50-50 Highlights: Don’t Overlook These 104 Liberal Arts Colleges

Students on lawn considering Liberal Arts Colleges US News Best College Rankings consists of two national lists: National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges. Most people recognize the schools at the top of the National Universities list. Those at the top of the National Liberal Arts lists? Not so much. The reason is because by definition, Liberal Arts Colleges (LAC) are smaller, have a limited number of majors, and few, if any graduate students. And this makes them some of the most effective college teaching experiences around.

According to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), seniors at Liberal Arts Colleges are more likely to have participated in High-Impact Practices of Research with Faculty, Internship or Field Experience, Study Abroad, and Culminating Senior Experience.

The study of the Baccalaureate Origins of Science and Engineering(S&E) Doctorate Recipients, found only Research Universities (very high research activities) produce more S&E doctorates per student than Liberal Arts Colleges. And even the Research Universities did not outperform the Oberlin 50 group of Liberal Arts Colleges which include Albion College, Beloit College, Earlham College, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Ohio Wesleyan, St. Olaf College, and the College of Wooster–all 50-50 Colleges.

Of the 228 colleges listed as Baccalaureate Colleges–Arts & Sciences in the Carnegie Classification, 104 qualify as 50-50 schools. Unfortunately, most LACs tend to be private institutions, only 31 public institutions are classified as Baccalaureate Colleges–Arts & Sciences. Of these, only five qualify as 50-50 schools.

The following tables lists all 50-50 colleges classified as Baccalaureate Colleges–Arts & Sciences in the Carnegie Classification. This shouldn’t be considered a definitive list since there are schools that are considered Liberal Arts Colleges with other Carnegie Classifications. Obviously, anyone who starts looking for LACs wouldn’t stop at this list. As always, the four-year graduation rate is used for privates colleges and the five-year rate for public schools.

50-50 Liberal Arts Colleges



Listing of 104 liberal arts colleges that accept at least 50% of students and have at least a 50% graduation rate.

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