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Top New Hampshire Colleges

5 of the Top Colleges in New Hampshire

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If you want to go to a great college in a state with easy access to excellent skiing, climbing, hiking, and other outdoor activities, take a look at New Hampshire. My top picks for the state range in size from 1,100 students to over 15,000, and the admissions standards vary greatly. The list includes a small Catholic college, an Ivy League school, and a public university. My selection criteria include retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, value, student engagement, and notable curricular strengths. I have listed the schools alphabetically rather than forcing them into any kind of artificial ranking; these five schools vary so much in mission and personality that any distinctions in rank would be dubious at best.

Adult learners may want to check out Granite State College. The school isn't on my list, but it has great success for an open admissions college catering to part-time students.

Compare New Hampshire Colleges: SAT Scores | ACT Scores

Colby-Sawyer College

Colby-Sawyer College
Josephybrophy / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: New London, New Hampshire
  • Enrollment: 1,122 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: small college with professional focus
  • Distinctions: 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 17; attractive red-brick campus buildings; strong professional focus; good grant aid; high participation in internships; NCAA Division III athletic program
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Colby-Sawyer College profile

Dartmouth College

Baker Library and Tower at Dartmouth University
Photo Credit: Allen Grove
  • Location: Hanover, New Hampshire
  • Enrollment: 5,987 (4,196 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: comprehensive private research university
  • Distinctions: member of the Ivy League; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences; one of the country's top universities; strong grant aid for qualifying students; excellent athletic facilities and high levels of student participation in sports
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Dartmouth College profile

Franklin Pierce University

Mountain view from the Franklin Pierce campus
JBColorado / Flickr
  • Location: Ringe, New Hampshire
  • Enrollment: 2,396 (1,809 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: small private university
  • Distinctions: attractive lakeside location with views of Mount Monadnock; 14 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 16; curriculum blends liberal arts and professional preparation; good grant aid; NCAA Division II athletic programs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Franklin Pierce University profile

Saint Anselm College

Saint Anselm College
Ericci8996 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Enrollment: 1,896 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: Catholic liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; over 80 student clubs and organizations; popular business and nursing programs; Honors Program to challenge high-achieving students; NCAA Division II athletic programs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Saint Anselm College profile

University of New Hampshire, Durham

University of New Hampshire
bdjsb7 / Flickr
  • Location: Durham, New Hampshire
  • Enrollment: 15,095 (12,458 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; 18 to 1 student / faculty ratio; sea coast town about an hour from Boston; good value; good 6-year graduation rate for student profile; member of the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association for football, and the America East Conference for many other sports
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of New Hampshire profile

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