Survey shows value of liberal arts education – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Survey shows value of liberal arts education

Though small in number when compared to America’s large public universities, liberal arts college graduates are represented disproportionately highly among leaders in the arts, education, science and medicine, public service and business, according to a recent Web page story from The Annapolis Group.

A 1998 study found that even though only 3 percent of American college graduates were educated at a residential liberal arts college, alumni of these colleges accounted for:

* 8 percent of Forbes magazine’s listing of the nation’s wealthiest CEOs in 1998;
* 8 percent of former Peace Corps volunteers;
* 19 percent of U.S. presidents;
* 23 percent of Pulitzer Prize winners in drama, 19 percent of the winners in history, 18 percent in poetry, 8 percent in biography, and 6 percent in fiction between 1960 and 1998;
* 9 percent of all Fulbright scholarship recipients and 24 percent of all Mellon fellowships in the humanities; and
* 20 percent of Phi Beta Kappa inductions between 1995 and 1997.

On a per capita basis, liberal arts colleges produce nearly twice as many students who earn a Ph.D. in science as other institutions.

Liberal arts graduates also are disproportionately represented in the leadership of the nation’s scientific community. In a recent two-year period, nearly 20 percent of the scientists elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences received their undergraduate education at a liberal arts college.

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