September 16, 2020 by
If you're a high school student that wants to go to a smaller school rather than a state university, you may be best suited to a liberal arts school. Generally smaller, with a much more personalized experience, the best liberal arts colleges offer a nice balance when it comes to your academic vs. social life. They usually offer a wide variety of programs and can be as culturally diverse as larger institutions. If you're unsure which school will fit you best, the following list contains some of the top schools in the country.
Amherst College
Consistently rated one of the top liberal arts schools in the country, this Western Massachusetts college has a lot to offer. Students have the opportunity take classes at five other schools with their enrollment, and the school offers an open curriculum that has no distribution requirements. It has a beautiful campus and a very small enrollment, with less than 2,000 students. The admissions process is very selective.
Grinnell College
With a choice of 26 majors, this rural Iowa school is often ranked high on the list of liberal arts colleges. It also has a higher percentage of applicants admitted than many of the top schools, making it a great choice for those who aren't sure about their chances. With a small student body, you are sure to get personalized attention. While it seems expensive, almost all students get some form of financial aid, with many getting costs completely covered through loans and grants.
Haverford College
If you're looking to be close to a city, this Philadelphia area school is a great choice. A small student body means personalized attention, and superior science programs makes it a great choice for those interested in scientific studies. It's notably expensive and quite competitive to get in, but most students get financial aid in some form. Students also have the opportunity take classes at other schools, including Bryn Mawr and the University of Pennsylvania.
Pomona College
With classes that consistently average around 14 students, this Los Angeles area school offers a very personalized experience. With only 13 percent of applicants being admitted, it's one of the more difficult liberal arts colleges to get into. While expensive, almost three quarters of students receive some form of financial aid, so if you've got what it takes, but think money is your only problem, you should apply anyway. Many students get their full education paid for through scholarships and grants.
Swarthmore College
It's not exactly easy to get into Swarthmore, but if you can it's worth the effort. While the campus is located a few miles from downtown Philadelphia, it is also registered as a national arboretum, with a beautiful campus that spans almost 400 acres. It's a great school for athletes as it has nine men's varsity sports programs and eleven for women. With about a third of students receiving some kind of financial aid, it doesn't hurt to apply if you think you've got what it takes to get accepted.
Wlliams College
With slightly over 2,000 students, Williams is almost always on the list of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. Located in Northeast Massachusetts, it's got a 7 to 1 student faculty ratio, and exceptional opportunities for students in all programs. It's not the easiest college to get into with a 17 percent acceptance rate, and it's also fairly expensive. About three quarters of students receive some type of financial aid.
There are liberal arts schools located throughout the country, so depending on where you want to be, you should be able to find a good school. Most of the best schools are hard to get into, so make sure you start thinking early about how you will get in. Good grades, high test scores, and a wide range of extracurricular activities is a good start, but learning the requirements of the school you are most interested in is the best way to improve your chances.
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