U.S. News & World Report:

  • One of the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the U.S.
  • #12 Most Innovative liberal arts college in the U.S.
  • #11 Best Value College, a measure of academic quality and affordability
  • #65 in Top Performers in Social Mobility

Princeton Review:

COA ranks among the top colleges in the country on the Princeton Review’s lists including:

  • #1 - Top 50 Green Colleges
  • Great Campus Food
  • Great Financial Aid
  • Great Professors
  • Great Quality of Life
  • LGBTQ-Friendly
  • Most Beautiful Campus
  • Most Politically Active Students

The COA research station lighthouse on Great Duck Island.The COA research station lighthouse on Great Duck Island.

A Changemaker Campus:

COA has been a Changemaker Campus since 2008, recognized by The Ashoka U Changemaker Campus designation; a rigorous, global selection process with this leading designation for social innovation in higher education. 

Washington Monthly:

Top liberal arts colleges: #20—this ranking is based largely on colleges’ contributions to the public good.

“An intimate, friendly community’ of do-ers and critical thinkers.… This unique educational model helps students ‘merge [their] talents/interests in a meaningful and applicable way,’ and allows for graduate-level research and real-world work experience …. Self-motivated learning is everything here, and College of the Atlantic is for ‘idealists with elbow grease.’”

— Princeton Review’s The Best 381 Colleges



The Greenest College:

COA has been repeatedly recognized for our college-wide commitment to ecological practices.

  • Sierra Club’s Cool Schools: #1 (greenest college in America) in 2016, 2017
  • The Princeton Review’s Top 50 Green Colleges: #1 in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE): #5 top performing sustainable baccalaureate institution in 2019



Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award recipient:  

NAFSA: Association of International Educators honored COA for our innovative international initiatives.

MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient:

COA is one of six colleges selected to receive a “genius” grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which cited our innovative, mission-driven approach to liberal arts education.

What they're saying...

  • NEWS
    New zero-waste ranking names COA as top school
    College of the Atlantic is the #1 zero-waste campus in the country, according to a new ranking from the Post Landfill Action Network.
  • NEWS
    COA tops green college list for sixth consecutive year

    With high marks for regional and organic foods, a strong culture of waste diversion, and a broad commitment to sustainability-focused academics, College of the Atlantic takes the #1 spot in The Princeton Review’s 2022 Guide to Green Colleges. It is the sixth year in a row for COA to be named the greenest school.

  • NEWS
    COA named #1 green college for fifth year running
    Citing College of the Atlantic’s waste diversion efforts, regional food consumption, and sustainability-focused academics, The Princeton Review ranks COA at the top of their 2020-21 Top 50 Green Colleges list. The college has held the #1 position since 2016.