Categories: College Life

10 Small Colleges That Are Hidden Gems

There are amazing small colleges in the U.S. that are hidden from the average college searches. The reason why, is that there are a limited number of students who are allowed to attend these quality small colleges. These beautiful small colleges need to be on your radar when you’re searching for colleges because they are some of the best colleges in the country!

1) Rhodes College

We can’t get enough of Rhodes College’s beautiful campus and quality academic status. Located in Memphis, Tennessee, Rhodes is a small liberal arts college in the heart of the city of Memphis. Rhodes college focuses on education, community, and volunteering. Though located in a city, the campus is completely gated ensuring that the Rhodes students experience b0th the city and the campus experience. The city life is poppin’ with activity, music, and night life. If you’re a fan of the wizarding world of Harry Potter, then you will feel right at home at this small college! Rhodes College is often compared to Hogwarts because every inch of campus feels like a medieval castle. The campus is on almost every list of most beautiful colleges and has been named ‘Most Beautiful College’ by the Princeton Review. Even if you aren’t looking at colleges to attend, you still need to visit this beautiful hidden campus. 

2) Kenyon College

Located in rural Gambier, Ohio, this small college is simply breathtaking. As you step on campus, you truly feel as though you have stepped into another time. Besides Kenyon’s uncanny charm and scenery, the academic experience is truly remarkable. If you’d like to become apart of a historical legacy, then this is also the small college for you. Being founded in 1824, Kenyon is one of the oldest college institutions in the country and has an impressive list of notable alumni. Kenyon is location on top of a hill and has amazing view… we recommend a visit in the fall for breath-taking views!


3) Berry College

This is a small college for the books! Berry College has, like most of these small college, one of the most beautiful college campus out there. Located in Rome, Georgia, Berry is in it’s own league when it comes to campus size. This ‘small college’ actually is the largest college campus in the world. Berry sits on 27,000 acres of land. If you enjoy the outdoors and hiking, then you will fall in love with this small college because you can hike without ever leaving campus! Along with Berry’s outstanding size and beauty, it also offers a quality academic experience. This is truly a hidden gem!


4) Flagler College

A small college on the beach! Flagler College is located in the historical town of St. Augustine, Florida and is located right no the water. Flagler has been recognized as being one of the best beach colleges for academics in the country. If you are interested in environmental studies, check out Flagler because it has a fantastic environmental studies department. Flagler used to be a luxury hotel, ad was converted into a world class small college over 50 years ago. The location has a deep and fascinating history.With that, Flagler College is gorgeous. Flagler students basically live in a beautiful castle by the sea!


5) Davidson College

Davidson College is like no other small college! It is located about 20 miles north of Charlotte, North Carolina and is in a perfect location. This is a quality small college in academic and it ranked one of the very best small colleges in the country. While Davidson students benefit from the small college advantages of small class room size and classes taught only by professors, they also get to experience the division 1 high ranked sports. Many quality athletes attend Davidson because they really enjoy a quality small college education with quality high-level sports.


6) University Of Tulsa

If you are a huge football fan, then you will absolutely love the this small college! The University of Tulsa has one of the best small college football programs in the country. The college is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a small college with a lot of space. The college is especially special because the student body is very invested in the sports programs and spirit. At this small college, you get the small college experience in the classroom and a sports experience you find usually with bigger schools.


7) Pepperdine University

Located right on the ocean in Malibu, California, Pepperdine University is a hidden gem! This is a small college made up of a little over 3,000 under grad students. This is a unique college because the university take a self-evaluative approach in academics. The college promotes discovery in the world and yourself in each subject that is taught. This gives a unique perspective in your major and in your life. Pepperdine offers an eclectic amount of activities involving the ocean including beach yoga and surfing. 

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8) Otterbien University

Located in Ohio, Otterbien students are in a great central location that is beautiful! Founded in 1847, Otterbien is one of the oldest colleges in the country and is actually on the National Register of Historic   places. It sits near Columbus, Ohio and is a very charming college full of character and history. The college prides itself on the diversity on campus and progressive nature of it’s students. 


9) The University Of The South

Sewanee University, also known as “The University Of The South”, is a beautiful college that is located on top of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. This small college is full of beauty and traditions. There is a tradition that students participate in where they earn the right to wear their academic gown if they have suitable grades and college standing. There are also so many places on campus and in the town where hiking and nature walking is very popular!


10) Hope College

This is such a wonderful hidden gem that you must put on your places to visit! Hope College is located in Holland, Michigan right near the beaches of Lake Michigan. This campus is charming and has a lot of character and Dutch influences. This is a small college that is centered around community engagement and academics making it one of the best hidden colleges out there!

Now that you have discovered these hidden gems, which small college is your favorite? We would love to hear your opinion in the comments!

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Tags: college
Julia Bergquist

Julia grew up in a town just outside of Chicago. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee where she is a junior Creative Writing and Literature major at Rhodes College. Julia prefers to spend her days outside writing stories for others to find joy in. Other than story-telling, you will find Julia running on her college track and field team and traveling the world.

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