Small Colleges That Change Lives
In this day and age, it’s not uncommon for people to go to college and emerge with a degree that isn’t really applicable or useful. Many students find themselves in their early 20s with debt and no real career path. Of course, there are exceptions to this problem (and many of them can be found at small liberal arts colleges), but the point is that many students feel lost after graduation. If you’re one of those people looking for a program that will give you more than just a degree—one that will change your life—read on! Here are some small colleges that offer exactly what we’re talking about:
Berea College is a private liberal arts college located in Berea, Kentucky that was founded at the beginning of the 19th century. It’s a member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Beloit College is a private liberal arts college in Beloit, Wisconsin. The school was founded in 1846 and has a student population of 1,600. Beloit College is the only member school of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, which allows students to take classes at any of the other nine schools without paying additional fees or tuition. It’s also one of only four colleges that participate in ACM’s “Flagship” program, giving students from each institution access to all 10 participating schools for free. Beloit College is also a member of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), which advocates on behalf of small institutions and helps them maintain their autonomy; it also provides networking opportunities and resources for its members.
Beloit College earned its spot among Forbes’ Best Small Universities list for 2019 after being named one of U.S News & World Report’s Best Regional Colleges Midwest category for seven years running (2012-2019). Additionally, Beloit College has been included multiple times on Forbes’ Best Value Schools lists over the past several years: most recently coming in at #57 overall out of over 2,300 schools because “students at this highly ranked liberal arts college pay an average net price just above $20k per year.”
Berry College is a private, liberal arts college located in Mount Berry, Georgia. The school was founded in 1869 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South as the Georgia Conference Female Institute; it became coeducational in 1973 and has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1909.
The curriculum at Berry includes a highly structured core curriculum that focuses on interdisciplinary learning and problem solving skills that are applicable across disciplines.
Carleton College is a private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota. It was founded in 1866 by George Washington Carleton and Andrew Jackson.
Carleton is one of the oldest colleges in Minnesota and belongs to the Annapolis Group (a consortium of liberal arts colleges around the United States.) It has a strong undergraduate focus on international programs; its students study abroad at Carleton or at one of hundreds of locations around the world, including Mexico City and Paris.
The school’s motto is “Diversity with integrity,” which means that all students should feel welcome regardless of race or religion—and no one should feel excluded from participating because they are different from their peers.
Centre College is a liberal arts college in Danville, Kentucky, United States. Centre is a four-year, coeducational, private liberal arts college.
Centre College is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South. The American Coalition for Small Colleges accredits Centre College as one of its 36 exemplary small colleges in the nation and ranks it among the top 10 percent on its list of best-value schools offering an excellent education at an affordable price
Visit DePauw University, which sits in Greencastle, Indiana. It was founded in 1837 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. The school was named after the Rev. John DePauw, a professor at nearby Transylvania University who had previously been a member of that institution’s faculty and served as its president from 1817 to 1824.
DePauw is known for its small class sizes; students are able to receive individualized attention from professors without being lost in the crowd.
Earlham College is a private liberal arts college in Richmond, Indiana, United States. The college was founded in 1847 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). It continues to have strong Quaker roots and concerns; many members of the Board of Trustees are still Quakers, as well as approximately 40% of students and faculty members.
The college’s name reflects its historic origins within Earlham Hall, which once was home to the Religious Society of Friends in Richmond, England. Earlham Hall was demolished in 1936 during a period when there was considerable sentiment against naming buildings after individuals because of their perceived elitism and snobbery.
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin & Marshall College is a private coeducational college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States. It traces its origins to 1787 when John Franklin, a Lancaster County farmer, left land to the city of Lancaster to found a new school. The first classes were held in a local tavern in 1787. The school was named after John Franklin, who donated $50 (£32) towards the construction of its first building (now called Old Main). The college received its charter on February 13, 1819 from Pennsylvania and opened as “Franklin Academy” on April 15 of that year with 50 students. In 1826, the academy became known as “Franklin College”.
Hiram College is a private liberal arts college in Hiram, Ohio, United States. The school was founded in 1850 as the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute by Amos Sutton Hayden and other members of the Disciples of Christ denomination. It was named for the ancient figure Saint Hyrmin (also known as Hyrmine), who is said to have been martyred on this site around 97 AD. The school’s motto is “Youth from Every Quarter” (Latin: Ad Juventutem Ex Omni Parte).
The school has been ranked as one of the best colleges for its quality education, affordable tuition rates and overall value by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine for more than 25 years running. Its total enrollment has grown over time to nearly 1,900 students currently attending classes on two campuses located in Hiram and at two additional off-site locations throughout northeast Ohio.
The college is located in Huntingdon, PA. While the town is much smaller than others on this list, it’s part of a larger area that has many cultural attractions, including two world-class art museums and one of the oldest botanical gardens in America. The campus itself is made up of many historic buildings; most recent additions were built using sustainable materials such as recycled bricks to make it easier for students to connect with their surroundings as well as each other. Juniata also boasts an extraordinary international reputation—the majority of their students study abroad at some point during their studies at Juniata.
This small liberal arts college has strong ties to theatre: its faculty members have been recognized by both national publications (such as “American Theatre Magazine”) and local ones (such as the “Huntingdon County News”). Its writing program has been heralded since its inception more than three decades ago; graduates include Pulitzer Prize winners Frank McCourt and David McCullough among others who’ve gone on to write successful books about history or politics
Knox College is a private liberal religious-affiliated liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois. It was founded in 1837 by anti-slavery social reformers who were part of the Second Great Awakening, and named for American Revolutionary War General Henry Knox.
Knox College has a strong liberal arts focus, but also offers programs in pre-professional fields such as engineering and business administration; and graduate study including several interdisciplinary doctoral programs. The majority of students at Knox are from out of state; about 1/4th are international students from over 150 countries around the world. In addition to its undergraduate curriculum, Knox offers master’s programs in education (MEd), counseling psychology (MA), social work (MSW), organizational leadership & management (MSOL).
Lake Forest College
Lake Forest College is a small liberal arts college located in Lake Forest, Illinois. It’s one of the oldest colleges in the state and has been operating since 1857. The school’s enrollment numbers around 1,600 students, with over 40% of them studying abroad during their time there. In addition to this impressive percentage, over 50% of students live on campus and roughly 80% graduate within four years—an impressive feat for a small school like this one!
Lawrence University (WI)
Lawrence University is a private liberal arts college located in Appleton, Wisconsin. Founded in 1847 by Amos Adams Lawrence, it is named for Amos Lawrence.
The university’s motto is “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis,” which means “Art Is Long, Life Is Short.”
Macalester College (MN)
Macalester College is a private liberal arts college in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It was founded in 1874 by Presbyterian ministers, but today is secular and coeducational. Macalester is known for its academic rigor and social diversity. The college has an acceptance rate of 26 percent and an average class size of 15 students per class (which makes for more personalized learning).
Its small size also means that you can take advantage of the opportunity to do some volunteering or research abroad before you graduate. One student who did this was able to work with children from low-income families in South Africa during his time at Macalester College—something he wouldn’t have been able to do had it not been such a small school!
Rhodes College (TN) Section: St. Olaf College (MN) Section: Trinity University (TX) Section: Union College (NY) Section: Wabash College Takeaway: Small colleges can offer a rewarding experience.
Rhodes is a small liberal arts college in Memphis, Tennessee. It has about 1,700 undergraduate students and a student/faculty ratio of about 13:1. Students at Rhodes have access to over 50 majors including many unique programs such as Global Studies, Creative Writing and Digital Technology & Design. The college’s location allows its students easy access to both the city of Memphis and some of the world’s most famous music venues such as Beale Street or Graceland (home of Elvis Presley).
St. Olaf College
St. Olaf has an enrollment of just over 3,000 students with a student/faculty ratio of 11:1 out in Minnesota on Lake Superior’s North Shore near Duluth where it was founded in 1874 as an academy by Norwegian immigrant pastors who were committed to making higher education available for immigrants living in Minnesota’s Iron Range communities (Duluth). Trinity University
Trinity University is one of the oldest institutions in Texas having been founded way back when Texas was still part of Mexico but today it serves more than 2200 students from all 50 states plus Brazil and China with an average class size under 15 people per professor according schools data from [Value Colleges](https://wwwuvaluecollegescom/) which found that Trinity was also among America’s 10 Best Value Schools for 2018 by placing number five overall on their list based off quality academics at reasonable prices
There’s no doubt that a small school can be a great option for students who want an intimate learning experience. But there are also plenty of small schools that have strong athletics programs and amazing extracurricular activities, which makes them attractive to many different kinds of students looking for an education that will change their lives. If you’re considering going to one of these institutions but aren’t sure where to start, we hope this list has given you some ideas!