Top 20 Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America in 2022

Get the answer to the question, “What is liberal art education” and check out the top 20 liberal arts colleges in the United States (USA) in 2022, their ranking, location, admissions process, tuition, and fees.

A Liberal Arts degree has been gaining its fair share of popularity for some obvious reasons. The degree holders have multiple skills, a holistic educational approach, and a great lot of career choices. 

A liberal arts student is educated in a wide range of subjects. This includes Arts, Science, literature, math, theater, etc.

Their schools are known for developing soft skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. These skills are highly required to run and lead in any industry.

20 Best Liberal Arts Colleges

Today I have listed down the 20 best liberal arts colleges. All of these have been imparting education for more than a century now. Most of these colleges have seen graduates from the same family but different generations.

The parents who graduate here want their children to grow into the same rich educational experience. They have seen graduates like Hillary Clinton, Dan Brown, Emily Dickinson, Stephen Lang, and many more.

1. Williams college

Founded in the year  1793, Wiliams college is one of the oldest colleges in the United States. It boasts of a campus that is generously spread across the area of 450 acres.

Being the best college, it is very selective in its students. Only 17 percent of the total applications are accepted here. The student-teacher ratio is  7:1, and It has less than 20 students in a class.

  • Tuition & fees – $59,350
  • Location – Williamstown, Massachusetts

2. Amherst College

Amherst College was founded in the year 1821. It is the most selective college, with only a 12 percent of acceptance rate. The campus here has an extensive area of 1000 acres.

It is a member of five college consortiums, which also include Smith, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The student-teacher ratio is 7:1.

  • Tuition and fees – $60,890
  • Location – Amherst, Massachusetts

3. Swarthmore College

Established in the year 1864, Swarthmore has a campus size of 425 acres. It’s tough to get admission here because its acceptance rate stands at 9 percent.

The median salary of the Alumni from these colleges is $61,900. Half of the students here have an SAT score between 1395 and 1540. It’s part of a tri-college consortium that has Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College.

  • Tuition fees – $55,856
  • Location – Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Also read: 10 best tips for the first day of college

4. Pomona College

Pomona College was founded in 1887. It has a suburban setting and has a campus of 140 acres. This college has an acceptance rate of 9 percent.

They strongly emphasize undergraduate research, which leads to a capstone project or thesis. You are allowed to choose a double major in disciplines that are as varied as dance and computer science.

  • Tuition fees – $56,686
  • Location – Claremont, California

5. Wellesley College

Wellesley is a women’s college founded in the year 1870. Its campus covers an area of 500 acres. The college has an acceptance rate of 20 percent of all applications. Students here can choose from over 1000 courses across 50 departments.

Its graduate list has the names of Hillary Clinton, Pamela Melroy, Michelle Caruso, and others. It also has seminars exclusively designed for students to ease the transition from high school to college.

  • Tuition fees – $61,584
  • Location – Wellesley, Massachusetts

6. Bowdoin College

Bowdoin is known to be one of the best colleges for liberal arts students. It was founded in the year 1794, and its campus covers an area of 207 acres. Students at Bowdoin declare a major in the spring of their Sophomore year.

You will have to complete a minimum of thirty-two courses to wear the graduation hat at this college. This ensures that you have lots of opportunities to explore the curriculum.

  • Tuition fees – $57,776
  • Location – Brunswick, Maine

7. Claremont Mckenna College

Claremont has been constantly striving to provide the best possible education to its students since the year 1946. It is a part of a seven-college consortium called “The Claremont colleges.” This consortium is modeled after Oxford University.

Students here have the privilege to choose from as many as 2200 classes. The student-faculty ratio here stands at 9:1. They believe in a holistic education where students can also acquire skills beyond their classrooms.

  • Tuition fees – $60,715
  • Location – Claremont, California

8. Carleton College

Carleton holds the “#1 best undergraduate teaching” for the 11th year now. Also, 98 percent of the faculty here know their work as holding the highest degree in their fields. The academics are designed as per the three-term academic calendar.

If you study at Carleton, you will have exposure to its amazing off-campus(OCS) study programs. Its campus is spread over a vast area of 955 acres. The college will offer you 33 majors and 36 minors in Arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

  • Tuition fees – $59,850
  • Location – Northfield, Minnesota

9. Middlebury College

Middlebury college is renowned for its language instructions and global studies. You can discover from more than 850 courses in 44 majors. 1800 is the year when Middlebury started its educational mission.

It believes in its students to lead engaged, consequential, and creative lives. Middlebury also hosts the country’s oldest winter carnival, and it has 17 trails on its ski area for ski lovers.

  • Tuition fees – $55,790
  • Location – Middlebury, Vermont

10. Washington and Lee University
  • Tuition – $58,260
  • Location – Lexington city, Virginia

Founded in the year 1749, Washington and Lee University is one of the oldest ones. The approximate enrollment of students in this college stands at 1,860. They have the option to participate in one of more than 100 clubs and develop their varied interests.

If you’re a freshman, you’ll have to live on campus in its one of the four residence halls; as per the data for fall 2020, they had a good acceptance rate of 24 percent.

Also Read: 99 Questions to Ask When Visiting a College

11. Davidson College

Davidson college gives you ample chances to socialize. This is because it has over 200 student organizations on its campus. Apart from this, you can also take part in clubs, the school’s eight national fraternities, four eating houses, or two sororities.

Davidson College was the first one in the country to replace loans with grants in financial aid packages. This was done under the initiative of Davidson Trust to help students graduate without any debt.

  • Tuition fees – $57,150
  • Location – Davidson, North Carolina

12. Grinnell College

Grinnellians are expected to be innovative and creative. The teacher and mentors will guide you, support you and encourage you to delve deeper. Your only required class outside your major will be the first-year tutorial.

You have the liberty to make a choice from 500 plus courses available here. This college offers degrees in 27 major fields and 16 concentrations. Its campus houses 63 buildings from collegiate Gothic to Bauhaus style.

  • Tuition fees – $60,988
  • Location – Grinnell, Iowa

13. Hamilton College

Hamilton’s foundation dates back to the year 1793. This is the third-oldest college in New York. Its 1350-acre campus on a hilltop overlooks the village of Clinton. Here, you can choose from 57 different areas of study, including 44 majors.

Approximately 50 percent of students are studying with the help of financial aid at Hamilton. The students here reside in the 29 residence halls in the campus area. One of its many notable alumni is Marc Randolph, the co-founder of Netflix.

  • Tuition fees – $62,050
  • Location – Clinton, NewYork

14. Haverford College

This college was set up in the year 1833. Its 200-acre campus is endowed with beautiful gardens and a large pond. The rate of acceptance here is 18 percent. 44 percent of students have received a college grant, and the average total grant aid is $52,194.

They also have a no-loans policy for students with a family income below $60,000. The student-faculty ratio is 9:1.

  • Tuition fees – $60,442
  • Location – Haverford, Pennsylvania

15. Barnard College

Barnard is a women’s college established in 1889. A group of women started it with the aim to provide women with the same rigorous higher education as men.

They provide holistic education with mindfulness training, sexuality talks, identity explorations, and other activities. Barnard offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 50 fields. They have an acceptance rate of 14 percent and a 9:1 student-faculty ratio.

  • Tuition fees – $60,087
  • Location – Broadway, NewYork

16. Colby college

Colby College was founded in the year 1813.55 majors and 35 minors are offered to its students by 29 departments. It accepts only 10 percent of the total applications. Colby has an innovative program called DavisConnects.

This guarantees every student access to a global internship and research experience. Students live in its 30 residence hall buildings on campus. The motto here is “Lux Mentis Scientia,” which means that knowledge is the light of the mind.

  • Tuition fees – $56,930
  • Location – Waterville, Maine

17. Colgate university

A more than 200-year-old institution was established in 1819. Its campus size is 553 acres. Colgate University offers 56 undergraduate major programs.

You can choose to participate in more than 200 student clubs and organizations. This university is committed to being an anti-racist institution. They have 37 club sports and 25 division Ⅰ teams.

  • Tuition fees – $61,594
  • Location – Hamilton, New York

18. Smith college

Smith college is a private institution that started in the year 1871. It is a part of five college consortiums and also seven sister colleges. The consortium has Amherst College, Mount Holyoke, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts.

It also offers a master’s degree and doctoral program. It is set in a suburban setting in an area of 147 acres. Its acceptance rate in the fall of 2022 was 37 percent. Student-faculty ratio here is 7:1.

  • Tuition – $55,830
  • Location – Northampton, Massachusetts

19. Wesleyan university

Wesleyan University offers you a choice of more than 1000 courses. This includes 45 majors and 32 minor fields of study. It holds a student-faculty ratio of 8:1 and has seven colleges and twelve academic centers.

Its campus occupies a land of 316 acres with more than 300 buildings in it. Being established in 1831, it is one of the reputed universities to graduate from.

  • Tuition fees – $61,449
  • Location – Middletown, Connecticut

20. University of Richmond

Since 1830, the University of Richmond has been placed amongst the nation’s best schools. It provides an average need-based award of $55,600. The city of Richmond is filled with parks, culture, nightlife, and a great lot of fun.

Students have the chance to go white river rafting at the nearby James River. It comprises 15 fraternities and sororities and more than 150 other student clubs. They had an acceptance rate of 31 percent in the fall of 2020.

  • Tuition fees – $60,330
  • Location – Richmond, Virginia


Wearing your graduation hat at these colleges will certainly give you an edge in today’s highly competitive world. You will have better exposure and hence better opportunities to succeed in your career.

All these schools are well-equipped with resources, infrastructure, highly qualified faculty members, and experience. All of this will enrich you as an individual. They will nurture your emotional, logical, and interpersonal intelligence.

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