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Best National Liberal Arts Colleges
Top 100 Consensus Ranked Schools 2021

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Best National Liberal Arts Colleges 02

If you’re looking for the personalized attention and community of a liberal arts college, let College Consensus poiont the way to the best liberal arts colleges in America. 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

Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA

washington lee
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
88.8
College Consensus
92.3
Publisher Consensus
85.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

2

Pomona College
Claremont, CA

carnegie hall
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
88.8
College Consensus
93.8
Publisher Consensus
83.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

3

Williams College
Williamstown, MA

168342
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
87.4
College Consensus
94.7
Publisher Consensus
80.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

4

Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, CA

claremont campus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
86.6
College Consensus
89.6
Publisher Consensus
83.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

5

Amherst College
Amherst, MA

3025094299 26e1202016 o
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
85.7
College Consensus
91.5
Publisher Consensus
80
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

6

Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME

Bowdoin
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
84.5
College Consensus
87.3
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

7

Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA

grinnell
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.9
College Consensus
89.2
Publisher Consensus
78.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

8

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA

1024px Entrance Bryn Mawr
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.9
College Consensus
87.6
Publisher Consensus
80.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

9

Hamilton College
Clinton, NY

galleryvideoimager1jpg
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.6
College Consensus
89.2
Publisher Consensus
78
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

10

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

swarthmore
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.5
College Consensus
92.6
Publisher Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

11

Bates College
Lewiston, ME

bates
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.4
College Consensus
85.1
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

12

Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

8722984165 2f872891d4 z
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
83.3
College Consensus
88.4
Publisher Consensus
78.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

13

Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT

wesleyan
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.8
College Consensus
83.2
Publisher Consensus
80.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

14

Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY

vassar
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.1
College Consensus
81.2
Publisher Consensus
81.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

15

Colby College
Waterville, ME

colby
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
81.1
College Consensus
88.6
Publisher Consensus
73.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

16

Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT

Middlebury College Ex
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.8
College Consensus
81.3
Publisher Consensus
80.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

17

Colgate University
Hamilton, NY

colgate
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.8
College Consensus
84.5
Publisher Consensus
77
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

18

Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, CA

Hmc dartmouth entrance
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.1
College Consensus
78.1
Publisher Consensus
82
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

19

Davidson College
Davidson, NC

Davidson
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
80.1
College Consensus
82.1
Publisher Consensus
78.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

20

Carleton College
Northfield, MN

8617
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79.8
College Consensus
78.5
Publisher Consensus
81
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

21

University of Richmond
University of Richmond, VA

richmond
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
79.1
College Consensus
80.6
Publisher Consensus
77.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

22

Haverford College
Haverford, PA

founderscrop
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.9
College Consensus
80.7
Publisher Consensus
77.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

23

Barnard College
New York, NY

Barnard 1
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78.1
College Consensus
80.2
Publisher Consensus
76
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

24

Colorado College
Colorado Springs, CO

colorado college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
78
College Consensus
75.9
Publisher Consensus
80
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

25

Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA

Mount Holyoke
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
77.8
College Consensus
82.7
Publisher Consensus
72.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

26

College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, MA

holy cross
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
76.8
College Consensus
76
Publisher Consensus
77.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

27

Scripps College
Claremont, CA

scripps
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
76.2
College Consensus
67.4
Publisher Consensus
85
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

28

Whitman College
Walla Walla, WA

whitman 1
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
76.2
College Consensus
71.3
Publisher Consensus
81.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

29

Smith College
Northampton, MA

smith
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
75.9
College Consensus
71
Publisher Consensus
80.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

30

Lafayette College
Easton, PA

49728004696 0e08ca6e5c o
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
75.8
College Consensus
78.5
Publisher Consensus
73.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

31

Macalester College
Saint Paul, MN

Macalester
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
75.1
College Consensus
69.7
Publisher Consensus
80.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

32

Connecticut College
New London, CT

conn college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74.7
College Consensus
77.4
Publisher Consensus
72.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

33

Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA

258800807480854178 11409114754 22205c1317 b.0.32.1000.602.full
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74.5
College Consensus
77.3
Publisher Consensus
71.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

34

Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA

oxy campus
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
74.1
College Consensus
72.3
Publisher Consensus
75.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

35

Pitzer College
Claremont, CA

pitzer
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.7
College Consensus
72.1
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

36

Reed College
Portland, OR

reed
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
73.4
College Consensus
67.8
Publisher Consensus
78.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

37

Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA

Bucknell
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.7
College Consensus
69.8
Publisher Consensus
75.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

38

Wabash College
Crawfordsville, IN

wabash
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.5
College Consensus
65.2
Publisher Consensus
79.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

39

DePauw University
Greencastle, IN

Depauw
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.4
College Consensus
71.2
Publisher Consensus
73.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

40

Kenyon College
Gambier, OH

kenyon
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.3
College Consensus
69.3
Publisher Consensus
75.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

41

Union College (NY)
Schenectady, NY

union college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72.1
College Consensus
70.9
Publisher Consensus
73.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

42

Trinity College
Hartford, CT

trinity college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72
College Consensus
74
Publisher Consensus
70
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

43

Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA

gettysburg
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
72
College Consensus
66.7
Publisher Consensus
77.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

44

Oberlin College
Oberlin, OH

oberlin
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.8
College Consensus
68.2
Publisher Consensus
75.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

45

Willamette University
Salem, OR

Willamette University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.6
College Consensus
68.2
Publisher Consensus
75.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

46

St Olaf College
Northfield, MN

St Olaf College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.5
College Consensus
68.1
Publisher Consensus
74.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

47

Spelman College
Atlanta, GA

Spelman College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.5
College Consensus
67.8
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

48

Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, MI

Kalamazoo College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
71.1
College Consensus
67.4
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

49

Rhodes College
Memphis, TN

rhodes
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.8
College Consensus
66
Publisher Consensus
75.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

50

Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA

Virginia Military institute
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.2
College Consensus
72.7
Publisher Consensus
67.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

51

Allegheny College
Meadville, PA

Allegheny
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.2
College Consensus
65.7
Publisher Consensus
74.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

52

The University of the South
Sewanee, TN

sewanee
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
70.1
College Consensus
66
Publisher Consensus
74.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

53

Furman University
Greenville, SC

Sustaining Furman
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.8
College Consensus
64.1
Publisher Consensus
75.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

54

Wofford College
Spartanburg, SC

wofford
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.4
College Consensus
57.2
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

55

Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA

dickinson
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69.1
College Consensus
65.8
Publisher Consensus
72.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

56

Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY

skidmore
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
69
College Consensus
65.5
Publisher Consensus
72.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

57

Knox College
Galesburg, IL

knox
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.9
College Consensus
61.2
Publisher Consensus
76.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

58

St. John's College (MD)
Annapolis, MD

SJC MD
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.5
College Consensus
59.6
Publisher Consensus
77.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

59

St Lawrence University
Canton, NY

stlaw
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68.5
College Consensus
61.3
Publisher Consensus
75.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

60

Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, IL

Lake Forest College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
68
College Consensus
62.9
Publisher Consensus
73.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

61

Wheaton College (IL)
Wheaton, IL

wheaton college
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.8
College Consensus
55.4
Publisher Consensus
80.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

62

Denison University
Granville, OH

Denison
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.3
College Consensus
61.6
Publisher Consensus
72.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

63

Centre College
Danville, KY

Centre College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
67.2
College Consensus
61.1
Publisher Consensus
73.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

64

Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN

Saint Marys College Indiana
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.9
College Consensus
64.4
Publisher Consensus
69.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

65

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

St Marys College Maryland
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.8
College Consensus
61.9
Publisher Consensus
71.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

66

Gustavus Adolphus College
Saint Peter, MN

Gustavus Adolphus College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.5
College Consensus
58.6
Publisher Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

67

Linfield College-McMinnville Campus
McMinnville, OR

linfield
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
66.1
College Consensus
57
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

68

Muhlenberg College
Allentown, PA

Muhlenberg College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.5
College Consensus
58.9
Publisher Consensus
72.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

69

Hanover College
Hanover, IN

Hanover College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65.3
College Consensus
56.4
Publisher Consensus
74.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

70

Beloit College
Beloit, WI

Beloit College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
65
College Consensus
54.6
Publisher Consensus
75.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

71

Bard College
Annandale-On-Hudson, NY

bard
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.8
College Consensus
54.6
Publisher Consensus
74.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

72

The College of Wooster
Wooster, OH

wooster
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.7
College Consensus
61.5
Publisher Consensus
67.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

73

Hobart William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY

HWSC
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.5
College Consensus
58.4
Publisher Consensus
70.6
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

74

Susquehanna University
Selinsgrove, PA

Susquehanna University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64.2
College Consensus
56.7
Publisher Consensus
71.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

75

Lewis & Clark College
Portland, OR

Lewis Clark College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
64
College Consensus
57
Publisher Consensus
70.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

76

Southwestern University
Georgetown, TX

Southwestern University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.5
College Consensus
52.8
Publisher Consensus
74.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

77

Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH

OWU
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
63.1
College Consensus
52.5
Publisher Consensus
73.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

78

St. John's College (NM)
Santa Fe, NM

SJC NM
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.8
College Consensus
48.2
Publisher Consensus
77.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

79

Hendrix College
Conway, AR

Hendrix
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.7
College Consensus
46.5
Publisher Consensus
79
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

80

Berea College
Berea, KY

Berea College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.6
College Consensus
63.9
Publisher Consensus
61.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

81

Washington & Jefferson College
Washington, PA

Washington Jefferson College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.3
College Consensus
53.4
Publisher Consensus
71.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

82

Ursinus College
Collegeville, PA

Ursinus College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.3
College Consensus
59.4
Publisher Consensus
65.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

83

Cornell College
Mount Vernon, IA

Cornell College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62.1
College Consensus
52.7
Publisher Consensus
71.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

84

Lawrence University
Appleton, WI

lawrence U
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
62
College Consensus
48.6
Publisher Consensus
75.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

85

College of Saint Benedict
Saint Joseph, MN

CSaintBens
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.5
College Consensus
42.8
Publisher Consensus
80.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

86

Saint Johns University
Collegeville, MN

SJU MN
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.5
College Consensus
47.7
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

87

Lycoming College
Williamsport, PA

Lycoming College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
61.4
College Consensus
50.2
Publisher Consensus
72.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

88

Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, IL

Illinois Wesleyan University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.9
College Consensus
52
Publisher Consensus
69.8
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

89

Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, NY

sarah lawrence
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.9
College Consensus
52.4
Publisher Consensus
69.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

90

Wheaton College (MA)
Norton, MA

wheaton 2
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.9
College Consensus
50.4
Publisher Consensus
71.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

91

Albion College
Albion, MI

Albion College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.8
College Consensus
47.5
Publisher Consensus
74.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

92

Monmouth College
Monmouth, IL

Monmouth College il
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.4
College Consensus
44.7
Publisher Consensus
76.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

93

Earlham College
Richmond, IN

Earlham College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60.2
College Consensus
49.8
Publisher Consensus
70.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

94

University of Minnesota-Morris
Morris, MN

University of Minnesota Morris
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60
College Consensus
44.6
Publisher Consensus
75.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

95

Stonehill College
Easton, MA

Stonehill College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60
College Consensus
47.9
Publisher Consensus
72.1
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

96

Coe College
Cedar Rapids, IA

Coe College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60
College Consensus
48.7
Publisher Consensus
71.3
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

97

Simpson College
Indianola, IA

Simpson College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
60
College Consensus
46.3
Publisher Consensus
73.7
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

98

Washington College
Chestertown, MD

Washington College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.9
College Consensus
48.2
Publisher Consensus
71.5
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

99

Augustana College
Rock Island, IL

Augustana College
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.5
College Consensus
45.1
Publisher Consensus
73.9
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

100

Drew University
Madison, NJ

Drew University
AVG: 0 AVG: 0
59.4
College Consensus
49.4
Publisher Consensus
69.4
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2021

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.