Ranking of the Most Liberal Colleges in the U.S.

Looking for a school where the other students will share your political or societal viewpoints? If you so you may be interested in the most liberal colleges and universities in the U.S., as reported by their own students. Read on to learn more about liberal institutions like Hampshire College, Warren Wilson College and Bard College.

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Student Rankings

Each year, the Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com) surveys over 120,000 students at over 300 colleges and universities throughout the country. The survey covers topics like academics, student body makeup, administration and campus life.

Based on the survey, the Princeton Review generates approximately 62 ranking lists on everything from the quality of the professors and the thoroughness of financial aid to the level of partying and students' political leanings. Individuals who are looking for a specific quality in their prospective schools can use these rankings to learn more about what the institutions are like from the perspectives of current students.

Left-leaning students who want to make sure their future cohort shares their politics may be interested in the publication's rankings of the institutions with the most liberal students.

America's Most Liberal Colleges

According to the 2010 rankings from the Princeton Review, the top three liberal colleges in the U.S. were:

1. Hampshire College in Amherst, MA

This private liberal arts institution is tiny, enrolling just over 1,500 students and boasting a student to faculty ratio of 13:1. Hampshire only offers degrees at the bachelor's level and the most popular major, according to the Princeton Review's survey from that year, was in film and photographic arts.

2. Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC

Warren Wilson College is another small, private liberal arts school that enrolled only 923 students in the 2009-2010 academic year. It also has a student to faculty ratio of 13:1, but its students have more of a science focus. The most popular majors at Warren Wilson are biological and physical sciences, as well as environmental studies. Students at Warren Wilson can earn bachelor's or master's degrees.

3. Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Yet another small, private liberal arts college rounds out the list of the top three most liberal schools in the U.S. This one enrolls almost 2,000 students, but has an even more impressive student to faculty ratio of approximately 10:1. The most popular majors at Bard are English language, literature and social sciences, and students can earn associate's, bachelor's or master's degrees.

Top 20 Most Liberal Colleges in the U.S. in 2010

College/UniversityUndergraduate EnrollmentLocation
Hampshire College1,505Amherst, MA
Warren Wilson College923Asheville, NC
Bard College1,928Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Sarah Lawrence College1,244Bronxville, NY
New College of Florida801Sarasota, FL
Bennington College668Bennington, VT
Prescott College769Prescott, AZ
Macalester College2,005St. Paul, MN
Eugene Lang College1,511New York, NY
Oberlin College2,839Oberlin, OH
Marlboro College278Marlboro, VT
Carleton College1,991Northfield, MN
Reed College1,418Portland, OR
Vassar College2,408Poughkeepsie, NY
Mount Holyoke College2,287South Hadley, MA
Emerson College3,454Boston, MA
University of California, Santa Cruz15,666Santa Cruz, CA
Mills College948Oakland, CA
Clark University2,252Worcester, MA
Beloit College1,308Beloit, WI

Source: The Princeton Review, www.princetonreview.com

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