Hidden Gem Colleges in the Mid-East US | 2024 Rankings

Also known as the Mid-Atlantic region, the mid-east region of the United States is home to some of the most amazing colleges in the country. Some pre-date the American Revolution! With so many standout names, though, it can be easier to overlook some colleges that deserve more attention. We aim to highlight those in this list of Hidden Gem Colleges in the Mid-East US.

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.

For this list, the following states are considered part of the mid-east: Delaware, DC, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

*Note: We feature the top 3 Hidden Gems per state, however not all states had 3 schools that met all of our criteria, so some may only feature one or two.

Hidden Gem Colleges in the Mid-East US

DC

Gallaudet University is a school dedicated to the deaf and hard of hearing. Accepting just under 60% of applicants, they have two official languages: English and American Sign Language. Many students will go on to major in Sign Language Interpretation and Translation, Psychology, Deaf Studies, and Speech Communication and Rhetoric.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,322
Trinity Washington University is a liberal arts school for women and was established in 1897. A majority of students who attend are from Washington DC, Maryland, and North Carolina. Trinity has five schools for its students and top majors include Health and Wellness, Business Administration and Management, Social Psychology, and Registered Nursing.
Location Washington, DC
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,895
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DELAWARE

Goldey-Beacom College was founded in 1886 and today offers up to a doctorate for its students. 94% of students receive institutional grants from the college, with an average of just over $7,500 per student. Accepting just under 63% of applicants, common majors include Business Administration and Management, Accounting, and Finance.
Location Wilmington, DE
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,012

MARYLAND

Founded in 1840, St. Mary’s College of Maryland was originally known as St. Mary’s Female Seminary. It actually shares its campus with Historic St. Mary’s City, which is the state’s first colony and capital. A majority of students attending today are female, but the school is co-educational and has been since 1949.
Location St. Mary’s City, MD
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 1,520
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 Digital Arts are commonly chosen majors. The school has a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio and accepts 80% of applicants. About 9% of these students will go on to attend MICA.
Location Baltimore, MD
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,952
The Washington College dates back to 1723 when it began as the Kent County Free School. It would become Washington College in 1782. Today, it is the 10th oldest college in the United States and was actually the first college chartered after the American Revolution. George Washington was heavily involved in the founding.
Location Chestertown, MD
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 955

NEW JERSEY

Drew University goes by the nickname “University of the Forest” due to the fact it is on an 186 acre wooded campus. The school’s motto is “δωρεὰν ἐλάβετε, δωρεὰν δότε”, which is Greek for "Freely ye have received, freely give” from Matthew 10:8. Blue and green are the school colors and the sports teams are known as the Rangers.
Location Madison, NJ
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,092
The Florham Campus of the Fairleigh Dickinson University opened in spring of 2013, and the university itself has campuses in New Jersey, Canada, and the UK. Classes are also available online. With a 80% first year retention rate, students often major in Psychology, Biology, and Business Administration and Management.
Location Madison, NJ
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,823
89% of students who apply to Saint Peter’s University are accepted. Many go on to major in Biology/Biological Sciences, Criminal Justice/Safety Studies, and Business Administration and Management. 230 students participate in athletics such as Track and Field, Soccer, Swimming, and Baseball.
Location Jersey City, NJ
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 3,430

NEW YORK

Yeshiva University, a research university in Manhattan, has four schools that make up the undergraduate program: Yeshiva College, Stern College for Women, Katz School of Science and Health, and Syms School of Business. Campuses, buildings, and facilities can also be found in other NYC boroughs and in Israel.
Location New York City, NY
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 6,056
Commonly chosen majors at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry include Conservation Biology, Natural Resources Management and Policy, and Environmental Biology. Located right next to Syracuse University, they also have research and education facilities in Adirondack Park, central New York, the Thousand Islands, and Costa Rica.
Location Syracuse, NY
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 1,976
Business Administration and Management is the most popular major among students at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, but the college offers a number of programs in engineering, engineering technology, nanoscale engineering, and other related STEM areas. Currently, this school has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio and a 79% first year retention rate.
Location Utica, NY
Institution Type Public
Student Enrollment 2,842

PENNSYLVANIA

Bryn Mawr is a highly selective school, with an acceptance rate of about 31%. A distinguished women’s college, Bryn Mawr is part of the Seven Sisters College consortium, expanding students’ academic opportunities. With an 90% first year retention rate, Bryn Mawr also has a 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Location Bryn Mawr, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,742
Grove City College is a non-denominational college that has a high acceptance rate of 71% and they receive around 2,100 applications annually. Over half the students that attend are from Pennsylvania, and another majority come from surrounding states. With an 88% first year retention rate, 76% of students will graduate in 4 years.
Location Grove City, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 2,289
Muhlenberg College is a midsize private, liberal arts college about an hour and half north of Philidelphia. Over 70% of students who attend this Lutheran college come from three states - Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. 77% of students will graduate in four years, has a 8:1 student to faculty ratio, and a 91% first year retention rate.
Location Allentown, PA
Institution Type Private
Student Enrollment 1,959

Why is the Mid-East a Great Place to Go to School?

The Mid-Atlantic region of the United States offers some amazing opportunities you won’t find elsewhere in the country (or even the world). There’s plenty of history to be found in each of the states, from the fields of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Students can take advantage of the endless trails, fishing, beaches, restaurants, museums, and more that call the mid-east home.

Loving these Mid-East Hidden Gem Colleges? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!

Methodology

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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