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100 best liberal arts colleges in America

  • #10. Amherst College

    - Location: Amherst, MA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,855
    - Student to faculty ratio: 7:1
    - Acceptance rate: 13%
    - Graduation rate: 93%
    - Six year median earnings: $65,000
    - Two year employment rate: 90%

    Amherst College is a member of the Five College Consortium that includes Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students can study at any of the schools, getting access to thousands of courses. Amherst’s student-to-faculty ratio is a low seven-to-one, and the average class has 19 students.

  • #9. Washington & Lee University

    - Location: Lexington, VA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,825
    - Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
    - Acceptance rate: 21%
    - Graduation rate: 95%
    - Six year median earnings: $76,100
    - Two year employment rate: 94%

    Undergraduate study at Washington & Lee University consists of two divisions—its college for humanities, languages, arts, and sciences, and The Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics for accounting, economics, business administration, and entrepreneurship. It also has the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity and the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability.

  • #8. Colby College

    - Location: Waterville, ME
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,000
    - Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 13%
    - Graduation rate: 90%
    - Six year median earnings: $58,100
    - Two year employment rate: 92%

    Colby College has humanities labs that provide hands-on experiences and skill building in such topics as cooking and map-making. Colby College's Lunder Institute for American Art named artist Maya Lin as a senior fellow for this academic year. She will be collaborating with students online and addressing issues on the intersection of art and the environment.

  • #7. Haverford College

    - Location: Haverford, PA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,308
    - Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
    - Acceptance rate: 19%
    - Graduation rate: 92%
    - Six year median earnings: $60,700
    - Two year employment rate: 92%

    At Haverford College, nearly all students opt to live on campus and so do nearly two-thirds of its faculty. It has an honor code under which students take unsupervised exams and have round-the-clock access to labs. Under its curriculum requirements, students must take courses in three major academic fields before specializing in a major.

  • #6. Williams College

    - Location: Williamstown, MA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,042
    - Student to faculty ratio: 6:1
    - Acceptance rate: 13%
    - Graduation rate: 95%
    - Six year median earnings: $59,000
    - Two year employment rate: 90%

    At Williams College, students choose majors but instead of minors, they take concentrations that pull courses from various disciplines and group them around a given topic. Williams has no required courses, but students must take arts and humanities, social sciences, science and mathematics, writing-intensive courses, a course using mathematical reason, and at least one course that looks at the ways that different cultures and societies interact.

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  • #5. United States Military Academy at West Point

    - Location: West Point, NY
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 4,589
    - Student to faculty ratio: 7:1
    - Acceptance rate: 11%
    - Graduation rate: 85%
    - Six year median earnings: data not available
    - Two year employment rate: data not available

    Not only do cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point study hard, but each student must be an athlete as well. Student life is regimented at West Point, with frequently mandatory meal times and enforced lights-out at night. Cadets can choose from more than 40 academic majors and typically conclude in their senior year with a team-based project. Graduates all receive Bachelors of Science.

  • #4. Carleton College

    - Location: Northfield, MN
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,077
    - Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 20%
    - Graduation rate: 93%
    - Six year median earnings: $54,200
    - Two year employment rate: 91%

    Carleton College puts an emphasis on quality teaching, and 92% of its faculty hold the highest degrees in their field. The school runs on a three-term academic calendar—fall, winter, and spring—designed to give students the opportunity to take 12 classes a year rather than eight. New students take Argument and Inquiry seminars.

  • #3. Harvey Mudd College

    - Location: Claremont, CA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 887
    - Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
    - Acceptance rate: 14%
    - Graduation rate: 92%
    - Six year median earnings: $88,800
    - Two year employment rate: 89%

    Harvey Mudd College, part of the Claremont Consortium of schools, focuses on engineering, science, and mathematics in a core curriculum with humanities and social science courses. Its founder, Harvey S. Mudd, was a mining engineer who sought to expand the traditionally narrow approach to education in technical fields.

  • #2. Bowdoin College

    - Location: Brunswick, ME
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,825
    - Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 10%
    - Graduation rate: 95%
    - Six year median earnings: $65,500
    - Two year employment rate: 93%

    Bowdoin College is home to the McKeen Center for the Common Good, which offers students ways to contribute through public service, creative and artistic work, and volunteering. It has programs in civic engagement, leadership, active citizenship, community responsibility, and mentoring.

  • #1. Pomona College

    - Location: Claremont, CA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,559
    - Student to faculty ratio: 7:1
    - Acceptance rate: 8%
    - Graduation rate: 94%
    - Six year median earnings: $58,100
    - Two year employment rate: 90%

    Pomona College was the founding member of the Claremont Consortium of schools. It offers a close-knit community, where nearly all students live on campus all four years, mostly in its residence halls. The ratio of students to faculty is just eight-to-one, and the average class has 15 students.

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