MDI college among nation’s Top 100 liberal arts schools

Posted Sept. 17, 2012, at 3:08 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 17, 2012, at 5:51 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — For the first time in its 43-year history, a local college has been named one of the top 100 best liberal arts colleges in the country.

College of the Atlantic, a college with a curriculum that emphasizes environmental education, cracked the U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 rankings of the top 100 colleges and universities at No. 90, tied with Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

The publication also ranked COA at No. 12 in the “best value college” category, according to a prepared statement released by the school. According to school officials, COA long has been ranked in the publication’s 250 colleges nationwide but has been climbing up the list and this past year jumped 26 spots to land in the top 100.

Darron Collins, COA’s president and a 1992 graduate of the school, said it can be difficult to quantify every aspect of a school. But he said the recognition is welcome.

“It’s great to see that a college that has such an innovative approach to education as COA keeps ascending the rankings,” Collins said.

U.S. News & World Report also ranked COA fourth among liberal arts colleges nationwide for having a high number of international students. Of COA’s 350 students, approximately 60 of them are from outside the U.S., representing a total of 33 nations.

Other Maine schools that also ranked on the U.S. News & World Report 2013 list of best national liberal arts colleges were Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Colby College in Waterville and Bates College in Lewiston. They ranked sixth, 18th and 22nd, respectively.

Several other higher learning institutions in Maine were named to the publication’s top 50 regional colleges for the Northeastern United States.

Last month, COA was named one of the best 377 colleges in North America by Princeton Review and was the only Maine college listed on the review’s Green Honor Roll.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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