Colleges of Maryland for a Top-Notch Education in 2017

We all know what a huge role our education can play in helping us land the career of our dreams. No matter where you go, you’re sure to find a number of schools that promise a well-rounded education at a reasonable rate for your future endeavors. What can you expect to find from the various colleges of Maryland?

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Award Emblem:  Top 6 Best Colleges in Maryland

Unlike our mandatory education that earns us a high school diploma, students have a lot of say in how their college years will look. Do you want to attend public colleges in Maryland or private colleges in Maryland? Each option among the different colleges in MD will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Students will first need to evaluate what type of degree they aim to earn from Maryland state colleges. From there, they can start to make important decisions regarding the specifics that are dependent upon their preferences and personalities. Some of these items include:

  • Enrollment size
  • Cost of tuition or room and board
  • Location
  • Student-faculty ratio

AdvisoryHQ knows that deciding among the colleges of Maryland can be a time-consuming endeavor. We’ve compiled a list of our top six best colleges in Maryland to help you narrow down where you plan to spend the next few years.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Colleges in Maryland

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the schools below to go directly to the detailed review section for that Maryland college):

Top 6 Best Colleges in Maryland | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Maryland Colleges

Public or Private?


Goucher CollegePrivate1,480
Hood CollegePrivate2,144
Maryland Institute College of ArtPrivate2,200
McDaniel CollegePrivate2,274
St. Mary’s College of MarylandPublic1,702
Washington CollegePrivate1,450

Table: Top 6 Best Colleges in Maryland | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What Is the Difference Between Private Colleges in Maryland and Public Colleges in Maryland?

Rising high school students stumble upon the terms private college and public college with some regularity. While it seems as if those terms hold significant meaning to the offerings each school has, the implications for the students of these private colleges in Maryland and public colleges in Maryland are significant. 

Do you know what the differences are between public colleges in Maryland and private colleges in Maryland?

Best Colleges in Maryland

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Many students prefer the enrollment rates at private colleges in Maryland over their public college counterparts. They often lend themselves to a much smaller campus and enrollment, which trickles over into the classroom setting as well. Small colleges in Maryland are often private schools.

The cost of private colleges in Maryland is certainly a contributing factor to this phenomenon. Public colleges in Maryland receive assistance from the state and government programs to help offset the cost of tuition. Private colleges in Maryland don’t receive the same type of assistance and usually have much higher tuition rates.

Students who want the least expensive college experience may want to consider public colleges in Maryland.

Along with the enrollment rates being higher at public colleges in Maryland, you may also find more academic programs available. Maryland state colleges that have higher enrollment rates are able to support a wider range of academic programs than the small colleges in Maryland are able to support.

Overall, students will have to decide for themselves what type of experiences they hope to have from any of the good colleges in Maryland. The size of a particular school and their tuition doesn’t necessarily dictate the quality of the education you’ll receive. These are items that could be decided purely on personal preference.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Colleges in Maryland

Below, please find the detailed review of each school on our list of good colleges in Maryland. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these Maryland colleges to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Goucher College Review

Named as one of the top ten most innovative colleges, Goucher College offers students a learning experience like no other. Among all of the good colleges in Maryland on our ranking, this school gives students access to a wide range of study abroad experiences and experiential learning opportunities all within a relatively small school setting.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Colleges in Maryland

To understand some of the finer details on how Goucher was able to be ranked among the top colleges in Maryland, you can see our detailed review of their academics and tuition below.


Located just outside of Baltimore, Goucher College represents a large population of students and still manages to grant 95% of them access to an experiential learning opportunity. The average class size is just seventeen, impressive for the 1,480 undergraduate students who attend.

When it comes to faculty, Goucher qualifies as one of the good colleges in Maryland for allowing a low student-faculty ratio. At just eleven to one, each student can feel seen and heard at these colleges in Maryland.

Academic programs and pursuits are plentiful, with 33 available majors and one pre-med program to choose from. Students interested in attending graduate school here can also find some 4+1 master’s programs. Additional programs of interest include:

  • 65 study abroad opportunities spanning 35 countries
  • More than sixty student-led clubs
  • Seven musical ensembles
  • Radio station and newspaper


Because Goucher is among the top private colleges in Maryland, many students will find that they face higher tuition rates here. The direct cost of tuition for the 2017 to 2018 academic year comes in at $42,600 with an additional $840 in fees. This full-time tuition at the Goucher private colleges in Maryland covers twelve to eighteen hours per semester.

Tuition is significantly offset by the number of students who receive financial aid at these best colleges in Maryland. They claim that 93% of students receive some type of aid in order to attend this good college in Maryland.

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Hood College Review

Hood College is another great option for students who want to attend one of the private colleges in Maryland. While tuition will be higher here than it is among Maryland state colleges or other public colleges in Maryland, you will still find relatively reasonable rates. Students can choose from a lot of undergraduate and graduate programs within the confines of a relatively small campus for a top-notch education.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Colleges in Maryland

Find more of the persuasive reasons why we included Hood College on our ranking of the best small colleges in Maryland in the review that follows.


Hood College offers a rather broad range of majors and areas of study among the private colleges in Maryland included on our ranking. Many students opt to earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, but some will also elect to create their own major. This allows for the maximum amount of flexibility in what your education from top colleges in Maryland will allow you to do.

Among those options, there are 33 major fields of study, 17 graduate programs, and 12 post-baccalaureate certificate programs.

These best colleges in Maryland are still relatively small with just 2,144 students enrolled as of Fall 2016. The majority of these are undergraduate students, who comprise 1,174 of the aforementioned total.

Class sizes remain small as well, with the average class at these colleges in Maryland coming in at just fifteen students. The student-faculty ratio is lower for undergraduates at eleven to one, while graduate students will see a fourteen to one ratio.


For private colleges in Maryland, Hood College certainly warrants some consideration from prospective students for its low tuition and fees. Tuition for 12 to 18.5 credit hours is estimated to be $37,400.

Additional fees that students can expect to pay at these good colleges in Maryland include:

  • Comprehensive fee: $560
  • Room for on-campus student: $6,600
  • Board for on-campus student: $5,980
  • Books and supplies: $1,200

Hood College - good colleges in maryland

Image Source: Hood College

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Maryland Institute College of Art Review

Ranked among the top ten programs for art and design by U.S. News and World Report, the Maryland Institute College of Art offers a wide variety of pursuits for aspiring artists of all types. Many of their students are already award-winning artists, including recipients of the ARTS Presidential Scholarship, Scholastic Art Gold Portfolio winners, and Gates Millennium Scholars. With a successful student body enrolled, these small colleges in Maryland have a lot to offer potential students.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Colleges in Maryland

Understand more about what makes the Maryland Institute College of Art one of the best colleges in Maryland with the consideration of their academics and tuition fees below.


Students who want to enroll at one of the small private colleges in Maryland will want to keep an eye on this school. Undergraduates comprise the majority of their enrolled students with a total of 1,820 students. Graduates represent an additional 380 students.

Majors and studio concentrations run the gamut from traditional fine arts to digital media for a technologically advanced world. Their faculty offers 26 undergraduate majors and studio concentrations. These best colleges in Maryland equip artists from all available fields for the future with popular majors such as:

  • Animation
  • Architectural design
  • Game design
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Humanistic studies

Because this is an art school where a lot of time is spent creating and in the studio, class sizes are kept small. Students can expect a ratio of ten students to every faculty member.


Tuition can be calculated per academic year based on a course load of twelve to 19.5 credits. Additional credits may cause students to incur additional fees at this pick among the best colleges in Maryland. The average cost of tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year is $45,290.

Housing will warrant extra fees ranging from $4,840 to $5,365 per semester depending on the room arrangement (single or double occupancy on campus).

McDaniel College Review

McDaniel College has received plenty of accolades in recent years, ranging from recognitions from MONEY Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, and Washington Monthly. It’s considered a best value school by some, with Washington Monthly calling it a “Best Bang for Your Buck School.”

With so many awards, it’s not surprise to see that they offer some of the best academic programs and learning environments among all the good colleges in Maryland.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Colleges in Maryland

What allowed us to rank McDaniel College as one of the top schools among all of the private colleges and public colleges in Maryland? Find out how we made our decision in the detailed review below.


One of the many good colleges in Maryland included on our ranking, McDaniel College expands academic opportunities to anywhere on the globe. With their primary campus situated near Baltimore, they also give students an opportunity to study at McDaniel Europe, located in Budapest.

The attendance at this choice among best colleges in Maryland is relatively low, even in comparison to the other colleges of Maryland on our ranking. There are roughly 1,650 students enrolled full-time in their undergraduate program and 624 master’s degree students. Class sizes remain relatively small at just sixteen students on average.

As it is for many of the good colleges in Maryland included on our ranking, McDaniel College has an eleven to one student-faculty ratio.

There are lots of opportunities for academic pursuits at McDaniel, with more than seventy areas of study. They offer any number of programs including:

  • Bachelor’s degrees
  • Pre-professional programs
  • Teaching certifications
  • 5-year B.A. to M.S. programs


Tuition is approximately average among the private colleges in Maryland included on our ranking. For twelve to twenty credits, it is estimated that all undergraduate students will pay approximately $41,800 for tuition, along with a one-time matriculation fee of $400.

Room and board for campus residents is additional at $5,100 to $6,010.

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St. Mary’s College of Maryland Review

One of the only public colleges in Maryland included on our ranking, St. Mary’s College of Maryland has lots to offer students who want a small class size and wonderful academics. With plenty of awards including ranking among the best colleges (Princeton Review), Green Colleges (Princeton Review), and top 100 public colleges (Kiplinger’s), students won’t be disappointed with the academics at these public colleges in Maryland.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Colleges in Maryland

Prospective students can understand more of the many reasons why St. Mary’s College of Maryland ranked so highly among the best colleges in Maryland in the comprehensive summary below.


One of the common misconceptions surrounding this school is that it offers a faith-based education. On the contrary, St. Mary’s is one of the public colleges in Maryland that offers a completely secular and non-religious education. It consistently ranks in the top six public liberal arts colleges in the country.

The student population is small at St. Mary’s, especially when you consider that public colleges in Maryland are often more likely to have larger enrollments. There were just 1,702 students enrolled as of the Fall 2016 semester. They have a ten to one student-faculty ratio, which is one of the lowest among all of the best colleges in Maryland on our ranking.

The academic programs available at St. Mary’s are rather broad, but popular degree programs include:

  • Biology
  • Economics
  • English
  • Political science
  • Psychology


As you may expect, public colleges in Maryland do have significantly lower tuition than their private counterparts do. Maryland residents will enjoy a discounted rate of $11,418 per year for twelve semester credit hours at St. Mary’s.

Non-Maryland residents don’t enjoy the same perks as residents will at this public college in Maryland. In fact, they will pay approximately $26,566 per year for the same education.

St. Mary’s College of Maryland - public colleges in maryland

Image: St. Mary’s College of Maryland

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Washington College Review

With a long history of academic excellence, Washington College easily soars onto our ranking of the top colleges in Maryland. Among all of the colleges in MD, this one emphasizes hands-on learning and has a lot of extracurricular activities for students to explore. For a small school setting with a variety of programs, Washington College is a top pick.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Colleges in Maryland

Do you know what sets Washington College apart from other competitors for the title of one of the best colleges in Maryland? Our comprehensive review below will show you just what makes this school stand out from the crowd.


This school is relatively small, with just 1,450 students enrolled at this good college in Maryland. However, the size also means that each student can enjoy the personalized attention from faculty that comes with a twelve to one student-faculty ratio.

A unique aspect of the education available from these best colleges in Maryland is their emphasis on hands-on learning and community service. They stress that academics aren’t the only thing that matters with plenty of student organizations and campus groups to help facilitate a variety of experiential learning opportunities.

More than forty majors and programs are available for you to choose from, as well as the ability to shape a program specifically to your future needs.


Tuition is going to be more expensive at Washington College than it would be at other public colleges in Maryland. Prospective students can expect to face tuition fees of approximately $43,702 per academic year at these good colleges in Maryland.

Conclusion—Top 6 Best Colleges in Maryland

Students who enroll in the best colleges in Maryland have a variety of tastes when it comes to academics and campus life. One thing remains the same, though: they all want a quality education that can help to prepare them for future success in the career they select.

Whether you choose to attend private or public colleges in Maryland, you’ll have no shortage of options. Small colleges and larger colleges in Maryland alike can offer a world-class education that leaves you prepared for anything that lies on the path ahead of you.

Do you prefer to go to one of the small colleges in Maryland or are you looking for one of the least expensive Maryland colleges? Your priorities can be ordered however you like because there are plenty of options regardless of which colleges in MD suit your needs best.

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