The Little Ivies: A Select Group of Highly-Regarded Private Liberal Arts Colleges

The Little Ivies are a select group of 18 highly-regarded Private Liberal Arts Colleges located throughout the Northeastern United States. Many schools offer an open curriculum, interdisciplinary learning environment, dual degree andstudy abroad options. Eleven of the schools are part of the New England Small College Athletic Conference.

Colgate University

Colgate University is a private liberal arts college located in Hamilton, New York. The school offers 56 majors for students to choose from, primarily awarding bachelor of arts degrees.

The student to faculty ratio at Colgate is 9:1, meaning that there are nine students for every one faculty member. This allows for smaller class sizes and more individualized attention from professors.

One unique feature of Colgate University is its outdoor education program. The school offers classes for credit that focus on outdoor recreation, as well as equipment rentals for students who want to enjoy the outdoors recreationally.

Famous alumni of Colgate University include journalist Bob Woodruff and NBA basketball center Adonal Foyle.

Wesleyan University

There's something special about Wesleyan University. Founded in 1831, it's one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the country. And while it may be small – with only around 3,000 students – it packs a big punch.

Wesleyan is known for its interdisciplinary approach to education. It offers exceptional programs in both engineering and the liberal arts, in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology and Columbia University. And its five-year BA//MA program allows undergraduates to earn both a B.A. from Wesleyan and a B.S. from Caltech or Columbia – with tuition for the final year waived.

It's no wonder that Wesleyan has produced 13 Pulitzer Prize winners over the years. If you're looking for an Ivy League education at a fraction of the cost, Wesleyan is definitely worth considering.

Williams College is the top Liberal Arts College in the U.S

Williams College has been ranked the number one Liberal Arts College in the United States by U.S. News & World Report for 17 consecutive years. That's an impressive feat, and it's no wonder that Williams is such a popular choice for students looking for a top-notch education.

One of the things that makes Williams so special is its Tutorial program, which allows students to work closely with a professor on an independent project over the course of a semester. This hands-on approach to learning is really valuable, and it's one of the things that sets Williams apart from other colleges.

In addition to its excellent academics, Williams also offers a unique Winter Study program that features month-long courses on a variety of topics between fall and spring semesters. This is a great opportunity for students to explore new subjects and get ahead in their studies.

Some notable alumni of Williams College include Tony award-winning composer Stephen Sondheim, singer Wang Leehom, and many prominent politicians including nearly 100 members of Congress and state governors. With such a long list of successful graduates, it's clear that Williams College is a truly special place.

Trinity College

At Trinity College in Hartford, CT you can earn a B.A., B.S., or M.A. degrees. There are 41 majors available, or students can design their own major. The college has a student enrollment similar to Colgate University. Trinity graduates have gone on to create, innovate, and change the game in various fields. One graduate, Kristine Belson, is the president of Sony Pictures Animation and producer of Oscar-nominated films How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods. Another graduate, David Chang, is a restaurateur and TV personality with his own Netflix original series, Ugly Delicious.

Trinty College is an excellent choice for students who want to pursue a liberal arts education while also having the opportunity to study in a vibrant city like Hartford, CT. The college offers a wide variety of majors, or students can even design their own major if they want to tailor their studies to their specific interests. The student enrollment at Trinity is similar to that of Colgate University, so prospective students can expect a similarly rigorous academic experience. However, what sets Trinity apart is the impressive list of alumni who have gone on to become leaders in their respective fields. For example, Kristine Belson is the current president of Sony Pictures Animation and produced the Oscar-nominated films How to Train Your Dragon and The Croods. Another notable alum is David Chang, who is a renowned restaurateur and TV personality with his own highly successful Netflix original series called Ugly Delicious. These are just two examples of the many accomplished Trinity graduates who are making waves in various industries all over the world. If you're looking for a college that will challenge you academically and prepare you for success in your chosen career path, Trinity College is definitely worth considering!

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College is part of the Quaker Consortium, which includes Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. It is a small liberal arts college with about 1,500 students. The curriculum is diverse, and student life is active. Swarthmore has close guidance of faculty and outside experts. The college offers unique majors, Fulbright Scholars, Nobel Prize winners, and a little ivy atmosphere.

Union College

Union College is an institution with a long tradition of academic excellence. Founded in 1795, Union was the first college in New York state to grant degrees in engineering. Leading the way in engineering education, today it continues to offer ABET- accredited undergraduate degrees in a variety of concentrations including: computer, biomedical, electric, and mechanic.

But Union isn't just about engineering. Undergrads that study abroad make up almost two-thirds, and the school promises to support undergraduate research for all disciplines. The student body is just over 2,000, making for a close-knit community where everyone knows each other.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved on campus, from the Steinmetz Symposium Day to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. And because Union is a little ivy, it's easy to get funding for your research projects. So if you're looking for a school that will challenge you academically and give you plenty of opportunities to get involved, Union College is definitely worth considering.

Hamilton College

Hamilton College is located in Clinton, New York. The college focuses exclusively on undergraduates, communication, collaborative learning, andcritical thinking. The college offers two different types of degrees in engineering. Some notable alumni include Marc Randolph, Sarah J. Maas, B.F. Skinner, and Elihu Root.

Hamilton College is one of the few remaining all-undergraduate institutions in the United States. The college takes pride in its small class sizes and close-knit community. Students at Hamilton are encouraged to think critically and communicate effectively.

The dual degree program in engineering is one of the most popular programs at Hamilton College. The program allows students to earn a Bachelor's degree in liberal arts while also completing an engineering program at another institution. This unique program prepares students for careers in both fields.

Many notable alumni have graduated from Hamilton College. Marc Randolph is the co-founder and CEO of Netflix. Sarah J. Maas is a bestselling author of young adult fiction. B.F. Skinner was a renowned psychologist and behaviorist. Elihu Root was a statesman and diplomat who served as Secretary of State under Theodore Roosevelt.

Hamilton College is a prestigious institution with a long history of academic excellence. The college provides students with an outstanding education that prepares them for success in their chosen field

Amherst College

Amherst College was founded in 1821 and is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. It has an undergraduate student body of approximately 1,800 students. Notable alumni include U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, author David Foster Wallace, and award-winning actor Jeffrey Wright.

This little ivy college is one of the oldest and most prestigious colleges in the country. Its beautiful campus is situated in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts, just a short drive from Boston.

The college offers a rigorous academic program with over 30 majors to choose from. Students can also take advantage of the many extracurricular opportunities available, including sports, clubs, and service organizations.

Amherst is known for its close-knit community and friendly atmosphere. It's a great place to meet new people and make lifelong friends. If you're looking for an academically challenging school with a supportive community, Amherst College is definitely worth considering!

Colby College

Colby College is a renowned liberal arts school located in Waterville, Maine. The college's Jan-plan program, which occurs during the break between fall and spring semester, is especially well-known. This unique program allows students to take on special projects or internships during the typically slower winter months.

In recent years, Colby College has made headlines for establishing the Davis Institute for Artificial Intelligence. This cutting-edge institute is helping to position the school as a leader in the field of AI research.

Another point of pride for Colby College is that two-thirds of its undergrads study abroad before graduating. This provides students with valuable real-world experience and helps them to develop a global perspective.

Some notable alumni of Colby College include Dan Harris, Wylie Dufresne, and Gregory R. Ciottone. These accomplished individuals are just a small sampling of the many successful graduates that the school has produced over the years.

Connecticut College

Connecticut College has a long and rich history dating back to 1911, when it was founded as the Connecticut College for Women. In 1969, the college became co-ed, and today it is a leading liberal arts institution located in the port city of New London. The college is also home to an impressive arboretum with 750 acres of land.

In 2019, three Conn graduates made the Forbes 30 under 30 list, which is a testament to the quality of education that students receive at this college. Some notable alumni include writer Sloane Crosley and actress Joan Rivers. If you're looking for a top-notch liberal arts education, Connecticut College is definitely worth considering!


There's something special about the Little Ivies. These 18 highly-regarded Private Liberal Arts Colleges offer students an excellent education, small class sizes, and individualized attention from professors. There are so many great schools to choose from that these colleges are a popular choice for students seeking a top-notch education. You will be set up for a successful future in your field no matter which school you choose. They all provide excellent educations.



About the author
Got kids about to go to college, so making my own research and sharing here!
Follow me: