William Jewell College - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
William Jewell College
"William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors...

William Jewell College

Liberty, Missouri

Live What You Learn


“Live What You Learn” is more than just a catchphrase at William Jewell—it’s a way of life, a way of thinking about the college experience a little differently. Time in the classroom is not enough to prepare for the challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing world. Jewell is where students come to “dream” and come to “do.” Students emerge as better speakers, better writers, and ultimately better prepared for the wide range of personal and professional opportunities that lie ahead. William Jewell’s liberal arts education provides the lens through which to discover a new way of looking at the world. Offering big-city access to the Kansas City, Missouri, metropolitan area with a small-town location in Liberty, Missouri, William Jewell immerses students in a community of talented peers and gifted faculty who personally engage, challenge and mentor. A rigorous and intentional curriculum that is both competency and issues-based offers students the opportunity to address the “big questions” at the intersection of learning and faith.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,053 undergraduate students
97% of undergrad students are full time
42% male — 58% female

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
88 full-time faculty
60 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

83% of students live on campus.

School Location

Liberty, Missouri

Retention Fall 2015

82% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

62% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 5%
Hispanic/Latino 4%
Black or African American 4%
White 78%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 1%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 6%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 2%


National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II, Great Lakes Valley Conference. 20 varsity sports (men’s: football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, indoor and outdoor track, cross-country; women’s: basketball, softball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, golf, indoor and outdoor track, cross-country).

Other Information

William Jewell College, among the oldest colleges west of the Mississippi, is a private, residential, independent liberal arts college founded in 1849.

Academic Programs


Accounting, Applied Critical Thought & Inquiry (not a primary major), Art, Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Economics, Elementary Education, English, French, History, International Relations, Mathematics, Music, Music – Church, Music Education, Music Performance, Music Theory or Composition, Nonprofit Leadership     , Nursing, Organizational Communication, Oxbridge – History, Oxbridge – History of Ideas, Oxbridge – Institutions & Policy, Oxbridge – Literature & Theory, Oxbridge – Music, Oxbridge – Science: Molecular Biology, Philosophy, Physical Education (with Secondary Education), Physics  , Physics Education (with Secondary Education), Political Science, Psychology, Recreation and Sport, Religion and Culture, Rhetoric and Political Communication, Secondary Education (not a primary major), Self-Designed, Spanish   , Speech/Theatre Education (with Secondary Education), Theatre

Pre-Professional Programs

Dentistry, Engineering, Environmental Management , Forestry , Law, Medicine, Ministry, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Veterinary Medicine

Certification Programs

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, Pryor Leadership Studies, Service Learning

Dual Degree Programs

Engineering, Environmental Management, Forestry, Medicine, Occupational Therapy

More Distinctions

  • U.S. News & World Report included William Jewell among the top 186 national liberal arts colleges in its 2012 edition of "America's Best Colleges."

  • Jewell was named by The Princeton Review as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" in its 2012 edition. Only about 15% of the four-year colleges in the U.S. appear in the student survey-based rankings.

  • Forbes Magazine listed William Jewell among "America's Best Colleges" in its 2011 report.

  • William Jewell has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, as well as Washington Monthly's "Colleges that Contribute to the Public Good."

  • CNN/Money Magazine cited William Jewell's "many cultural offerings" as one of the benefits of living in Liberty, Missouri, which claimed the number 7 slot among the "Best Places to Live" for 2011-2012.


Located twenty minutes north of the heart of Kansas City, Jewell students experience the best of both worlds: access to internship opportunities and cultural and entertainment venues, all with the serenity of a peaceful hillside campus. William Jewell’s national and international reputation is based in part on some of the college’s unique programs.


William Jewell was the first college in the country to acknowledge completion of the college’s thirty-eight-hour liberal arts core as a recognized major in Applied Critical Thought and Inquiry (ACT-In). The ACT-In major allows all students to graduate with double (and sometimes triple) majors. The ACT-In major validates a student’s learning journey beyond the classroom. Students have the opportunity to connect what they learn to what they do.

Research Grants

Available to all students after completing the sophomore year, Journey Grants provide the freedom and funding to make the college experience one-of-a-kind. Journey Grants fund life-enhancing, hands-on experiences like self-designed research projects, study-away opportunities, internships, civic initiatives, and service projects at home or abroad.

Four Years, Guaranteed

William Jewell offers a Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, ensuring the timely completion of a great liberal arts education that positions students to transition into graduate school or their careers ahead of most peers.

Honors Program

Jewell’s internationally recognized Oxbridge Honors Program, supported by the Hall Family Foundation, combines the British tutorial methods of instruction with a year of study in Oxford or Cambridge.

Performing Arts

The renowned Harriman-Jewell Series is considered the Midwest’s premiere presenting program in the performing arts. Luciano Pavarotti made his international solo recital debut as part of the series, and each year’s schedule includes the best and brightest dance and theater companies, orchestras, ensembles, and recitalists.

Programs of Service

Through the Center for Justice and Sustainability, every Jewell student will have the opportunity to participate in projects that focus on justice and sustainability issues.  The Center annually hosts a Justice Summit, bringing national and local leaders together with Jewell students to address important issues of justice and sustainability.

The Pryor Leadership Studies Program includes class work, community service projects, and internships that allow students to enhance their leadership skills in a variety of settings.

The College’s Nonprofit Leadership major is one of only 15 undergraduate programs nationwide.


With its rigorous academic culture, the College offers students an outstanding liberal arts education with a focus on cultivating leadership, service, and spiritual growth within a community that is inspired by rigorous intellectual challenges and Christian ideals. Great teaching is also a hallmark at William Jewell with a student-to-teacher ratio of eleven to one and an average class size of sixteen students.


William Jewell College believes that, for an individual to be fully prepared to meet the challenges of today’s world, he or she must be capable of placing issues within a larger context rather than isolating them within rigidly defined subject areas. Because of the multidisciplinary philosophy of the school, Jewell’s distinctive core curriculum places contemporary issues against a backdrop of relevant historical, cultural, and ethical ideas. The interdisciplinary curriculum is designed for students to consider the social sciences alongside the laws that govern the natural world, to study religion in relation to the social settings from which it developed, and to measure technological advances against the ethical dilemmas they sometimes create.


As the only program in the United States that offers a full curriculum of tutorial-based instruction in conjunction with a year of study in England, the writing-intensive Oxbridge Honors Program extends through all four years of college. The highly personalized approach to education, with many opportunities for personal connections with faculty members, combines the best of the British and American approaches to education. In addition, international programs allow Jewell students to study at some of the greatest universities worldwide.


More than 80% of students live on campus in one of seven residence halls, one sorority complex, or three fraternity houses. All are wired with high-speed Internet access.

William Jewell’s Fraternity Row is a complex of three distinctive, individual houses. Shumaker Hall Sorority Houses and Greek Commons, which opened in 2009, is a custom-designed facility that features four distinctive yet connected houses with individual kitchens and chapter rooms.


William Jewell is home to more than seventy student clubs and organizations. Students are involved in a wide range of activities that include Greek organizations, political clubs, a debate team, Christian Student Ministries, music organizations, and more. Students also participate in a variety of NCAA Division II varsity sports.

Preparation for continued success

PayScale.com recently listed William Jewell among the top 12 in first-year median income among all liberal arts colleges in the nation for graduate earning potential.

Within six months of graduation, nearly 98 percent of Jewell students are accepted into graduate school or attain employment. Graduate schools that have welcomed Jewell alumni include Yale, Duke, Columbia, Stanford, Harvard, and Georgetown.


William Jewell students have recently received numerous national awards, including Goldwater, Marshall, Truman, Fulbright, and USA Today fellowships and scholarships. The College’s debate team was named the nation’s best in 2007 at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence, defeating the top-seeded team from the University of California, Berkeley.


The Career Services office at William Jewell offers support to students and alumni who are seeking full- or part-time employment. In addition, emphasis is placed on career guidance and counseling, and staff work with individual students throughout their time at Jewell to explore career issues.


Admissions Fall 2015

1,456 Total Applicants 
719 Total Admissions 
245 Total Freshman Enrollment

49.38% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 500 640
SAT Math 490 620
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 23 28
ACT Math 22 27
ACT English 23 30
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $31,223
Fees $600
Total $31,823
Room and Board (on campus) $8,880
Room Only $4,950
Board Only $3,930
Estimated Total On Campus $40,703


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

100% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
56% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$22,926 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$7,543 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates