The Value of Liberal arts Education

The Value of Liberal arts Education


THE President of Reed College has just penned an excellent article in which he asks “What is a Successful College Education?” “I think we should spend more time thinking about the purpose of college. You can decide this for yourselves, but I would like to suggest that a successful college education consists of five fundamental elements:

  • learning a set of core intellectual capabilities
  • developing character 
  • pursuing rich positive experiences
  • self-definition
  • preparing for the future.”

Read the whole article from Reed here.


While he showcases Reed in his essay, he is really talking about a whole group of colleges that emphasize the undergraduate experience first and foremost. His argument on the core intellectual  capabilities reminds of a similar essay written by Yale in 1828.


Are the liberal arts that enduring? In a word, yes. So argues the excellent essay,  The enduring relevance of a liberal-arts education


Many people wonder if students will be able to get a job with a degree from a liberal arts college:




This info graphic illustrates the key aspects of getting a liberal arts education:



Factors that Make Liberal Arts Education Work:

Faculty commitment to teaching and interacting with students

Opportunities to participate in research

Enhanced peer-to-peer activities and interaction

Opportunities for leadership

A broader exposure to activities and experiences

Accessible support services

Small classes with less emphasized multiple-choice exams

Engagement in the classroom and on campus

A strong commitment to developing essential skills

Adapted from Green & Green’s The Hidden Ivies


Some facts about Liberal arts Graduates:


  • Score among the highest on graduate school entrance exams like GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.
  • The Gain entry into professional schools school (Law, Medicine and MBA) at very nigh rates. The Wall street Journey identified the top 50 feeder schools— 15 of the 35 are Liberal art schools.
  • Liberal art Graduates report much higher satisfaction and work readiness than their counterparts in Private Universities and Public Flagship Universities so says this study
  • The study found also that liberal arts college graduates are more likely than alumni of other types of institutions to say all of the following about their college experience:







    • Their professors often challenged them academically and personally helped them meet those challenges.
    • Most of their grades were based on essay exams and written reports.
    • Their experience often included extensive classroom discussions.
    • They participated in faculty-directed research or independent study.
    • They often engaged in conversations with professors outside of class.
    • They participated in service-learning or community service.
  • Read the full report here.


    Ready to start looking at Liberal Arts Colleges?

    • Check out the 16 Colleges that Change Lives coming to SA Tomorrow: 
    • A larger list of colleges that offer this great education is the Annapolis group
    • And of course, you can find Liberal arts colleges around the world.  


    One of the best overall sites for learning about the Liberal arts colleges, bares the name



    “The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.”

    —Albert Einstein