“Hidden Gem” Schools that Students Should Check Out Before Finalizing Their College Lists


Iowa City, Iowa

College Raptor’s 7th annual Hidden Gems highlights colleges that may not be as well known, but absolutely deserve attention and consideration. Notable high ranking gems this year include Lawrence University as the #1 Wisconsin Hidden Gem, Harvey Mudd College as the #1 Most Ethnically Diverse Hidden Gem, and Samford University as the #1 Hidden Gem for Healthcare Majors

College Raptor Releases Hidden Gem College Rankings for 2022

One challenge many high school students face is selecting colleges to apply to from the wealth of schools in America. According to the Department of Education, there are nearly 4,000 degree-granting postsecondary schools in the US. It’s next to impossible for a student to know about them all. College rankings tend to highlight the “best” colleges, but “brand name” schools aren’t for everyone. 

That’s where College Raptor’s Hidden Gems come in. The goal of these unique rankings is to bring attention to colleges that families may not have heard about before. These schools are small but mighty and each has a lot to offer their students. For example, Hillsdale College (the #1 Gem for Michigan and #3 Gem for Colleges That Don’t Require Test Scores) has a high 88% six year graduation rate. Drew University (#1 New Jersey Gem and #18 Most Ethnically Diverse Gem) offers 97% of their students a generous financial aid package averaging at $24,499. Out of last year’s graduates from Augustana University (the #1 South Dakota Gem), 97% found employment in their major or chosen field.

What makes a college a Hidden Gem? Hidden Gem colleges are the highest-rated schools in College Raptor’s 2022 Best Colleges rankings that have fewer than 7,000 undergraduate students, receive fewer than 5,000 applications per year, have a 10% or higher acceptance rate, and offer 5 or more unique majors. 

“College Raptor is dedicated to helping students and families find their best-fit colleges,” says Bill Staib, co-founder and CEO of College Raptor. “Our Hidden Gem rankings highlight schools that may not be as well known, but may be the best fit for a student academically, financially, and socially. Raptor’s tools help students create a fine-tuned, personalized list of colleges that fit their goals and needs. We’re proud to showcase these Hidden Gems colleges and bring them the attention they deserve.”

“We’re honored to be featured as a College Raptor Hidden Gem,” says Billie Streufert of Augustana University (featured as the #1 Gem in South Dakota). “With more than 100 majors, minors and pre-professional programs for undergraduates, Augustana is committed to enriching lives and fostering development by combining a foundation in the liberal arts with professional skill and advanced study. Ninety-eight percent of Augustana University graduates participate in internships, research, service-learning, or study away. These transformative applied learning opportunities enable graduates to make a difference in their communities and launch their careers confidently.”

View the complete College Raptor 2022 Rankings for Hidden Gems at https://www.collegeraptor.com/hidden-gems-2022/

About College Raptor, Inc.

College Raptor® creates tools to help students, parents, counselors, and colleges resolve significant challenges in college planning. With its motto, “College Planning. Evolved,” Raptor is the only college search platform that enables students and families to discover quality, affordable college options based on personalized estimates of financial aid, scholarships, academic match, and acceptance odds at every 4-year college in the country. As a result, students and their families find cost-effective, academically-appropriate college options that prepare them for future careers. For more information about College Raptor, visit CollegeRaptor.com.

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Grant Cooper

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(319) 849-7101

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