Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Vermont 2022

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in Vermont offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Vermont 2022

Colleges and Universities in Vermont

Vermont is home to five public universities and colleges. Among these is the state’s largest school, the University of Vermont in Burlington. This college serves almost 13,000 students and boasts alumni like Ben Affleck and John Dewey. The majority of the higher education institutes in Vermont are private schools. Tuition at these schools ranges greatly, from $17,000 to $57,000. Though it is the most expensive private school in the state, Landmark College in Putney is especially unique as its student population is made up entirely of students diagnosed with learning disabilities, attention disorders, and autism. Students here can earn degrees in fields like psychology, studio art, and life science while participating in a more intimate, student-centered learning environment.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Almost all of Vermont’s schools could be considered small schools, serving student populations of 5,000 or less. Included on this list are three religiously affiliated schools, like Saint Michael’s College in Colchester. While tuition in Vermont tends to be costly, the state offers several loan forgiveness programs to qualifying dentists, physicians, nurses, and lawyers who work for nonprofits.

While many travelers come to Vermont for its famous maple syrup and stunning fall foliage, they’ll stay for the state’s bounteous farmers markets, wineries, and artisan foods. The magnificent green mountains, pristine skiing resorts, and rugged hiking trails are also major draws for visitors and residents alike. Students aiming to earn their degree while enjoying the outdoors and eating locally-sourced meals can attend one of Vermont’s 22 higher learning institutes.

Learn more about Vermont’s higher education opportunities by checking out the state’s array of picturesque colleges and universities.


What are Vermont’s Colleges & Universities?

Vermont’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

Vermont's Best Liberal Arts Colleges Badge
Download Badge

How do we determine Vermont's best liberal arts colleges?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified 11 liberal arts colleges in Vermont. To be ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in Vermont, schools must fully accredited institutions.

Back to Top

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Vermont 2022

  1. #1

    Middlebury College

    Middlebury , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    22%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1445/33

    What is Middlebury College known for?

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

    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Earth Sciences
    • Education
    • History
    • Economics
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Bennington College

    Bennington , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Bennington College known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    Goddard College

    Plainfield , VT

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Goddard College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Norwich University

    Northfield , VT

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Norwich University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • History
    • Education
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Saint Michael's College

    Colchester , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Saint Michael's College known for?

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

    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Champlain College

    Burlington , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/26

    What is Champlain College known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Law
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Vermont Technical College

    Randolph , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Vermont Technical College known for?

    Vermont Technical College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
  8. #8

    Johnson State College

    Johnson , VT
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Johnson State College known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Castleton University

    Castleton , VT

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1019/20

    What is Castleton University known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #10

    Landmark College

    Putney , VT

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    55%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Landmark College known for?

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

    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Sterling College

    Craftsbury Common , VT

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    16%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Sterling College known for?

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

    • Education
Back to Top

Vermont’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
Back to Top

Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
Back to Top

Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

Back to Top

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Bennington College
  2. Middlebury College
  3. Goddard College
  4. Saint Michael's College
  5. Norwich University
  6. Champlain College
  7. Sterling College