3025094299 26e1202016 o

100 Best Small Colleges
Top Consensus Ranked Schools 2019

July 10, 2019
Best Small Colleges Consensus Ranked

With our Top Consensus ranking of the Best Small Colleges, College Consensus turns the focus on the little guys – schools with 2000 students or less. The best small colleges in the US are not small in reputation, and they’re not small in influence; in fact, some of the best small colleges in America are also among the most exceptional, with national and international recognition for their overall excellence. The Best Small Colleges ranking gives prospective students and their families a rigorous and full look at their options. Whatever the reason – small class sizes, personalized attention, close-knit student bodies, or safety in small numbers – students can trust the College Consensus to give a list of small colleges that rank the highest across the board.

The Best Small Colleges are listed in descending order according to their College Consensus Score. Ties are ordered alphabetically.

1

Amherst College
Amherst, MA

3025094299 26e1202016 o
83.4
College Consensus
84.7
Publisher Consensus
82.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,836

2

Pomona College
Claremont, CA

carnegie hall
83.4
College Consensus
82.6
Publisher Consensus
84.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,599

3

Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME

Bowdoin
83.3
College Consensus
84.5
Publisher Consensus
82
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,816

4

Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, CA

claremont campus
81.8
College Consensus
80.1
Publisher Consensus
83.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,338

5

Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, CA

Hmc dartmouth entrance
80.7
College Consensus
79.4
Publisher Consensus
81.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
861

6

Bates College
Lewiston, ME

bates
80.1
College Consensus
78
Publisher Consensus
82.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,787

7

Hamilton College
Clinton, NY

galleryvideoimager1jpg
79.7
College Consensus
79.8
Publisher Consensus
79.7
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,901

8

California Institute of Technology
Pasadena, CA

Caltech Entrance
79.4
College Consensus
85.4
Publisher Consensus
73.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
961

9

Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA

washington lee
79.3
College Consensus
75.9
Publisher Consensus
82.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,827

10

Augustana University
Sioux Falls, SD

Augustana
78.5
College Consensus
75.9
Publisher Consensus
81.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,749

11

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

swarthmore
78.5
College Consensus
81.9
Publisher Consensus
75
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,577

12

Scripps College
Claremont, CA

scripps
77.3
College Consensus
70.9
Publisher Consensus
83.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,065

13

Cottey College
Nevada, MO

cottey college
77.2
College Consensus
70.6
Publisher Consensus
83.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
270

14

Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA

grinnell
77.2
College Consensus
76
Publisher Consensus
78.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,712

15

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA

1024px Entrance Bryn Mawr
77.2
College Consensus
74.5
Publisher Consensus
79.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,334

16

Colby College
Waterville, ME

colby
77.1
College Consensus
76.1
Publisher Consensus
78.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,917

17

Davidson College
Davidson, NC

Davidson
76.8
College Consensus
76.2
Publisher Consensus
77.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,810

18

Haverford College
Haverford, PA

founderscrop
76.1
College Consensus
77.2
Publisher Consensus
75.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,296

19

Pitzer College
Claremont, CA

pitzer
75.3
College Consensus
71.3
Publisher Consensus
79.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,074

20

Whitman College
Walla Walla, WA

whitman 1
74.4
College Consensus
67.2
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,510

21

Thomas Aquinas College
Santa Paula, CA

Thomas Aquinas
74.2
College Consensus
66
Publisher Consensus
82.5
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
369

22

Wabash College
Crawfordsville, IN

wabash
73.7
College Consensus
65.4
Publisher Consensus
82
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
864

23

Kenyon College
Gambier, OH

kenyon
73.7
College Consensus
70.7
Publisher Consensus
76.7
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,677

24

College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO

Ozarks
72.8
College Consensus
77.6
Publisher Consensus
67.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,508

25

Connecticut College
New London, CT

conn college
72.4
College Consensus
71.1
Publisher Consensus
73.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,817

26

Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA

oxy campus
72.2
College Consensus
68.9
Publisher Consensus
75.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,972

27

Wofford College
Spartanburg, SC

wofford
71.6
College Consensus
61.6
Publisher Consensus
81.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,678

28

Sewanee-The University of the South
Sewanee, TN

sewanee
71.3
College Consensus
67.3
Publisher Consensus
75.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,702

29

Reed College
Portland, OR

reed
71.3
College Consensus
62.3
Publisher Consensus
80.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,447

30

Texas Lutheran University
Seguin, TX

TLU
71.2
College Consensus
71.3
Publisher Consensus
71.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,359

31

Northwestern College
Orange City, IA

Northwestern College
71.1
College Consensus
63.3
Publisher Consensus
79
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,041

32

John Brown University
Siloam Springs, AR

John Brown University
71
College Consensus
61.9
Publisher Consensus
80.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,972

33

Howard Payne University
Brownwood, TX

Howard Payne
70.7
College Consensus
57.9
Publisher Consensus
83.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
981

34

Rhodes College
Memphis, TN

rhodes
70.6
College Consensus
66.6
Publisher Consensus
74.7
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,988

35

Lawrence University
Appleton, WI

lawrence U
70.5
College Consensus
65.7
Publisher Consensus
75.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,467

36

Dordt College
Sioux Center, IA

Dordt College
70.5
College Consensus
71.6
Publisher Consensus
69.5
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,448

37

Knox College
Galesburg, IL

knox
70.4
College Consensus
64.1
Publisher Consensus
76.7
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,356

38

Goshen College
Goshen, IN

Goshen
70
College Consensus
70.6
Publisher Consensus
69.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
883

39

Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, MI

Kalamazoo College
69.9
College Consensus
65.6
Publisher Consensus
74.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,436

40

Centre College
Danville, KY

Centre College
69.8
College Consensus
65.8
Publisher Consensus
73.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,450

41

College of Saint Benedict
Saint Joseph, MN

CSaintBens
69.6
College Consensus
59.8
Publisher Consensus
79.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,937

42

Willamette University
Salem, OR

Willamette University
69.6
College Consensus
64.6
Publisher Consensus
74.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,948

43

Southwestern Adventist University
Keene, TX

Southwestern Adventist University
69.6
College Consensus
62
Publisher Consensus
77.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
798

44

Allegheny College
Meadville, PA

Allegheny
69.5
College Consensus
64.8
Publisher Consensus
74.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,802

45

Carroll College
Helena, MT

Carroll College
69.4
College Consensus
68
Publisher Consensus
70.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,362

46

Barton College
Wilson, NC

Barton College
69.2
College Consensus
65.6
Publisher Consensus
72.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
887

47

Hendrix College
Conway, AR

Hendrix
68.9
College Consensus
58.8
Publisher Consensus
79.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,238

48

Huntingdon College
Montgomery, AL

Huntingdon College
68.8
College Consensus
60.1
Publisher Consensus
77.5
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,102

49

Simmons College
Boston, MA

simmons
68.8
College Consensus
68.6
Publisher Consensus
69
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,739

50

Berry College
Mount Berry, GA

berry
68.8
College Consensus
63.2
Publisher Consensus
74.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,978

51

Clarke University
Dubuque, IA

Clarke University
68.6
College Consensus
60.4
Publisher Consensus
76.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
768

52

William Jessup University
Rocklin, CA

William Jessup University
68.6
College Consensus
61.3
Publisher Consensus
75.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,204

53

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

Saint Mary of the Woods College
68.5
College Consensus
60
Publisher Consensus
77.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
660

54

University of St Francis
Joliet, IL

USF Joliet
68.5
College Consensus
60.8
Publisher Consensus
76.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,599

55

Beloit College
Beloit, WI

Beloit College
68.5
College Consensus
62.3
Publisher Consensus
74.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,402

56

Juniata College
Huntingdon, PA

Juniata College
68.4
College Consensus
61.3
Publisher Consensus
75.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,485

57

University of the Ozarks
Clarksville, AR

ozarks
68.3
College Consensus
64
Publisher Consensus
72.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
755

58

Southwestern University
Georgetown, TX

Southwestern University
68.3
College Consensus
59.5
Publisher Consensus
77
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,396

59

St Bonaventure University
Saint Bonaventure, NY

StBonaventure
68.2
College Consensus
58.6
Publisher Consensus
77.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,622

60

Millsaps College
Jackson, MS

MillsapsCollege
68.2
College Consensus
58
Publisher Consensus
78.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
807

61

Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney, VA

Hampden Sydney College
68.2
College Consensus
55.2
Publisher Consensus
81.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,046

62

Dakota Wesleyan University
Mitchell, SD

DWU
68.1
College Consensus
55.2
Publisher Consensus
81.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
792

63

The College of Wooster
Wooster, OH

wooster
68.1
College Consensus
64.9
Publisher Consensus
71.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,980

64

Marietta College
Marietta, OH

Marietta College
68
College Consensus
63.2
Publisher Consensus
72.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,065

65

Wheaton College (MA)
Norton, MA

wheaton 2
68
College Consensus
65
Publisher Consensus
70.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,688

66

Mills College
Oakland, CA

mills
67.9
College Consensus
66.4
Publisher Consensus
69.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
761

67

University of Dallas
Irving, TX

UniversityDallas
67.9
College Consensus
60.8
Publisher Consensus
74.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,450

68

Wisconsin Lutheran College
Milwaukee, WI

Wisconsin Lutheran College
67.8
College Consensus
57.8
Publisher Consensus
77.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
992

69

Nebraska Wesleyan University
Lincoln, NE

NWU OldMain
67.8
College Consensus
58.5
Publisher Consensus
77.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,779

70

University of Mobile
Mobile, AL

University of Mobile
67.6
College Consensus
56.2
Publisher Consensus
79.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,443

71

Transylvania University
Lexington, KY

TransylvaniaUniversity
67.4
College Consensus
59.7
Publisher Consensus
75.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
966

72

Sarah Lawrence College
Bronxville, NY

sarah lawrence
67.3
College Consensus
63.1
Publisher Consensus
71.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,399

73

San Diego Christian College
Santee, CA

San Diego Christian College
67.2
College Consensus
62.4
Publisher Consensus
72.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
658

74

Lebanon Valley College
Annville, PA

LVC
67.2
College Consensus
62.7
Publisher Consensus
71.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,756

75

Huntington University
Huntington, IN

Huntington University
67.2
College Consensus
57.9
Publisher Consensus
76.5
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,076

76

Washington & Jefferson College
Washington, PA

Washington Jefferson College
67.2
College Consensus
60.3
Publisher Consensus
74.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,405

77

Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH

OWU
67
College Consensus
59.3
Publisher Consensus
74.7
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,560

78

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

St Marys College Maryland
66.9
College Consensus
59.1
Publisher Consensus
74.7
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,570

79

Linfield College-McMinnville Campus
McMinnville, OR

linfield
66.9
College Consensus
58.8
Publisher Consensus
74.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,535

80

Bard College
Annandale-On-Hudson, NY

bard
66.8
College Consensus
62.7
Publisher Consensus
70.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,938

81

Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, IL

Illinois Wesleyan University
66.8
College Consensus
63.9
Publisher Consensus
69.7
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,649

82

Saint Johns University
Collegeville, MN

SJU MN
66.8
College Consensus
58.5
Publisher Consensus
75
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,720

83

Newberry College
Newberry, SC

newberry
66.8
College Consensus
59.6
Publisher Consensus
74
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,181

84

Hastings College
Hastings, NE

Hastings College
66.7
College Consensus
57.3
Publisher Consensus
76.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,155

85

Ouachita Baptist University
Arkadelphia, AR

OBU
66.7
College Consensus
50
Publisher Consensus
83.4
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,545

86

Asbury University
Wilmore, KY

Asbury University
66.7
College Consensus
57.1
Publisher Consensus
76.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,733

87

McMurry University
Abilene, TX

McMurry University
66.7
College Consensus
58.1
Publisher Consensus
75.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,105

88

Kentucky Wesleyan College
Owensboro, KY

Kentucky Wesleyan College
66.5
College Consensus
57.9
Publisher Consensus
75.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
716

89

Millikin University
Decatur, IL

Millikin University
66.5
College Consensus
62.8
Publisher Consensus
70.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,950

90

Oklahoma Baptist University
Shawnee, OK

OKBU
66.5
College Consensus
61.2
Publisher Consensus
71.8
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,965

91

Covenant College
Lookout Mountain, GA

Covenant College
66.3
College Consensus
49.5
Publisher Consensus
83.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,030

92

Tennessee Wesleyan University
Athens, TN

twc
66.2
College Consensus
57.9
Publisher Consensus
74.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
935

93

Franklin College
Franklin, IN

Franklin College
66.2
College Consensus
51
Publisher Consensus
81.3
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,016

94

Kuyper College
Grand Rapids, MI

Kuyper Campus
66.1
College Consensus
48.3
Publisher Consensus
83.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
184

95

Cornell College
Mount Vernon, IA

Cornell College
66
College Consensus
59.4
Publisher Consensus
72.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,009

96

Austin College
Sherman, TX

Austin College
65.9
College Consensus
58.2
Publisher Consensus
73.6
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,214

97

Earlham College
Richmond, IN

Earlham College
65.9
College Consensus
60.2
Publisher Consensus
71.5
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,060

98

Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA

Virginia Military institute
65.8
College Consensus
62.7
Publisher Consensus
68.9
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,722

99

Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, IL

Lake Forest College
65.7
College Consensus
58.3
Publisher Consensus
73.2
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
1,508

100

The College of Idaho
Caldwell, ID

College Idaho
65.6
College Consensus
51.2
Publisher Consensus
80.1
Student Consensus
Accessed July, 2019
Fall Enrollment | Distance education status, by level of student | All students enrolled | Undergraduate total
936

Why Choose a Small College? Academics and Culture

First and foremost, there’s a strong argument to be made for the academic advantages of a small college. Time and again, studies have shown that people learn more effectively in small classes; it’s a fact that the top small universities have been touting for years. While, in a large university, you may find yourself in a gigantic lecture hall with hundreds of other students, too far away to even make out the professor’s facial expression, in a small college you’re likely to take classes with just a handful of people. That closeness means you get to know your classmates and instructors well, engaging in meaningful discussion and having the opportunity to have your questions answered directly.

Small classes at a small college also means a small student:faculty ratio – the number of students per faculty member. A professor at a large university can’t get to know all of her students closely, much less work with them one-on-one; but at a small college, where they may be just 10-12 students for every professor, there’s a greater opportunity for mentorship, guidance, and connection. In a small college, you’re far more likely to have to chance, for instance, to work alongside a faculty member on a research project, or to find a professor who can give you personalized attention and help.

The culture of a small college is entirely different from the culture of a large college, too. That doesn’t mean that the best small colleges don’t have their rabid sports rivalries, or riotous fraternity parties (they definitely do). What it means is that it’s much easier to form a close-knit community, one where students feel connected to the whole student body rather than just their clique or in-group. Small colleges can have other benefits, as well; with a small student body, they can pay more attention to amenities, so some of the best small colleges also offer the best college dining halls and the best college dorms in the nation. At a large college, students can often feel disconnected and lost; at a small college, students can feel more connected. A large university is where you go to school; a small college is where you live.

How Do We Rank the Best Small Colleges?

College Consensus isn’t like any other college ranking agency out there. Bringing together the rankings of reputable sites like U.S. News & World Report, the Wall Street Journal, and Forbes, with the most trustworthy student review sites on the internet (including Niche, Cappex, and Unigo), College Consensus works to get the full picture. Instead of just focusing on one set of data, College Consensus is an aggregate ranking, combining all of a given school’s published rankings for the Publisher Ranking, and adding in the testimony of students for the Student Rating. From those two numbers, we create the Consensus Rating, which we then use to rank schools in all sorts of combinations.

Our criteria for selecting the Best Small Colleges is fairly simple: these are the colleges and universities throughout the US that have student bodies of 2000 or less. That’s an arbitrary cutoff, sure; plenty of large colleges are proud of their ability to give students an experience like a small college, and there’s no particular reason a school with 2000 students is any different than a school with 3000 students. But the essential thing here isn’t how many students there are – it’s how the top small universities serve students in a special way. The Top Consensus Ranked Small Colleges put students first, providing the traditional college experience that leaves fond memories, lifelong friendships, and a sense of alumni pride that carries through for your 50th-anniversary reunion and beyond.

What’s Different About the College Consensus Ranking?

While other rankings take the narrow view – whether it’s strictly surveys of faculty, or reams of cold, hard data, or the perspective of students – College Consensus is the only college ranking organization that looks at the full range of published rankings and student reviews. That means we take all voices seriously, from the impartial experts to the students experiencing the real world of college on the ground. Other methods give an advantage to certain kinds of schools, especially the ones with the biggest marketing budgets and the most famous names, but College Consensus is interested in getting the fullest picture possible. Read more about our ranking methodology and sources on our about page.