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Patriot League

Learn About the 10 Colleges in the Patriot League

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The Patriot League is an NCAA Division I athletic conference with members from the northeastern states. The conference headquarters are located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania.  Academically, the Patriot League has some of the strongest colleges of any Division I conference. Aside from the permanent members listed below, the league has three associate members: MIT (women's rowing), Fordham (football) and Georgetown (football).

1. American University

American University
alai.jmw / Flickr

Located on 84 park-like acres, American University has made a name for itself as one of the most internationally-engaged universities in the country. The student body comes from over 150 countries. Programs in International Relations, Political Science and Government are particularly strong, but the university's general strengths in the arts and sciences has earned it a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. The law and business schools also place well in most national rankings.

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • School type: Private university
  • Enrollment: 12,724 (7,212 undergraduates)
  • Team: Eagles
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the American University admissions profile.

2. Annapolis (Navy)

Annapolis - USNA
Rory Finneren / Flickr

Annapolis, the United States Naval Academy, is one of the most selective colleges in the country. All costs are covered, and students receive benefits and a modest monthly salary. Applicants must seek a nomination, usually from a member of congress. Upon graduation, all students have a five-year active duty obligation. Some officers pursuing aviation will have longer requirements. 

  • Location: Annapolis, Maryland
  • School type: Military academy
  • Enrollment: 4,576 (all undergraduate)
  • Team: Midshipmen
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Annapolis admissions profile.

3. Boston University

Boston College Campus
Juthamas / Flickr

Located in the Kenmore-Fenway area of Boston, just west of Back Bay, Boston University is the fourth largest private university in the country. BU's location puts it within easy reach of other Boston universities such as MIT, Harvard, and Northeastern. On many national rankings, Boston University places among the top 50 universities in the U.S. Student housing at BU is an eclectic mix that ranges from contemporary high rises to Victorian town houses.

4. Bucknell University

Bucknell University
aurimasliutikas / Flickr

Bucknell University has the feel of a liberal arts college with the course offerings of a comprehensive university. The engineering program is worth a close look, and the university's strengths in the liberal arts and sciences have earned it a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Admissions have grown increasingly selective in recent years. 

  • Location: Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
  • School type: Private university
  • Enrollment: 3,635 (3,554 undergraduates)
  • Team: Bisons
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Bucknell University admissions profile.

5. Colgate University

James B. Colgate Hall
bronayur / Flickr

Colgate University frequently ranks among the top 25 liberal arts colleges in the country. Colgate's rural campus is located in the picturesque rolling hills of central Upstate New York. Colgate has many strengths among its 51 majors, a fact that has earned the school a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Colgate also has an impressive 90% 6-year graduation rate, and roughly 2/3 of students eventually go on to do some form of graduate study. Colgate made my list of top liberal arts colleges.

  • Location: Hamilton, New York
  • School type: Private liberal arts college
  • Enrollment: 2,964 (2,947 undergraduates)
  • Team: Patriots
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Colgate University admissions profile.

6. Holy Cross

College of the Holy Cross
GeorgeThree / Flickr

Holy Cross has an impressive retention and graduation rate, with well over 90% of entering students earning a degree within six years. The college was awarded a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, and the school's 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio means that students will have a lot of personal interaction with their professors. Founded by the Jesuits in 1843, Holy Cross is the oldest Catholic college in New England. Holy Cross made my list of top Catholic colleges, top Massachusetts colleges, and top liberal arts colleges.

  • Location: Worcester, Massachusetts
  • School type: Private Catholic liberal arts college
  • Enrollment: 2,905 (all undergraduate)
  • Team: Crusaders
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the College of the Holy Cross admissions profile

7. Lafayette College

Easton, Pennsylvania
Retromoderns / Flickr

Lafayette College has the feel of a traditional liberal arts college, but it is unusual in that it also has several engineering programs. Lafayette's strengths in the liberal arts earned it a chapter of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. Quality instruction is central to Lafayette's mission, and with an 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio, students will have lots of interaction with the faculty. Kiplinger's ranks Lafayette highly for the school's value, and students who qualify for aid often receive significant grant awards. Lafayette made my list of top liberal arts colleges.

  • Location: Easton, Pennsylvania
  • School type: Private liberal art college
  • Enrollment: 2,478 (all undergraduate)
  • Team: Leopards
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Lafayette College admissions profile

8. Lehigh University

Lehigh University
conormac / Flickr

Lehigh is best known for its excellent engineering and applied science programs, but its college of business is nationally ranked and equally popular among undergraduates. The university boasts an impressive 9 to 1 student / faculty ratio, but because of Lehigh's strong research focus, class sizes average in the 25-30 student range. Lehigh made my list of top Pennsylvania colleges.

  • Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • School type: Private university
  • Enrollment: 7,055 (4,869 undergraduates)
  • Team: Mountain Hawks
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Lehigh University admissions profile.

9. Loyola University Maryland

Loyola University of Maryland Business School
Crhayes88 / Wikimedia Commons

Author Tom Clancy's Alma Mater, Loyola University Maryland's 79-acre campus is just down the road from Johns Hopkins University. Among all the undergraduate majors, the preprofessional programs in business and communication studies are by far the most popular. Loyola University is proud of its 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio, and its average class size of 25.

  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • School type: private Catholic (Jesuit) university
  • Enrollment: 6,080 (3,863 undergraduates)
  • Team: Greyhounds
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the Loyola University Maryland profile.

10. West Point (Army)

West Point
markjhandel / Flickr

The United States Military Academy at West Point is one of the most selective colleges in the country, and applicants need to have a nomination from a member of congress. West Point was founded in 1802 and is the oldest of the service academies in the U.S. The campus has a beautiful location on the Hudson River in Upstate New York. Every student at West Point receives a free education plus a small salary, but they do have a five-year service requirement after graduation. 

  • Location: West Point, New York
  • School type: Military academy
  • Enrollment: 4,624 (all undergraduate)
  • Team: Black Knights
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, see the West Point admissions profile.

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