sarah lawrence
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.5
College Consensus
57.6
Publisher Consensus
71.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

72

Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH

OWU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.4
College Consensus
53.9
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

73

Southwestern University
Georgetown, TX

Southwestern University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.3
College Consensus
51.6
Publisher Consensus
77
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

74

Gustavus Adolphus College
Saint Peter, MN

Gustavus Adolphus College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.1
College Consensus
53.6
Publisher Consensus
74.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

75

Centre College
Danville, KY

Centre College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.6
College Consensus
52.4
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

76

Beloit College
Beloit, WI

Beloit College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.5
College Consensus
51.4
Publisher Consensus
75.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

77

Millsaps College
Jackson, MS

MillsapsCollege
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.5
College Consensus
49.2
Publisher Consensus
77.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

78

New College of Florida
Sarasota, FL

NCF
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.1
College Consensus
53.2
Publisher Consensus
73.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

79

Rhodes College
Memphis, TN

rhodes
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.9
College Consensus
50.7
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

80

Muhlenberg College
Allentown, PA

Muhlenberg College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.3
College Consensus
50.2
Publisher Consensus
74.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

81

Linfield College-McMinnville Campus
McMinnville, OR

linfield
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.1
College Consensus
49.1
Publisher Consensus
75.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

82

Lawrence University
Appleton, WI

lawrence U
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.1
College Consensus
48.7
Publisher Consensus
75.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

83

Saint Vincent College (PA)
Latrobe, PA

Saint Vincent College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.9
College Consensus
54.9
Publisher Consensus
69
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

84

The College of Wooster
Wooster, OH

wooster
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.9
College Consensus
53
Publisher Consensus
70.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

85

Drew University
Madison, NJ

Drew University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.9
College Consensus
54.6
Publisher Consensus
69.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

86

Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, IL

Illinois Wesleyan University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.7
College Consensus
53.6
Publisher Consensus
69.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

87

Wheaton College (MA)
Norton, MA

wheaton 2
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.5
College Consensus
52.7
Publisher Consensus
70.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

88

Wesleyan College
Macon, GA

Wesleyan College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.4
College Consensus
50
Publisher Consensus
72.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

89

Saint Johns University
Collegeville, MN

SJU MN
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.3
College Consensus
47.5
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

90

Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, MI

Kalamazoo College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.9
College Consensus
47
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

91

Bennington College
Bennington, VT

Bennington
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.8
College Consensus
42.8
Publisher Consensus
78.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

92

Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, IN

Saint Marys College Indiana
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.7
College Consensus
49.3
Publisher Consensus
72
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

93

St. Mary’s College of Maryland
St. Mary's City, MD

St Marys College Maryland
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.3
College Consensus
46.3
Publisher Consensus
74.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

94

Houghton College
Houghton, NY

Houghton college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.8
College Consensus
45
Publisher Consensus
74.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

95

Luther College
Decorah, IA

Luther College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.8
College Consensus
45.6
Publisher Consensus
74
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

96

Earlham College
Richmond, IN

Earlham College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.7
College Consensus
48.2
Publisher Consensus
71.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

97

Saint Anselm College
Manchester, NH

Saint Anselm College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.7
College Consensus
48
Publisher Consensus
71.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

98

Westmont College
Santa Barbara, CA

Westmont College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.3
College Consensus
44.6
Publisher Consensus
73.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

99

Albion College
Albion, MI

Albion College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
58.8
College Consensus
45.6
Publisher Consensus
72
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

100

Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney, VA

Hampden Sydney College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
58.6
College Consensus
37.1
Publisher Consensus
80.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: April, 2020

What are Liberal Arts Colleges? 

Liberal arts and sciences is one of the oldest subjects taught today. Typically, they offer four year degrees as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS). The core mission of liberal arts colleges is to develop well rounded graduates with a general knowledge of a wide range of transferable skills. Liberal Arts programs are interdisciplinary covering humanities, social, and natural sciences

Liberal arts colleges rely on student participation and encourage interaction, mentorship, and collaboration. Liberal arts colleges have staff dedicated to full time teaching, not graduate student teaching assistants and research professors. New England liberal arts colleges, especially, are small and residential, with smaller class sizes. Williams College  has an undergraduate enrollment of about 2,000 students and the student faculty ratio is 7:1. It has been rated as one of the best colleges for undergraduates in the US.

What are the Pros and Cons of Liberal Arts College? 

There are many advantages to attending a Liberal Arts College. Liberal arts college rankings are high among the best colleges. The top ones being Williams College, Amherst College, Bowdoin College, and Pomona College. They offer smaller class sizes which allows more one on one attention for the students. Swarthmore College has a student faculty ratio of 8:1 and most classes have less than 20 students with a student satisfaction is around 97 percent. This offers students a close community with which to study and grow. Larger research type universities may have up to 500 students in lecture halls and some students get lost in the crowd and find it hard to really be mentored. 

The best liberal arts colleges provide the skills for students to become useful and thriving members of the community. They prepare their students to work in any area by providing a strong foundation in a broad range of subjects instead of a heavy focus in one subject matter. Liberal arts students have learned how to think critically, write properly and given a strong foundation in math. They also have extensive public speaking and philosophy classes. 

One of the biggest disadvantages that comes with attending a liberal arts college is lack of funding for things like equipment and materials. Students may not have the same access to expensive equipment that is often available at larger universities. Larger universities have professors that are experts in their field teaching from real life experiences. While professors at liberal arts colleges may not have the same credentials.  

Are Liberal Arts Colleges Expensive?

The quick answer is yes and no, the best liberal arts colleges are expensive. Taking a deeper look at the tuition costs and what it includes, the answer isn’t so simple. The price tag for a liberal arts colleges and universities tends to be high and the best liberal arts schools have long been thought of as only for the wealthy. What is important to not is how that cost is broken down. The class sizes are smaller, which means less students paying the tuition and absorbing the cost. 

The best liberal arts colleges are paying for professors because they don’t have graduate teaching assistants to utilize, which comes at little cost. Larger universities often have part time adjunct instructors that tend to be less expensive. However, teaching assistants and adjuncts come with the cost of potentially a less than educational experience. U.S. News and World Report shows that the cost of higher education has multiplied across the board and liberal arts colleges aren’t ay more expensive than larger universities. Liberal arts schools have worked over the years to provide an affordable and cost competitive education that’s accessible to all students. Many of them have even instituted a tuition freeze so that the tuition costs aren’t increasing. Liberal arts colleges are proving to have excellent return on your investment. These schools have a high four year graduation rate and graduates are able to find well paying jobs. 

Higher education is expensive and while students don’t want to find themselves drowning in debt upon graduation, they shouldn’t put a price tag on it, either. There are many liberal arts colleges, students should research to find the school that fits their needs in a price range that they can afford.

How Are Liberal Arts Colleges Adapting to the 21st Century?

Swarthmore College was selected as one of best liberal arts college for science majors. Their second most popular major is biological and biomedical sciences and the students benefit from a closer relationship with professors, and hands on lab experiences. Many graduates from Swarthmore go on to receive science and engineering doctorates from other universities. There are up and coming liberal arts colleges, or better said, there are up and coming changes for liberal arts schools as we move through the 21st century.

Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) acknowledges an ever changing world where graduates will work in a job that doesn’t currently exist. To that end, training for that career is not sufficient. The best thing liberal arts colleges can for these students is to teach them to be flexible and adapt to situations and challenges. Many colleges are beginning to look at ways to support their students and better prepare them for careers. Liberal arts colleges are also considering online and long distance learning, which is not a typical experience for a liberal arts college.