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Why a Liberal Arts College

Graduates of residential liberal arts colleges say they are better prepared for getting a first job out of college, gaining admission to graduate school, and meeting life’s challenges than graduates of private or public universities, according to a national study released in November 2011 by the Annapolis Group, a consortium of America’s leading liberal arts colleges.  For example:

  • 76 percent of liberal arts college graduates rated their college experience highly for preparing them for their first job, compared to 66 percent who attended public flagship universities.
  • 89 percent of liberal arts college graduates reported finding a mentor while in college, compared to 66 percent for public flagship universities.
  • 60 percent of liberal arts college graduates said they felt “better prepared” for life after college than students who attended other colleges, compared to 34 percent who attended public flagship universities.
  • Liberal arts college graduates are more likely to graduate in four years or fewer, giving them a head start on their careers.
  • 77 percent of liberal arts college graduates rated their overall undergraduate experience as “excellent,” compared to 53 percent for graduates of flagship public universities.
  • 79 percent of liberal arts college graduates report benefiting “very much” from high-quality teaching-oriented faculty, compared to 63 percent for private universities and 40 percent for alumni of flagship public universities.
  • 88 percent of liberal arts graduates said there was a sense of community among students, compared to 79 percent for private universities and 63 percent for public flagship universities.