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 Do We Make Our Ranking of 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.