Colleges of Distinction Releases New 2018-2019 List: Find Your Best College

Briana Tamasi

These schools have been carefully selected as distinguished institutions, measured by the experiences students come away with and the memories they can create as they invest in their futures, so students can choose not only “the ‘best college’, but the right college.”

Choosing a college is a big decision, and incoming students can be burdened with lots of questions:  Should the school be in state or out of state? What kind of majors are offered? What will the professors be like? Will there be a chance to grow relationships with professors? Will there be sports teams? What opportunities are there outside of classes? All of these questions are important and require more than statistics to answer. Attending college is an adventure and students should be able to choose a school based on the kind of individual experience they wish to have. Understanding the unique features each school has to offer is vital to choosing the right college, that is where Colleges of Distinction steps in.

Colleges of Distinction provides students with a list of schools that offer remarkable experiences that help them learn, grow, and succeed.  Schools are measured based on their inclusion of High-Impact Practices and how they align with our Four Distinctions.

Each of the Four Distinctions is important to the overall student experience:

Engaged Students ensures that students are learning through more than just classroom lectures.  Students are writing, conducting research, studying abroad, and learning through discussion and classroom involvement.

Great Teaching reflects the quality of professors and staff at each school.  Schools with great teaching have experienced professors in small classrooms, where students can establish a relationship with their professors and mentors and will not be lost in the crowd.

Vibrant Communities measures the ways students can grow outside the classroom.  This includes clubs, organizations, and sports teams but also the feel of the campus.  Students should be comfortable where they go to school and be able to choose an institution that can help them expand their hobbies and interests as well as further their careers.

Successful Outcomes ensures that students are experiencing internships, research opportunities, and are prepared for what is to come.

Below is the 2018-2019 annual list of schools that embody each of these qualities and have surpassed Colleges of Distinction’s expectations during extensive interviews, school visits, and research.

2018-2019 Colleges of Distinction


ALABAMA

Birmingham-Southern College
Samford University
University of Alabama in Huntsville
University of Montevallo

ARIZONA
Prescott College

ARKANSAS
Harding University
Hendrix College
John Brown University
Lyon College

CALIFORNIA
Azusa Pacific University
California College of the Arts
California Polytechnic State University
Chapman University
Concordia University Irvine
Dominican University of California
Holy Names University
La Sierra University
Loyola Marymount University
Notre Dame de Namur University
Pepperdine University
Point Loma Nazarene University
Santa Clara University
Simpson University
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of La Verne
University of Redlands
University of San Diego
University of the Pacific
Westmont College
Whittier College
Woodbury University

COLORADO
Colorado Christian University
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado School of Mines
Naropa University
University of Denver
Western State Colorado University

CONNECTICUT
Albertus Magnus College
Eastern Connecticut State University
Fairfield University
Goodwin College
Sacred Heart University
University of Hartford
University of New Haven
Western Connecticut State University

FLORIDA
Barry University
Flagler College
Florida Southern College
Lynn University
Rollins College
Southeastern University
University of Miami
University of North Florida

GEORGIA
Berry College
Brenau University
Georgia Gwinnett College
Mercer University
Oglethorpe University
Piedmont College
Reinhardt University
Toccoa Falls College
University of West Georgia
Young Harris College

IDAHO
Northwest Nazarene University
The College of Idaho

ILLINOIS
Aurora University
Concordia University Chicago
Greenville University
Illinois State University
Illinois Wesleyan University
Judson University
Lewis University
Loyola University Chicago
MacMurray College
North Central College
Olivet Nazarene University
Saint Xavier University
Trinity Christian College
University of St. Francis
Wheaton College

INDIANA
Anderson University
Ball State University
Bethel College
Butler University
DePauw University
Grace College
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Taylor University
University of Indianapolis
Wabash College

IOWA
Briar Cliff University
Buena Vista University
Drake University
Northwestern College
St. Ambrose University
University of Dubuque

KANSAS
Baker University
Bethany College
Emporia State University
Friends University
Kansas Wesleyan University
McPherson College
Ottawa University
Southwestern College

KENTUCKY
Centre College
Lindsey Wilson College
University of Louisville
University of the Cumberlands

LOUISIANA
Centenary College of Louisiana
Tulane University
University of New Orleans

MAINE
Unity College
University of Maine

MARYLAND
Frostburg State University
Loyola University Maryland
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Salisbury University
St. Mary’s College of Maryland

MASSACHUSETTS
Anna Maria College
Assumption College
Bay Path University
Becker College
Curry College
Dean College
Emmanuel College
Lasell College
Newbury College
Nichols College
Northeastern University
Regis College
Springfield College
Stonehill College
Suffolk University
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Wentworth Institute of Technology
Western New England University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

MICHIGAN
Adrian College
Albion College
Alma College
Concordia University Ann Arbor
Cornerstone University
Hillsdale College
Kalamazoo College
Michigan Technological University
Northern Michigan University
Siena Heights University
Western Michigan University

MINNESOTA
University of Minnesota Morris
University of St. Thomas

MISSISSIPPI
Belhaven University
Millsaps College

MISSOURI
Evangel University
Fontbonne University
Maryville University
Missouri State University
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Saint Louis University
Truman State University

MONTANA
Carroll College
Rocky Mountain College
University of Providence

NEBRASKA
College of Saint Mary
Concordia University, Nebraska
Creighton University
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Wayne State College

NEVADA
Sierra Nevada College

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Rivier University
University of New Hampshire

NEW JERSEY
Caldwell University
College of Saint Elizabeth
Georgian Court University
Monmouth University
Ramapo College
Rider University
Seton Hall University
Stevens Institute of Technology
The College of New Jersey

NEW YORK
Adelphi University
Binghamton University
Canisius College
College of Mount Saint Vincent
Concordia College New York
Daemen College
Dominican College
Elmira College
Fordham University
Hartwick College
Houghton College
Iona College
Keuka College
Le Moyne College
LIU Brooklyn
LIU Post
Manhattan College
Manhattanville College
Molloy College
New York Institute of Technology
Niagara University
Pace University, Westchester Campus
Pace University, New York City Campus
Purchase College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)
St. John Fisher College
St. John’s University
St. Thomas Aquinas College
SUNY Geneseo
SUNY New Paltz
SUNY Oneonta
SUNY Oswego
The King’s College
The Sage Colleges
University at Albany, SUNY

NORTH CAROLINA
Appalachian State University
Catawba College
Elon University
Gardner-Webb University
High Point University
Lees-McRae College
Meredith College
Pfeiffer University
University of Mount Olive
University of North Carolina – Wilmington
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Wake Forest University
Western Carolina University

NORTH DAKOTA
University of Mary

OHIO
Ashland University
Capital University
Defiance College
Denison University
Hiram College
Marietta College
Miami University – Oxford
Mount St. Joseph University
Ohio Dominican University
Otterbein University
University of Dayton
University of Mount Union
Walsh University
Wittenberg University
Xavier University

OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma Baptist University
Oklahoma Christian University
Oral Roberts University
University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma
University of Tulsa

OREGON
Corban University
Eastern Oregon University
George Fox University
Pacific University
Portland State University
University of Portland
Warner Pacific University
Willamette University

PENNSYLVANIA
Allegheny College
Cabrini University
Carlow University
Cedar Crest College
Chatham University
Chestnut Hill College
Drexel University
Elizabethtown College
Geneva College
Gettysburg College
Grove City College
La Roche College
Lafayette College
Lebanon Valley College
Lycoming College
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Mercyhurst University
Messiah College
Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Mount Aloysius College
Muhlenberg College
Point Park University
Rosemont College
Saint Francis University
Saint Joseph’s University
Seton Hill University
Slippery Rock University
Susquehanna University
Thiel College
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford
Villanova University
Waynesburg University
West Chester University
Wilson College
York College of Pennsylvania

RHODE ISLAND
Providence College

SOUTH CAROLINA
Charleston Southern University
Coastal Carolina University
College of Charleston
Erskine College
Furman University
Presbyterian College
The Citadel
University of South Carolina Aiken
University of South Carolina Upstate

SOUTH DAKOTA
Mount Marty College

TENNESSEE
Belmont University
Carson-Newman University
Christian Brothers University
Freed-Hardeman University
King University
Lee University
Lipscomb University
Maryville College
Middle Tennesee State University
Rhodes College
Tusculum College
Union University

TEXAS
Abilene Christian University
Angelo State University
Dallas Baptist University
Hardin-Simmons University
Lubbock Christian University
Midwestern State University
Southern Methodist University
St. Edward’s University
St. Mary’s University
Texas Christian University
The University of Texas at Tyler
Trinity University
University of Dallas
University of Mary Hardin–Baylor
University of Texas at Dallas

UTAH
Southern Utah University
Westminster College of Utah

VERMONT
Castleton University
Champlain College
University of Vermont

VIRGINIA
Averett University
Christopher Newport University
College of William & Mary
James Madison University
University of Lynchburg
Old Dominion University
Sweet Briar College
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise
University of Richmond
Virginia Wesleyan University

WASHINGTON
Eastern Washington University
Gonzaga University
Northwest University
Pacific Lutheran University
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle University
Western Washington University

WEST VIRGINIA
Davis & Elkins College

WISCONSIN
Cardinal Stritch University
Carthage College
Concordia University Wisconsin
Lawrence University
Marquette University
Northland College
St. Norbert College
University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
University of Wisconsin–Parkside
University of Wisconsin–Stout
University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
Viterbo University
Wisconsin Lutheran College

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