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100 best liberal arts colleges in America

  • #30. Scripps College

    - Location: Claremont, CA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,046
    - Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 24%
    - Graduation rate: 88%
    - Six year median earnings: $54,100
    - Two year employment rate: 90%

    Part of the five-college Claremont Consortium, Scripps College is a women’s school that values being a supportive environment and collaborative community with leadership opportunities. Scripps has had a tradition of afternoon tea every Wednesday since 1931 that continues to be a popular respite.

  • #29. Reed College

    - Location: Portland, OR
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,453
    - Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 35%
    - Graduation rate: 81%
    - Six year median earnings: $42,200
    - Two year employment rate: 88%

    Reed College has a reputation for being progressive and creative. Every student takes a year of humanities studies as a freshman, and seniors must write and defend a thesis in an oral examination by faculty.

  • #28. Bucknell University

    - Location: Lewisburg, PA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 3,581
    - Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 33%
    - Graduation rate: 88%
    - Six year median earnings: $70,800
    - Two year employment rate: 95%

    Bucknell has a College of Arts & Sciences, the Freeman College of Management, and a College of Engineering. About a quarter of students carry double majors, and the College of Engineering offers five-year dual degree options. The school has a first-year Common Reading program, in which everyone in the incoming class reads and discusses a book chosen by the university to address current events and social issues.

  • #27. Kenyon College

    - Location: Gambier, OH
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,721
    - Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 36%
    - Graduation rate: 87%
    - Six year median earnings: $48,700
    - Two year employment rate: 94%

    Kenyon has a reputation for writing and literary excellence, and it is home to the prestigious Kenyon Review—the journal of fiction, essays, and poetry dating back to 1939. In its heyday of the 1940s and ’50s, it published works by writers such as Robert Penn Warren, Flannery O’Connor, and Robert Lowell.

  • #26. Lafayette College

    - Location: Easton, PA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,603
    - Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 29%
    - Graduation rate: 87%
    - Six year median earnings: $68,600
    - Two year employment rate: 93%

    At Lafayette College, first-year students are required to take a semester that serves as an introduction to intellectual inquiry. The seminars entail reading, writing, discussion, and presentation, and students are taught library research skills. Lafayette’s core curriculum includes arts and sciences, courses in quantitative reasoning, multiculturalism, and writing, and a proficiency in a second language.

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  • #25. Smith College

    - Location: Northampton, MA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,490
    - Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 31%
    - Graduation rate: 89%
    - Six year median earnings: $46,200
    - Two year employment rate: 88%

    Smith College is one of the Seven Sisters women’s colleges and a member of a consortium that allows students to take classes and use facilities at Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire colleges and the University of Massachusetts. In a typical year, almost half of Smith’s juniors study abroad in Paris, Geneva, Florence, or Hamburg as well as in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Some of Smith’s noted alumni include Julia Child, Betty Friedan, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Gloria Steinem, and Sylvia Plath.

  • #24. Bates College

    - Location: Lewiston, ME
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,832
    - Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 18%
    - Graduation rate: 89%
    - Six year median earnings: $59,200
    - Two year employment rate: 94%

    Bates College’s mission is to prepare students for lives of meaningful work, and it takes a holistic approach to finding internships, providing career counseling, coursework, and personal growth. It has a job shadow program with alumni, and a Purposeful Work Infusion Project in which faculty relate course content to the students’ future work and career plans.

  • #23. Grinnell College

    - Location: Grinnell, IA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,679
    - Student to faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 24%
    - Graduation rate: 84%
    - Six year median earnings: $49,100
    - Two year employment rate: 92%

    Grinnell College offers students a wealth of writing classes, including workshops in basic and advanced principles, oral communication such as speech writing, and theories of writing. In its Writers Mentors program, writing experts attend classes to consult with students on their writing skills. The school’s Writing, Reading, and Speaking Center provides one-on-one instruction in areas such as composition, style, and copyediting.

     

  • #22. Vassar College

    - Location: Poughkeepsie, NY
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,442
    - Student to faculty ratio: 8:1
    - Acceptance rate: 25%
    - Graduation rate: 92%
    - Six year median earnings: $54,600
    - Two year employment rate: 93%

    Vassar College features community-engaged learning in which students combine academics with work in a nonprofit organization, a government agency, or a business. Almost every department and program at Vassar sponsors community-engaged learning, which typically involves students keeping a journal and doing a final project or paper. Most of the learning opportunities are local to the Hudson Valley campus, but many others are set in New York City.

     

  • #21. Macalester College

    - Location: Saint Paul, MN
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,140
    - Student to faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 41%
    - Graduation rate: 90%
    - Six year median earnings: $47,600
    - Two year employment rate: 91%

    Macalester College has designed a Civic Engagement Center that is dedicated to linking students with community service opportunities. Nearly all of the college’s students participate. The projects involve sustainability, health and wellness, housing, food justice, immigrants, refugees, youth, and tutoring.

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