Ratings criteria: Colleges must have a respectable endowment, at least some good frats (except for #2), be focused on undergraduate students, and have strong academic programs.

All of these schools have an undergraduate enrollment of less than 3000 to be considered “small”

Here at the top 9 east-coast liberal arts colleges. 

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1. 

Davidson College, Davidson, NC

Davidson College is one of the smallest schools nationally, with NCAA Division I Athletic program

2. 

Colby College, Waterville, ME

Located in Maine, this school has some the best skiing in New England close to the coast

3. 

Hamilton College, Clinton, NY

 Hamilton has produced 92 Fulbright scholars in the last 15 years (~6 per class year), and is named for Alexander Hamilton

4. 

Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA

 Located right next to the battlefields, Gettysburg College boasts a unique Civil War history program

5. 

Lafayette College, Easton, PA

 Known for being a great liberal arts college and having a stellar engineering program

Source

6. 

Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Greek life is paramount here on this rural campus in central PA

7. 

Connecticut College, New London, CT

 #1 Gold-Coast Small School by far

8. 

Amherst College, Amherst, MA

 Amherst has a competitive rivalry with Williams College in their annual football game

9.

Trinity College, Hartford, CT 

Great college – not really in a great neighborhood though

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