Amherst College
Amherst College Office of Communications

Amherst College

Jul 24, 2014

Amherst, No. 3 on our top liberal arts school list, has many qualities that set it apart among small elite colleges. For one, unlike most top schools, which dictate a variety of basic classes that lower classmen must take, Amherst has no required courses apart from a first-year seminar emphasizing writing and critical thinking. The school allows students, at no extra cost, to take classes offered by the other nearby colleges: Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It is also one of a tiny group of schools that pledge to meet 100% percent of every student’s demonstrated financial need. As a result, the majority of students—approximately 70%—graduate from Amherst without taking out student loans.

An Amherst diploma appears to help in the job market. Grads report salaries averaging about $53,000 within five years, higher than average salaries reported by colleges with similar student bodies. Sports have always been extremely popular on campus, especially those between Amherst and friendly rival Williams College (No. 2 on the liberal arts school list). The annual football game between the two Division III schools is known as The Biggest Little Game in America, a hat tip to The Big Game played annually by D-I rivals Stanford and UC-Berkeley. Williams has won more games overall (71-52), but Amherst aced last year’s meeting, 20-7.

MONEY may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions