The 15 Highest-Rated Colleges According to Student Reviews

Everyone knows which liberal arts colleges are ranked at the top by major publications – places like Amherst, Bowdoin, Williams, and more.

However, what schools do students themselves rate the very highest?

After all, public reviews of a school are crucial when selecting the right college. The best way to find out if a school’s environment, culture, and philosophy align with yours is to hear other people’s experiences and knowledge of a given school.

Today, we present to you with a ranking of the highest-rated colleges in the country according to student reviews.

These are the criteria to be considered for this list:

One, the school has to be listed in the most recent edition of the US News top 215 liberal arts colleges. For this particular list, we are only reviewing liberal arts colleges and not public or private universities.

Secondly, we are judging the student review rating by an individual school’s Reviews page on Facebook. Ratings are on a 1-5 scale and can be posted by anyone, though it is most often students, alumni, and parents. Most schools researched fall between 4.2 – 4.6 in their rating, however the schools on this list were all higher.  

It is important to consider that not every school has their own reviews page associated with their public profile, so schools that do not have a reviews page are excluded from this ranking.

Third, to ensure enough data, a school must have at least 150 reviews to make this list.

Because there are many schools that have the same aggregate review score, schools with more total reviews will be ranked higher on this list.

If two schools have both the same number of reviews and the same aggregate score, then we will use the higher score from as the tiebreaker.

Finally, this list is accurate as of December 17, 2019.

Here are the 15 highest-rated colleges according to student reviews:

15. Covenant College (Lookout Mountain, GA)

Jud McCranie, Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, GA, US, CC BY-SA 4.0

We start our list with a Christian liberal arts school in Georgia known as Covenant College. For a school with just 1,100 total students, Covenant is unusually diverse, housing a student body from over 25 countries.

What makes Covenant special is the close interaction students have with faculty at the school. The class sizes are a comfortable 13:1, ensuring every student has significant 1-on-1 time with their professors.

Additionally, the school is a great fit for the student who desires not only a small, private college experience, but also an environment devoted to Christian faith. Inside the school’s signature building, Carter Hall, are not only a number of classrooms and administrative offices, but also an on-campus chapel.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 160

14. Centre College (Danville, KY)

Public domain photo by Arwcheek via Wikimedia Commons

A historic liberal arts college with approximately 1,400 students, Centre College is one of the nation’s finest schools perhaps best known to the public as the scene of the nationally televised 2000 and 2012 Vice Presidential Debates.

However, what makes the school special is not just its association with major politics, but rather how this college shapes the future of their students.

In his classic text Colleges That Change Lives, New York Times educational writer Loren Pope outlined Centre College as just one of 40 liberal arts schools to offer an experience just as good as – or even superior – to that of the Ivy League schools. 

US News additionally rates Centre College among the top-50 liberal arts colleges nationwide.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 176

13. Rust College (Holly Springs, MS)

Timothy W Willis, Rust College Admin Bldg, CC BY-SA 4.0

An important HBCU based in Mississippi, public reviews of Rust College consistently say the same thing: when you attend Rust College, you are not just a student, but a part of their family.

With a size that is less than 1,000 total students, Rust College is among the most selective colleges on this list, accepting less than half of all applicants. According to College Simply, the acceptance rate is just 43.2%, making it the second-most selective college in all of Mississippi.

The college has a strong affiliation with the Methodist Church, making it a great fit for a student seeking a school with a strong devotion to faith.

Rust College is just one of 10 HBCUs founded before 1868 operating today.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 193

12. St. Norbert College (De Pere, WI)

St. Norbert College
Ninaknr, Fr. Eugene E. Gries, O.Praem., Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0

We recently named St. Norbert College in a list of 10 incredible liberal arts colleges on the rise. It comes as no surprise to us, then, that St. Norbert is among the most highly-rated colleges in the country according to the public. 

A school with 2,100 students, this liberal arts college has a strong employment outcome, with 97% of students working or in graduate school within 12 months of obtaining their degree.

A prestigious academic school, St. Norbert was listed this year in the top-150 liberal arts colleges by US News as well as the top 120 liberal arts universities by Forbes magazine.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 231

11. Hendrix College (Conway, AR)

Hendrix College
Valis55, Martin Hall, Hendrix College, CC BY-SA 3.0

Like the previous school on this list, we also recently rated Hendrix College in a list of 10 incredible liberal arts colleges on the rise.

A hallmark of the Hendrix experience is the “high-impact” project seniors annually undertake. An incredible 68% participate in internships, 66% engage in research alongside faculty, and about 4/5ths of the seniors complete a senior thesis.

Future educational outcomes for students at Hendrix are among the most impressive of any liberal arts college. In 2010, CBS MoneyWatch named Hendrix among the top 50 schools for students who eventually go onto a PhD. Data for this particular designation came from the National Science Foundation. 

Hendrix has deep ties with Rwanda, winning an Andrew Heiskell award, a prestigious prize in recognition of outstanding international initiative, for their unique Rwanda Presidential Scholars Program. Hendrix has provided aid for Rwanda students to attend Hendrix College.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 232

10. Emory & Henry College (Emory, VA)

Emory & Henry College
Jediah999, Byars Hall, CC BY-SA 3.0

Emory & Henry is among the most beloved liberal arts colleges in the nation, having been listed among the 40 schools in Loren Pope’s classic text Colleges That Change Lives.

Barack Obama himself has praised the school, awarding Emory and Henry a spot on his 2013 “President’s Higher Education Community Service Roll,” a list that honors less than 1% of all higher education institutions in the country.

The learning experience at Emory and Henry is tight-knit between students and faculty. Just 10 students for every professor enroll in this school, ensuring each student has individualized learning opportunity with instructors.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 245

9. Spelman College (Atlanta, GA)

Public domain photo by Thomson200 via Wikimedia Commons

Spelman is one of the seven schools, according to Dr. Jacqueline Fleming’s 1984 text Blacks In College, comprising the “Black Ivy League.” Spelman is perhaps the most standout college in the Black Ivy League, ranking in the top 60 liberal arts colleges in the country, according to US News.

Spelman is an all-women’s college accepting just 41% of their applicants, making it among the most selective liberal arts colleges for women in the country.

Some of America’s greatest student scholars attended Spelman College. They include 43 Gates Millennium Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, and five Marshall scholars. These are among the most prestigious awards in all of academia for college-aged students.

Many well-known American icons graduated from Spelman College. Perhaps the most famous is feminist author Alice Walker, who wrote the 1982 masterpiece The Color Purple, which later became a successful film nominated for best picture.

Other alumni include Keshia Knight Pulliam, most famous for her role as Rudy Huxtable in The Cosby Show, and Rosalind Brewer, former president of Sam’s Club.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 278

8. Denison University (Granville, OH)

Denison University
Chamberednautilus, Slayter Hall Student Union (1962), Denison University, Granville, Ohio, CC BY-SA 4.0

Denison has some of the most robust career-preparation initiatives of any school in the country. Denison’s Knowlton Career Center helps students enter the real-world job market with its Denison Internship Program, a unique program designed to prepare Denison students for life after graduation.

For a school placing so much emphasis on career-oriented skillbuilding, Denison also has an incredible music and arts scene. 

Several creative festivals are hosted each year by Denison students, including the Beck Series in which famous authors come to engage and perform for students. Past speakers of the Beck Series include Tom Stoppard, one of the world’s most famous playwrights.

Another program, called The Vail Series, has hosted a number of  contemporary classical musical performers, including Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Ithak Perlman.

Admission to Denison is competitive, as it is widely considered a top-50 liberal arts college. The acceptance rate is less than 45%.

Denison is just 30 minutes from Columbus, Ohio, one of the midwest’s most active & diverse college towns. 

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 283

7. Hamilton College (Clinton, NY)

Hamilton College
Kenneth C. Zirkel, Kirner-Johnson building, Hamilton College NY, CC BY-SA 3.0

Hamilton is the highest-ranked liberal arts college on this list according to US News, coming in at #14 in the most recent edition of the list.

One of the hallmark offerings of Hamilton College is a yearly presentation known as the Sacerdote Great Names Series. In this series, some of the world’s most famous actors, thinkers, politicians, and personalities engage with students and professors through a series of public lectures.

Guests have included Tina Fey, Derek Jeter, Hillary Clinton, John Stewart, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and overa dozen more.

Admission to Hamilton demonstrates exceptional accomplishment in high school. The average admitted student is not only in the top 10% of their class, but also obtained a score of 1400+ on the SAT.  

Hamilton is tremendously focused on growth as well as empowering their students. To this end, the school has invested an amazing $300m+ into their facilities over the last 15 years alone.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 413

6. Albion College (Albion, MI)

kennethaw88, Albion College Observatory, CC BY 4.0

Albion is an amazing hidden gem of a liberal arts college; we recently named it among the top liberal arts colleges on the rise in the country

In a recent study produced by, Albion was the #1 small school in the entire state of Michigan with the highest earning graduates.

One unique offering of Albion College is its focus on the study of nature. To this end, the school is home to the 144-acre Whitehouse Nature Center, a preserve with six miles of trails, 400 plant varieties, and 170 species of birds.

Studying throughout the world is a core value of Albion; students can engage in study-abroad at affiliated institutions in London, Heidelberg, Tokyo, Seoul, Cape Town, Athens, and Paris, among other schools.

Students and alumni alike rate their experience at Albion very highly, making it among the most beloved liberal arts colleges in the country.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 418

5. Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC)

Wofford College
PegasusRacer28, Main Building at Wofford College, CC BY-SA 3.0

According to the 2016 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Wofford ranks among the best colleges in the country. 

Considering the survey’s metrics were based on excellence of campus environment, experience working with faculty, and learning alongside peers, it is no surprise that Wofford is one of the 5 highest-rated colleges in the country according to student reviews.

One of Wofford’s most unique offerings is their Interim program, an initiative designed to give students the opportunity to learn from faculty outside their major. Students can participate in faculty-led projects outside their primary academic focus, providing students a true well-rounded academic college experience.

Serving the community is a staple of the school’s culture; at least six alumni have gone into Teach for America. In multiple years, Wofford had been selected by the Obama administration for its Community Service Honor Roll.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 460

4. Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH)

Wittenberg University
Blockguy101, Myers Hall, CC BY-SA 4.0

With 2,000 students representing over 30 countries, Wittenberg is a small Ohio college with a large global impact. 

Wittenberg is among the top liberal arts colleges in the country for a number of programs. Interestingly, it has been rated within the last decade by The Fiske Guide among the best small colleges in the country for drama, placing it in the same company as Juilliard and Princeton.

For a school of just a few thousand students, Wittenberg consistently graduates some of the most accomplished young minds in the country; in 2019 alone, three Wittenberg students received a Fulbright grant, one of academia’s most prestigious honors.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 526

3. Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, PA)

Bryn Mawr College
Public domain photo by Smallbones via Wikimedia Commons

Historically, Bryn Mawr College was the first women’s college in the country to offer a PhD. Since then, it has risen to become one of the highest-rated colleges nationwide by students and major publications alike.

The core of the Bryn Mawr experience lies in their empowerment of women through not only the classroom, but also through experiential learning. One recent example of this kind of experiential learning took place when Anthropology as well as East Asian Languages course students took a trip to Southwest China.

The school has a close relationship with other Pennsylvania higher education institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania as well as Swarthmore and Haverford; at Haverford, Bryn Mawr students can take as many classes as they want and even choose to do their major at Haverford.

Alumni of Bryn Mawr include the first female president of Harvard University Drew Gilpin Faust as well as legendary actress Katharine Hepburn. Former American president Woodrow Wilson was once on the faculty of Bryn Mawr.

Rating on Facebook: 4.8 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 624

2. Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, AL)

Birmingham Southern College
Jwrandolph, Gingko Tree at Birmingham-Southern College, CC BY-SA 3.0

Birmingham-Southern College is one of the finest hidden gem colleges in the country with an acceptance rate of less than 50%, making it among the more selective liberal arts institutions in the nation.

Perhaps BSC’s biggest claim to fame is their unique E-Term. The idea behind the E-term, which stands for Exploration Term program, is for students to participate in an unusual activity designed to foster learning in an unusual environment. Past E-Term projects include hiking through Patagonia, teaching in Harlem, and swimming with dolphins

What makes BSC special is not just its focus on experiential learning, however; the faculty and staff who run BSC place an emphasis on individualized instruction. Small classes, favorable student teacher ratios, and 55 major/minor offerings makeup the unique atmosphere of this special school.

Rating on Facebook: 4.9 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 442

1. Meredith College (Raleigh, NC)

Meredith College
Abbylabar, Meredith College, CC BY-SA 3.0

The #1 rated college in the country according to student reviews is Meredith College, one of the world’s finest women’s colleges. 

What makes Meredith College so highly ranked by students? One reason could be their unique coaching program, unlike any other offering at any other liberal arts college. 

This coaching program, known as StrongPoints, utilizes 1-on-1 coaching to help Meredith students identify their strengths with an in-depth assessment. After the assessment, Meredith continuously helps each student configure the right curriculum and experiential offerings based on their personal strengths.

The result is not only a tailored-fit collegiate experience, but also unusually excellent preparation for a satisfying career after college.

StrongPoints is just one part of what makes Meredith a special institution. An unprecedented 98% of alumni would recommend Meredith to another student according to the school’s surveys, demonstrating an exceptionally high satisfaction rating students have for this school.

Rating on Facebook: 4.9 / 5

Number of Public Reviews: 504

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