U.S. News & World Report:

  • One of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the U.S.
  • #16 Best Value College — a measure of academic quality and affordability
  • COA is among the colleges that have achieved the most significant positive movement in the U.S. News ranking over the last five years, jumping up more than 40 spots on the list.

Princeton Review:

COA ranks among the top colleges in the country on the Princeton Review’s lists including:

  • Best Campus Food: #6
  • LGBTQ-Friendly: #2
  • Professors Get High Marks: #11
  • Great Financial Aid: #11
  • Most Beautiful Campus: #16
  • Best College Dorms: #20

Green Colleges:

COA has been repeatedly recognized for our college-wide commitment to ecological practices.

  • Sierra Club’s Cool Schools: #1 (greenest college in America)
  • The Princeton Review’s Top 50 Green Colleges: #8
  • Popular Mechanics’ Greenest Colleges in America: #1

Washington Monthly:

  • Among the top 100 liberal arts colleges—this ranking is based largely on colleges’ contributions to the public good.
  • Best bang for the buck: #48 (a regional ranking based on the economic value that students receive per dollar spent on their education).

MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient:

COA is one of six colleges selected to receive a “genius” grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, who cited our innovative, mission-driven approach to liberal arts education.

“At this tiny Bar Harbor school, students ‘don’t just take classes’: they immerse themselves in experiences and in ‘an intimate, friendly community’ of do-ers and critical thinkers.… This unique educational model helps students ‘merge [their] talents/interests in a meaningful and applicable way,’ and allows for graduate-level research and real-world work experience at the undergraduate level…. Self-motivated learning is everything here, and College of the Atlantic is for ‘idealists with elbow grease.’”

— Princeton Review’s The Best 381 Colleges 2017


The COA research station lighthouse on Great Duck Island.The COA research station lighthouse on Great Duck Island. 


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