Connecticut’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

Small colleges in Connecticut are a great option for students interested in a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Whether the focus is on the technical or on the liberal arts, small colleges give you the chance to pursue a well-rounded education while working closely with classmates and professors in a dynamic community atmosphere.

Connecticut’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Connecticut

As the fourth oldest learning institute in the United States, Yale enrolls just over 15,000 students at its New Haven campus. Higher education in Connecticut includes both public and private institutions that offer associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. With 19 public schools and 20 private schools, students have a variety to choose from. Tuition for most of the state’s community colleges averages $4,000, while the cost for other public schools ranges from $8,000 to $16,000.

Students interested in psychology, economics, and communications can check out the University of Connecticut (UConn), which is home to the premier research institute for ecological psychology. Sacred Heart University, a Roman Catholic university, is known for its religious studies and business programs. And those looking for a smaller student population may want to check out Manchester Community College, which enrolls about 4000 students and offers affordable degrees in literature, biology, and social work.

Students in Connecticut can choose from a variety of higher education experiences fitting a full spectrum of budgets and career goals. Learn more and begin earning your degree from one of Connecticut’s top colleges or universities.


What are Connecticut’s Colleges & Universities?

Connecticut’s Best Overall


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The following list of the best small colleges and universities in Connecticut is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 13 small colleges in Connecticut; the top 8 schools satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best small colleges in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. Its student body must consist of 5,000 or fewer students.
  4. Its graduation rate must be greater than 50%.

How do we determine Connecticut's best small colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Small Colleges in Connecticut

  1. #1

    Wesleyan University

    #112 institution's historical influence
    #34 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    4K

    Middletown, CT

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    What is Wesleyan University known for?

    Wesleyan University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Connecticut College

    #833 institution's historical influence
    #212 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1380/31

    New London, CT

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    What is Connecticut College known for?

    Connecticut College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Engineering
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Trinity College

    #497 institution's historical influence
    #148 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    36%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1374/30

    Hartford, CT

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    What is Trinity College known for?

    Trinity College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Fairfield University

    #962 institution's historical influence
    #483 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $51K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    Fairfield, CT

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    What is Fairfield University known for?

    Fairfield University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Communications
  5. #5

    United States Coast Guard Academy

    #1743 institution's historical influence
    #67 overall school desirability

    Acceptance

    20%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1305/27

    New London, CT

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    What is United States Coast Guard Academy known for?

    United States Coast Guard Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
  6. #6

    Eastern Connecticut State University

    #2922 institution's historical influence
    #1167 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    4K

    Willimantic, CT

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    What is Eastern Connecticut State University known for?

    Eastern Connecticut State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    Albertus Magnus College

    #3370 institution's historical influence
    #501 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/19

    New Haven, CT

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    What is Albertus Magnus College known for?

    Albertus Magnus College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

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  8. #8

    University of Saint Joseph

    #6022 institution's historical influence
    #458 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    West Hartford, CT

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    What is University of Saint Joseph known for?

    University of Saint Joseph ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science

Find Connecticut’s best private school for your interest

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