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The Top Ten Small Colleges in the US

The Top Ten Small Colleges in the US
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5. Amherst College

Amherst College is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. The student population is 1795. The acceptance rate is 14%. The total cost is $66,200. The average student debt upon graduation is $26,000., and the average student salary upon graduation is $46,000. The National Liberal Arts College Ranking is 2. Amherst College is a private liberal arts college.

Students at Amherst do not follow a core curriculum schedule but choose the courses they wish to study and sometimes design their own interdisciplinary major. When the students are not in the classroom, they have over 140 different student organizations from which to choose. There are also many community service groups that the students can participate in. For fun, you find a plethora of activities from medieval sword fighting, to a knitting group, to performing arts and a political advocacy group and much more.

Amherst College building
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Amherst is also known as “the singing college” because of the many a cappella groups on campus. Amherst makes the claim of having the oldest athletic program in the country and also has the third oldest football field in the country. The Lord Jeffs, which is the name of the Amherst athletic teams, play in NCAA Division III sports in the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

There are 38 major programs in an open curriculum. Students can choose from 850 courses and the student to faculty ratio is 8:1 and 90% of the classes have fewer than 30 people. Academically Amherst is ranked as one of the top colleges in the nation and their student life, both in the classroom and outside the classroom, is also highly rated.


4. Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College Chapel
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Bowdoin College is a private liberal arts college located in Brunswick, Maine. The student population is 1799. The acceptance rate is 15%. The total cost is $63,500. The average student debt upon graduation is $23,900., and the average student salary upon graduation is $42,000. The National Liberal Arts College ranking is 6.

The Bowdoin campus setting is central to the small city of Brunswick.  Bowdoin’s campus and its natural surroundings personify New England. It is just a few miles from the longest ocean exposure in this country, the beautiful and historic coast of Maine. Bowdoin is also near the mountains, lakes, and rivers of this beautiful state. Less than 30 minutes away is the city of Portland which has all the amenities anyone could want in a city – shopping, entertainment, dining, art, and music. A visit to the Old Port is a necessity. There is much to do both on or off campus for the Bowdoin students.

Entering students are assigned to what is called a college house. The eight college houses are spread around the campus,  hosting parties and other events throughout the year. The Outing Club is the largest student group at Bowdoin. As you can image, it involves hiking, camping, rafting, kayaking and backpacking trips throughout Maine. Bowdoin also competes in the Standard Platform League of RoboCup by designing and competing with robots and in 2007 Bowdoin won the world championship. There are 6 a cappella groups on campus as well. Bowdoin has 30 varsity sports teams and competes in NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference. Bowdoin is truly an exceptional example of the best of small colleges in New England.

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

Comment(1)

  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.

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