Are you interested in studying literature, philosophy, history, science, or all of the above? Read on to learn more about the best liberal arts colleges the nation has to offer.
Despite the stigma around liberal arts degrees, these majors teach students useful thinking skills and foundational knowledge that can be applied to almost every field! If you’re interested in attending a liberal arts college, read on to find out the top 13 liberal arts colleges.
Since there are over 200 liberal arts colleges to choose from, picking the right college can be challenging. To eliminate the hassle and narrow your search, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 best liberal arts colleges in the US.
Ranking first as the Best National Liberal Arts College is Williams College. With over 50 areas of study to choose from, Williams offers innumerable opportunities for students to discover their passions. As a top-ranking school, this university is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of only 15%.
Considering this low acceptance rate, students interested in joining this school will need to have a high GPA and high SAT scores. The average GPA of accepted students is around 3.9, and their SAT scores range from 1410-1560.
Tuition costs are also high at this school, costing $61,450 a year.
With an even more competitive acceptance rate than Williams, Amherst accepts only 12% of all applicants. Unsurprisingly, Amherst students have an average high school GPA of 3.9-4.0 and SAT score of 1410-1550.
Tuition costs $60,700 a year at Amherst.
Another top liberal arts college is Swarthmore College, which ranks third as the Best National Liberal Arts College. Swarthmore is committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community to enrich their students’ experiences and expand their worldviews.
As an added bonus, Swarthmore was actually named one of the most beautiful campuses in the country by Forbes! Just look at this magical outdoor amphitheater where you can attend your lectures!
Swarthmore’s tuition costs $58,928 yearly.
Coming in fourth place as the Best National Liberal Arts College is Pomona College, a college that fosters a close community that guides students to make major contributions as the next generation of leaders, scholars, and artists.
Attending this college costs around $58,818 a year.
Wellesley College places fifth as the Best National Liberal Arts College and focuses on the shared experience of intellectual and personal growth. Wellesley places special emphasis on being a scholarly beacon for women around the world and is an all-girls college.
Wellesley has a higher acceptance rate than the colleges discussed thus far, accepting 20% of all applicants. However, they still have high expectations of their applicants, as the average GPA of accepted students is 3.89-4.0. The average SAT scores range from 1350-1520.
The tuition costs to attend Wellesley are similar to most high-ranking liberal arts colleges, costing $61,584 a year.
Ranking sixth as the Best National Liberal Arts College is Bowdoin College. According to their mission statement, Bowdoin is dedicated to admitting students of uncommon promise and uncommon character that demonstrate curiosity and a willingness to take risks.
Feel like you match this description? Well, considering this college’s low acceptance rate of 9%, you’ll need to also prove your academic potential! The average GPA of accepted students is 3.8-4.0, and the average SAT scores are 1330-1510.
Tuition costs $60,952 a year to attend this college.
Ranking seventh as the Best National Liberal Arts College is the United States Naval Academy. While this college educates midshipmen to join the US Navy and Marine Corps, it’s still worth mentioning if you’re interested in the Navy. Graduates from this college also earn a Bachelor of Science in their chosen major.
Unlike the other schools on this list, the Navy covers the full cost of tuition for enrolled students! Students are actually paid $1187.80 per month to cover personal expenses.
Claremont McKenna College is another one of the best liberal arts colleges, ranking eighth in the nation. Since 1984, this college has been preparing students for thoughtful and productive lives in various professions and is best known for its economic and government studies.
Tuition at Claremont costs $60,480 a year.
Ranking ninth as the Best National Liberal Arts College is Carleton College. What sets this college apart from the rest is its unmatched teaching in a close-knit community where intellectual curiosity leads to lifetime exploration. In fact, Carleton’s faculty ranks number one in teaching year after year.
The cost to attend this school is around $62,244 a year, making this the most expensive liberal arts college on this list. To ease the financial burden of attending this school, you can apply for scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition.
The tenth-best liberal arts college is Middlebury College. Middlebury offers several majors to its students, but specializes in immersive language study, literature, and pedagogy.
Tuition costs $55,790 a year.
Washington and Lee University ranks 11th as the Best National Liberal Arts College. This small liberal arts college is known for its personal and engaging undergraduate experience and School of Law, in case you’re interested in becoming a lawyer.
It costs $60,590 a year in tuition fees to attend this college.
Davidson College ranks 13th as the Best National Liberal Arts College. This college’s educational philosophy is based on deep sincerity, intellectual bravery, unquestioned integrity, and fundamental decency.
Tuition at this college costs $57,150 a year.
Tying for 13th place is Grinnell College. This college promises a world of intellectual freedom where students are in charge of how their studies take shape. Grinnell deeply values community and even calls all of their students and staff Grinnellians!
Prospective Grinnellians can expect to pay around $60,988 a year for tuition.
To answer any remaining questions you might have, here are the answers to frequently asked questions about liberal arts colleges.
Williams College is the number one liberal arts college in the nation.
Yes! Liberal arts colleges allow students to explore a wide range of subjects and gain a broad yet extensive education that can be an asset in any field!
A more suitable question would be: what can’t you do with a liberal arts degree? Aside from getting a job in the art field, liberal art majors find jobs within the STEM field, in business, marketing, sales, and more.
Liberal arts degrees are essentially useful in any job! These majors are able to add a “human touch” to every field they enter.
To get into a top-ranking liberal arts school, you should aim to maintain a GPA of 3.6-4.0.
Since the acceptance rates of the schools on this list range from 9%-24%, it’s difficult to get into high-ranking colleges!
Yes! Basic math and science are part of liberal arts and can be studied in depth depending on what courses you take.
Now that you know what the best liberal arts colleges are, you should be able to decide which school is best for you! Since many of these schools are competitive, once you choose your top schools, let Quad Education’s team of experts help you craft stellar applications!