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Best small colleges in America

  • #80. New Mexico Military Institute

    - Location: Roswell, NM
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 412
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1
    - Acceptance rate: 37%
    - Graduation rate: 68%
    - Six-year median earnings: $39,700
    - Two-year employment rate: 94%

    The New Mexico Military Institute calls itself the West Point of the West and is a state-supported coeducational high school and junior college. It grants high school diplomas and associate degrees in the arts and sciences. The Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) offers cadets a chance at a commission in the U.S. Army through the 2-Year Early Commissioning Program. Cadets can also pursue commissions in all branches of the military through the Service Academy Preparatory Program.

  • #79. Connecticut College

    - Location: New London, CT
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,798
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 38%
    - Graduation rate: 81%
    - Six-year median earnings: $54,900
    - Two-year employment rate: 93%

    Connecticut College takes a unique approach to a liberal arts education with Connections, a program encompassing a major, interdisciplinary study, a relevant internship, a world language, and an overall interconnected outlook. For example, a focus on public health could explore global health issues from vaccines to climate change through science, social science, economics, and the arts. A cornerstone of Connections, the Integrative Pathway, is a set of courses on a central theme.

  • #78. John Carroll University

    - Location: University Heights, OH
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,996
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
    - Acceptance rate: 83%
    - Graduation rate: 78%
    - Six-year median earnings: $53,800
    - Two-year employment rate: 95%

    John Carroll University, a Jesuit school that encourages students to excel in learning, leadership and “service to the common good,” is a liberal arts university that offers numerous programs in the arts, sciences, and business. Plus One programs—five years to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree—are offered in business administration, English, education, nonprofit administration, and theology.

  • #77. Clark University

    - Location: Worcester, MA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,263
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 59%
    - Graduation rate: 77%
    - Six-year median earnings: $49,100
    - Two-year employment rate: 90%

    Clark University is a liberal arts research university. Its undergraduates work side by side with faculty researchers, collaborating in a process the university calls “elbow teaching” to discover new knowledge themselves and make scholarly contributions. The university hopes to develop among its students both independence and an appreciation of a range of perspectives.

  • #76. University of Dallas

    - Location: Irving, TX
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,447
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
    - Acceptance rate: 39%
    - Graduation rate: 66%
    - Six-year median earnings: $47,400
    - Two-year employment rate: 90%

    The University of Dallas is a Jesuit university whose students read the works that have shaped Western civilization, and discuss them in small classes with an average size of 16 students. It is sponsoring a twice-a-quarter, yearlong lecture series with the American Enterprise Institute called “E Pluribus Unum: Sources of our Unity,” which will explore unity between left and right, religious and secular, and other opposites.

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  • #75. Illinois Institute of Technology

    - Location: Chicago, IL
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,792
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
    - Acceptance rate: 58%
    - Graduation rate: 72%
    - Six-year median earnings: $69,100
    - Two-year employment rate: 92%

    Illinois Institute of Technology is Chicago’s only tech university, and its Interprofessional Projects Program (IPRO) has offered an alternative to a traditional education since 1995. Students from different majors come together to solve problems, sometimes for companies and nonprofits.

  • #74. Rollins College

    - Location: Winter Park, FL
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,433
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 67%
    - Graduation rate: 74%
    - Six-year median earnings: $45,700
    - Two-year employment rate: 91%

    The first recognized college in Florida, Rollins was founded in 1885 by New England Congregationalists. Its signature program, Rollins Gateway, combines an interdisciplinary curriculum with experiences outside of the classroom and a mentorship. The Hamilton Holt School offers bachelor's and master's degree programs designed for working adults, with weekday and weekend evening classes averaging 17 students of all ages and backgrounds.

  • #73. St. Lawrence University

    - Location: Canton, NY
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,407
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
    - Acceptance rate: 46%
    - Graduation rate: 82%
    - Six-year median earnings: $50,100
    - Two-year employment rate: 95%

    St. Lawrence University’s most popular majors among the class of 2019 were business in the liberal arts, economics, psychology, biology, and government, but students can design their own multi-field majors. They also can live on an organic farm as part of a sustainability program in which they learn to grow their own food sustainably: how to plan and plant a garden, raise livestock, preserve food for the winter, and cook what they have produced.

  • #72. Luther College

    - Location: Decorah, IA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,977
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
    - Acceptance rate: 63%
    - Graduation rate: 79%
    - Six-year median earnings: $47,400
    - Two-year employment rate: 96%

    Luther College has a Paideia program—a Greek term referring to education—that was developed in 1977. It is made up of three interdisciplinary courses and incorporates performances, an annual lecture series, student writing services, sabbatical grants and summer workshops for faculty, and a faculty journal called Agora: The Liberal Arts at Luther College.

  • #71. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

    - Location: Rapid City, SD
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,873
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
    - Acceptance rate: 83%
    - Graduation rate: 50%
    - Six-year median earnings: $56,500
    - Two-year employment rate: 94%

    Founded in 1885 to capitalize on the region’s major industry, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is known for its STEM offerings, small classes taught by professors (not graduate students), internships, and location in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Among the prestigious awards its students have won since 2014: two Fulbright Scholars, three Goldwater Scholars, three Udall Scholars, and one Truman Scholar, all named after famous politicians. It promises challenging undergraduate and graduate programs in science and engineering, as well as real-world projects.

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