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Best small colleges in America

  • #60. Augustana University

    - Location: Sioux Falls, SD
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,717
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1
    - Acceptance rate: 65%
    - Graduation rate: 70%
    - Six-year median earnings: $43,700
    - Two-year employment rate: 96%

    Augustana University is affiliated with the Lutheran Church and offers more than 100 majors, minors, and pre-professional specializations. In the Civitas Honors Program—”civitas” is Latin for “citizenship”—students examine issues as they relate to citizenship on campus, in the United States, and across the world in small, innovative classes.

  • #59. Oberlin College

    - Location: Oberlin, OH
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,758
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 36%
    - Graduation rate: 86%
    - Six-year median earnings: $40,800
    - Two-year employment rate: 90%

    Oberlin College offers both a College of Arts and Sciences and a Conservatory of Music and focuses almost exclusively on undergraduate education. Students learn to become disciplined musicians through classes and opportunities for performances, with majors ranging from historical performance to electronic music. In the College of Arts and Sciences, a first-year seminar encourages critical thinking, writing skills, and discussions with faculty and other students.

  • #58. Drake University

    - Location: Des Moines, IA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,834
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 68%
    - Graduation rate: 78%
    - Six-year median earnings: $58,300
    - Two-year employment rate: 95%

    A Drake University education features an honors program, first-year seminars, and programs in world languages and cultures, as well as opportunities to study abroad and take part in internships and independent research. The school has a Constitutional Law Center and a National Rehabilitation Institute. U.S. News & World Report ranks Drake as one of the top five master’s institutions in the Midwest.

  • #57. United States Merchant Marine Academy

    - Location: Kings Point, NY
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 996
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1
    - Acceptance rate: 22%
    - Graduation rate: 84%
    - Six-year median earnings: $88,100
    - Two-year employment rate: 97%

    United States Merchant Marine Academy is a federal service academy that produces licensed Merchant Marine officers and commissioned officers in the armed forces. Midshipmen choose from among programs focused on marine engineering, shipyard management, marine transportation, and maritime security and logistics. Every graduate has completed more than 300 days at sea aboard commercial, passenger, or military vessels ships.

  • #56. New Mexico Tech

    - Location: Socorro, NM
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,269
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
    - Acceptance rate: 23%
    - Graduation rate: 56%
    - Six-year median earnings: $50,000
    - Two-year employment rate: 90%

    New Mexico Tech was ranked the No. 21 public university in the country in a CNBC article, “The top 50 U.S. colleges that pay off the most in 2020.” A science, engineering, and research university, it was founded in 1893 as the New Mexico School of Mines. Every student is required to take six basic science courses. Students in engineering disciplines must complete the Senior Design Clinic, focused on real-world projects that match them with companies, government agencies, or branches of the military.

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  • #55. Wabash College

    - Location: Crawfordsville, IN
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 881
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 65%
    - Graduation rate: 71%
    - Six-year median earnings: $56,300
    - Two-year employment rate: 94%

    Wabash College is a liberal arts school for men which the Princeton Review has ranked No. 1 for both Best Alumni Network and Best Internship Opportunities. The liberal arts school was founded in 1832 by a group of Dartmouth-educated ministers on what was then the western frontier. Among the courses students complete to graduate are the Freshman Tutorial and Enduring Questions.

  • #54. Gustavus Adolphus College

    - Location: Saint Peter, MN
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,213
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
    - Acceptance rate: 66%
    - Graduation rate: 78%
    - Six-year median earnings: $51,700
    - Two-year employment rate: 96%

    Gustavus Adolphus College is a liberal arts college founded in 1862 that has a Swedish heritage and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Its Three Crowns Curriculum consists of a sequence of interdisciplinary, discussion-oriented courses that students take together in a group, that emphasizes connections between disciplines as well as between ideas and values, and the past and present.

  • #53. Milwaukee School of Engineering

    - Location: Milwaukee, WI
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,491
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1
    - Acceptance rate: 63%
    - Graduation rate: 74%
    - Six-year median earnings: $71,300
    - Two-year employment rate: 97%

    Milwaukee School of Engineering has more labs than classrooms. Its students learn in industry-standard labs taught by professors with industry experience. There is an average of 21 students per class and only 11 per lab. The school works closely with such Wisconsin companies as Harley-Davidson, Snap-on, and Kohler on industry research and innovations.

  • #52. Hendrix College

    - Location: Conway, AR
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,194
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 72%
    - Graduation rate: 71%
    - Six-year median earnings: $39,700
    - Two-year employment rate: 91%

    Hendrix College is a liberal arts school that begins its first-year curriculum with The Engaged Citizen (TEC) and Explorations: Liberal Arts for Life. The Odyssey Program provides students with hands-on learning experiences in such categories as global awareness, service to the world, artistic creativity, undergraduate research, and professional and leadership development. For instance, one student studied the Somali refugee community in Minneapolis, while another used music to spark memories in people with dementia.

  • #51. Sewanee—The University of the South

    - Location: Sewanee, TN
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,678
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 65%
    - Graduation rate: 84%
    - Six-year median earnings: $45,500
    - Two-year employment rate: 93%

    Sewanee—The University of the South consists of the College of Arts & Science; the School of Letters; summers-only MA and MFA programs in English and creative writing; and the School of Theology. It has produced 26 Rhodes Scholars, 49 Watson Fellows, 34 National Collegiate Athletic Association Postgraduate Scholars, and dozens of Fulbright Scholars.

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