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The Best Small Colleges and Universities in Missouri

College of the Ozarks, Stephens College, Kansas City Art Institute, Westminster College

More than just a good indicator of which way a presidential race is going to swing, Missouri is also one of the states in the country that combines the qualities of various geographical regions. Parts of the state feel considerably more midwestern, while other areas will have visitors swearing that they’re actually somewhere in the south instead. A healthy balance of urban living and more rural homes make the state surprisingly diverse in terms of housing options. Those in search of a remote home tucked into endless expanses of plains will find that goal easy to accomplish, while just as many head to St. Louis to enjoy what is often referred to as the most western eastern city in the entire country. Students tend to flock to St. Louis for its variety of colleges, while other cities and towns in Missouri also offer excellent opportunities for those seeking small colleges and universities with outstanding academic programs, especially programs that also involve faith-based learning.

College of the Ozarks

Located in Point Lookout, Missouri, College of the Ozarks offers students a unique way to finance a college education. Focused on a student work program that allows those enrolled to work 15 hours a week while classes are in session and 40 hours a week during breaks, College of the Ozarks provides the chance for students to earn bachelors degrees in arts and sciences for what ends up being essentially nothing. Those who need extra assistance covering the costs of room and board are able to participate in summer work programs, and the school’s focus is that hard work can literally translate into a degree. With just over 1,500 students on-campus, those attending College of the Ozarks can also look forward to a great deal of personal attention from professors, with a 16-to-1 student ratio. A sprawling and classic campus design makes cultivating friendships almost as easy as financing one’s education. With a decidedly Christian slant to academic learning, the college is a better fit for those who share the same faith.

Stephens College

Located in Columbia, Stephens College is unique in that it is one of the oldest women’s colleges that is still exclusively women-only. Founded in 1833, Stephens College has been providing women with the opportunity to earn a college degree for over a century. In addition to its proud academic history, a number of the buildings on campus are equally of note for historical reasons. With Columbia one of the most college-laden towns in the entire state, students will find it easy to socialize with members of both sexes off-campus, though students say that the separate learning environment does wonders for staying on track when it comes to an education. In addition to its excellent academics, Stephens College is most popular for its more artistically-inclined majors. Almost half of students major in the visual or performing arts, with the most popular choices including fashion design, theatre, and dance. The school’s film program has also been lauded in recent years, and over 40 other majors are offered.

Kansas City Art Institute

Founded in 1885, Kansas City Art Institute offers students the chance to focus entirely on arts-related earning while working towards a bachelor of fine arts degree. Located in Kansas City, there are more than enough opportunities off-campus to also enjoy the arts, with a rising number of galleries as well as established museums dotting the cityscape. Rather than students focusing entirely on one area of artistic study, those attending Kansas City Art Institute can enjoy a well-rounded liberal arts program in addition to intensive courses in printmaking, sculpture, animation, photography, and painting. Students are also free to choose a degree in studio art with an emphasis on creative writing, as well as to focus more on art history rather than producing new works. With 75 faculty members and just over 600 students, one-on-one interaction is commonplace. Students will find all facilities incredibly up-to-date, while the campus itself provides a more classic environment for learning about historically important artists and contemporary masterminds alike.

Westminster College

For those seeking diversity and a stellar reputation in their chosen institution, Westminster College fits the bill and then some. Established in 1851, the school boasts students from almost 70 different countries, as well as from a number of states within the United States. In addition to its various classic buildings on campus, Westminster College is also home to the extensive Winston Churchill Library, which is part of the on-campus Winston Churchill Memorial and Library. Other national historic sites on-campus include the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. It is among these classic structures that students are able to earn bachelor’s degrees in a variety of different majors. A number of different secret societies flourish on campus, and long-lasting traditions are still very much upheld today. Those seeking a truly classic and traditional on-campus experience will find their time at Westminster College very much delivers in both the educational and the cultural departments.

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Best Colleges by State