NESCAC Schools Ranked Academically | Spynaija
NESCAC Schools Ranked Academically

NESCAC Schools Ranked Academically

Last Updated on July 13, 2023 by Spynaija


When considering the choice of a college or university, academic reputation is one crucial factor for most prospective students. For those interested in liberal arts education, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) schools have a well-established reputation for academic excellence.

NESCAC is a group of eleven highly selective liberal arts colleges located in the northeastern United States. In this blog post, we will list the NESCAC schools ranked academically and explore what makes them some of the most sought-after institutions for undergraduate education in the country.

NESCAC Schools Ranked Academically 

As renowned college advisors, we understand the importance of making informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right institution for higher education. When ranking NESCAC schools academically, we have considered several crucial factors and methodologies to provide prospective college students with a comprehensive assessment.


In this ranking, we considered various standards including academic reputation, program reputation, faculty resources, acceptance rates, graduation and retention rates, and financial resources. We firmly believe that these factors offer valuable insights into the academic strength and overall quality of NESCAC institutions.

Academic Reputation:
Academic reputation reflects the standing and esteem an institution holds within the academic community. It encompasses factors such as faculty expertise, research output, intellectual contributions, and overall perceived academic quality. Evaluating the academic reputation of NESCAC schools helps students gauge the institution’s dedication to excellence and the value it places on intellectual growth and learning.

Program Reputation:
Program reputation assesses the quality and recognition of specific academic programs within a college or university. This factor enables prospective students to identify strong programs in their field of interest, ensuring access to specialized and comprehensive education. A robust program reputation indicates that an institution invests in faculty expertise, resources, and curricular development, providing students with an enriching and competitive academic experience.

Faculty Resources:
Faculty resources play a pivotal role in the academic environment. Factors such as student-faculty ratio, faculty qualifications, and the availability of research opportunities determine the level of engagement and mentorship students receive. Schools with ample faculty resources can offer personalized attention, mentorship, and research collaborations, fostering a vibrant and intellectually stimulating atmosphere.


Acceptance Rates:
Acceptance rates provide insights into the level of competitiveness during the admissions process. A lower acceptance rate often indicates a high level of selectivity, implying that the institution attracts academically talented and motivated students. While acceptance rates should not be the sole factor in ranking institutions, they can reflect the desirability and reputation of NESCAC schools among applicants.

Graduation and Retention Rates:
Graduation and retention rates shed light on student success and satisfaction within an institution. Higher graduation rates indicate that students are supported academically, socially, and emotionally, leading to a higher likelihood of degree completion. Similarly, strong retention rates suggest that students are engaged and connected to the institution, leading to a higher probability of persisting through their academic journey.

Graduation Rate:
The graduation rate examines the percentage of students who successfully complete their degree within a specified time frame. This factor provides a measure of an institution’s ability to support students academically, offer relevant resources, and create an environment conducive to timely degree completion. A higher graduation rate signifies the effectiveness of an institution’s educational strategies and student support systems.

Financial Resources:
Financial resources encompass an institution’s ability to invest in its academic programs, facilities, faculty, and student support services. Evaluating financial resources helps students assess the institution’s stability, infrastructure, and capacity to provide a well-rounded educational experience. Institutions with strong financial resources can often offer robust academic and extracurricular opportunities, ensuring a comprehensive and enriching college experience.


Based on the aforementioned factors, here are the rankings of NESCAC schools in terms of academic performance.

#1: Williams College

  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Average SAT range: 1460-1560
  • Application fee: $65
  • Average ACT range: 33-35
  • Graduation rate: 95%

Nestled amidst the picturesque Berkshire Mountains in Williamstown, Massachusetts, Williams College stands as a beacon of intellectual brilliance and academic prestige. Renowned for its unwavering commitment to academic excellence, Williams College has consistently secured its position as the top-ranked liberal arts institution in the United States.

Williams College has a faculty of distinguished scholars who are not only masters of their respective disciplines but also passionate mentors eager to guide students on their educational journey. With an enviable 7-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, Williams ensures that students receive personalized attention, fostering meaningful connections that extend far beyond the classroom walls.

Whether your passion lies in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, or the arts, Williams provides a fertile ground for you to cultivate your interests and develop a well-rounded perspective.


#2: Amherst College

  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Average SAT range: 1440-1570
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Average ACT range: 32-35
  • Graduation rate: 95%

At Amherst College, students are immersed in a transformative liberal arts education that fosters critical thinking, creativity, and a deep appreciation for the complexities of the world. With a commitment to intellectual exploration, the college offers a diverse range of academic disciplines, allowing students to chart their own paths and tailor their education to their passions and aspirations.

Amherst College boasts a distinguished faculty of accomplished scholars and experts who serve as mentors and guides, nurturing a vibrant and engaging learning environment. Small class sizes facilitate lively discussions, close collaborations, and meaningful interactions between students and faculty. This personalized approach to education ensures that every student’s voice is heard, their ideas are valued, and their intellectual potential is fully realized.

One of Amherst College’s defining strengths is its open curriculum, which grants students the freedom to design their own academic journey. With no distribution requirements, students have the flexibility to explore a wide range of subjects, delve deeply into their areas of interest, and forge interdisciplinary connections that enrich their understanding of the world. This liberating educational approach nurtures intellectual curiosity, encourages intellectual risk-taking, and prepares students to become agile thinkers and lifelong learners.

#3: Bowdoin College

  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Bowdoin College’s tuition: $61,528
  • Application Deadline: January 5th.
  • Average SAT range: 1320-1520
  • Average ACT range: 30-34
  • Graduation rate: 95%

Bowdoin College, a hub of intellectual growth and personal development, empowers students to embrace their passions, challenge the status quo, and make a meaningful impact in the world. It is a place where intellectual curiosity flourishes, connections are forged, and lifelong learning becomes a way of life.

One of Bowdoin College’s greatest strengths lies in its exceptional faculty. Comprised of accomplished scholars and practitioners, the faculty members are not only experts in their respective fields but also dedicated mentors who foster a collaborative and inclusive learning environment. Through close interactions, personalized guidance, and meaningful research opportunities, faculty members at Bowdoin College inspire and challenge students to push the boundaries of their intellectual pursuits.

Bowdoin College embraces a spirit of exploration and encourages students to go beyond the classroom to apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Whether it’s conducting cutting-edge research, interning at prestigious organizations, or engaging in community service initiatives, students at Bowdoin College gain hands-on experience that enriches their education and prepares them to make a positive impact in their chosen fields.

Beyond academics, Bowdoin College offers a vibrant and supportive community where students can thrive. The college values diversity and fosters a culture of inclusivity, encouraging students to embrace different perspectives and engage in meaningful dialogues. With a wide range of student organizations, clubs, and extracurricular activities, Bowdoin College provides ample opportunities for students to pursue their passions, build lasting friendships, and create a well-rounded college experience.

At Bowdoin College, the journey of self-discovery begins, and the possibilities are endless. Unleash your potential, embrace intellectual exploration, and join a community of innovative thinkers at Bowdoin College—a place where extraordinary minds thrive and where the seeds of greatness are nurtured.


#4: Middlebury College

  • Acceptance rate: 13%
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Application Deadline: January 4th.
  • Average SAT range: 1380-1530
  • Tuition & Fees: $62,460
  • Average ACT range: 32-34
  • Graduation rate: 93%

Middlebury College’s unwavering commitment to academic excellence and interdisciplinary learning sets it apart. With an array of academic programs spanning the arts, sciences, humanities, and more, students have the freedom to explore diverse subjects, blur disciplinary boundaries, and make meaningful connections across fields of study. This dynamic approach to education fosters critical thinking, creativity, and adaptability, preparing students to thrive in a rapidly evolving world.

At Middlebury College, education extends far beyond the confines of the classroom. The college’s immersive learning opportunities, such as study abroad programs and experiential learning initiatives, empower students to engage with global perspectives, cultures, and real-world challenges. Whether it’s conducting research alongside esteemed faculty, participating in internships with renowned organizations, or collaborating with peers on transformative projects, Middlebury College offers a fertile ground for intellectual adventure.

Middlebury College prides itself on its dedicated faculty, who are not only accomplished scholars but also mentors and guides. With small class sizes and a supportive community, students benefit from personalized attention, fostering close relationships with faculty members who are invested in their success. This collaborative environment nurtures intellectual curiosity, sparks meaningful dialogue, and fuels a passion for lifelong learning.

#5: Tufts University

  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Application Fee: $75
  • Application Deadline: January 1st.
  • Tufts University tuition: $1,697 per credit hour
  • Average SAT range: 1440-1550
  • Average ACT range: 33-35
  • Graduation rate: 93%

Tufts University’s distinctive approach to education sets it apart. With a rich interdisciplinary curriculum and a dedication to experiential learning, students are encouraged to explore the intersections of knowledge, combining diverse perspectives to solve complex global challenges. Tufts University’s emphasis on active citizenship empowers students to become engaged leaders, equipped with the tools to effect meaningful change in their communities and beyond.

At Tufts University, academic excellence is synonymous with social impact. With a number of research opportunities, service-learning initiatives, and partnerships with local organizations, students have the chance to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world issues. Whether it’s tackling global health challenges in medicine, dentistry, advocating for environmental sustainability, or addressing social justice concerns, Tufts University provides the platform for students to transform their passions into action.

Tufts University thrives on its close-knit community of engaged learners and a distinguished faculty comprised of accomplished scholars and practitioners, who serve as mentors and guides, nurturing an environment of intellectual curiosity and collaboration. The university’s small class sizes foster vibrant discussions, ensuring that students receive personalized attention and engage in meaningful interactions. Tufts University’s commitment to personalized education cultivates critical thinking, creativity, and a deep sense of social responsibility within the student community.

#6: Hamilton College

  • Acceptance rate: 11.8%
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Application Deadline: January 5th.
  • Hamilton College tuition: $65,090
  • Average SAT range: 1410-1550
  • Average ACT range: 33-35
  • Graduation rate: 92%

At Hamilton College, the pursuit of knowledge takes center stage, fueled by a rigorous liberal arts education that celebrates intellectual exploration and fosters critical thinking. With a flexible curriculum, students have the freedom to curate their academic journey, immersing themselves in a wide array of disciplines and weaving together a tapestry of knowledge that reflects their unique interests and passions.

Hamilton College’s faculty, renowned for their expertise and dedication, become mentors and partners in the intellectual journey of each student. With small class sizes and a commitment to individualized attention, students forge meaningful connections with faculty members who inspire and challenge them to push beyond perceived limits.

#7: Wesleyan University

  • Acceptance rate: 19%
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Application Deadline: January 1st.
  • Wesleyan University tuition: $63,722
  • Average SAT range: 1300-1510
  • Average ACT range: 31-35
  • Graduation rate: 86%

With a dynamic arts scene, world-class facilities, and a renowned faculty of artists, scholars, and thinkers, Wesleyan provides a fertile ground for you to explore and expand your creative potential. Whether you’re an aspiring artist, writer, musician, or entrepreneur, Wesleyan offers countless opportunities to help pursue your passion and bring your ideas to life.

What sets Wesleyan apart is its commitment to social engagement and making a positive difference in the world. Through community service, civic engagement, and research projects, you’ll have the chance to apply your knowledge and skills to address real-world challenges. Wesleyan believes that education should go beyond the classroom and empower you to become a responsible global citizen who actively contributes to society.

#8: Colby College

  • Acceptance rate: 9%
  • Application Fee: N/A
  • Application Deadline: January 1st.
  • Tuition: $83,720
  • Average SAT range: 1400-1530
  • Average ACT range: 32-35
  • Graduation rate: 89%

Located in the quaint town of Waterville, Maine, Colby College stands as a prestigious liberal arts institution that has been shaping young minds and fostering academic excellence for over 200 years. With a rich history, a stunning campus, and a commitment to intellectual growth and global engagement, Colby College provides students with an exceptional educational experience that prepares them to thrive in an interconnected world.

At Colby College, academic excellence is at the heart of everything. The college offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that encourages students to explore a wide range of subjects and disciplines. With over 60 majors and minors available, students have the flexibility to tailor their education to their unique interests and career aspirations.


Colby College places great emphasis on global engagement and understanding. The college encourages students to broaden their perspectives by participating in study abroad programs in over 200 destinations around the world. These experiences provide valuable cultural immersion, language acquisition, and the opportunity to study specialized subjects in unique settings. Colby’s commitment to global engagement extends beyond studying abroad, as the college hosts a diverse community of international students, fosters cross-cultural dialogue, and promotes global awareness through various initiatives.

#9: Bates College

  • Acceptance rate: 17%
  • Application Fee: $60
  • Application Deadline: January 1st.
  • Tuition: $63,478
  • Average SAT range: 1260-1470
  • Average ACT range: 30-34
  • Graduation rate: 91%

Bates College, located in Lewiston, Maine. The institution is renowned for its commitment to academic excellence and fostering a community of critical thinkers and engaged learners. As a leading liberal arts college, Bates offers various academic programs that drive students to explore their passions, cultivate intellectual curiosity, and develop essential skills for success in today’s dynamic world.

At Bates, students can choose from a diverse selection of undergraduate majors across disciplines, including arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. Whether you’re interested in exploring literature, economics, psychology, biology, or any other field, Bates provides a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that is designed to challenge and inspire you to find your career path.

In addition to major programs, the college offers a variety of minors, allowing students to supplement their chosen field of study with interdisciplinary perspectives. Minors provide opportunities to explore new areas of interest, connect with faculty from different departments, and develop a well-rounded academic profile.

Furthermore, Bates College encourages interdisciplinary exploration through a range of specialized programs and centers. These initiatives bring together faculty and students from multiple disciplines to tackle complex global issues, promote cross-disciplinary research, and foster collaborative learning. Examples of interdisciplinary programs at Bates include Asian Studies, Digital and Computational Studies, Environmental Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and many more.

#10: Trinity College

  • Acceptance rate: 38%
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Application Deadline: January 17th.
  • Tuition: $64,430
  • Average SAT range: 1333-1480
  • Average ACT range: 29-33
  • Graduation rate: 83%

Trinity College, located in Hartford, Connecticut, is renowned for its commitment to providing a transformative liberal arts education. With a rich academic tradition spanning over two centuries, Trinity offers a diverse range of programs that empower students to explore their interests, develop interdisciplinary perspectives, and cultivate the skills needed for success in a rapidly evolving world.

Trinity College offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate majors that cuts across various disciplines such as arts, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies. From English and history to biology and neuroscience, students have the opportunity to pursue their academic passions in-depth, guided by a dedicated faculty of experts in their respective fields.

Trinity also offers interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore the intersection of multiple disciplines. These programs provide a unique opportunity to delve into complex topics from various perspectives and engage in interdisciplinary research. Examples of interdisciplinary programs at Trinity include International Studies, Urban Studies, Human Rights, and Environmental Science.


Furthermore, Trinity College is committed to providing students with hands-on research experiences and opportunities for experiential learning. Students have the chance to collaborate with faculty on research projects, contributing to cutting-edge advancements in their fields of interest. Trinity’s strong emphasis on undergraduate research nurtures critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings.

#11: Connecticut College

  • Acceptance rate: 41%
  • Application Fee: N/A
  • Application Deadline: January 15th.
  • Tuition: $82,697
  • Average SAT range: 1333-1476
  • Average ACT range: 20-33
  • Graduation rate: 85%

Connecticut College is dedicated to empowering students to become change agents in their communities and beyond. Through a focus on social responsibility, service-learning opportunities, and community engagement, students gain the knowledge and skills needed to address pressing social, environmental, and global challenges. At Connecticut College, you’re not just a student; you’re part of a community that believes in the power of education to make a positive impact.

With a robust liberal arts curriculum, students are encouraged to explore diverse subjects and connect knowledge across disciplines. Whether you’re passionate about literature, environmental science, psychology, or any other field, Connecticut College offers a wide range of majors and interdisciplinary programs that fuel your intellectual growth and ignite your passion for learning.


NESCAC schools have established themselves as some of the best liberal arts colleges in the country, offering a personalized, interdisciplinary education that prepares students for success in their careers and life. With its rigorous academic curriculum, extensive research opportunities, and strong athletic and extracurricular programs, NESCAC schools are an excellent choice for students seeking a well-rounded undergraduate education. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career in the arts, sciences, or humanities, choosing any of the above-listed NESCAC schools will provide you with the academic foundation and support you need to achieve your goals.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top