Home College Towns The Top Ten Small Colleges in the US

The Top Ten Small Colleges in the US

The Top Ten Small Colleges in the US

8. Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College is located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. The student population is 1346. The acceptance rate is 39%. The total cost to attend Bryn Mawr is $64,200. The average student debt upon graduation is $24,000., and the average student salary upon graduation is $41,000. The National Liberal Arts College Ranking is 31. Bryn Mawr is a women’s liberal arts college.

The setting of Bryn Mawr is suburban, and the campus consists of 135 acres right outside of Philadelphia. Even though Bryn Mawr is a college for women, there are many co- educational opportunities at neighboring schools such as Swarthmore, Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania.

There are more than 100 student clubs and organizations that offer students an opportunity to make friends and to get involved on and off campus. Having fun extends beyond campus as public transportation takes students into Philadelphia where they can find restaurants, entertainment, shopping, sports and much more. Sports are also an important part of college life on campus. The Bryn Mawr Owls athletic teams are members of the NCAA Division III Centennial Conference.

Bryn Mawr College
Some rights reserved by Ganamex

The student – faculty ratio is 8:1 and 72.9% of classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors are Social Sciences, Psychology, Biology/Biological Sciences, Foreign Languages and Literature and Mathematics. The campus is stunning with its combination of striking older buildings and post-modern buildings as well. The gorgeous landscape design adds to the unique academic atmosphere. The campus is 2 hours from New York City and Washington, DC by train. The campus is an exceptional place to study, play and live.

7. Beloit College

beloit - Anthro Museum
Some rights reserved by firepile

Beloit College is located in Beloit, Wisconsin. The student population is 1358. The acceptance ratio is 69%. The total cost is $55,300. The average student debt upon graduation is $28,000. The average student salary upon graduation is $40,000., and the National Liberal Arts College ranking is 62. Beloit College is a private liberal arts college.

Although Beloit sits on 40 acres of land within a small city, the college setting is described as a “New England -style campus” with plenty of trees and river bluffs. It is 90 miles from Chicago and an hour from Milwaukee. Student organizations and clubs are numerous, and they offer students an opportunity to make friends, to take a leadership role on campus and to make a difference in other people’s lives.  Fraternities and sororities are active on campus.

Athletics have a very special place at Beloit. There are 19 men and women varsity teams and the Buccaneers play in the NCAA Division III in the Midwest Conference.

The majority of students live on campus for their full four years. There are wonderful opportunities for students to leave this beautiful campus and to study abroad from Europe, to China and South America. The student body is a mixture of American students and students from other countries. Each year Beloit celebrates its diversity by sharing the unique cultural differences of its students in an event called International Symposium.

Beloit College has become nationally known as the home of the longest continual Ultimate Frisbee game. The contest was played on campus and lasted 72 hours. This Ultimate Frisbee recognition is just to show you that there is more going on at Beloit than what’s happening in the classroom.

Speaking of the classroom, the student to faculty ratio is 11:1 and 69% of the classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors are Social Studies, Foreign Languages, Literature and Linguistics, Physical Sciences, English Language and Literature and Visual and Performing Arts. Beloit is a college that brings out the very best in its students.

6. Centre College

Centre College, Danville, Kentucky
Some rights reserved by J. Stephen Conn

Centre College is a private liberal arts college, located in Danville, Kentucky. The student population is 1367. The acceptance rate is 71%. The total cost is $49,250. The average student debt upon graduation is $28,000., and the average student salary upon graduation is $40,000. The National Liberal Arts College Ranking is 44.

Centre College’s campus resides on 152 acres in a community of approximately 16,000 people. The college is known for its strong academic programs, and it’s very supportive environment. It is a great place for students who are looking for classroom instruction and experiential learning.

One of the guarantees of the college is that ALL students will study abroad. The college also guarantees that ALL students will graduate in 4 years and if that does not happen, an additional year is provided by the college, tuition free. History shows that no student to date has had to take up that offer.

Want to get started on your own after graduation? Well, 95% of Centre College alumni within a year of graduating have jobs or have gone on to pursue a graduate degree. Another unique offering by Centre College is the special focus on “first-generation” students. These are the students who are the first in their families to pursue a college degree.

There are more than 100 clubs for students and an active Greek Life component with both fraternities and sororities. Sports are a big factor on campus as well. The Centre Colonels compete in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association.

All non-commuting students live on campus, and that helps to make this campus a hopping place. There are events going on constantly, from sports to a myriad of performing arts.  Frisbee golf is close to campus, as well as canoeing. If a road trip is on your docket, then Lexington is a 40-minute drive, Cincinnati is 2 hours away, and if you are into country music, Nashville is 3.5 hours away.

The student ratio of students to faculty is 10:1 and 60% of its classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors are Economics, Biology/Biological Sciences, History, Political Science, and Government. Centre College a place to consider.


Jamie Stewart America Unraveled's resident expert on all things higher ed!


  1. Your ratings certainly reflect outside-the-box thinking and rating of colleges. The article caught the essence of the colleges I am familiar with – Grinnell, Kenyon, and Whitman, and Beloit, from which I graduated. And all have a strong sense of place and community.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *