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Liberal arts colleges where students are eager to enroll

U.S. News & World Report logo U.S. News & World Report 1/25/2016 Kelly Mae Ross
National Liberal Arts Colleges are schools that place an emphasis on undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the liberal arts.  © AlbertHerring/Wikimedia Commons National Liberal Arts Colleges are schools that place an emphasis on undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the liberal arts. 

While college officials can control which applicants they admit to their campuses, they can't know for sure who will ultimately choose to enroll. Even well-known and highly ranked schools, such as Williams College in Massachusetts, may find that less than half of accepted students start taking classes.

The percentage of applicants accepted by a school who end up enrolling at that institution in a given year is known as yield. More in-demand schools have higher yields, while those with lower yields may not have been students' first-choice institutions.

Of the 221 National Liberal Arts Colleges that provided fall 2014 yield data to U.S. News, three U.S. service academies reported the highest numbers. The United States Naval Academy enrolled 85.2 percent of accepted students in fall 2014, followed by the United States Military Academy, which had a yield of 84.6 percent, and the United States Air Force Academy, where 80.5 percent of accepted students chose to attend.

National Liberal Arts Colleges are schools that place an emphasis on undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the liberal arts. The average yield among all of the schools in this category that provided data was 28 percent, lower than the 33.6 percent average yield for research-oriented National Universities for the same year.

At Williams, the top-ranked National Liberal Arts College in the 2016 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, 44.8 percent of the 1,220 students accepted for fall 2014 studies chose to enroll.

Below are the fall 2014 yield rates for every National Liberal Arts College that reported data to U.S. News. The rate can be affected by a school's early decision or early action options, as some of those programs bind students to attend if accepted. The data reflect first-time, first-year, degree-seeking students only.

School (state)Students acceptedStudents who enrolled in fall 2014Yield
United States Naval Academy (MD)1,3981,19185.2%
United States Military Academy (NY)1,4181,20084.6%
United States Air Force Academy (CO)1,4981,20680.5%
Louisiana State University—Alexandria57645178.3%
Berea College (KY)55541675%
Principia College (IL)16712172.5%
Thomas Aquinas College (CA)1538958.2%
Soka University of America (CA)17610056.8%
Life University (GA)1899851.9%
University of Wisconsin—Parkside1,20262151.7%
Virginia Military Institute90446451.3%
Claremont McKenna College (CA)65132750.2%
Grove City College (PA)1,30663748.8%
Bowdoin College (ME)1,03450348.6%
Pomona College (CA)94245047.8%
Pitzer College (CA)56326046.2%
Barnard College (NY)1,34961745.7%
St. John's College (MD)29913645.5%
Williams College (MA)1,22054644.8%
Savannah State University (GA)2,7061,20444.5%
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma38317044.4%
Wheaton College (IL)1,39060743.7%
Swarthmore College (PA)94340743.2%
Wellesley College (MA)1,41859341.8%
Davidson College (NC)1,20550241.7%
Washington and Lee University (VA)1,13647141.5%
Middlebury College (VT)1,40758041.2%
St. John's College (NM)1857641.1%
Colorado College1,36154940.3%
University of Virginia—Wise76630940.3%
Amherst College (MA)1,17346940%
Bethany Lutheran College (MN)35514139.7%
Haverford College (PA)86333839.2%
Bucknell University (PA)2,41693938.9%
St. John's University (MN)1,15745038.9%
Western State Colorado University1,16845438.9%
West Virginia State University1,06841438.8%
Bates College (ME)1,28249138.3%
Colorado Mesa University4,8421,85338.3%
Morehouse College (GA)1,41054038.3%
Rust College (MS)90834137.6%
Wisconsin Lutheran College58622037.5%
College of St. Benedict (MN)1,45354237.3%
Harvey Mudd College (CA)52419537.2%
University of Maine—Machias31711837.2%
Simpson University (CA)34312737%
Hillsdale College (MI)97235936.9%
Carleton College (MN)1,43452136.3%
Salem College (NC)55620136.2%
University of Hawaii—Hilo1,19543236.2%
Vassar College (NY)1,83266336.2%
Calvin College (MI)2,69195135.3%
Fort Lewis College (CO)2,21577935.2%
Hamilton College (NY)1,33646935.1%
Shawnee State University (OH)2,73395534.9%
Ouachita Baptist University (AR)1,22342034.3%
Erskine College (SC)55318834%
Presbyterian College (SC)80927534%
College of the Holy Cross (MA)2,29877433.7%
Oberlin College (OH)2,36579733.7%
Colgate University (NY)2,28776733.5%
Pacific Union College (CA)97332633.5%
Wesleyan University (CT)2,24575033.4%
Colby College (ME)1,44448033.2%
Saint Vincent College (PA)1,36044933%
Scripps College (CA)75825033%
Smith College (MA)1,88561632.7%
Gettysburg College (PA)2,23372032.2%
Bryn Mawr College (PA)1,09535132.1%
Houghton College (NY)74323832%
Mount Holyoke College (MA)1,75154731.2%
College of Idaho87727030.8%
Simpson College (IA)1,12134530.8%
Lycoming College (PA)1,28739430.6%
St. Olaf College (MN)2,50076530.6%
St. Norbert College (WI)1,75653630.5%
William Jewell College (MO)87426530.3%
St. Lawrence University (NY)2,06260229.2%
Moravian College (PA)1,32438529.1%
Wabash College (IN)88125629.1%
Wesleyan College (GA)36910628.7%
Concordia College—Moorhead (MN)1,89554028.5%
Bethany College (WV)86524628.4%
Sarah Lawrence College (NY)1,27135628%
Centenary College of Louisiana50514127.9%
Lafayette College (PA)2,31964827.9%
Franklin and Marshall College (PA)2,13059227.8%
University of North Carolina—Asheville2,28063327.8%
Warren Wilson College (NC)84423427.7%
Marlboro College (VT)1734727.2%
Emory and Henry College (VA)1,05528426.9%
Kenyon College (OH)1,66344826.9%
St. Mary's College (IN)1,40637826.9%
Purchase College—SUNY2,83975826.7%
Nebraska Wesleyan University1,38736826.5%
Whitman College (WA)1,49839526.4%
Bennington College (VT)74019225.9%
College of the Atlantic (ME)3057925.9%
Eastern Nazarene College (MA)64916825.9%
University of Richmond (VA)3,15581625.9%
Juniata College (PA)1,63742325.8%
Goshen College (IN)62115925.6%
Grinnell College (IA)1,69743525.6%
St. Mary's College of Maryland1,47837925.6%
Union College (NY)2,22357025.6%
Wartburg College (IA)1,82146425.5%
Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY)2,52864325.4%
New College of Florida94023625.1%
Rhodes College (TN)2,02950725%
Connecticut College2,02850124.7%
Berry College (GA)2,31256824.6%
Trinity College (CT)2,48061124.6%
Wofford College (SC)1,97848724.6%
Denison University (OH)2,48160924.5%
Hope College (MI)3,40283424.5%
Eastern Mennonite University (VA)99324024.2%
Sewanee—University of the South (TN)1,92646624.2%
Linfield College (OR)1,92646424.1%
Gordon College (MA)1,67240224%
Randolph-Macon College (VA)1,78342723.9%
Agnes Scott College (GA)94422523.8%
Birmingham-Southern College (AL)1,47935223.8%
Muhlenberg College (PA)2,48958923.7%
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts1,49335223.6%
Spelman College (GA)2,33555223.6%
Westminster College (MO)91021223.3%
Bloomfield College (NJ)1,95245223.2%
Maryville College (TN)1,44233423.2%
Northland College (WI)64715023.2%
Furman University (SC)3,14972723.1%
Macalester College (MN)2,34954123%
Bay Path University (MA)56312922.9%
Hendrix College (AR)1,37931422.8%
Luther College (IA)2,44855922.8%
University of Minnesota—Morris1,82341322.7%
American Jewish University (CA)531222.6%
Southwestern University (TX)1,69238222.6%
Dickinson College (PA)2,74261822.5%
Augustana College (IL)3,24572622.4%
Skidmore College (NY)3,23772422.4%
Ursinus College (PA)2,22249722.4%
Westmont College (CA)1,66937422.4%
Pine Manor College (MA)61613622.1%
Xavier University of Louisiana2,61557922.1%
Illinois Wesleyan University2,07145522%
Transylvania University (KY)1,19326222%
Virginia Wesleyan College1,84540622%
Lyon College (AR)1,19926221.9%
Lake Forest College (IL)1,90541621.8%
Kalamazoo College (MI)1,64835721.7%
Austin College (TX)1,65235721.6%
Centre College (KY)1,78538621.6%
Earlham College (IN)1,29127621.4%
Occidental College (CA)2,55254621.4%
SUNY College—Old Westbury2,17646321.3%
Alma College (MI)1,68335621.2%
Central College (IA)2,02442921.2%
Ripon College (WI)1,00721121%
Doane College (NE)1,29126820.8%
Hiram College (OH)1,32627420.7%
Castleton State College (VT)1,86838220.4%
Monmouth College (IL)1,96939620.1%
Coe College (IA)1,88237620%
Green Mountain College (VT)66513219.8%
Gustavus Adolphus College (MN)3,17561519.4%
St. Anselm College (NH)2,71552319.3%
Lawrence University (WI)2,00438519.2%
Beloit College (WI)1,58129918.9%
Guilford College (NC)1,86635118.8%
Cornell College (IA)1,41026318.7%
Hampden-Sydney College (VA)1,72032218.7%
McDaniel College (MD)2,25841418.3%
Bard College (NY)3,10556018%
Brevard College (NC)1,23521817.7%
Randolph College (VA)1,09619117.4%
Allegheny College (PA)2,76847617.2%
DePauw University (IN)3,00251417.1%
Claflin University (SC)2,29238917%
Illinois College1,48825317%
Eckerd College (FL)3,02851216.9%
College of Wooster (OH)3,24854716.8%
Roanoke College (VA)3,34456216.8%
Johnson C. Smith University (NC)1,60626816.7%
Knox College (IL)2,19836616.7%
St. Michael's College (VT)3,45957416.6%
Bridgewater College (VA)2,95048816.5%
Hollins University (VA)1,00816616.5%
Susquehanna University (PA)3,52757516.3%
Tougaloo College (MS)1,06417216.2%
Goucher College (MD)2,52840315.9%
Allen University (SC)1,19518915.8%
Hanover College (IN)1,86229315.7%
Ohio Wesleyan University2,95845815.5%
University of Pikeville (KY)2,27835215.5%
Marymount Manhattan College (NY)3,22649515.3%
University of Puget Sound (WA)4,42766315%
Wheaton College (MA)2,81842315%
Georgetown College (KY)1,85427314.7%
Westminster College (PA)1,95028514.6%
Millsaps College (MS)1,63623614.4%
Albright College (PA)3,80754014.2%
Siena College (NY)5,01370914.1%
Wells College (NY)1,29518214.1%
Carthage College (WI)5,13270413.7%
Lewis & Clark College (OR)4,15956313.5%
Washington and Jefferson College (PA)2,95539913.5%
Stonehill College (MA)4,62261013.2%
Washington College (MD)2,96038813.1%
Dillard University (LA)2,49332513%
Whittier College (CA)3,00138812.9%
Oglethorpe University (GA)2,17227712.8%
Drew University (NJ)2,39530212.6%
Lane College (TN)2,52831212.3%
Albion College (MI)2,97035712%
Willamette University (OR)4,65855311.9%
Bennett College (NC)1,43216611.6%
Wittenberg University (OH)4,43251611.6%
Fisk University (TN)2,12122710.7%
Hartwick College (NY)4,5104199.3%
Kentucky State University3,1192909.3%
The King's College (NY)3,2301444.5%

The yield data above are correct as of Jan. 25, 2016. For additional admissions data, complete rankings and much more, access the U.S. News College Compass.

Copyright 2015 U.S. News & World Report


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