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Rankings and hallmarks of excellence

For a small college, Earlham has a big reputation. Earlham consistently ranks among U.S. News and World Report’s top national liberal arts institutions, and we have one of the nation’s best classroom experiences, according to The Princeton Review. The quality of our academic experiences goes beyond rankings, however. Many prestigious organizations — including the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the Watson Foundation, and the Lilly Foundation — invest in our students, our academic programs and our facilities.

Even with all the accolades, at the end of the day we measure our success by the countless Earlhamites who lead extraordinary lives of mission and value as a direct result of their Earlham experience. No statistic or numerical rank can account for the personal commitment an Earlham education demands, or the lifelong impact our graduates can expect as alumni. We invite you to explore the various ways our academic quality is recognized.


Earlham is proud to be among the 40 colleges chosen by Loren Pope for inclusion in his book, Colleges That Change Lives, first published in 1996.

In his widely acclaimed college guide, Pope focused on liberal arts colleges that “not only equip youths to live full lives but they work their magic on a variety of aptitudes, academic and others as important…. Every one of these catalytic places will push and stretch you beyond what you think possible, but they won’t let you fall.”

Pope emphasizes the learning that takes place in these colleges: “Learning is collaborative rather than competitive; values are central; there is a strong sense of community. They are places of great synergy….”

Pope, now deceased, was a former journalist and education editor at The New York Times; he devoted over 30 years to counseling parents and students about making college choices.

Beyond the Book

Colleges That Change Lives, Inc., (CTCL) is a non-profit organization that promotes a student-centered college search process. In 1998 the CTCL colleges began working together to extend Pope’s approach to helping students find the right college fit. They developed a website and began a nationwide series of college fairs and individual information sessions that continues today.

Watch CTCL’s calendar to find out when representatives will be in your area.

Niche logo


Earlham College is ranked 14th nationally for diversity, according to the educational services company Niche. Just 25 institutions of higher education are included in the ranking, which is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education.

The ranking compares socioeconomic, geographic and ethnic diversity of students and employees. Earlham was given an A+ rating as part of the rankings. Learn more about Niche.


For six years in a row, Earlham College has been named to the Princeton Review’s list of the “Best Value Colleges.” Earlham is also one of the publication’s 20 top classroom experiences in the nation.

Earlham College is included on two “Great Lists” compiled to celebrate the popular college guide’s 30th anniversary — Great Classroom Experience and Best Midwestern. Institutions included in these lists have consistently appeared in previous editions.

These new accolades accompany Earlham’s traditional inclusion in The Princeton Review’s Best Value, Green Colleges, Best Schools for Making an Impact rankings and Most LGBTQ-Friendly Schools.



U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” guidebook for 2023 has recognized Earlham College for value, ethnic and international diversity, and a commitment to undergraduate teaching.

The U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” guidebook for 2023 recognizes Earlham’s longstanding excellence in affordability, teaching and commitment to enrolling a richly diverse student body.

The College is once again ranked among U.S. News’ Top 100 national liberal arts colleges. Earlham ranks 81st overall among all national liberal arts colleges, improving 11 places from the previous year’s guide. Earlham also ranks 43rd for best value; fourth for most international students; 60th for ethnic diversity; 38th for best undergraduate teaching and 13th for A-Plus Schools for B Students. Schools included on the A-Plus Schools for B Students ranking are recognized for having a holistic admissions policy that goes beyond grades.

To see the full rankings, visit usnews.com/colleges.


The Fiske Guide to Colleges 2023 has included Earlham as one of the nation’s “best and most interesting” institutions of higher education.

The Fiske Guide points to Earlham’s commitment to career preparation and its diverse and inclusive campus community.  Also highlighted were students receiving personal attention from faculty, the Earlham’s global perspective, and funding for every student to participate in an internship or research experience before graduation.

The guide, now in its 39th year, is named after Edward Fiske, a longtime editor of the New York Times. It features profiles of 300 four-year public and private institutions in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland. Each profile includes a list of popular majors, information about financial aid, and quotes from current and former students.


Earlham is a national leader for participation in study abroad programs and for the number of international students who enroll on our campus.

Prior to the pandemic, Earlham ranked #3 in the nation for baccalaureate colleges in percentage of international study abroad participation, with 242 students participating. In fact, Open Doors considers our participation at 178%—meaning that many students participate two or three times, including through semester programs, short programs, credit-bearing internships and more. (And it’s no wonder students keep coming back to these experiences; College Rank puts us ninth in the nation for colleges with best study abroad programs.)

Open Doors also ranked us at #34 among baccalaureate colleges for total number of international students—even though we are ranked alongside colleges with larger student bodies.


PALSave Indiana

Earlham College faculty are leading participants of the PALSave Indiana textbook affordability initiative.

Professor of Chemistry Lori Watson has been recognized as a leader in the PALSave textbook affordability initiative sponsored by the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI). The program promotes the use of free open course materials and library e-books.

Watson is one of 10 participants across the state awarded an Open Educator Award for the 2021-22 academic year.

Thirty-five Earlham faculty members have attended workshops, reviewed open access textbooks or adopted alternative course materials since 2019. These efforts have saved 776 students an estimated $65,359, PALNI says. Nearly 40 percent of Earlham’s student body has been impacted.

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.