New Hampshire’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

Small colleges in New Hampshire 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.

New Hampshire’s Best Small Colleges of 2021

Colleges and Universities in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is also home to 21 public and private higher learning institutions, including the Ivy League school Dartmouth. Dartmouth has a 97% graduation rate, a student population of about 6,000, and a tuition rate of $55,000. Students can major in fields like English, creative writing, engineering, physics, and neuroscience. Dinesh D’Souza, Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers), and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) are all noteworthy alumni of this school. The largest public institution, the University of New Hampshire, has its main campus in Durham.

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With a student body of almost 16,000, and a tuition rate of $18,000, UNH offers degrees in areas such as economics, biology, and social work. Those looking to earn an associate degree in fields such as early childhood education, cybersecurity networking, or aviation technology can choose from five community colleges that have tuition rates of $8,000. New Hampshire also offers three religiously affiliated colleges, ranging from $22,000 to $41,000 in tuition. Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States. With its open enrollment policy, over 138,000 students attend classes both online and in person.

If maple sundaes and cider donuts sound appetizing to you, New Hampshire may be a great destination for your higher education. Take the Mount Washington Cog Railway for a scenic ride up to the 6,288-foot summit, or check out Strawberry Banke in Portsmouth, the state’s first settlement.

Whether you’re looking to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, New Hampshire has a variety of institutions to choose from. Check out the program that best fits you.


What are New Hampshire’s Colleges & Universities?

New Hampshire’s Best Overall


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How do we determine New Hampshire'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.

The following list of the best small colleges and universities in New Hampshire is composed mainly of four-year undergraduate schools (though a handful also offer graduate programs). We’ve identified 10 small colleges in New Hampshire, 7 of which 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%.

Best Small Colleges & Universities in New Hampshire

  1. #1

    Saint Anselm College

    #2256 institution's historical influence
    #516 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/26

    Manchester, NH

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    What is Saint Anselm College known for?

    Saint Anselm College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • History
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
  2. #2

    University of New Hampshire at Manchester

    #4152 institution's historical influence
    #387 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    <1K

    Manchester, NH

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    What is University of New Hampshire at Manchester known for?

    University of New Hampshire at Manchester’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • History
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Sociology
  3. #3

    Colby–Sawyer College

    #6548 institution's historical influence
    #921 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    <1K

    New London, NH

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    What is Colby–Sawyer College known for?

    Colby–Sawyer College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Medical
    • History
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

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  4. #4

    Rivier University

    #4428 institution's historical influence
    #272 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    Nashua, NH

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    What is Rivier University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Keene State College

    #2933 institution's historical influence
    #313 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    4K

    Keene, NH

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    What is Keene State College known for?

    Keene State College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
  6. #6

    Plymouth State University

    #3047 institution's historical influence
    #327 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    4K

    Plymouth, NH

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    What is Plymouth State University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Social Work
  7. #7

    Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

    #3609 institution's historical influence
    #378 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    76%

    Student body

    <1K

    Merrimack, NH

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    What is Thomas More College of Liberal Arts known for?

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