The 50 Best Small Colleges for 2019

BCR-Top Small Schools

By BCR Staff
October 2018

The allure of attending a large university is real for a lot of high school graduates. Leaving home and moving to the city to live on a mega-campus is a dream for many students, but it’s not the best decision for all prospective college freshmen. Enrolling in small college has its advantages, including smaller class sizes, more one-on-one attention from professors, and a more collaborative learning community, for example. In this ranking, we identify our picks for the top 50 best small colleges.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $25,000—1 point
  • Under $20,000—2 points
  • Under $15,000—3 points
  • Under $10,000—4 points

U.S. News & World Report’s Ranking

  • Top 10—5 points
  • Top 25—4 points
  • Top 50—3 points
  • Top 100—2 points
  • Top 150 –1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1—1 point
  • Less than 15:1—2 points
  • Less than 10:1—3 points

Ranking the Top 50 Best Small Colleges

To develop this ranking of the 50 best small colleges, our editors began with an initial pool of 128 schools. This pool was made up of schools with an undergraduate population of less than 2,000 students, a minimum student to faculty ratio of less than 15:1, and tuition less than $25,000. To narrow this pool to 50, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above. What follows is our selection of the top 50 best small colleges for 2019.

#50 –Shorter University

Rome, Georgia

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,403
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Shorter University Top Online Bachelor's in Sports ManagementRounding out our list of best small colleges, Shorter University is a four-year liberal arts university that offers 40 different traditional bachelor’s degree programs. It also offers several online programs, associate’s and master’s degrees, and undergraduate programs for working adults. It is a Christian university, and students can expect biblical principles to be integrated into both academics and campus life. Students are encouraged to get involved on campus through Greek life, intramural sports, and many active student organizations. All of these groups participate in regular community service activities, which provide great opportunities for students to improve themselves and gain real-world experience while giving back to the community.

In-State Tuition: $21,730

#49 –Brescia University

Owensboro, Kentucky

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,231
Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

Brescia University is a top small college based in Ursuline tradition and principles. It approaches both campus life and academics holistically. Student growth and success is a priority, and the majority of activities and courses are designed to shape the whole person. There are over 50 undergraduate majors and minors available, as well as master’s programs in business administration, management, and social work. Most programs have hands-on learning opportunities through community service, and study abroad opportunities are regularly available for students in a wide range of majors.

In-State Tuition: $21,550

#48 –University of Valley Forge

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 704
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Part of an international network of Assemblies of God colleges, the University of Valley Forge is a best small college that offers 40 bachelor’s degrees, 10 associate’s degrees, and 6 master’s degrees. It is a transfer-friendly school, and it is located just outside of historical Philadelphia. There are several ways for students to get involved on campus, including intramural sports, student-led clubs, and community service. More adventurous students also have opportunities for international travel through mission trips and study abroad.

In-State Tuition: $21,370

#47 –Ohio Valley University

Vienna, West Virginia

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 527
Student to Teacher Ratio: 10:1

Ohio Valley University is a top small college as well as a fully-accredited Christian liberal arts school. It offers 28 different majors as well as several pre-professional tracks. Students also have opportunities to study abroad in places such as Venice, London, and Jerusalem. Outside of academics, campus life primarily revolves around performing arts and four on-campus social clubs. Students can participate in jazz and a cappella ensembles, as well as student theatre. Each of the social clubs regularly participates in intramural sports, community service, bonfires, and holiday parties.

In-State Tuition: $21,250

#46 –University of Jamestown

Jamestown, North Dakota

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 914
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

The University of Jamestown is a top small college and private liberal arts university that boasts one-on-one mentoring with faculty, internships and study abroad opportunities, and a four-year graduation guarantee. It offers over 50 undergraduate programs as well as three master’s programs and a doctorate. Athletics is a large part of campus life, with men’s, women’s, and coed teams in a wide range of sports. Other campus involvement opportunities include student government, a variety of student-run clubs, and community outreach. Almost all students who graduate from the University of Jamestown are quickly accepted into graduate programs or hired in their field.

In-State Tuition: $21,158

#45 –College of St. Mary

Omaha, Nebraska

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 832
Student to Teacher Ratio: 10:1

A unique best small college, the College of Saint Mary is a Catholic all-women’s college. It offers degrees in arts and sciences, business, education, health and human services, and legal studies. It is home to the only ABA-approved 4-year legal studies program in Nebraska. The college also boasts a special Mothers Living and Learning program to make higher education accessible to single mothers. Students can participate in a variety of sports, including cross country, basketball, swimming, and soccer. There are also just over 20 active student organizations on campus for professions, community service, and special interests.

In-State Tuition: $19,950

#44 –Columbia College

Columbia, South Carolina

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,380
Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

A distinguished top small college, Columbia College is a liberal arts institution that offers traditional undergraduate programs for women and specialized co-ed programs for adult learners and graduate students. Almost all students receive financial assistance that makes a degree at Columbia College just as affordable as similar programs at public schools. Experiential learning opportunities are available to provide students with the hands-on experience that appeals to potential employers and graduate programs. Almost a third of graduates go on to get an advanced degree, and those that don’t choose to pursue further education typically find jobs in their chosen field quickly after graduation.

In-State Tuition: $19,500

#43 –Kentucky Christian University

Grayson, Kentucky

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 592
Student to Teacher Ratio: 11:1

Students at Kentucky Christian University benefit from both rigorous academics and a rich out-of-class environment. Undergraduate degrees are available in several different disciplines such as nursing, education, business, and biological sciences. Master’s programs are available in religion, education, and nursing. Outside of class, students can participate in athletics, spiritual activities, and student-led organizations. KCU’s location in the Appalachian foothills gives students easy access to three different state parks with over 40 miles of hiking and biking trails and opportunities for several other outdoor excursions.

In-State Tuition: $19,256

#42 –Lincoln College

Lincoln, Illinois

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,121
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Lincoln College is a diverse best small college that offers many degree programs in a variety of locations and delivery modes. Degrees are designed to be flexible and customized to the individual student’s needs in both content and formatting. Outside of academics, Lincoln College boasts 22 intramural sports, 19 intercollegiate athletic programs, and 22 student clubs and organizations. Ten daily Amtrak trains and 42 hours of free shuttle service every week make traveling on and around campus easy.

In-State Tuition: $18,100

#41 –Saint Augustine’s University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 974
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

A best small college, Saint Augustine’s University offers over 25 undergraduate degree programs between five different academic schools. It is especially supportive of its freshman students, helping them successfully transition from high school to college through peer mentors, activities, and accessible faculty advisors. It is also transfer-friendly and makes re-admission easy for students to withdraw from the university in good standing. Students at SAU have several opportunities to gain hands-on experience through internships and research experiences thanks to the university’s relationships with local employers and other universities.

In-State Tuition: $17,890

#40 –Brewton Parker College

Mount Vernon, Georgia

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 783
Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

Brewton Parker College is a Georgia Baptist college that provides students with a liberal arts education through two different campuses. The Mt. Vernon campus is the college’s main residential campus that offers a wide variety of degree programs to traditional students. The Newnan campus only offers bachelor’s degrees in general studies, business administration, and ministry, but it provides more convenient night classes to both non-traditional and traditional students. No matter which location students choose, they benefit from small class sizes and individual attention from professors at this top small college.

In-State Tuition: $17,740

#39 –Florida College

Temple Terrace, Florida

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 508
Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

Florida College is a Christian liberal arts college that emphasizes not only strong academics but also moral character and spiritual growth. It offers BA and BS degrees in 17 different fields of study, including American civilization, pre-law, music, and sport management. Outside of classwork, students are encouraged to develop leadership skills and engage with the campus and local community through the college’s many student organizations. This best small college also has a strong athletics program, with men’s and women’s teams in basketball, cross country, and soccer.

In-State Tuition: $17,142

#38 –Louisiana College

Pineville, Louisiana

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 987
Student to Teacher Ratio: 11:1

Located on an 81-acre campus with 25 residential and academic buildings, Louisiana College is a private Baptist college that offers both several degrees in liberal arts and sciences and a handful of professional programs. Roughly two-thirds of the faculty hold terminal degrees in their field, and students can expect to receive a rigorous and thorough education regardless of which major they choose. The campus culture is mostly centered around creating a Christian atmosphere and a tight-knit community of students. Most students are also very involved in the college’s many sports teams.

In-State Tuition: $16,000

#37 –Central Baptist College

Conway, Arkansas

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 745
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Central Baptist College is a best small college located in one of the fastest growing cities in Arkansas. It offers a wide variety of bachelor’s and associate’s degrees that are designed to be accessible to not only traditional students but online and adult learners. A special Professional Adult College Education program allows busy students to finish a previously started degree or start an entirely new degree without neglecting their other responsibilities. Campus culture is vibrant and includes regular programs and events led by students.

In-State Tuition: $15,750

#36 –Concord University

Athens, West Virginia

Website
Points: 6
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,853
Student to Teacher Ratio: 15:1

Concord University is a public liberal arts university that offers 12 undergraduate degrees and four graduate programs. It is an affordable school, with the lowest average loan debt of graduates of all West Virginia four-year public institutions. Students also benefit from a strong undergraduate research program that allows them to work closely with faculty to engage in original research. Outside of academics, students enrolled at this top small college have several opportunities to get involved in campus activities hosted by the Student Activities Committee and student organizations.

In-State Tuition: $7,732

#35 –Wilson College

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 827
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Wilson College is a private, student-centered best small college located on a beautiful 300-acre campus. In addition to its many residential and academic buildings, the college is home to a multimillion-dollar equestrian center and a 50-acre organic farm. These special facilities give students unique opportunities to gain hands-on experiences that many other schools don’t offer. Despite the school’s small size, students have 35 undergraduate programs and 10 graduate programs to choose from. There are also several opportunities for students to get involved on campus outside of academics through athletics and student-run organizations.

In-State Tuition: $24,452

#34 –University of Providence

Great Falls, Montana

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 930
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

A top small college, the University of Providence is a private Catholic university that offers degrees and certificates in both traditional liberal arts and sciences and healthcare fields. The university’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program helps students get their education and pursue their professional goals without worrying about their finances. First-year students are encouraged to get involved on campus and the community through the Corps of Discovery, which includes service projects, cultural attractions, weekend retreats, and outdoor excursions. There are also several similar activities hosted by student organizations that both freshmen and upperclassmen can enjoy when they aren’t in class.

In-State Tuition: $24,440

#33 –Tennessee Wesleyan University

Athens, Tennessee

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 935
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Tennessee Wesleyan University is a best small college that boasts over 30 undergraduate majors and a beautiful 40-acre campus. Tennessee Wesleyan also offers master’s programs in business administration and occupational therapy, as well as online and adult programs for non-traditional students. A satellite campus in Knoxville houses the nursing program and evening business classes. There are over 20 athletic teams for active students to join, and there are several student-led interest groups, honor societies, performance groups, and religious organizations for students to get involved with.

In-State Tuition: $23,800

#32 –Reinhardt University

Waleska, Georgia

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,408
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Reinhardt University is both a best small college and a private comprehensive university that offers more than 40 programs of study. This includes not only a wide variety of undergraduate liberal arts programs, but also several pre-professional programs and master’s programs. Adult and online programs are also available to serve non-traditional learners. Students have several opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom through co-curricular and extra-curricular activities such as intramural sports, community service, and student government. There is also an impressive amount of student-run clubs to join, including multicultural, art, and gaming clubs.

In-State Tuition: $22,422

#31 –Southwestern Adventist University

Keene, Texas

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 798
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Southwestern Adventist University is a best small college that prioritizes collaborative learning, hands-on experiences, and a welcoming and diverse campus. SAU offers an impressive amount of degree programs, including both bachelor’s degrees and pre-professional programs. Distance education options are available for a select number of courses, making many programs more accessible to busy students. Experiential learning opportunities such as research, internships, and study abroad are available to all students. Outside of academics, students can participate in student clubs and organizations, sports and recreation, and spiritual life on campus.

In-State Tuition: $20,732

#30 –Kendall College

Chicago, Illinois

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,027
Student to Teacher Ratio: 8:1

Kendall College is a private best small college that specializes in culinary arts and hospitality management. It also includes programs in business and education. What Kendall College lacks in variety of majors and traditional campus life, it more than makes up for in quality. It is recognized by Chicago’s leading hotels and restaurants as the best school for preparing students in the industry. Coursework is practical and career-focused, and students have plenty of opportunities to gain real-world experience. Graduates leave Kendall as well-rounded professionals that are desirable candidates for potential employers.

In-State Tuition: $19,828

#29 –Emmanuel College

Boston, Massachusetts

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 953
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Emmanuel College is a Catholic liberal arts and sciences college located in the heart of Boston. It offers over 50 majors, minors, and concentrations for undergraduates, as well as graduate and professional programs in education, nursing, and management. This top small college’s location allows for several experiential learning opportunities, including internships, service learning, research, and study abroad. Student-led clubs, multicultural programs, leadership development organizations, and sports teams give students plenty of opportunities for personal enrichment and community engagement outside of academics.

In-State Tuition: $19,710

#28 –Central Penn College

Summerdale, Pennsylvania

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,196
Student to Teacher Ratio: 10:1

Central Penn College is a for-profit school that offers several associate’s and bachelor’s programs, as well as a master’s program in professional studies. Most courses are offered not only as traditional day classes but also in the evenings and online in order to accommodate students with different needs. Experiential learning is a priority, and many students gain real-world experience through internships, thanks to the college’s community partnerships. This best small college is also fairly affordable, with many financial aid programs available to qualified students.

In-State Tuition: $18,174

#27 –Oakwood University

Huntsville, Alabama

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,650
Student to Teacher Ratio: 12:1

Oakwood University is a historically black private university affiliated with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. It emphasizes respect, integrity, and innovation, and maintains service-learning as one of the key parts of students’ learning experience. This best small college offers several undergraduate degree programs, as well as an MA in pastoral studies. Undergraduate research opportunities give students the chance to work closely with faculty on original projects, and the Adventist Colleges Abroad program allows students to learn at other Adventist universities all over the world.

In-State Tuition: $16,720

#26 –SUNY Maritime College

Throggs Neck, New York

Website
Points: 7
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,641
Student to Teacher Ratio: 15:1

The State University of New York Maritime College is a unique institution that aims to prepare students to work in the global marine transportation industry. It is the first school of its kind, and one of only seven degree-granting maritime academies in the nation. SUNY Maritime College offers 11 undergraduate majors and 2 master’s programs. Students at Maritime enjoy unique opportunities not found on other campuses. One notable example is the Summer Sea Term aboard the college’s training ship, Empire State VI. Another unique opportunity is the Regiment of Cadets, a military-style organization that is comparable to US Federal Service Academies. Most students are part of the Regiment, but a “civilian” program is also available to students looking for a more traditional college experience.

In-State Tuition: $8,074

#25 –University of the Ozarks

Clarksville, Arkansas

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 755
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

The University of the Ozarks is a student-centered top small college with 23 majors and 36 minors across a wide range of disciplines. One notable feature of this school is its Learning Environment for New Synthesis program. This program challenges students to gain knowledge of the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences and specialize in multiple fields. Students who take advantage of this program graduate with a major and two minors. Outside of the classroom, students can get involved on campus through intramural sports and over 40 student organizations. The university-sponsored Ozarks Outdoors trips give students the opportunity to go off campus for activities such as hiking and canoeing.

In-State Tuition: $23,750

#24 –University of Mobile

Mobile, Alabama

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,443
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

The University of Mobile is a private Christian university with degrees in over 50 areas of study. There are 32 bachelor’s degrees and 13 master’s degrees, and most majors include separate tracks to allow students to customize their education. Practical experience is a priority, so students are given several opportunities for hands-on learning. Some examples include simulations in the on-campus hospital lab, teaching in local schools, and working with clients in the student-run marketing agency. Students enrolled at this best small college also have several opportunities to travel through study abroad programs and mission trips.

In-State Tuition: $22,210

#23 –Cogswell College

San Jose, California

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 608
Student to Teacher Ratio: 11:1

Located in Silicon Valley, Cogswell College is a top small college that focuses on technology and business. It offers undergraduate and master’s degrees in game design, digital art and animation, digital audio technology, computer science, and business administration. Cogswell uses a project-based learning model that simulates the kind of work students will be doing as part of studios after they graduate. Students looking to get involved outside of academics can join a variety of non-academic clubs and participate in the college’s esports program.

In-State Tuition: $19,648

#22 –Converse College

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 918
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Converse College is a private, liberal arts university comprised of both a residential undergraduate college for women and a co-ed graduate school. The majority of courses are taught by full-time faculty, and over 90 percent of full-time faculty have terminal degrees in their field. Undergraduate degree programs blend liberal arts and practical, career-focused study to provide students with a well-rounded education. Double majors and self-designed major options allow students to customize their degree to meet their specific needs. Most students participate in experiential learning through research, independent creative projects, service learning, and study abroad.

In-State Tuition: $17,680

#21 –Florida Memorial University

Miami Gardens, Florida

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,173
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

The only historically black university in southern Florida, Florida Memorial University is a best small college committed to diversity and making higher education accessible to students from many different socio-economic backgrounds. It offers 28 undergraduate programs and three master’s programs. FMU is transfer-friendly and makes readmission easy for students who want to come back and complete their degree. Students who want to engage with the campus community can get involved in student government, sports, and student organizations. Research and other hands-on learning opportunities are available to both graduate and undergraduate students.

In-State Tuition: $15,536

#20 –Maranatha Baptist University

Watertown, Wisconsin

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 926
Student to Teacher Ratio: 11:1

Maranatha Baptist University is a best small college whose academics and campus culture are deeply rooted in Christian principles. All students complete a core of Bible classes alongside their major and minor requirements, and involvement in the local church is emphasized. The University offers 33 bachelor’s degrees, eight associate’s degrees, and master’s programs in teaching and organizational leadership. Students’ main outlet for activities on campus are societies. All students at Maranatha join one of five different societies that provide opportunities for fun and community through ministry, volunteer work, intramural sports, and outings.

In-State Tuition: $14,910

#19 –Huston-Tillotson University

Austin, Texas

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,052
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Huston Tillotson University is a private, historically black university and was the first institution of higher learning in Austin, Texas. It offers several undergraduate degrees and minors, as well as a MEd in educational leadership. Special accelerated programs are available to adult learners to make a degree more affordable and accessible for busy students. Other special programs include a pre-freshman engineering program that helps high schoolers transition into university STEM programs and an alternative teacher certification program. Campus culture at this best small college mainly revolves around sports, campus ministries, and student-run organizations.

In-State Tuition: $14,346

#18 –Wilberforce University

Wilberforce, Ohio

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 609
Student to Teacher Ratio: 9:1

Wilberforce University is a best small college and private liberal arts school that aims to produce well-rounded graduates who will be responsible global citizens. Ethics, honesty, and integrity are emphasized, and most students better themselves and the community through service learning and local ministry. The university offers several traditional bachelor’s programs as well as a handful of flexible, accelerated BS programs for adult learners. There is also a graduate program for students interested in rehabilitation counseling. The university has a strong athletics program with men’s and women’s teams in basketball, golf, and cross country.

In-State Tuition: $13,250

#17 –Lyndon State College

Lyndonville, Vermont

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,071
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Lyndon State University is a top small college offering several two- and four-year degree programs, as well as a handful of master’s programs. These offerings include nationally-recognized professional programs in atmospheric sciences, graphic design, music business and industry, and mountain recreation management. A special Explorations program gives students who are uncertain about what major they want to pursue the opportunity to examine their options and still graduate in four years. The college is also an active part of the local community, hosting cultural and sporting events and many other programs for both students and the public.

In-State Tuition: $11,730

#16 –Dickinson State University

Dickinson, North Dakota

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,425
Student to Teacher Ratio: 10:1

Dickinson State University is a public best small college within the North Dakota University System. Its main focus is providing an accessible, high-quality education to its students, but it also aims to serve and improve the region and state’s health and economy. Undergraduate degrees are available in ten different fields of study, and there are graduate programs for teachers. DSU’s status as a North Dakota University System institution allows students to take courses not offered at university at another institution in the system while still receiving all the benefits of being a DSU student.

In-State Tuition: $6,554

#15 –Central State University

Wilberforce, Ohio

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,784
Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

Ohio’s only publicly funded historically black university, Central State University is an affordable best small college that provides its students with a broad and rigorous education. It offers 30 graduate programs in many different areas of study, and it offers graduate programs in education. Most undergraduate programs are designed to be completed in four years, but some programs in business and social sciences have three-year options for students who want to try a faster pace. The university promotes a healthy school-life balance and encourages students to get involved in extracurriculars such as sports and student clubs.

In-State Tuition: $6,246

#14 –Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Website
Points: 8
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,368
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Elizabeth City State University is a best small college that aims to promote social, environmental, and economic progress by making professional, baccalaureate, and master’s degrees accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds. It is the most affordable historically black college in America, with a low tuition and plenty of opportunities for financial aid. Students are encouraged to grow socially and engage with the community through extracurricular activities. Events and activities are regularly hosted by the Student Activities Committee and student-led club, and the University has a strong athletics program with teams in several sports including football, basketball, golf, cross-country, and volleyball.

In-State Tuition: $4,986

#13 –College of the Ozarks

Point Lookout, Missouri

Website
Points: 9
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,508
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

College of the Ozarks is a private best small college that emphasizes patriotism and character education. One of its most notable features is its work program. This program allows students to attend college full-time without paying any tuition in exchange for 15 hours of work each week. Between the work program and scholarships to cover room and board, many students find it feasible to complete their education at almost no cost. Students can often find workstations that relate to their field of study, which provides them with valuable hands-on experience that makes them stand out to potential employers.

In-State Tuition: $19,130

#12 –Gallaudet University

Washington, D.C.

Website
Points: 9
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,129
Student to Teacher Ratio: 7:1

Gallaudet University is a comprehensive best small college that caters specifically to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The unique mix of hearing, hard of hearing, and deaf students create a unique multicultural and multilingual environment for students to learn in. Classes are taught in both American Sign Language and English. While Gallaudet’s specialties are naturally deaf education, ASL studies, and interpretation, students can choose from over 30 undergraduate majors and minors, as well as graduate programs in twenty different areas of study.

In-State Tuition: $16,558

#11 –Southwestern Christian University

Bethany, Oklahoma

Website
Points: 9
Undergraduate Enrollment: 620
Student to Teacher Ratio: 10:1

One of the best small colleges in the nation, Southwestern Christian University offers 30 different undergraduate degree programs and three master’s programs. Many bachelor’s degree programs are available not only traditionally, but also online and through once-a-week night classes. Students are able to gain real-world experience through research, service learning, and internships. Outside of the classroom, students can get involved on campus and in the community through clubs and ministry groups. Students can also participate in the athletics program, which boasts 16 different sports teams.

In-State Tuition: $13,880

#10 –Kentucky State University

Frankfort, Kentucky

Website
Points: 9
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,757
Student to Teacher Ratio: 11:1

Located on a beautiful 882-acre campus, Kentucky State University is a top small college offering 27 undergraduate programs and five master’s programs. Much of KSU’s campus is dedicated to an agricultural research farm and an environmental education center, which give students several opportunities for hands-on experience and research. The university also boasts the lowest student-faculty ratio among Kentucky’s public institutions of higher learning and one of the most diverse populations in the Commonwealth. KSU considers co-curricular and extracurricular activities to be a vital part of the college experience and aims to provide students with continually innovative programming.

In-State Tuition: $8,184

#9 –University of Maine- Presque Isle

Presque Isle, Maine

Website
Points: 9
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,414
Student to Teacher Ratio: 15:1

The University of Maine–Presque Isle is a public top small college that provides a comprehensive education to both traditional and non-traditional students. UMPI’s main point of pride is its Personalized Learning Initiative. This initiative allows students to progress through programs at their own pace and demonstrate their knowledge in class, online, and through internships. Three majors can be completed entirely online, and many more majors have some courses available in an online format. Regardless of which format students choose, they can expect a high-quality and rigorous education that is tailored to their specific needs.

In-State Tuition: $7,885

#8 –Valley City State University

Valley City, North Dakota

Website
Points: 9
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,372
Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

A distinguished best small college, Valley City State University’s small size doesn’t come at the cost of degree options. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate degree programs as well as online master’s degree programs in education. As part of the North Dakota University System, VCSU can work with 11 other institutions in the state to provide students with opportunities and courses that it cannot provide on its own. Students can also choose from more than thirty different honor societies and student organizations to participate in outside of class. The student-led Viking Campus Activities Board is always working to ensure students have several interesting co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to participate in.

In-State Tuition: $7,406

#7 –Mayville State University

Mayville, North Dakota

Website
Points: 9
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,097
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Mayville State University is a top small college that boasts an impressive amount of degree programs and an emphasis on student success. Students at MSU enjoy a personalized education at an affordable cost, with a yearly cost that’s on average more than $3,000 less expensive than the region’s larger public colleges. Students can choose from over 70 majors, minors, and programs, and all programs include opportunities for hands-on learning. Students can participate in research, global experiences, internships and entrepreneurial experiences that provide them with the skills and experience they need to be successful after graduation.

In-State Tuition: $6,456

#6 –Montana State University-Northern

Havre, Montana


Website
Points: 9
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,163
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Montana State University-Northern is a public best small college that specializes in serving a large geographic region. Along with providing several certificates, two-year degrees, four-year degrees, and master’s degrees, MSU-Northern serves as one of the region’s most valuable cultural resources. Its Extended University provides both students and the public with many unique credit and non-credit bearing courses, such as Traffic Education and wastewater operations training. Student activities include university-sponsored outdoor recreation outside of campus, as well as athletics, student government, and student-led clubs.

In-State Tuition: $5,861

#5 –Blue Mountain College

Blue Mountain, Mississippi

Website
Points: 10
Undergraduate Enrollment: 588
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Blue Mountain College is both a best small college and a Christian liberal arts college that offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs to traditional and non-traditional students. Two of its programs, business administration, and psychology, are available completely online to accommodate students who need more flexibility. There are national honor societies for every discipline, as well as many other student organizations for those looking to get involved outside of academics. Students who want to gain hands-on experience can take advantage of the departmental internships organized by the Office of Academic Affairs.

In-State Tuition: $11,760

#4 –University of Maine-Fort Kent

Fort Kent, Maine

Website
Points: 10
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,760
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

A relatively affordable best small college, the University of Maine–Fort Kent takes advantage of its location in the St. John Valley to provide students with unique cultural and urban experiences. Students can choose from 13 bachelor’s programs, four associate’s degrees, and three certificate programs. Many of these programs include concentrations and online options. Athletics is a major part of the campus culture outside of academics. Students can participate in both varsity sports and intramurals, and many students participate in international sports such as cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship.

In-State Tuition: $7,965

#3 –New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Socorro, New Mexico

Website
Points: 10
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,471
Student to Teacher Ratio: 11:1

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is a public top small college that focuses on STEM fields. It offers 20 undergraduate degrees and 27 graduate degrees, as well as three graduate certificates. All students participate in transdisciplinary collaboration, primarily through research. Partnerships with NASA, General Electric, the national laboratories, and many other companies and organizations give students plenty of opportunities to gain real-world experience before graduation. Outside of class, students can join campus clubs that cater to a number of professions and special interests, as well as participate in club sports.

In-State Tuition: $7,183

#2 –University of Maine-Farmington

Farmington, Maine

Website
Points: 12
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,811
Student to Teacher Ratio: 13:1

Maine’s first public institution of higher education, the University of Maine–Farmington provides an education and atmosphere comparable to the region’s private colleges at a much more affordable price. Students can choose from undergraduate degrees in 45 different areas of study, and a master’s program is available to students studying education. This best small college’s location among great hiking, skiing, and kayaking enables students to have fun outside of class. Shuttles connect to the Amtrak Downeaster train, giving students easy access to the surrounding area.

In-State Tuition: $9,458

#1 –Montana Tech of the University of Montana

Butte, Montana

Website
Points: 12
Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,659
Student to Teacher Ratio: 14:1

Our choice for the #1 best small college, Montana Tech of the University of Montana is a public STEM school that offers both bachelor’s and graduate level degrees. It is one of only two schools in the United States that offers a BS in geophysical engineering, and one of ten that offer a BS in metallurgical engineering. Other unique degree programs, such as mining engineering and petroleum engineering make Montana Tech a great school for students looking for a highly-specialized engineering program that isn’t available at most universities. Students have several opportunities to gain valuable hands-on experience through research and internships.

In-State Tuition: $7,125

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