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The Top Ten Small Colleges in the US

The Top Ten Small Colleges in the US
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3. Sewanee: The University of the South

Sewanee is located in Sewanee, Tennessee. It is a private, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. The student population at Sewanee is 1710. The acceptance rate is 41%. The total cost is $54,500. The average student debt upon graduation is $21,000., and the average student salary upon graduation is $39,000. The National Liberal Arts College Ranking is 47.

The setting of the campus is rural and consists of 13,000 acres. One of the distinguishing qualities of the students at Sewanee is what they wear to class. There are no T-shirts or shorts in the classroom. Students dress up for class to show their respect for the school and the professors who teach there.

On a rural campus of 13,000 acres, you would suspect that there are all kinds of opportunities for rock climbing, mountain biking, and  caving and you would be right. There are 50 miles of trails to walk, run, hike or bike. There are other diverse activities, like frisbee golf, available to all students. All the students live at school because the campus community is a vital part of the Sewanee experience. There is a lot to do on campus. There are over 100 student clubs and organizations, and there are both fraternities and sororities as part of student life. The Sewanee Tiger’s varsity sports teams compete in the NCAA Division III South Atlantic Association.

Sewanee, University of the South, Chapel
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The student-faculty ratio is 10:1 and 63% of its classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors are Social Sciences, English Language and Literature, General Biological and Biomedical Sciences, History and Psychology. The university is owned and governed by the diocese of the Episcopal Church.


2. Carleton College

Carlton College Winter Wonderland
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Carleton College is located in Northfield, Minnesota. It is a private liberal arts college. The student population is 2014. The acceptance rate is 21%. The total cost is $64,071. The average student debt upon graduation is $20,000., and the average student salary upon graduation is $40,000. The National Liberal Arts College ranking is 7.

Carleton College is set on a rural 955 acres, and the school is located adjacent to the 880 acre Cowling Arboretum. Campus life is the core experience for the students when they are not in the classroom. Ninety percent of all students live on campus. There are more than 170 student organizations. There are 50 student-organized club sports and intramural sports. The campus also houses the Recreational Center with Racquetball courts, the fitness center, a track and a climbing wall. The previously mentioned Cowling Arboretum has places to bicycle, run, cross-country ski and just simply have a quiet, beautiful walk.

There are 18 varsity athletic teams, and they compete in the NCAA Division III Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. There are all kinds of ways you can volunteer in the community of Northfield as well. Looking for something to do beyond campus, you will find concerts, plays, art exhibits, lectures, movies and sports on a 3-minute bus ride from campus to the center of Northfield. If you are looking for a little more of an urban experience, Minneapolis, and St. Paul are just a half hour away from campus.

Carleton offers 40 undergraduate majors. The student to faculty ratio is 9:1 and 71% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors are Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services and Visual and Performing Arts. Indeed, a great college experience awaits at Carleton College.


1. Grinnell College

'Grinnell College Founded 1846' -- Grinnell (IA)
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Grinnell College is a private liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. The student population is 1705. The acceptance rate is 25%. The total cost is $60,738. The average student debt upon graduation is $22,000., and the starting salary upon graduation is $42,000. The National Liberal Arts College Ranking is 19.

Grinnell College is set on 120 acres in a small town located halfway between Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.  Known nationally for social activism,  Grinnell has the distinction of being rated at the top of similar size schools for sending volunteers to the Peace Corps.  There is also a unique opportunity through the Student Endowment Investing Group to learn how to invest in the stock market; This organization provides excellent experience in the real world of investing for future careers in finance. The students also are provided an opportunity of self-governance and are responsible for their choices and behaviors while attending Grinnell.

There are over 100 student organizations that offer a wide selection of opportunities for student involvement. Grinnell hosts weekly cultural events and musical concerts on campus. The annual Titular Head Film Festival is a popular event that shows student-made films. The varsity sports teams, known as the Pioneers, play in the NCAA Division III Midwest Conference.

The student ratio to faculty is 9:1 and 69% of its classes have fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors are Social Studies, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Foreign Languages, Literature and Linguistics, Psychology, and English Language and Literature /Letters.


We Are Into Small Liberal Arts Colleges!

America Unravelled rated Grinnell College #1 because of its self-governing student policy, because of its extensive volunteer opportunities on and off campus and finally, the real-life opportunity to learn about investing in the stock market and how the market affects both corporate America and individual investors. However, each one of these 10 schools would provide an exceptional educational experience.  All of these schools have unique settings and characteristics while providing many different opportunities for their students to pursue an education on and off campus.

Stay tuned, because we plan to discover the top small liberal arts college in each state.  We may be coming to your school!


Sources

Featured Image: By Aureliusxv (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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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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