Liberal Arts Colleges in the East

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    Liberal arts colleges on the East Coast are highly-regarded institutions of higher learning. In fact, the majority of top liberal arts colleges are located on the East Coast. If you are curious about what sets liberal arts colleges apart from other colleges and universities or want to know the advantages of receiving a liberal arts education, read on! In this article, we will provide key statistics and information regarding East Coast liberal arts colleges, while highlighting the best East Coast liberal arts colleges.

    What is a liberal arts college?

    Liberal arts colleges are small private colleges that emphasize the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences within their undergraduate curriculum. Students who attend liberal arts colleges gain exposure to a wide range of academic disciplines, with about half of their classes falling outside of their major. In this way, liberal arts colleges follow a very different structure than research universities, technical programs, and other forms of higher education. 

    How many liberal arts colleges are in the U.S.? This statistic can vary, depending on various factors, but generally, there are about 200 liberal arts colleges in the United States. The majority of these are East Coast liberal arts schools, though there are several notable liberal arts colleges in both the Midwest and the West Coast, particularly in California. That said, liberal arts colleges in the Northeast have a long-standing reputation as being some of the most prestigious liberal arts schools on the East Coast and in the country.

    If you are interested in small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, there are several excellent women’s colleges to consider as well, including Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Simmons University (all located in Massachusetts). 

    The benefits of a liberal arts education​

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    There are several benefits to receiving a liberal arts education. As a student, you are exposed to a wide range of academic disciplines. This encourages creative and critical thinking skills. It can also be helpful for students who are undecided about their major.

    The small class sizes often lend themselves to discussion-based courses and each student receives a lot of individualized attention. The professors are also known for prioritizing their teaching duties above their own research projects. Overall, these are among the top reasons why East Coast liberal arts colleges are held in such high regard. 

    Let’s review the key reasons why liberal arts colleges, especially on the East Coast, are so desirable:

    • Small class sizes
    • Discussion-based classes
    • Lots of individualized attention
    • Exposure to a variety of academic disciplines

    Liberal arts colleges on the east coast

    In this section, we will review notable liberal arts colleges on the East Coast. For each East Coast liberal arts college, we will provide the college’s: 

    • Location
    • Undergraduate student population
    • Acceptance rate
    • U.S. News College Ranking

    If you are interested in learning more about liberal arts colleges on the East Coast, read on for key facts and figures. 

    Amherst College

    Amherst College is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, and has an undergraduate population of 1,970. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 12.8%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Amherst College is ranked #2 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Bard College

    Bard College is located in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York, and has an undergraduate population of 1,800. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 58.1%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Bard College is ranked #62 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Barnard College

    Barnard College is located in New York City, New York, and has an undergraduate population of 2,744. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 12.7%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Barnard College is ranked #17 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Bates College

    Bates College is located in Lewiston, Maine, and has an undergraduate population of 1,876. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 15.7%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Bates College is ranked #25 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Bowdoin College

    Bowdoin College is located in Brunswick, Maine, and has an undergraduate population of 1,777. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 10.2%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Bowdoin College is ranked #6 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Bryn Mawr College

    Bryn Mawr College is located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and has an undergraduate population of 1,300. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 32.7%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Bryn Mawr College is ranked #30 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country.

    Bucknell University

    Bucknell University is located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and has an undergraduate population of 3,757. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 34.5%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Bucknell University is ranked #30 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Colby College

    Colby College is located in Waterville, Maine, and has an undergraduate population of 2,155. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 13.1%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Colby College is tied as #17 for top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Colgate University

    Colgate University is located in Hamilton, New York, and has an undergraduate population of 3,042. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 23.3%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Colgate University is tied as #17 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    College of the Holy Cross

    College of the Holy Cross is located in Worcester, Massachusetts, and has an undergraduate population of 2,997. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 34.3%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, College of the Holy Cross is tied for #35 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Connecticut College

    Connecticut College is located in New London, Connecticut, and has an undergraduate population of 1,737. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 37%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Connecticut College is tied for #50 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Davidson College

    Davidson College is located in Davidson, North Carolina, and has an undergraduate population of 1,983. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 16.8%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Davidson College is tied for #13 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Dickinson College

    Dickinson College is located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and has an undergraduate population of 1,932. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 41.6%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Dickinson College is tied for #50 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Franklin and Marshall College

    Franklin and Marshall College is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and has an undergraduate population of 2,254. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 30.9%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Franklin and Marshall College is tied at #42 for top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Gettysburg College

    Gettysburg College is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and has an undergraduate population of 2,505. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 43%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Gettysburg College is tied at #54 for top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Hamilton College

    Hamilton College is located in Clinton, New York, and has an undergraduate population of 1,900. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 19%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Hamilton College is tied for #13 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Hampshire College

    Hampshire College is located in Amherst, Massachusetts, and has an undergraduate population of 522. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 63%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Hampshire College is tied for #141 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Haverford College

    Haverford College is located in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and has an undergraduate population of 1,307. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 18.7%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Haverford College is ranked #16 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Lafayette College

    Lafayette College is located in Easton, Pennsylvania, and has an undergraduate population of 2,514. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 31.5%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Lafayette College is tied for #38 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury College is located in Middlebury, Vermont, and has an undergraduate population of 2,580. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 15%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Middlebury College is tied for #9 for top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Mount Holyoke College

    Mount Holyoke College is located in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and has an undergraduate population of 1,915. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 42.8%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Mount Holyoke College is tied for #30 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Skidmore College

    Skidmore College is located in Saratoga Springs, New York, and has an undergraduate population of 2,582. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 26%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Skidmore College is tied for #38 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Smith College

    Smith College is located in Northampton, Massachusetts, and has an undergraduate population of 21,83. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 30.3%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Smith College is tied for #17 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore College is located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and has an undergraduate population of 1,437. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 9.2%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Swarthmore College is ranked #3 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Trinity College

    Trinity College is located in Hartford, Connecticut, and has an undergraduate population of 2,200. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 31.3%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Trinity College is ranked tied for #46 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Vassar College

    Vassar College is located in Poughkeepsie, New York, and has an undergraduate population of 2,435. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 22.7%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Vassar College is tied for #22 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Wellesley College

    Wellesley College is located in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and has an undergraduate population of 2,280. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 20.4%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Wellesley College is ranked as #5 of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Wesleyan University

    Wesleyan University is located in Middletown, Connecticut, and has an undergraduate population of 2,852. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 17.4%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Wesleyan University is tied for #17 among the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Williams College

    Williams College is located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and has an undergraduate population of 1,962. Its 2022 acceptance rate is 8.5%. According to the U.S. News College ranking, Williamstown College is ranked as #1 of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. 

    Key takeaways

    Like many highly-selective colleges, liberal arts colleges use holistic college admissions standards to select their incoming classes. This is why it is often important to have meaningful extracurricular activities included in your college application. Liberal arts colleges, especially the best small liberal arts colleges on the East Coast, offer students a well-rounded education while fostering creative and critical thinking skills. Their small class sizes also set them apart from other institutions of higher learning. Students often receive a lot of individualized attention from their professors. Furthermore, liberal arts professors are known for prioritizing their teaching duties above their own research projects, setting them apart from larger, research universities. 

    If you have any questions about liberal arts colleges, don’t hesitate to reach out to learn more about our services. Regardless of where you are in your college search or college applications, our professionals can provide valuable guidance throughout the application process. Whether you are interested in learning how to get into an Ivy League college or how to write a unique college essay, we can help. 

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