Best National Liberal Arts Colleges 2018

College Consensus (, a unique new college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, has published their ranking of the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges 2018 at

To identify the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges 2018, College Consensus combined the latest results from the most respected college rankings with thousands of real student reviews to produce a unique consensus score for each school. According to College Consensus founder Jeremy Alder, “Like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic does for movies, College Consensus gathers the publisher rankings and student reviews from around the web and distills the results into simple, easy to understand scores so students can quickly and easily compare schools. It is the ranking of all rankings, so to speak.” Learn more about the College Consensus rankings methodology at

To help prospective college students and their families evaluate the educational options open to them, College Consensus has identified the best national liberal arts colleges, according to the combination of published rankings and student reviews. The top 10, out of nearly 200, are:

1. Amherst CollegeAmherst, MA

2. Pomona CollegeClaremont, CA

3. Williams CollegeWilliamstown, MA

4. Bowdoin CollegeBrunswick, ME

5. Claremont McKenna CollegeClaremont, CA

6. Carleton CollegeNorthfield, MN

7. Smith CollegeNorthampton, MA

8. Washington and Lee UniversityLexington, VA

9. Harvey Mudd CollegeClaremont, CA

10. Middlebury CollegeMiddlebury, VT

The Best National Liberal Arts Colleges, according to Managing Editor Carrie Sealey-Morris, “keep the spirit of traditional college education alive, while reinventing the classical humanities and sciences for the 21st century.” National liberal arts colleges, for College Consensus ranking purposes, are identified by a few factors. First of all, “their emphasis is primarily on providing the very best undergraduate experience,” and their curriculum is built on a “common core of classes in the humanities, arts, and sciences.” Secondly, these schools “have a reputation that allows them to attract students nationally.” Most importantly, national research universities offer a curriculum designed for students to continue to graduate education, and emphasizes “critical thinking, research, and communication”: transferable, adaptable skills for any profession or academic path.

“Since we draw on information from many different sites, with many different methodologies and perspectives,” Managing Editor Carrie Sealey-Morris explains, “College Consensus gives prospective students the truest picture of what experts and students alike have to say.” In the College Consensus method, “all voices are taken seriously; it’s not just the colleges with the biggest endowments and loudest marketing that rise to the top – it’s the ones with the best academics, best student experience, and best overall quality.” This is particularly important for students seeking a small liberal arts college: “Whether they are looking for intellectual challenge, a close-knit community, or entry into leadership in business, government, or the arts,” students can trust College Consensus to offer “a comprehensive picture of the top liberal arts schools in the US.” Because College Consensus knows that the “best ranked” doesn’t always mean the best for every student’s needs, Consensus rankings concentrate on bringing prospective students the widest possible panorama of options.

College Consensus is a new approach to college rankings. We combine the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores from around the web to produce an aggregate College Consensus rating for each school. Students will not find a more comprehensive ranking of the top colleges and universities anywhere. In addition to rankings, College Consensus also offers expert advice and guidance on all aspects of college life, from finding the perfect college, to getting accepted, paying for it, and finding your professional path after graduation.