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Best small colleges in America

  • #40. Whitman College

    - Location: Walla Walla, WA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,436
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 50%
    - Graduation rate: 87%
    - Six-year median earnings: $51,300
    - Two-year employment rate: 86%

    Whitman College draws on traditional liberal arts values such as critical thought, but also on the value of community. Founded in 1859 as Whitman Seminary, it became a nonsectarian college in 1883. Each year, the college president chooses a book for the summer reading program, a tradition for all incoming students. The school also sponsors a one-act play contest, and student achievements are celebrated at the Whitman Undergraduate Conference, an annual daylong event.

  • #39. Occidental College

    - Location: Los Angeles, CA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,907
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 37%
    - Graduation rate: 85%
    - Six-year median earnings: $50,600
    - Two-year employment rate: 89%

    Occidental College works to integrate the liberal arts and sciences with the cultural resources of Los Angeles. It has unique offerings such as the Kahane United Nations Program and Campaign Semester, when students immerse themselves in political campaigns (this year remotely). There is an emphasis on research and senior comprehensives—theses, exhibits, and other presentations.

  • #38. Skidmore College

    - Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,585
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1
    - Acceptance rate: 27%
    - Graduation rate: 86%
    - Six-year median earnings: $49,700
    - Two-year employment rate: 95%

    Skidmore College is a liberal arts college with an emphasis on creativity, civic responsibility, and interdisciplinary thinking. It offers bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees, and each year, 36 students from the incoming first-year class have the chance to spend their first semester of college in London. The school’s most popular majors include business, psychology, political science, English, economics, theater, and environmental sciences/studies.

  • #37. Colorado College

    - Location: Colorado Springs, CO
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,098
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 15%
    - Graduation rate: 89%
    - Six-year median earnings: $45,400
    - Two-year employment rate: 91%

    Colorado College functions on the Block Plan, with a block lasting for three-and-a-half weeks, during which students take one class at a time, usually from 9 a.m. to noon each day. The blocks are followed by breaks of four days when students are free to relax, to climb one of Colorado’s peaks, or explore the sand dunes of the Southwest.

  • #36. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    - Location: Terre Haute, IN
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,063
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 11:1
    - Acceptance rate: 68%
    - Graduation rate: 81%
    - Six-year median earnings: $80,900
    - Two-year employment rate: 97%

    Founded in 1874, Rose‑Hulman Institute of Technology is a top-ranked undergraduate college. It offers science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in state-of-the-art labs, project spaces, and classrooms. A clean room for nanotechnology is open to all students, and the Branam Innovation Center is an open workspace for multidisciplinary collaboration.

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  • #35. Trinity University - Texas

    - Location: San Antonio, TX
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,433
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 34%
    - Graduation rate: 76%
    - Six-year median earnings: $54,900
    - Two-year employment rate: 93%

    Trinity University was founded in 1869 by Cumberland Presbyterians in Tehuacana, Texas, and has moved four times through three cities. Today it offers more than 100 majors and minors and several interdisciplinary programs. Its Pathways program features six curricular requirements for a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences.

  • #34. Pitzer College

    - Location: Claremont, CA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,050
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 13%
    - Graduation rate: 84%
    - Six-year median earnings: $48,700
    - Two-year employment rate: 86%

    Pitzer College is a liberal arts and sciences college that emphasizes environmental and interdisciplinary studies, the arts, humanities, and the sciences. It is part of The Claremont Colleges, five undergraduate colleges and two graduate schools that share programs and faculty. Students can create their own majors, working with faculty.

  • #33. College of the Holy Cross

    - Location: Worcester, MA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,913
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1
    - Acceptance rate: 38%
    - Graduation rate: 92%
    - Six-year median earnings: $71,000
    - Two-year employment rate: 95%

    Founded by the Catholic Jesuit order in 1843, the College of the Holy Cross is a liberal arts school that continues to engage in questions of faith and meaning. Through activities such as “alternative spring break,” its students honor the Jesuit belief of living in solidarity with the poor. The Holy Cross approach to learning is to view problems from multiple perspectives, take risks in seeking solutions, and make connections between separate ideas and fields of study.

  • #32. Mount Holyoke College

    - Location: South Hadley, MA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 2,177
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 51%
    - Graduation rate: 83%
    - Six-year median earnings: $48,600
    - Two-year employment rate: 87%

    One of the Seven Sisters—East Coast liberal arts colleges for women—Mount Holyoke College remains a women’s college. It was founded by chemist and educator Mary Lyon in 1837. Among its notable graduates are poet Emily Dickinson, playwright Wendy Wasserstein, and Florence Schorske Wald, a nurse and founder of the American hospice movement. It is a member of a consortium of five colleges that also includes Amherst College, Hampshire College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

  • #31. Bryn Mawr College

    - Location: Bryn Mawr, PA
    - Undergraduate enrollment: 1,350
    - Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1
    - Acceptance rate: 34%
    - Graduation rate: 87%
    - Six-year median earnings: $54,600
    - Two-year employment rate: 88%

    Bryn Mawr College is another of the Seven Sisters that is still a women’s college, though it has longstanding partnerships with Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges and the University of Pennsylvania. It was established in 1885 to provide a more-rigorous education for women, offered bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the beginning, and was the first women’s school to offer a Ph.D.

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