Top 20 Desirable Rural Colleges

College life is undoubtedly one of the most important experiences of life, which shape our perceptions and prepare us for careers ahead. Although academics are a major determinative factor that contributes to the decision of choosing a suitable college, there are many other factors that also influence this decision.

Some students prefer colleges located in large cities, others prefer to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city life and opt for campuses in rural areas surrounded by serenity and peace.

If you are one of those students who like to be near the nature, consider enrolling in one of the most desirable rural colleges mentioned below:

1. Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire. The college has a student enrollment of over 6,000 and is known for its quality academic services.  Dartmouth’s campus is spread over 269 acres, comprising of latest built facilities as well as preserved architectural buildings that reflect the rich heritage of the town. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Dartmouth College among the top 15 for best undergraduate programs in the nation. If you are looking for a college that is located among beautiful landscapes and offers high quality education, consider Dartmouth as a top choice for enrollment.

2. Williams College

Established in 1793, Williams College ranks among the leading educational institutions in the nation. It is located in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Williams College is spread over a 450 acre piece of land. The hilly landscape adds to the beauty of the campus. Did you know that the college is home to the oldest astronomical observatory in the US? Students interested in pursuing higher education in humanities, sciences or social sciences may enroll at Williams College. Currently, there are over 2,000 students enrolled at this prestigious rural college.

3. Amherst College

Amherst College is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in Massachusetts. It is located in the town of Amherst and has been ranked as the second best liberal arts college by the U.S News & World Report. The scenic beauty and landscape that surrounds this institution attracts thousands of students from all over. Apart from the eye-catching rural surroundings, the 1,000 acre campus includes a 500 acre wildlife sanctuary. If you are planning to enroll in a liberal arts college away from the city-life, consider enrolling at Amherst. The college offers a wide range of degree programs in areas of science, arts and humanities.

4. Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College is a small educational institution nestled in a small yet vibrant New England town. The college was set up in 1794 as a liberal arts college and remains as one of the oldest colleges in the region. Bowdoin has excelled in academics and offers quality degree programs to students. Alongside its academic services, students can enjoy the scenic landscape surrounding the campus. The location of the campus is perfect for students who want to pursue college studies in a beautiful rural setting. Students also have easy access to city-life with major cities such as Portland being nearby. Bowdoin believes in preserving nature and beautiful landscapes.

5. Middlebury College

Middlebury College is situated in Middlebury, Vermont and is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the nation. The college is dedicated to providing students with quality education and a well-rounded college experience. Students who are looking for a campus which is far from the city and offers natural beauty should enroll at Middlebury. The college campus is located among the lush green mountains of Vermont.

6. College of the Ozarks

Hard work, Christian values and character define the mission of the College of the Ozarks. This college was set up in 1907 near Branson and Hollister in Missouri. Over the years since its establishment, Ozarks has come to be known for its superior academic services in liberal arts. Over 1500 students are currently enrolled at Ozarks, pursuing their educational dreams. The campus of the College of the Ozarks overlooks the beautiful Lake Taneycomo. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked this college among the best regional and best value colleges in the Midwest. College of the Ozarks is nicknamed as “Hard Work U”. It is particularly known for offering generous financial aid programs and helping underprivileged students gain a worthwhile college experience.

7. Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University is known for its beautiful campus situated over 325 acres of land. The university is 50 miles from Roanoke and lies between the Allegheny Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The beautiful location of the college has attracted students from all over. Washington and Lee University offers degree programs in the field of liberal arts and humanities.  If you are interested in liberal arts education, add Washington and Lee University to your list of prospective colleges.

8. Berea College

Berea College was founded in 1855 as a liberal arts college in Madison County, Kentucky. Over the years, the college gained popularity and is known for offering generous financial aid programs to students. Apart from its educational facilities, Berea College is great for those interested in studying at a rural location. Berea College has a unique campus that is located at the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains.

9. Carleton College

Carleton College is known for offering world-class academic services in the field of liberal arts. The college was set up in 1866 in the historic town of Northfield, Minnesota. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked Carleton College among the best colleges for undergraduate teaching. Apart from the academic services, Carleton has a large campus, consisting of various historic buildings. The breathtaking landscape that surrounds the college comprises of beautiful lakes and hills.

10. The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology was established in 1889 as a higher education institution. Students can choose from over 30 undergraduate degrees in the field of management, engineering, technology and sciences. The college is located 75 miles from Albuquerque. Students who want to get away from the noisy city life can consider enrolling at The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. The campus entails numerous buildings where students can have easy access to rock-climbing, mountain biking, camping, star-gazing, hiking and more. The college’s campus offers plenty of opportunities for exciting outdoor activities.

11. Colgate University

Colgate University is a popular liberal arts college located in Hamilton, New York. It is ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in the region. Students can choose from a vast range of undergraduate majors and minors.  The university’s campus is spread over 575 acres of land and undeveloped forest land. The lush green surroundings add to the rural beauty of the institution. Colgate University strongly believes in sustaining the natural environment.

12. Bucknell University

Bucknell University is a private liberal arts college located near the West Branch Susquehanna River in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The college was established in 1946 and is known for its quality education services. Bucknell University is located over a 450 acre piece of land. The campus can be divided into more than 100 buildings. The beautiful surroundings make this a perfect place to study and stay away from the busy city life. Bucknell University has a student teacher ratio of 9:1. There are over 3600 students currently enrolled here.

13. Colby College

Did you know that Colby College is the 12th oldest independent liberal arts college in the US? Colby College was established in 1813 in Waterville, Maine. Over the years, the college has diversified its services in the field of education and now ranks among the best educational institutions in the region. Even after all these years, Colby College has not let suburban and city developments take over its pristine rural environment. Colby College has a beautiful campus situated away from the city life, giving students a peaceful and relaxing environment to study in.

14. Grinnell College

Grinnell College was built in 1846 as a private liberal arts college in Grinnell, Iowa. The college is nicknamed as “pioneers” and is affiliated with the Midwest Conference. Students here not only  enjoy high quality academic services, but also the beautiful environment that surrounds the college. Grinnell College lies halfway between Des Moines and Iowa City on a 365-acre piece of land. To show its dedication to environment preservation, Grinnell College maintains an environmental research area called the Conard Environmental Research Aare (CERA).

15. Kenyon College

Established in 1824, Kenyon College is a private liberal arts college located in Gambier, Ohio. The college is popularly known for its gothic architecture and beautiful rural settings. Over 1500 undergraduates are currently enrolled here.  Kenyon College offers a wide range of majors and minors in fields of history, art, environmental studies, languages, literature, philosophy, etc. Students looking for a peaceful learning environment can consider enrolling at Kenyon College.

16. Ave Maria University

Ave Maria University is a renowned private Catholic institution located in Southwest Florida. The University stands by its motto, “From the Heart of the Church” by providing students with a well-rounded Christian educational experience. Alongside its top-notch learning facilities, Ave Maria is known for its beautiful campus that has not been effected by city developments and suburbanization. Even today, much of the surrounding landscape has been kept untouched. Ave Maria strongly believes in preserving the environment.

17. Whitman College

Whitman College was built in 1859 in Walla Walla, Washington. The college was initially founded to provide quality educational services in the field of liberal arts. Over the years, Whitman College gained popularity for its undergraduate programs and was ranked among the best liberal arts colleges by the U.S. News & World Report in 2015. The campus is located over 117 acres of land. Students can enjoy a scenic view of the surroundings that includes artificial lakes and a natural habitat for ducks. The campus includes a number of buildings that reflect the old architectural style of the 1800s.

18. Gettysburg College

Gettysburg College was founded in 1832 in the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The college focused on liberal arts education at undergraduate level and quickly became a popular place to study. Over the years, Gettysburg College has expanded its program offerings and services. Today, it is particularly known for its beautiful campus that is in close proximity to the Gettysburg National Military Park. Thousands of students are currently pursuing their educational dreams at this renowned institution.

19. Kansas State University

Kansas State University is a popular research university located in Manhattan, Kansas. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. This university is among the oldest institutions in the state. The campus is spread over 668 acres of land, entailing different historic buildings and architecture. The architectural design reflects the historic period of the 1800s during which it was built. The college offers a relaxing and peaceful learning environment that is great for students who wish to stay away from the city life.

20. Dickinson College

Dickinson College was established in 1773 and remains one of the oldest institutions in the state of Pennsylvania. The college was originally named John and Mary’s College in honor of John Dickinson. The campus is built over a large area that includes different buildings and facilities. Students can choose from a wide range of degree programs at Dickinson. The campus is located far from the city and offers a pleasant and peaceful environment.

With an overview of the leading rural colleges in the nation, you can now make an informed decision and enroll in a college that best fits your needs.