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Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree Schools

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2021 Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree Schools

770 Colleges
$23,773 Avg Salary
$11,186 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree School for You

In 2018-2019, 547,539 degrees and certificates were awarded to liberal arts general studies students, making the major the most popular in the country.

When it comes to higher education, there are a lot of options for students. You can choose a traditional brick and mortar school, or with the growth of online education, you can attend a school half-way across the country without even leaving your house. Also there are many trade schools that offer short-term programs that open up more career options.

The Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 770 schools in the United States to see which associate's degree programs offered the best educational experiences for students. The factors used to develop this ranking include those related to how in-demand the school is, the overall quality of the school, and post-graduation wages, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree Colleges.

Top 25 Top Schools for an Associate's in Liberal Arts

Our analysis found American Public University System to be the best school for liberal arts general studies students who want to pursue a associate’s degree in the United States. American Military University is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the town of Charles Town.

While working on their Associate's Degree, liberal arts majors at American Military University accumulate an average of around $10,833 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $92.

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#2

Central Texas College

Killeen, TX

Out of the 770 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Central Texas College landed the # 2 spot on the list. Located in the medium-sized suburb of Killeen, Central Texas College is a public school with a large student population.

On average, liberal arts graduates from Central Texas College take out $9,137 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $50, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Out of the 770 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Northern Virginia Community College landed the # 3 spot on the list. Located in the large suburb of Annandale, Northern Virginia Community College is a public school with a very large student population.

On average, liberal arts graduates from Northern Virginia Community College take out $14,655 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $125, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#4

Columbia Southern University

Orange Beach, AL

Out of the 770 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Columbia Southern University landed the # 4 spot on the list. Located in the town of Orange Beach, Columbia Southern University is a private for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

While working on their Associate's Degree, liberal arts majors at Columbia Southern University accumulate an average of around $18,004 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $185.

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#5

Sheridan College

Sheridan, WY

A rank of #5 on this year’s list means Sheridan College is a great place for liberal arts general studies students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the remote town of Sheridan, Northern Wyoming Community College District is a public school with a small student population.

While working on their Associate's Degree, liberal arts majors at Northern Wyoming Community College District accumulate an average of around $11,226 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $100, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#6

Excelsior College

Albany, NY

With a ranking of #6, Excelsior College did quite well on this year’s best schools for liberal arts general studies students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the small city of Albany, Excelsior College is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

On average, liberal arts graduates from Excelsior College take out $7,822 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $64, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #7, University of Maryland - University College did quite well on this year’s best schools for liberal arts general studies students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the suburb of Adelphi, University of Maryland - University College is a public college with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that liberal arts majors at University of Maryland - University College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $14,485. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $114, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Lincoln Land Community College ranked #8 on this year’s Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the midsize city of Springfield, LLCC is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

The average amount in student loans that liberal arts majors at LLCC take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $14,112. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $126, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#9

Bismarck State College

Bismarck, ND

With a ranking of #9, Bismarck State College did quite well on this year’s best schools for liberal arts general studies students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the city of Bismarck, BSC is a public school with a small student population.

Liberal Arts majors at BSC take out an average of $10,787 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $108, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#10

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University landed the #10 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree liberal arts general studies programs. Located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge, Harvard is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

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South Dakota State University came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the town of Brookings, South Dakota State is a public college with a fairly large student population.

While working on their Associate's Degree, liberal arts majors at South Dakota State accumulate an average of around $17,201 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $174, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #12, Pennsylvania State University - World Campus did quite well on this year’s best schools for liberal arts general studies students working on their associate’s degree. Penn State World Campus is a small public school located in the rural area of University Park.

Liberal Arts majors at Penn State World Campus take out an average of $20,913 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $182, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #13, St Cloud Technical and Community College did quite well on this year’s best schools for liberal arts general studies students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the small city of Saint Cloud, St Cloud Technical and Community College is a public college with a small student population.

While working on their Associate's Degree, liberal arts majors at St Cloud Technical and Community College accumulate an average of around $14,893 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $125, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#14

Columbia College

Columbia, MO

Columbia College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for liberal arts general studies students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #14 on the list. Located in the city of Columbia, Columbia College Missouri is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

While working on their Associate's Degree, liberal arts majors at Columbia College Missouri accumulate an average of around $20,900 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $178.

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#15

Providence College

Providence, RI

Providence College ranked #15 on this year’s Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools list. Providence is a small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Providence.

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Austin Community College District ranked #16 on this year’s Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools list. Austin Community College District is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Austin.

While working on their Associate's Degree, liberal arts majors at Austin Community College District accumulate an average of around $9,310 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $73.

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Weber State University ranked #17 on this year’s Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools list. WSU is a fairly large public school located in the city of Ogden.

After completing their Associate's Degree, liberal arts graduates from WSU carry an average student debtload of $18,498. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $144.

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#18

Xavier University

Cincinnati, OH

Xavier University landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree liberal arts general studies programs. Xavier is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Cincinnati.

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Southern New Hampshire University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for liberal arts general studies students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #19 on the list. SNHU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize suburb of Manchester.

On average, liberal arts graduates from SNHU take out $15,538 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $149.

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Kent State University at Stark came in at #20 in this year’s edition of the Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the large suburb of Canton, Kent State University at Stark is a public school with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that liberal arts majors at Kent State University at Stark take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $22,373. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $197.

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Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global landed the #21 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree liberal arts general studies programs. Located in the rural area of Marion, IWU is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

After completing their Associate's Degree, liberal arts graduates from IWU carry an average student debtload of $17,273. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $167, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#22

Vincennes University

Vincennes, IN

Vincennes University came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Vincennes University is a fairly large public school located in the town of Vincennes.

After completing their Associate's Degree, liberal arts graduates from Vincennes University carry an average student debtload of $16,264. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $146.

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#23

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

With a ranking of #23, Villanova University did quite well on this year’s best schools for liberal arts general studies students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the large suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#24

Anoka-Ramsey Community College

Coon Rapids, MN

Anoka-Ramsey Community College landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree liberal arts general studies programs. Anoka-Ramsey Community College-Coon Rapids Campus is a moderately-sized public school located in the large suburb of Coon Rapids.

On average, liberal arts graduates from Anoka-Ramsey Community College-Coon Rapids Campus take out $16,181 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $134, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Northland Community and Technical College landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree liberal arts general studies programs. Located in the remote town of Thief River Falls, Northland Community and Technical College is a public school with a small student population.

On average, liberal arts graduates from Northland Community and Technical College take out $19,389 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $164, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree Schools

#27

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL
#28

Charter Oak State College

New Britain, CT
#29

Lake Region State College

Devils Lake, ND
#32

Santa Fe College

Gainesville, FL
#33

Endicott College

Beverly, MA
#34

Massachusetts Bay Community College

Wellesley Hills, MA
#35

New York University

New York, NY
#37

Lake Superior College

Duluth, MN
#39

Normandale Community College

Bloomington, MN
#41

Ball State University

Muncie, IN
#42

Inver Hills Community College

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Remaining Award Winners

This section represents the remainder of the colleges awarded a Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 770 different United States liberal arts general studies schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Pennsylvania State University - Mont Alto Mont Alto, PA
52 Mesa Community College Mesa, AZ
53 Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX
54 Johnson County Community College Overland Park, KS
55 Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, NC
56 Century College White Bear Lake, MN
57 Pennsylvania State University - Worthington Scranton Dunmore, PA
58 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
59 Pennsylvania State University - York York, PA
60 Pennsylvania State University - Erie - Behrend College Erie, PA
61 University of Louisiana at Monroe Monroe, LA
62 Lewis - Clark State College Lewiston, ID
63 Houston Community College Houston, TX
64 Ridgewater College Willmar, MN
65 Shorter University Rome, GA
66 Pennsylvania State University - Altoona Altoona, PA
67 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
68 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
69 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
70 Union University Jackson, TN
71 McLennan Community College Waco, TX
72 St Charles Community College Cottleville, MO
73 Pennsylvania State University - Lehigh Valley Center Valley, PA
74 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
75 Ohio State University - Newark Campus Newark, OH
76 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
77 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
78 North Hennepin Community College Brooklyn Park, MN
79 Grand Rapids Community College Grand Rapids, MI
80 Wayland Baptist University Plainview, TX
81 Kent State University at Geauga Burton, OH
82 University of South Florida Sarasota - Manatee Sarasota, FL
83 Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA
84 BridgeValley Community & Technical College South Charleston, WV
85 Delta College University Center, MI
86 Pennsylvania State University - Brandywine Media, PA
87 Valencia College Orlando, FL
88 Seminole State College of Florida Sanford, FL
89 Kent State University at Trumbull Warren, OH
90 Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg Middletown, PA
91 Aims Community College Greeley, CO
92 Hillsborough Community College Tampa, FL
93 Pennsylvania State University - Abington Abington, PA
94 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
95 Kent State University at Ashtabula Ashtabula, OH
96 Anne Arundel Community College Arnold, MD
97 Kent State University at Salem Salem, OH
98 Northwest Vista College San Antonio, TX
99 Polk State College Winter Haven, FL
100 Alexandria Technical & Community College Alexandria, MN
101 Thomas Edison State University Trenton, NJ
102 Florida Gateway College Lake City, FL
103 Troy University Troy, AL
104 Hutchinson Community College Hutchinson, KS
105 Ranger College Ranger, TX
106 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
107 Ohio State University - Marion Campus Marion, OH
108 Kirkwood Community College Cedar Rapids, IA
109 Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC
110 Indian River State College Fort Pierce, FL
111 Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City, UT
112 Bergen Community College Paramus, NJ
113 Brookhaven College Farmers Branch, TX
114 Saddleback College Mission Viejo, CA
115 Austin Peay State University Clarksville, TN

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Liberal Arts General Studies students that almost earned our Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
116 Ohio State University - Mansfield Campus Mansfield, OH
117 Brazosport College Lake Jackson, TX
118 Eastern Florida State College Cocoa, FL
119 North Central Texas College Gainesville, TX
120 Hawkeye Community College Waterloo, IA
121 Wichita State University Wichita, KS
122 University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Green Bay, WI
123 Volunteer State Community College Gallatin, TN
123 Ohio State University - Lima Campus Lima, OH
125 University of Phoenix - Arizona Tempe, AZ
126 Macomb Community College Warren, MI
127 Cecil College North East, MD
128 Marion Technical College Marion, OH
129 University of North Georgia Dahlonega, GA
130 Highline College Des Moines, WA
131 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
132 Daytona State College Daytona Beach, FL
133 North Lake College Irving, TX
134 Saint Louis Community College Saint Louis, MO
135 Rider University Lawrenceville, NJ
136 Bellevue College Bellevue, WA
136 Midland College Midland, TX
138 Jefferson Community and Technical College Louisville, KY
139 Portland Community College Portland, OR
140 Kent State University at East Liverpool East Liverpool, OH
141 Metropolitan Community College Area Omaha, NE
142 Tallahassee Community College Tallahassee, FL
143 Oklahoma City Community College Oklahoma City, OK
143 Montgomery College Rockville, MD
145 University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK
146 Iowa Central Community College Fort Dodge, IA
147 GateWay Community College Phoenix, AZ
148 Neumann University Aston, PA
149 Georgia Highlands College Rome, GA
150 San Antonio College San Antonio, TX
151 Marshalltown Community College Marshalltown, IA
152 College of the Mainland Texas City, TX
153 Rowan College at Burlington County Mount Laurel, NJ
154 Georgia State University-Perimeter College Atlanta, GA

Liberal Arts General Studies by Region

View the Best Liberal Arts General Studies Associate's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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