Rankings & Accolades


College of the Atlantic's innovative approach to education has caught the attention of many outside observers.

  • Princeton Review includes COA in its best colleges book, noting COA's active, engaged students, vibrant class discussions, great financial aid and close awareness of the environment.
  • U.S. News and World Reports notes COA's small classes and high percentage of international students. 
  • COA stands with the top 10 percent of the 643 colleges and universities that participated in the National Survey of Student Engagement, or NSSE (pronounced like the Scottish monster)among them Bennington, Bryn Mawr, Evergreen, Northeastern, Pepperdine, Simon's Rock and Tufts.

NSSE is considered to be the most comprehensive assessment of effective practices in higher education.

COA's commitment to students begins with education, but it doesn't stop there. We teach responsibility and we act responsibly. In 2007 Grist.org, one of the leading environmental media outlets, called COA the most sustainable college or university in the world.

  • Sierra Magazine placed COA in the top five of "green" colleges.
  • Princeton Review placed COA on its "green honor roll" in both years that it looked into college sustainability — one of only nine colleges listed twice. 

COA — Life Changing.

"I feel certain that the COA education broadened my perspective and allowed me to develop the personal initiative to take control of my education and, ultimately, all of my life choices. Most other colleges seem to encourage a level of personal passivity that erodes the independent thinking needed in today's world. COA is the polar opposite. It nurtures a sense of personal  responsibility and encourages not only critical thinking, but also compassionate acting. "


Sarah McDaniel

Class of 1993 & Alumni Trustee