Nov 04

Top National Liberal Arts Colleges

Top National Liberal Arts Colleges

Let College Consensus direct you to the top liberal arts universities in America if you’re seeking the individualized attention and sense of community that can only be found at a liberal arts college. To provide prospective students with the most comprehensive picture of their possibilities when selecting a liberal arts college, the Top Consensus Ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges was created. Students can go to the College Consensus for a thorough overview of the top liberal arts colleges in the US, whether they are seeking intellectual challenge, a close-knit community, or entrée into leadership in business, government, or the arts.

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What Are Colleges of Liberal Arts?

One of the earliest courses taught today is liberal arts and sciences. Usually, they provide four-year Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science degrees (BS). The main goal of liberal arts universities is to produce graduates who are well-rounded and have a broad base of transferrable abilities. Humanities, social sciences, and scientific sciences are all included in interdisciplinary liberal arts degrees.

Colleges of liberal arts concentrate on student involvement and promote dialogue, mentoring, and teamwork. Unlike research academics and graduate student teaching assistants, the faculty at liberal arts universities are entirely devoted to teaching. Particularly small and residential liberal arts colleges in New England have smaller class sizes. For instance, Williams College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1 with approximately 2,000 undergraduates enrolled there. It has been ranked as one of the top undergraduate institutions in the US.

 

How Did College Consensus List the Top Colleges for Liberal Arts in the Nation?

The College Consensus rankings are a unique college meta-ranking that combines the outcomes of the most reputable college ranking systems with the aggregate ratings of thousands of real student evaluations from across the web. This strategy provides a thorough and all-encompassing viewpoint that is absent from other college rankings. 

The National Liberal Arts Colleges category is restricted to institutions that emphasize undergraduate education and the liberal arts and have a national or international presence. These institutions have been classified by the Carnegie Classification as Baccalaureate Colleges: Arts & Sciences Focus.

The nation’s top liberal arts colleges uphold the values of conventional higher education while modernizing the humanities and sciences for the twenty-first century. National liberal arts colleges, though many offer at least a few master’s degrees, typically concentrate on undergraduate education. While they may support professor and student research, their main focus is on giving undergraduates the greatest possible education, with a core curriculum that includes humanities, arts, and science courses. The Top Consensus Ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges enjoy a reputation that enables them to draw students from throughout the country who are looking for an education that emphasizes communication, research, and critical thinking.

 

What Makes the College Consensus Ranking Unique?

College Consensus provides prospective students with the most accurate representation of what experts and students alike have to say since they take information from a wide variety of sources with a wide variety of approaches and perspectives. The universities with the best academics, the best student experiences, and the highest overall quality are those that rise to the top. College Consensus takes all voices seriously, not just the ones with the biggest endowments and loudest marketing. 

The top-ranked, nationally renowned liberal arts colleges are highlighted in this list. College Consensus has selected the Best National Research Universities for students who desire the larger size and more extensive facilities of a research university. See the Best Schools & Institutions ranking for a complete, overall ranking of all US colleges and universities. The Best Online Colleges & Universities gives information on online colleges.

According to their Consensus score, the Top Consensus Ranked National Liberal Arts Colleges are given in descending order. Schools are listed alphabetically with the same rank number if there are any ties.

1
Williams College
Williamstown, MA
90 College Consensus
95.3 Publisher Consensus
84.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

2
Pomona College
Claremont, CA
88.8 College Consensus
94.1 Publisher Consensus
83.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

3
Amherst College
Amherst, MA
88 College Consensus
91.7Publisher Consensus
84.2 Student Consensus


4
Claremont McKenna College
Claremont, CA
86.7 College Consensus
88.6 Publisher Consensus
84.7 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

5
Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA
85.5 College Consensus
89.4 Publisher Consensus
81.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

6
Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA
85.3 College Consensus
91.9 Publisher Consensus
78.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

7
Washington and Lee University
Lexington, VA
84 College Consensus
88.6 Publisher Consensus
79.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

8
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME
84 College Consensus
88.6 Publisher Consensus
79.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

9
Colby College
Waterville, ME
83.1 College Consensus
85.1 Publisher Consensus
81.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

10
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT
82.8 College Consensus
84.3 Publisher Consensus
81.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

11
Hamilton College
Clinton, NY
82.8 College Consensus
86.5 Publisher Consensus
79  Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

12
Davidson College
Davidson, NC
82.5 College Consensus
81.6 Publisher Consensus
83.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

13
Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA
81.4 College Consensus
78.7 Publisher Consensus
84 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

14
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY
81.3 College Consensus
80.6 Publisher Consensus
82 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

15
Carleton College
Northfield, MN
81.3 College Consensus
77.7 Publisher Consensus
84.9 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

16
Colgate University
Hamilton, NY
81.3 College Consensus
84.2 Publisher Consensus
78.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

17
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT
81 College Consensus
82.5 Publisher Consensus
79.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

18
Barnard College
New York, NY
80.5 College Consensus
81.6 Publisher Consensus
79.5 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

19
Harvey Mudd College
Claremont, CA
79.9 College Consensus
77.6 Publisher Consensus
82.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

20
Bates College
Lewiston, ME
79.5 College Consensus
73.7 Publisher Consensus
85.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

21
Lafayette College
Easton, PA
78.4 College Consensus
79.7 Publisher Consensus
77.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

22
University of Richmond
University of Richmond, VA
78.1 College Consensus
79.3 Publisher Consensus
76.9 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

23
College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, MA
77.6 College Consensus
72.2 Publisher Consensus
83 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

24
Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA
76.6 College Consensus
73.3 Publisher Consensus
79.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

25
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA
76.3 College Consensus
75.5 Publisher Consensus
77.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

26
Whitman College
Walla Walla, WA
75.1 College Consensus
67.2 Publisher Consensus
83.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

27
DePauw University
Greencastle, IN
74.9 College Consensus
70.4 Publisher Consensus
79.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

28
Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA
74.6 College Consensus
73.1 Publisher Consensus
76.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

29
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA
74.1 College Consensus
70.7 Publisher Consensus
77.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

30
Wabash College
Crawfordsville, IN
74 College Consensus
64.1 Publisher Consensus
83.9 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

31
Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA
73.9 College Consensus
71.6 Publisher Consensus
76.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

32
Trinity College
Hartford, CT
73.1 College Consensus
74 Publisher Consensus
72.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

33
Smith College
Northampton, MA
73.1 College Consensus
64.3 Publisher Consensus
81.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

34
Hendrix College
Conway, AR
72.9 College Consensus
62.5 Publisher Consensus
83.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

35
Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA
72.8 College Consensus
70.9 Publisher Consensus
74.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

36
St Olaf College
Northfield, MN
72.2 College Consensus
68.1 Publisher Consensus
76.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

37
Centre College
Danville, KY
72 College Consensus
65.8 Publisher Consensus
78.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

38
Macalester College
Saint Paul, MN
72 College Consensus
64.6 Publisher Consensus
79.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

39
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
St. Mary’s City, MD
71.8 College Consensus
64.7 Publisher Consensus
78.9 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

40
Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY
71 College Consensus
64 Publisher Consensus
78 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

41
Spelman College
Atlanta, GA
70.7 College Consensus
61.5 Publisher Consensus
79.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

42
Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA
70.6 College Consensus
61.7 Publisher Consensus
79.5 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

43
The University of the South
Sewanee, TN
70.1 College Consensus
61 Publisher Consensus
79.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

44
Reed College
Portland, OR
69.9 College Consensus
58.7 Publisher Consensus
81.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

45
Dickinson College
Carlisle, PA
69.6 College Consensus
61.8 Publisher Consensus
77.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

46
Kalamazoo College
Kalamazoo, MI
69.3 College Consensus
59.8 Publisher Consensus
78.7 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

47
Furman University
Greenville, SC
68.9 College Consensus
60.3 Publisher Consensus
77.5 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

48
Union College (NY)
Schenectady, NY
68.9 College Consensus
66.7 Publisher Consensus
71 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

49
Rhodes College
Memphis, TN
68.8 College Consensus
62.6 Publisher Consensus
75 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

50
Berea College
Berea, KY
68.6 College Consensus
65.1 Publisher Consensus
72 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

51
Oberlin College
Oberlin, OH
68.4 College Consensus
59.8 Publisher Consensus
77.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

52
St. John’s College (MD)
Annapolis, MD
68.4
College Consensus
57.5
Publisher Consensus
79.2
Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

53
The College of Wooster
Wooster, OH
68.4 College Consensus
66.2 Publisher Consensus
70.5 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

54
Knox College
Galesburg, IL
68.1 College Consensus
59.6 Publisher Consensus
76.5 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

55
Wofford College
Spartanburg, SC
67.2 College Consensus
51.1 Publisher Consensus
83.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

56
Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, IL
66.7 College Consensus
54.8 Publisher Consensus
78.7 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

57
Gordon College
Wenham, MA
66.7 College Consensus
52.8 Publisher Consensus
80.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

58
St Lawrence University
Canton, NY
66.6 College Consensus
55.3 Publisher Consensus
77.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

59
Colorado College
Colorado Springs, CO
66.4 College Consensus
55.1 Publisher Consensus
77.7 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

60
Wheaton College (IL)
Wheaton, IL
65.8 College Consensus
54.8 Publisher Consensus
76.9 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

61
Gustavus Adolphus College
Saint Peter, MN
65.7 College Consensus
52.3 Publisher Consensus
79 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

62
College of Saint Benedict
Saint Joseph, MN
65.6 College Consensus
51 Publisher Consensus
80.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

63
Denison University
Granville, OH
65.4 College Consensus
54.4 Publisher Consensus
76.5 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

64
Concordia College at Moorhead
Moorhead, MN
65.4 College Consensus
47.3 Publisher Consensus
83.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

65
Washington College
Chestertown, MD
65.2 College Consensus
52.1 Publisher Consensus
78.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

66
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, IN
65.2 College Consensus
56.9 Publisher Consensus
73.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

67
Millsaps College
Jackson, MS
65 College Consensus
53.1 Publisher Consensus
77 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

68
Kenyon College
Gambier, OH
64.9 College Consensus
61 Publisher Consensus
68.7 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

69
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH
64.6 College Consensus
54.5 Publisher Consensus
74.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

70
Augustana College
Rock Island, IL
64.6 College Consensus
52 Publisher Consensus
77.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

71
Beloit College
Beloit, WI
64.3 College Consensus
52.8 Publisher Consensus
75.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

72
Willamette University
Salem, OR
64.3 College Consensus
53 Publisher Consensus
75.7 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

73
Wheaton College (MA)
Norton, MA
63.9 College Consensus
58.7 Publisher Consensus
69.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

74
Bard College
Annandale-On-Hudson, NY
63.7 College Consensus
53.8 Publisher Consensus
73.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

75
Lawrence University
Appleton, WI
63.7 College Consensus
51.3 Publisher Consensus
76.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

76
Cornell College
Mount Vernon, IA
62.5 College Consensus
49.5 Publisher Consensus
75.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

77
Westmont College
Santa Barbara, CA
62.3 College Consensus
45.5 Publisher Consensus
79.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

78
Earlham College
Richmond, IN
62.3 College Consensus
53.1 Publisher Consensus
71.5 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

79
Connecticut College
New London, CT
62.2 College Consensus
62.4 Publisher Consensus
62 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

80
Allegheny College
Meadville, PA
61.9 College Consensus
52.5 Publisher Consensus
71.3 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

81
Birmingham-Southern College
Birmingham, AL
61.4 College Consensus
43.7 Publisher Consensus
79.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

82
Simpson College
Indianola, IA
61.3 College Consensus
44.8 Publisher Consensus
77.9 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

83
Lewis & Clark College
Portland, OR
61.3 College Consensus
47.4 Publisher Consensus
75.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

84
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
Chickasha, OK
61.1 College Consensus
43.7 Publisher Consensus
78.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

85
Wartburg College
Waverly, IA
61.1 College Consensus
46 Publisher Consensus
76.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

86
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest, IL
61.1 College Consensus
49.5 Publisher Consensus
72.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

87
Saint Johns University
Collegeville, MN
61 College Consensus
47.8 Publisher Consensus
74.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

88
Presbyterian College
Clinton, SC
60.7 College Consensus
43.3 Publisher Consensus
78 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

89
Muhlenberg College
Allentown, PA
60.6 College Consensus
46.6 Publisher Consensus
74.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

90
Elizabethtown College
Elizabethtown, PA
60.6 College Consensus
43.4 Publisher Consensus
77.8 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

91
University of Minnesota-Morris
Morris, MN
60.3 College Consensus
44.8 Publisher Consensus
75.7 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

92
Drew University
Madison, NJ
60.2 College Consensus
44.4 Publisher Consensus
76 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

93
Linfield University-McMinnville Campus
McMinnville, OR
60.2 College Consensus
47.5 Publisher Consensus
72.9 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

94
Austin College
Sherman, TX
60 College Consensus
43.8 Publisher Consensus
76.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

95
Stonehill College
Easton, MA
60 College Consensus
42.5 Publisher Consensus
77.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

96
Monmouth College
Monmouth, IL
59.9 College Consensus
43.3 Publisher Consensus
76.4 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

97
Coe College
Cedar Rapids, IA
59.6 College Consensus
45.2 Publisher Consensus
74.1 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

98
Saint Vincent College
Latrobe, PA
58.9 College Consensus
45.2 Publisher Consensus
72.6 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

99
Susquehanna University
Selinsgrove, PA
58.4 College Consensus
43.6 Publisher Consensus
73.2 Student Consensus
Last Accessed: March, 2022

100
Blackburn College
Carlinville, IL
58.4 College Consensus
40.6 Publisher Consensus
76.1 Student Consensus

 
What Benefits and Drawbacks Does a Liberal Arts College Offer?

Being a student at a liberal arts college has several benefits. Rankings for liberal arts colleges are high among the top universities. Williams College, Amherst College, Bowdoin College, and Pomona College are among the best. They provide smaller class sizes so that students can receive more individualized attention. The student-faculty ratio at Swarthmore College is 8:1, and 97 percent of the students in most subjects are satisfied with their education. This provides students with a close-knit environment in which to learn and develop. Up to 500 students may attend lectures at larger research-oriented universities, and some students struggle to be properly mentored because they get lost in the crowd.

The top liberal arts institutions equip their students with the knowledge and abilities necessary to contribute to their communities in a positive way. Instead of placing a lot of emphasis on one subject, they provide their students a solid foundation in a variety of areas, preparing them to work in any field. Students in the liberal arts have developed their critical thinking skills, written skills, and numerical foundation. In-depth classes in philosophy and public speaking are also offered.

Attending a liberal arts institution has several drawbacks, but one of the biggest is the lack of money for supplies and equipment. The expensive equipment that is frequently offered at larger universities may not be as accessible to students. Professors at larger colleges sometimes teach from personal experience and are authorities in their fields. Nevertheless, liberal arts college instructors might not have the same qualifications.

 

Are Colleges of Liberal Arts Expensive?

The short answer is that the greatest liberal arts universities are pricey, but not necessarily. The answer isn’t so straightforward when you look more closely at the tuition costs and what they cover. The greatest liberal arts colleges have traditionally been considered to be exclusive to the wealthy due to their high tuition costs. The breakdown of that cost is what needs to be considered. Less students are paying tuition and covering the expense since class numbers are smaller.

The greatest liberal arts universities compensate professors because they are unable to use graduate teaching assistants, who are inexpensive. Larger colleges frequently hire less expensive part-time adjunct lecturers. However, adjuncts and teaching assistants may cost less than those with academic backgrounds. The cost of higher education has increased significantly across the board, according to U.S. News and World Report, although liberal arts colleges aren’t significantly more expensive than major universities. Over the years, liberal arts colleges have endeavored to offer an accessible, competitively priced education that is affordable to all students. In order to prevent tuition prices from rising, many of them have even implemented a tuition freeze. Investing in liberal arts universities is shown to be quite profitable. These institutions have a high four-year graduation rate, and their alums can get well-paying employment after graduation.

Higher education is costly, and while students don’t want to graduate with mountains of debt, they also shouldn’t put a price on it. There are many liberal arts colleges, so students should do their homework to select one that meets their requirements and is within their price range.

 

In what ways are liberal arts colleges adjusting to the twenty-first century?

One of the top liberal arts universities for science students is Swarthmore College. The students in biological and biomedical sciences, which is their second most popular major, gain from a tighter interaction with their lecturers and practical lab experiences. Many Swarthmore graduates go on to earn doctorates in science and engineering from other colleges. As the twenty-first century progresses, there are emerging liberal arts colleges—or, to put it another way, emerging changes for liberal arts institutions.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recognizes that in a world that is always evolving, graduates may work in positions that do not yet exist. Therefore, preparing for that career does not suffice. Teaching these students to be adaptable and flexible to conditions and challenges is the finest thing liberal arts colleges can do for them. Many universities are starting to consider how they might better help their students and get them ready for the workforce. Although it is not traditional for a liberal arts college, online and distance learning are also being considered by several.