2022 US News Liberal Arts College Ranking

Williams College has topped the US News & World Report best liberal arts college ranking yet again (photo credit: Tim4403224246).

While it doesn’t get as much fanfare as its ranking of the best national universities, US News & World Report has also released its annual ranking of best liberal arts colleges in America. So which school topped this year’s liberal arts college ranking? Surprise, surprise. Williams College has taken home the grand prize yet again. And yet again, Amherst College has placed second. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride (note, Amherst has topped the rankings ten times in the past — just not in some time, but saying rarely the bride just wouldn’t be as much fun)! And, like clockwork, Swarthmore College has finished third. Rounding out the top ten are Pomona College (#4), Wellesley College (#5), Bowdoin College (#6), the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis) (#6), Claremont McKenna College (#8), Carleton College (#9), and Middlebury College (#9).

Usual Suspects Dominate the 2022 US News Best Liberal Arts College Ranking

The United States Military Academy (West Point) and Washington and Lee University (both #11) come next followed by Davidson College (#13), Grinnell College (#13), Hamilton College (#13), Haverford (#16), Barnard College (#17), Colby College (#17), Colgate University (#17), Smith College (#17), Wesleyan University (#17), the United States Air Force Academy (#21), the University of Richmond (#22), Vassar College (#22), and Bates College (#25).

Hamilton, West Point, and Barnard Rise, Colgate Slips in Latest Ranking

So, among the top liberal arts colleges, among the highlights of moves up or down the ranking from last year at this time, Wellesley rose a slot from #5 to #4. CMC slipped from #6 to #8. Hamilton slipped from #9 to #13. West Point rose from #15 to #11. Washington and Lee slipped from #9 to #11. Davidson rose from #15 to #13. Haverford slipped from #15 to #16. Barnard rose from #22 to #17. Colby slipped from #15 to #17. Colgate rose from #20 to #17. Smith slipped from #15 to #17. And Wesleyan rose from #20 to #17.

Have a question about the 2022 US News best liberal arts college ranking? Don’t think the rankings matter? Let us know your thoughts by posting below. We look forward to hearing from you!


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  • Louis says:

    The Forbes ranking doesn’t separate out National and Liberal Arts colleges. Why does US News break the two out? I think it would be interesting to see a combined ranking. I think it would add even more prestige to America’s great liberal arts colleges.

  • Frank says:

    I was surprised to see Vassar fall from #13 to #22. That seems like a big drop.

  • Bob says:

    I was surprised Vassar ever was at 13 in the first place.

    • Frank says:

      Care to elaborate? Vassar has a pretty outstanding record of placing students in some of the very best graduate programs, as well as law and medical schools. It’s long been recognized as a “top tier” LAC, and they give outstanding financial aid.

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