Most conservative colleges in America
In some conservative circles, there is a belief that the definition of inclusion on college campuses has evolved to exclude them. And some would argue that any exclusion runs counter to the notion that colleges are where divergent views should be embraced and discussed.
“Right-wing political ideologies should have a place in colleges to allow for choice and debate amongst young individuals,” according to a 2011 article by Jeremy Los on the news website Mic. “College campuses are a place for differing opinions and debate, and they encourage students to broaden their horizons. This is not a matter of what ideology is right or wrong, but rather what is best for the young people on campuses.”
For some students, the way to avoid the sense of ideological dismissal is to choose to attend a conservative college. Typically religiously affiliated, conservative schools distinguish themselves because of a codified sense of religious identity, strong conservative ideologies, or deep-rooted connections to conservative politicians and organizations. Some schools inherit the conservative vibe from their communities, while others are conservative on their own. Some are inherently conservative because of their professional or business-friendly nature, while others are steeped in a deeply held history of conservatism.
Regardless of how they define conservatism, these schools are among the most conservative-friendly institutions around. Stacker examined the nation's colleges and universities and compiled a list of the 50 most conservative colleges in the United States. For this list, we consulted the research website Niche, which ranked schools' conservatism based on students' reviews of the schools' campus communities. These reviews weigh the political leanings of the reviewer, if the reviewer attends or has attended the school, and the reviewer's opinion of it. Details on Niche's methodology explain the site's rankings, and survey data are accurate as of 2019.
Read on to find out which colleges are the most conservative in the country.
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#50. Asbury University
- Location: Wilmore, KY
- Students: 1,325 (student to faculty ratio: 13:1)
- Acceptance rate: 70% (ACT: 21-28; SAT: 980-1280)
- Tuition: $29,500
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 69%; six year median earnings: $35,100
A Christian liberal arts school, Asbury University is a nondenominational school that started from a Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. Asbury Theological Seminary is located immediately across the street from the school. Asbury's mission states that it “equips students, through academic excellence and spiritual vitality, for lifelong learning, leadership and service to the professions, society, the family and the Church, preparing them to engage their cultures and advance the cause of Christ around the world.”
#49. Wheaton College - Illinois
- Location: Wheaton, IL
- Students: 2,310 (student to faculty ratio: 10:1)
- Acceptance rate: 85% (ACT: 27-32; SAT: 1230-1410)
- Tuition: $35,190
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 89%; six year median earnings: $45,200
Wheaton College is a Christian college that served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. Despite its reputation for being progressive on race and LGBTQ+ issues, Wheaton was a co-litigant in a lawsuit challenging the requirement to provide emergency access to contraceptive drugs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and was at the center of a controversy when it suspended a professor for wearing a hijab.
#48. Northwestern College - Iowa
- Location: Orange City, IA
- Students: 997 (student to faculty ratio: 12:1)
- Acceptance rate: 68% (ACT: 21-27; SAT: 1000-1240)
- Tuition: $30,200
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 68%; six year median earnings: $37,200
Northwestern College is a private Christian college affiliated with the Reformed Church in America. The school's educational vision is "rooted in the wisdom of the Bible" where they "view learning as worship, using our minds to better understand, serve and love God's world."
#47. University of Saint Francis - Indiana
- Location: Fort Wayne, IN
- Students: 1,523 (student to faculty ratio: 10:1)
- Acceptance rate: 99% (ACT: 19-24; SAT: 960-1140)
- Tuition: $29,430
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 58%; six year median earnings: $38,400
A Roman Catholic-affiliated university, the University of Saint Francis promotes Franciscan ideologies. These include service to each other and the church, a respect for creation, and a reverence of the “unique dignity” of each person.
#46. Campbell University
- Location: Buies Creek, NC
- Students: 3,634 (student to faculty ratio: 15:1)
- Acceptance rate: 81% (ACT: 20-25; SAT: 1010-1190)
- Tuition: $31,190
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 52%; six year median earnings: $44,200
A private university founded by a Baptist minister, Campbell University is the largest private university in terms of North Carolina residents' enrollment. While no longer strictly a Baptist school, Campbell University remains a nondenominational Christian school.
#45. Southern Utah University
- Location: Cedar City, UT
- Students: 6,279 (student to faculty ratio: 19:1)
- Acceptance rate: 76% (ACT: 20-27; SAT: 1010-1220)
- Tuition: $6,676 (in-state); $20,288 (out-of-state)
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 47%; six year median earnings: $38,400
A former teaching college, Southern Utah University is a public university. As with many schools in Utah, the college has a large presence on campus of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
#44. Ohio Christian University
- Location: Circleville, OH
- Students: 2,429 (student to faculty ratio: 11:1)
- Acceptance rate: 65% (ACT: 17-22; SAT: 760-980)
- Tuition: $21,140
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 29%; six year median earnings: $30,600
A private university affiliated with the Churches of Christ in Christian Union, Ohio Christian University is a private Christian college that changed its name from Circleville Bible College in 2006. While accredited, a large part of the school's mission is to prepare Churches of Christ in Christian Union ministers for service.
#43. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
- Location: Rapid City, SD
- Students: 1,997 (student to faculty ratio: 15:1)
- Acceptance rate: 83% (ACT: 24-29; SAT: 1150-1350)
- Tuition: $10,560 (in-state); $14,820 (out-of-state)
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 51%; six year median earnings: $54,200
One of the only technical schools on this list, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a public professional training school. In 2012, the school made news when it was announced that it had passed Harvard University for the highest average starting pay for graduates.
#42. University of Dallas
- Location: Irving, TX
- Students: 1,421 (student to faculty ratio: 11:1)
- Acceptance rate: 47% (ACT: 24-31; SAT: 1140-1370)
- Tuition: $37,500
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 68%; six year median earnings: $44,500
A major Catholic university, the University of Dallas is seen as being a fount of conservative cultural perspectives. William F. Buckley and Pat Buchanan are among the many conservative leaders who have spoken there. The school is also viewed as a leader in Catholic orthodoxy and tradition.
#41. Pittsburg State University
- Location: Pittsburg, KS
- Students: 5,109 (student to faculty ratio: 18:1)
- Acceptance rate: 87% (ACT: 19-25; SAT: data not available)
- Tuition: $7,100 (in-state); $18,152 (out-of-state)
- Outcomes: graduation rate: 47%; six year median earnings: $38,100
On April 19, 2019, Pittsburg State University announced that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would be a speaker in October 2019 as part of the university's H. Lee Scott Speaker Series. While former President Bill Clinton was the inaugural speaker for the series, which began in 2015, the former teaching college has developed a conservative air.2018 All rights reserved.