May 18, 2024
small liberal arts colleges in New York

Are you considering attending a small liberal arts college in New York? Look no further! We will explore some of the best small liberal arts colleges in New York that offer an excellent education and a great college experience.

From Barnard College to Skidmore College, these schools offer an intimate educational experience tailored to your needs. So whether you’re looking for a rigorous academic program or a more relaxed atmosphere, check out our list of small liberal arts colleges in New York.

Top small liberal arts colleges in New York include:

  1. Barnard College
  2. Hamilton College
  3. Vassar College
  4. Skidmore College
  5. Union College – New York
  6. Lawrence University
  7. Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  8. Bard College
  9. Sarah Lawrence College
  10. Houghton University

How Do You Get into Liberal Arts Colleges?

Attending a small liberal arts college in New York may be the perfect choice for those who want an intimate college experience and a chance to develop close relationships with Faculty and peers. But what does it take to get into one of these top schools?

  1. Know the Admissions Requirements: Many top liberal arts colleges in New York look for students who have achieved a high GPA, have taken challenging classes, and have demonstrated leadership and extracurricular activities in their high school careers. Other factors, such as standardized test scores and recommendation letters, will also be considered.
  2. Know the School’s Programs: It’s also essential to consider the college’s specific course. What kind of courses are offered? What is the student-faculty ratio? Are there opportunities for research, internships, and study abroad? Researching the schools that interest you can help you make an informed decision.
  3. Visiting the schools: Try to visit each school before making your final decision. Seeing the campus in person will give you an idea of what it’s like to attend and study there. Talk to current students and faculty members to understand the college’s culture.

Getting into small liberal arts colleges in New York can be a competitive process, but it can also be rewarding. By researching and visiting the schools that interest you, you can make the best decision for your academic and career goals.

The Top 7 Small Liberal Arts Colleges in New York City

Many excellent small liberal arts colleges in New York offer an outstanding education and a great college experience. Without wasting much time. Let’s look at the best New York City small liberal arts colleges.

Barnard College

  • Acceptance Rate: 11%
  • Tuition Fees: $62,525

Do you want to study in a premier small liberal arts college in New York? Then Barnard College is the school. Founded in 1889, this prestigious school is affiliated with Columbia University and ranks as the number one liberal arts college in New York.

Located in the heart of Manhattan, Barnard College offers a unique opportunity to live and study in a city that never sleeps. The college campus spans six acres of land, featuring Georgian-style buildings, sculptures, and a beautiful rose garden.

The school had an estimated 3,043 undergraduate students enrolled the last fall. Admission to Barnard College is highly competitive (11% Acceptance rate). Barnard is looking for students who are intellectually curious and passionate about learning.

Prospective students must apply and demonstrate academic excellence through their GPA and test scores. In addition, candidates must write an essay and provide letters of recommendation from teachers or counselors.

As a Private women’s liberal arts college, students have access to a world-class faculty and a wide range of academic opportunities. Literature, history, science, and the humanities, are some programs to study at Barnard.

Barnard College provides a unique experience for those looking for the best small liberal arts colleges in New York.

Hamilton College

  • Acceptance Rate: 14%
  • Tuition fees: $62,670

Hamilton College is in the beautiful town of Clinton, New York, and one of the best private liberal arts colleges in New York. Founded in 1793, this top-tier college is one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious institutions. Hamilton provides students with an outstanding education and has a solid commitment to the liberal arts.

The school’s Admission is competitive and has an acceptance rate of 14%. With a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio, small class sizes allow for more individualized attention and one-on-one guidance from professors.

Also, Hamilton offers over 30 majors in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Students can also take advantage of abundant co-curricular opportunities, from service projects to student organizations.

For students looking to attend one of the best small liberal arts colleges in New York, Hamilton is an excellent choice. The school is ranked #15 in National Liberal Arts Colleges by News & World Report. Hamilton offers top-notch academics, a vibrant campus life, and a deep commitment to the liberal arts.

Aspiring Hamilton students should have a high GPA and SAT/ACT scores, demonstrate commitment to extracurricular activities and have a passion for learning. With a social and supportive learning environment, Hamilton is sure to provide students with a fantastic college experience.

Vassar College

  • Acceptance Rate: 20%
  • Tuition Fees: $64,800

Matthew Vassar founded the Vassar college in 1861 and has provided a well-rounded education since its inception.

The college offers a wide range of humanities, sciences, social sciences, and fine arts courses. The college is ranked #3 best liberal arts college in New York by Niche.

Admission to Vassar College is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of 20%. Applicants must have strong academic records, demonstrate a commitment to community service and leadership, and submit impressive essays and recommendation letters. In addition, a personal interview with an admissions representative is required for all applicants.

Vassar College’s diverse student body reflects many different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. The small class sizes and experienced Faculty make Vassar College an intimate learning environment that can help students reach their full potential.

Skidmore College

  • Acceptance Rate: 31%
  • Tuition Fees: $62,248

Skidmore College is a private liberal arts college in Saratoga Springs, New York. Founded in 1903, it has an enrollment of 2,650 students.

The college offers a wide range of programs in the liberal arts and sciences and degrees in business, communication, and the fine arts.

Admission to Skidmore is highly competitive, with the college having an acceptance rate of 31%. To attend Skidmore College, you must demonstrate strong academic ability, a commitment to intellectual growth, and a willingness to engage in a diverse range of college experiences.

In addition to academic performance, the college evaluates applicants based on extracurricular activities, demonstrated leadership skills, community involvement, and more.

Skidmore College is consistently ranked among the best small liberal arts colleges in New York. It was ranked #39 on U.S News & World Report’s list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges for 2023.

Union College – New York

  • Acceptance Rate: 47%
  • Tuition Fees: $63,954

Union College is among the small liberal arts college in New York, with an enrollment of about 2,100 students. The college was founded in 1795 and is located in Schenectady, NY. Union College is ranked #48 on the U.S. News & World Report list of Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.

Admission at Union College is competitive, with an acceptance rate of 47%. Some popular majors at Union College include economics, biology, political science, English, history, and psychology. Union College has a 10-to-1 student-faculty ratio and an average class size of 19 students.

The college offers a variety of extracurricular activities for students to get involved in, including over 100 student organizations, Division III athletics, and fraternities and sororities. Students can also take advantage of the many cultural opportunities available in both Schenectady and Albany, NY, which are located nearby.

Lawrence University

  • Acceptance Rate: 57%
  • Tuition Fees: $62,020

Founded in 1856, St. Lawrence University is a private liberal arts college in Canton, New York. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. St. Lawrence University offers bachelor’s degree programs in over 50 areas of study. The university also offers master’s degree programs.

The school has rural settings and enrolled about 2300 undergraduate students the last fall. Admission is relatively competitive, having an acceptance rate of 57%.

Undoubtedly, St. Lawrence University is one of the best small liberal arts colleges in New York. The school is ranked among the top 100 national liberal arts colleges by US News & World Report.

St. Lawrence University is committed to providing quality education to its students. The university has a strong focus on teaching and research and offers various academic programs that prepare students for success in any field of study.

The university has a beautiful campus that features a variety of buildings and facilities that are designed to encourage learning and recreation. The university also has an extensive network of alumni who are willing to help current students succeed in their studies and career goals.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Tuition Fees: $61,635

At Hobart and William Smith Colleges, students receive a top-notch education emphasizing experiential learning. The college’s extensive internship opportunities, global study abroad programs, and widespread community engagement initiatives prepare students to succeed in their chosen fields.

Founded in 1822, Hobart and William Smith College is a private liberal arts college on the shore of Seneca Lake in Geneva, New York. The school ranks as the 80th best college in National liberal arts colleges by Niche.

The college also offers more than 40 majors and minors to select from. So students have plenty of options to pursue their passions.

To attend Hobart and William Smith Colleges, students must have a high school diploma or equivalent, an acceptable test score, a solid academic record, and a successful application.

The college also has a generous financial aid program, so students should apply for aid as soon as possible. Students who meet these requirements can attend one of the top small liberal arts colleges in New York.

Benefits of Attending a Small Liberal Arts College

There are many benefits of attending a small liberal arts college and they include:

  • Their class sizes are smaller, which means that the student-to-teacher ratio is lower. This allows for more individualized attention from professors and opportunities to get to know your classmates.
  • Most small liberal arts colleges have a close-knit community feel. This can lead to stronger relationships with peers and professors and a greater sense of belonging. Additionally, it’s easier to get involved in campus life and make friends.
  • These colleges have a more holistic approach to education. They focus on not only academic success but also personal growth and development. As a result, graduates of small liberal arts colleges are well-rounded individuals who are prepared for success in all areas of their lives.

Most Asked Questions on Small Liberal Arts Colleges In New York

What is the Number One SUNY School?

The number one and best SUNY school is Stony Brook University. It is located in the eastern area of Long Island.

Stony Brook is home to some of the best academics in the country, with a range of excellent departments and disciplines across its undergraduate and graduate programs. Read our in-depth review of Stony Brook University’s Computer Science degree program.

The university also offers excellent value for money, with tuition fees among the lowest in the SUNY school system. In addition to its stellar academics, Stony Brook also has a vibrant student life with a wealth of extracurricular activities and clubs, as well as its own athletics program that competes in NCAA Division I.

All this makes Stony Brook University the clear choice for anyone seeking the very best in liberal arts education in New York State.

When it comes to small liberal arts colleges in New York, there is no shortage of quality educational institutions to choose from. From the State University of New York (SUNY) system to private schools like Bard College, there are plenty of top-notch options for students looking for a high-quality education focusing on the liberal arts.

Which is better, CUNY or SUNY?

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether CUNY or SUNY is the better option. Both offer great academic opportunities, but each has unique strengths and weaknesses. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make your decision:

  • Location: CUNY schools are located throughout the five boroughs of New York City, while SUNY schools are spread out across the state. If you want to be in the heart of the city, CUNY is your best bet. But SUNY might be a better fit if you’re looking for a more rural college experience.
  • Size: CUNY schools tend to be much larger than SUNY schools, with some campuses having tens of thousands of students. SUNY is the better option if you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate college experience.
  • Cost: CUNY schools are generally cheaper than SUNY schools since they receive public funding from the city and state. However, both systems offer financial aid and scholarships that can make college affordable for everyone.
  • Academics: CUNY and SUNY offer excellent academic programs, so it comes down to what you’re looking for in a college experience. CUNY might be a better fit if you want to be in a large research university environment. But if you’re looking for a smaller liberal arts college experience, SUNNY might be the better option.

What are the Best Private Liberal Arts Colleges in New York?

  • Barnard College
  • Hamilton College
  • Vassar College
  • Bard College
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • Houghton University
  • Skidmore College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Union College – New York
  • Lawrence University


Attending one of the top small liberal arts colleges in New York is an exciting opportunity for any student looking to experience a unique learning environment and make lifelong connections.

While there are many top-notch schools to choose from, it is essential to research each college thoroughly and ensure it is the right fit for you. By doing the necessary research, you can ensure you will find the best small liberal arts college in New York that meets your needs and goals.

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