March 28, 2020
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Washington Monthly puts College of the Atlantic in Top 100

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Bob Mentzinger | BDN
Bob Mentzinger | BDN

Magazine says COA among ‘affordable elite’

BAR HARBOR — College of the Atlantic was recently named among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the country, is among the top 100 “affordable elite” colleges in America, and is one of four Maine colleges offering the “best bang for the buck,” according to Washington Monthly.

Washington Monthly’s “affordable elite” ranking lists COA at No. 72, alongside such schools as Smith College, Brandeis College, Northwestern University, Boston College, Trinity College, Bryn Mawr College, Oberlin College and Colgate University.

The “best bang for the buck” listing ranks COA as one of the nation’s best values, at No. 37. Overall, the publication says COA is in the top 100 of all liberal arts colleges, at No. 75.

Last month, in its 2015 edition of “The Best 379 Colleges,” The Princeton Review called College of the Atlantic “one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education,” listing the school in the top 20 in six categories vital to student success.

Washington Monthly’s listing bills itself as a “different college ranking” that “asks not what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country,” according to its mission statement. “Are they educating low-income students, or just catering to the affluent? Are they improving the quality of their teaching, or ducking accountability for it?”

The magazine rates schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country). It looks at student loan default rates, percent of students receiving Pell Grants, graduation rates, graduation rate performance, and net price of attendance.

“College of the Atlantic has made it our mission to provide opportunities for a wide range of students to make a mark in the world,” said college President Darron Collins, a 1992 alum. “Listings like Washington Monthly put students first, and thus are especially gratifying for us. It implies the world of higher education is coming to understand COA’s model of education, one that’s engaged in the world and prepares students to tackle the complex challenges facing our communities.”

College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is, to enabling students to actively shape its future. A leader in experiential education and environmental stewardship, COA has pioneered a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to learning—human ecology—that develops the kinds of creative thinkers and doers needed by all sectors of society in addressing the compelling and growing needs of our world. For more, visit