Since its inception, Alice Lloyd College has provided education of the highest quality to deserving mountain students. ALC charges no out-of-pocket tuition for students from its defined geographic region. For this reason, U.S. News & World Report continually ranks ALC as the Top College in America for graduating students with the least amount of debt. This investment in the future yields a high return—95% of ALC graduates are accepted to professional or graduate school, and more than 80% of graduates return to Appalachia to serve as leaders in their communities.
Berea College was named as the nation’s top liberal arts college in 2011 by Washington Monthly — an award that looks beyond standard criteria like test scores, economic data and peer surveys. Instead, Washington Monthly’s criteria focus on social mobility, excellence in education and community service.
Founded in 1855, Berea was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South. Berea awards four-year tuition scholarships to all its students, who because of financial circumstances cannot otherwise afford a high-quality, residential, liberal arts education. The work program has been an integral part of Berea’s educational program for more than a century.
Now celebrating its 175th anniversary, Blackburn College launched its student work program in 1913 as a way to make a quality liberal arts college education affordable for thousands of first generation students. It’s no surprise that Blackburn was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the #2 Best Value College in the Midwest. Over the years, students have built Blackburn—literally brick by brick. Ten campus buildings including residence halls, the library, athletic facilities, academic buildings and the administration building were constructed with the help of student workers.
Known as “Hard Work U,” College of the Ozarks is consistently recognized by national publications like Forbes, U.S. News & World Report and Kaplan/Newsweek as both a “best buy” and one of the best overall colleges in the nation. C of O is a Christian institution where students work in one of 80 diverse assignments, occasionally selected to complement their career path. The cost of tuition is covered through the student work, grants, and scholarships provided by the College. The student work experience is so valuable that performance grades are included in student records. This creates an impressive set of credentials to show future employers.
The Ecclesia student motto “Where Leaders are Learning” captures the spirit evident throughout the campus. This work college serves students regardless of their family resources—building character, skills and résumés, while significantly offsetting educational expenses. While the national average student debt is $25,250, Ecclesia students graduate with an average debt of $5,938. Ecclesia has earned its place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the past three years.
Sterling College is a small and progressive liberal arts college in northern Vermont. Our small size, our environmental focus, and our commitment to grassroots sustainability all make us unique.
Sterling College offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Outdoor Education, Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems. Students can also choose to design their own major, and some examples include Agroecology, Envrionmental Justice, Conservation Education, and International Agriculture and Business.
Warren Wilson is known for its strong international and environmental emphasis. Regarding the latter focus, Outside Magazine has called Warren Wilson “one of the most earth-friendly colleges on the planet.” Warren Wilson College was recognized in the Fiske Guide to Colleges as one of the “25 Best Buys” among private colleges and universities. In addition to high marks for its academics, social life and affordability, the Fiske Guide honored the College with the highest possible rating for overall quality of student life.