While it may get a bit less fanfare than the national universities ranking, the 2017 “US News & World Report” best liberal arts colleges ranking is out too. And which college tops the 2017 list? Surprise, surprise. It’s Williams College. Again. Just like in 2016. Just like in 2015. Just like in 2014. You get the idea. It goes without saying that Williams College’s domination of this ranking is about on par with the dominance of the Harlem Globetrotters. And which team is the perennial runner-up? That distinction would belong to Amherst College. As the saying goes, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” Sorry that we went there, Amherst. We had to.
Amherst College: always the bridesmaid, never the bride. We’re just kidding, Amherst. We do love you. In fact, we’d argue that Amherst offers one of the finest — if not the finest — education in America.
Anyhow, while the top two slots remained unchanged this year as compared to the 2016 “US News & World Report” best liberal arts college ranking, there was movement in the third slot. Congratulations to Wellesley College, the alma mater of (hopefully!) America’s next President, for moving into the third position from a four-way tie for fourth in 2016. Swarthmore College slipped this year a slot, into a tie for fourth with Middlebury College. Bowdoin College took sixth, Carleton College and Pomona college tied for seventh, and Claremont McKenna College and Davidson College tied for ninth.
So, by our math, the only school that ranked among the top ten best liberal arts colleges according to “US News” in 2016 that didn’t rank among them in 2017 is the United States Naval Academy. Eleven schools cracked the top ten in 2016, while only ten cracked it in 2017. In 2015, all of the schools that cracked the top ten this year also cracked the top ten — with exception to Davidson College (go Steph Curry!). Haverford College rounded out the top ten in 2015, though the school didn’t make an appearance among the “US News” best liberal arts colleges this time around.
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