Here Are the Top 10 Liberal Arts Colleges in the US

8. Middlebury College (Middlebury, VT)

photo by Alan Levine via Wikimedia Commons

Coming in at about a 16% acceptance rate, Middlebury is identified as one of the “most selective” liberal arts college in the country by the Carnegie Foundation.

Historically, Middlebury is the first American institution to grant a Bachelor’s degree to a black person. That person was Alexander Twilight, nearly 200 years ago in 1823.

One of the unique opportunities Middlebury presents for its students is the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, an establishment in Northern California where students study foreign languages, international policy, and more.

Middlebury’s campus spans 350 acres surrounded by Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The picturesque scenery of Middlebury makes it among the most beautiful of small liberal arts colleges in the northeast.

One interesting ranking Middlebury has attained is top-10 status for “schools most beloved by their students.” This was measured by percentage of alumni who donated to Middlebury.


7. Washington & Lee (Lexington City, VA)

photo by Bobak Ha’Eri via Wikimedia Commons

With an endowment of nearly $1.6 billiion, the school is among the richest liberal arts colleges, especially accounting for the fact the entire population of the school is less than 2300 students.

Washington & Lee consistently ranks in the top 10 for colleges in the country, including #1 in a recent ranking by Money Magazine.

Because there is only one subject that allows admission for graduate students, which is law, every class is taught by faculty at the school, rather than TA’s or other assistants. This allows for the highest level of both learning as well as 1-on-1 interaction with faculty at the college.

Washington & Lee has had an unusually profound influence on American politics for such a small school. Twenty-seven US senators, 67 US Representatives, 31 state governors, and other elected officials have come from Washington & Lee, according to the college’s Wikipedia page.

The class of 2020 had an acceptance rate of less than 25%.


6. Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA)

photo of Wellesley College by Grom via Wikimedia Commons

A private women’s liberal arts colleges located just 20 minutes from Boston, Wellesley is among the most distinct schools in the country.

One of the Seven Sisters Colleges, a consortium of schools that are historically for women, alumnae of the program include Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Diane Sawyer, and Nora Ephron, the director of When Harry Met Sally.

One of the unique advantages Wellesley offers it students is cross-registration opportunity with other top schools in New England. These include MIT, Babson, Olin, and Brandeis.

Wellesley is home to one of the largest gender science institutions in the country, known as Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). The focus of the WCW is scholarship and publication in education, economic security, and mental health, among other subjects.

For such a small school of less than 2500 total students, there are 180 on-campus organizations for students to participate in.

With less than 20% accepted for the incoming 2018 class, Wellesley is frequently ranked in the top 10 of all liberal arts colleges in the US, and in the top 30-50 of all colleges in the country.

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