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Amherst: Tops in Liberal Arts and No Student Loans

Amherst College is widely regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges, with about 1,800 students from nearly all states and 50 countries. It is located in western Massachusetts, a town rated as one of the best college towns in America. The entire region is beautiful and densely populated with picturesque New England towns, unlimited cultural attractions, and great local restaurants.


Academics at Amherst

Amherst has an open curriculum, which means that there are no requirements and students work with an adviser to craft their own course plan. While the open curriculum offers flexibility and independence, it also means that each classroom is filled with students interested in that topic.

The Five College Consortium offers an opportunity for Amherst students to cross register at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Smith, Mt Holyoke, or Hampshire College. More than 40% of Amherst students study abroad, choosing among 240 programs worldwide.


Quick facts about Amherstamherst college

Admissions rate: 14%

Freshman retention: 96%

Freshmen from out of state: 89%

4-year Graduation rate: 86%

Most popular majors:  English, political science, economics


Social scene

Rated as one of the top college towns in American, there is plenty to do after class and on weekends, plus you don’t need a car. Amherst is part of the Five College Consortium so students not only take classes but socialize at the other four campuses. There’s a free shuttle providing transportation to each campus.

Both varsity and intramural sports are taken seriously at Amherst, with 80% of the student body participating in intramural and club sports.



Almost all of Amherst’s student population lives on campus, since housing is guaranteed for all 4 years. All freshmen live together in the “first-year quad”. Fourteen theme houses are available on campus for upperclassmen and include an Arts and Health and Wellness themed spaces.


Similar colleges to consider:

Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Yale


Financial aid and scholarships at Amherst

Amherst offers both need-based and merit aid. Amherst meets 100% of need and has a need-blind policy for domestic and international students. Although the overall cost of attendance is about $75,000, the average financial aid package is $52K. 55% of students receive scholarships. There are NO student loans, only scholarship grants offered!

What do you think about Amherst college? What about this college is a good fit? Please post your comments below.

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