Named after Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, Davidson College was established in 1837 by the Concord Presbytery. Still affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, Davidson is a private, nonprofit liberal arts institution that’s endowed for $682 million. The highly selective school serves approximately 1,950 co-ed students from the United States and 40 countries. Davidson College is nestled on a 665-acre suburban campus in North Carolina’s Piedmont region on Lake Norman just 20 miles north of Charlotte. Along with 23 Rhodes Scholars, Davidson has produced notable alumni like Woodrow Wilson, Stephen Curry, and Charles Wright. Davidson College has also achieved an impressive retention rate of 96 percent.

According to the U.S. News, Davidson is the ninth best national liberal arts college, eighth best college for veterans, and most innovative school with the second best undergraduate teaching. Given a financial grade of A+, Davidson is recognized for America’s seventh most grateful grads by Forbes. In Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Davidson College was crowned the second best liberal arts value. The Princeton Review included Davidson within its elite “Colleges That Pay You Back” list. Davidson College claimed the 25th spot in the Washington Monthly’s top liberal arts colleges. Niche gave Davidson an A+ for academics, technology, and administration. Newsweek placed Davidson College in the “25 Most Desirable Small Schools” too.

Davidson College Accreditation Details

At Level II, Davidson College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) through 2017. This 10-year accreditation means that bachelor’s degrees are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV funding. Davidson is approved by the North Carolina Board of Education’s Institutions of Higher Education (IHE). The college also belongs to the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU).

Davidson College Application Requirements

Getting into Davidson College is tough work with an average acceptance rate at 21 percent. For first-year students, the admission committee requires finishing an accredited high school diploma or approved homeschooling program. At least 16 college-prep units are mandated, including four units of English, three units of math, and two units of foreign language. Taking five or more academic subjects per year is preferred. On average, admitted freshmen at Davidson hold a stellar secondary GPA of 3.9. Accepted Wildcats also achieve a mean SAT score of 1992 and ACT score of 31. Admission is holistic though, so writing ability, leadership, community service, and personal success are also considered.

Transfer students are welcome at Davidson College from other colleges and universities reviewed by regional accrediting agencies. Having completed one full academic year for eight to 10 courses is preferred. Every transferred course must align with Davidson’s unique academic objectives. A maximum of 60 credits earned with a “C” or higher may transfer. International students are accepted for Fall enrollment, but must certify their English fluency. Scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language should surpass 550 (paper-based) or 81 (Internet-based). Non-traditional students seeking early college admission could be admitted if high SAT subject-level tests in three to five areas are high.

Davidson College has an Early Decision deadline on November 15th and Regular Decision deadline on January 5th. Before these dates, interested undergraduates should complete the online Davidson application or Common Application form and attach:

• Payment for the non-refundable $50 fee
• Official high school or college transcripts
• ACT or SAT scores from the testing agency
• Two academic teacher recommendations
• One peer (classmate/friend) recommendation
• Two short responses and one 500-word essay
• Resume of scholastic and extra-curricular activities
• Early Decision agreement form (if applicable)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Although Davidson is Money magazine’s 46th best value college, tuition isn’t cheap. Full-time undergraduates pay $46,966 each year regardless of state residence. This price includes student activity, government, health service, and publication fees. Residential students must afford $6,694 annually for double-occupancy dorms. Semester-long meal plans add another $6,459 each year. Freshmen and transfers are billed a one-time $150 orientation fee. Unless waived, student health insurance premiums cost $1,690. The Music Department also applies a $770 fee for one-hour lessons each week. It’s estimated that the annual cost of attendance at Davidson College is $60,119. When multiplied by four years, this equals $240,476.

The NCES reports that 70 percent of starting, full-time freshmen earn aid. Financial aid packages have an average worth of $38,056 per year. Thanks to the Davidson Trust initiative, these no longer include debt-incurring loans like the Federal Perkins, Stafford, and PLUS programs. Instead, need is met with grants and employment. Students often have part-time jobs on-campus and at nonprofit community agencies for Federal Work-Study (FWS). Learners may qualify for the Federal Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant programs. Tar Heelers could receive the North Carolina Student Incentive Grant or Golden Leaf Scholars Program. Davidson College Grants award up to $30,000. Veterans are eligible for benefits via the Yellow Ribbon Program. Institutional scholarships like the John M. Belk Scholarship and Lowell L. Bryan Scholarship are also abundant.

Degrees Available

Davidson College offers an award-winning liberal arts curriculum with 28 majors to specialize their bachelor’s degree. Another 38 minors and five pre-professional tracks are granted. With a student-faculty ratio of 10:1, nearly three-fourths of classes have fewer than 20 students for individualized attention. Freshmen must sign a strict Honor Code for take-home quizzes and unproctored financial exams. While studying, students can engage in 150+ on-campus organizations. Available degrees include:

Bachelor of Arts in Art History

Undergraduates at Davidson can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Art History to study the collection and exhibition of visual culture through past centuries. The state-of-the-art Belk Visual Arts Center provides unparalleled resources for completing the 11-course major. Courses will survey Renaissance art, Greek architecture, 19th century painting, French impressionism, contemporary art, and more. Students are invited to exhibits at the Mint Museum and trips to the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies

Davidson offers a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies for students to better understand the region’s rich history, culture, political hierarchies, and economic systems. The 10-course major investigates the ties binding Latin America to the United States with courses ranging from early colonization to modern Mesoamerican relations. Students must take Spanish or Portuguese as their foreign language and study abroad for cultural fluency. The Experience Peru program at the Universidad de San Pablo is popular.

Related Resource: Top 10 Most Affordable Liberal Arts Colleges

Other unique majors at Davidson College are East Asian Studies, Classics, Environmental Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, Religion, and Theatre.