Hidden Gem Colleges With More Out-of-State-Students | 2022 Rankings

Most of the time, a majority of a college’s student-body comes from the state where the school is located. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, sometimes there are more out-of-state students than in-state students! This list highlights Hidden Gem schools where more students come from outside the state.

If 51% or higher of the students come from out of state, it’s eligible for this list. From there, we listed them in order of their overall College Raptor rank. (So schools with higher percentages of out-of-state students aren’t automatically higher up on this list).

To qualify as a Hidden Gem, a school must meet the following requirements:

  • Receive fewer than 5,000 applications per year
  • Have fewer than 7,000 undergraduate students
  • Offer 5 or more unique majors
  • Have a 10% acceptance rate or higher

Hidden Gems with More Out-of-State Students

Gallaudet University is a school dedicated to the deaf and hard of hearing. They have two official languages, English and American Sign Language. They accept just under 63% of applicants. Many students major in Sign Language Interpretation and Speech Communication. Only 2% of new students come from the DC area.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,485
Scientiæ Cedit Mare, or “the sea yields to knowledge,” is the motto of the United States Coast Guard Academy. It was founded in 1876 and is the smallest of the five academies for service in the United States. The most popular major is political science and government, but business management, civil engineering, and oceanography are also top choices.
Location New London, CT
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 1,069
Bennington College was originally a women’s college when it was founded in 1932 and became coeducational in 1969. Visual and Performing Arts is the most popular major on campus, followed by Drama, Music, and General Literature. The school is on 440 acres and has an acceptance rate of 60%.
Location Bennington, VT
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 826
Also known simply as Prin, Principia College is liberal arts school that offers up to the bachelor’s degree. Its campus is located on the Mississippi River along the border of Illinois and Missouri. Students of Principia have gone on to win prestigious awards, such as Academy Awards and Pulitzer Prizes. Actor Robert Duvall is one notable alumni.
Location Elsah, IL
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 407
BYU Hawaii’s campus is located by the ocean which earned their sports teams the nickname of the Seasiders. Crimson and gold are the school colors. 75% of applicants are accepted into the university, and there’s a student to faculty ratio of 16 to 1. Believe it or not, only 6% of incoming students are from Hawaii, many come from California, Utah, Idaho, and Arizona.
Location Laie, HI
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 3,096
Martin Luther College is a very small school with fewer than 1,000 students attending. Elementary Education and Teaching is the most popular major, followed by Pre-Theology / Pre-Ministerial Studies. 87% of applicants are accepted. 86% of the students on campus study at the undergraduate level.
Location New Ulm, MN
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 994
The Maryland Institute College of Art is one of the oldest art colleges in the country, having been founded in 1826. Illustration, Graphic Design, Multimedia, and Painting are commonly chosen majors. The school has a 9 to 1 student to faculty ratio and an 88% first year retention rate. 90% of applicants are accepted.
Location Baltimore, MD
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,227
St. John’s College has dual campuses - one in Santa Fe, NM and one in Annapolis, MD. The Maryland campus has a rather unique mascot, a platypus. This liberal arts college has a Latin motto that translates to mean “I make free adults from children by means of books and a balance.” St. John’s College has a 61% acceptance rate.
Location Annapolis, MD
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 542
Mount Holyoke College is the oldest member of the Seven Sisters colleges. Their motto is Psalms 144:12 – “That our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” The campus features a botanic garden, the art museum, and John Payson Williston Observatory. Computer Science, Biology, and Econometrics are popular majors.
Location South Hadley, MA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,300
The Salve Regina University was founded in 1934 by the Sisters of Mercy. The school has a large athletic program with over 500 student athletes. They compete in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Some sports they offer to students include baseball, football, ice hockey, and lacrosse. The teams are known as the Seahawks.
Location Newport, RI
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,771
Popular majors at Waldorf University include Occupational Safety and Health Technology, Fire Services Administration, and Crisis / Emergency Management. Only 15% of Waldorf’s students are from Iowa, many others come from California, Minnesota, and Texas. Student-athletes are known as the Warriors and wear purple and gold to show off school pride.
Location Forest City, IA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 3,071
Oakwood University offers up to the doctor’s degree, though 96% of students on campus are undergraduates. 83% of Oakwood students receive financial aid from the university to help cover tuition costs. There is an 11 to 1 student to faculty ratio and the official school colors are blue and gold.
Location Huntsville, AL
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,526
Eckerd College has three school colors: teal, navy, and black. Located on Tampa Bay, it’s unsurprising their symbol is a shell. Eckerd is a liberal arts college and the most popular major is Environmental Studies. Notable alumni of Eckerd College include Hank Green, Dennis Lehane, and Steve Balboni.
Location St. Petersburg, FL
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,007
More commonly known as Sewanee, The University of the South sits on 13,000 acres. These grounds are more commonly known as “The Domain” or “The Mountain.” They accept 56% of applications and have a 10 to 1 student to faculty ratio. Economics is the most popular major among students, followed by English, International Studies, and Psychology.
Location St. Petersburg, FL
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,768
Lawrence University was the second coeducation institution (founded in 1847) in the US. The three most popular majors are Music Performance, Economics, and Biology. Many alumni went into careers in politics, music, and sports. The campus sits along the winding Fox River. The bachelor’s degree is the highest level of education offered.
Location Appleton, WI
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,442
The Maine College of Art, also known as MECA, is Maine’s oldest arts college. Orange and gray are the school’s colors. Popular majors include Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation, Painting, and Photography. There is a cozy 8 to 1 student to faculty ratio at MECA. 100% of students receive institutional financial aid.
Location Portland, ME
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 497
Originally known as the Augusta Academy and established in 1749, it would later be named after George Washington and Robert E. Lee, the latter of which was the president of the school for five years. With blue and white colors, students and athletes go by the nickname The Generals.
Location Lexington, VA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,264
Benedictine College’s core values are built into the four “pillars” of the school which are known as Catholic, Benedictine, Liberal Arts, and Residential. The college’s motto is “Forward. Always Forward.” A majority of students decide to major in Finance, Registered Nursing, and Theology. Its campus is located along the bends of the Missouri River.
Location Atchison, KS
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,158
There are over 800 student-athletes at Saint Ambrose University and they’re known as the Fighting Bees. The school’s seal even features three bees and a hive. Popular sports include bowling, lacrosse, soccer, golf, and volleyball. Saint Ambrose University has a 74% acceptance rate and does not charge application fees at the undergraduate or graduate level.
Location Davenport, IA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,968
The University of New England has two campuses in Maine and one in Tangier, Morocco. It is currently the largest private university in the state and has five schools offering over 70 undergraduate, graduate, professional, and online programs. Registered Nursing is a commonly chosen major, with Health Services and Biomedical Sciences not far behind.
Location Biddeford, ME
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 7,483
Wheaton College was founded by evangelical abolitionists in 1860 and would become a stop on the Underground Railroad. Business is by far the most popular major at the school. Athletic teams are known as The Thunder. They wear blue and orange and compete in the NCAA Division III in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.
Location Wheaton, IL
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 3,004
“Power for Mind and Soul” is the motto of Southern Adventist University. Within the student body, 86% are undergraduates and 14% are graduate students. Only 38% of applicants are accepted at SAU. The campus has over 10 miles of hiking and biking trails and is located just north of the Tennessee and Georgia border.
Location Collegedale, TN
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,834
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus is located just north of a wildlife sanctuary and the Willow Creek Reservoir. Alumni of the school have gone on to have impressive careers as astronauts, scientists, military members, authors, athletes, and politicians. Embry-Riddle has an acceptance rate of 67%.
Location Prescott, AZ
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,946
A fairly selective school, Alderson Broaddus University accepts 53% of applicants. Their school motto is “From the darkness into the light.” Student athletes are known as the Battlers and the mascot is named Skirmish. Popular majors at AB include Sports and Fitness Management, Criminal Justice, Business, and Kinesiology.
Location Philippi, WV
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 913
Located in the state capital, Morehouse College is an all-male liberal arts school that offers bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, Morehouse is an HBCU - or Historically Black College or University. The Maroon Tiger is the mascot of the school. Many notable alumni have graduated from Morehouse, including Martin Luther King Jr.
Location Atlanta, GA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,238

Interested in any of these schools? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!


Colleges are ranked based on a combination of factors, including graduation rates, campus diversity, endowment per student, and other data as reported via the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) for the most recently-available enrollment year. Some colleges may have been excluded from rankings based on certain criteria, including specialization and classification. Learn about our full methodology.

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