From the School

Since its founding in 1901, Sweet Briar College has been deeply committed to the education of women. It is consistently ranked as one of the top, national liberal arts and sciences colleges in the country. And in 2010, Sweet Briar was recognized by the Princeton Review as a private college “Best Buy.” The excellent academic reputation, beautiful campus, and attention to the individual, attract smart, confident women who want to excel.

At Sweet Briar, faculty and staff members are committed to helping each individual young woman reach her full potential both inside and outside the classroom. As a result, the College has put together a series of guarantees (titled "The Sweet Briar Promise") to ensure that every student has a college experience that will land her exactly where she wants to be after college.

The College has a wide geographic, ethnic, and socioeconomic representation. About 650 women from more than forty states and fifteen countries are enrolled at Sweet Briar's Virginia campus; another 125 students are enrolled in Sweet Briar's coed Junior Year in France and Junior Year in Spain programs.

A Sweet Briar education sets in motion the conviction that any goal is achievable, and prepares young women for a lifetime of success. Classes average twelve students, and a student to faculty ratio of 9:1 ensures academic interaction and personal attention.


Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99
2.00 - 2.49

Test Scores

SAT Reading
480 - 620
SAT Math
458 - 590
ACT Composite
21 - 27


February 1

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Academic GPA


From The School

Sweet Briar College supports students in realizing their full potential through the "Sweet Briar Promise" a series of six guarantees that provides each student the opportunity to have a resume-building internship, study abroad, develop and apply her leadership skills, personalize her academic program, conduct primary research with a faculty mentor, and build an advising team of faculty, staff, and alumnae professionals so that she is best prepared for success after college.

The general education program has 4 components: English 104 (composition), Skills Requirements, Experiences Requirements, and Knowledge Area Requirements. Our general education approach is based on the belief that students will benefit more from their college experience and be better prepared for life after college if they understand the value of a liberal arts curriculum and actively cultivate, in and out of the classroom, their intellectual, social, cultural, creative, and recreational potential to prepare for a life of continual growth, responsibility, and fulfillment. The curriculum emphasizes comprehensive understanding, analysis, reflection, creation, and communication across disciplines. Independent studies, available at all levels, and seminars are included in most majors, with a culminating senior course or exercise required in most majors.

Sweet Briar has ten honorary societies including a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

The four-year Honors Program is nationally recognized for its innovative partnering of interdisciplinary academic and co-curricular programs. Honors students take special tutorials, known as honors variants and honors seminars. Seniors may choose to complete a yearlong research project culminating in an honors thesis on an original topic in the major department.

Sweet Briar provides free of charge to all students academic support services that include assistance with papers and study strategies, a personalized time management system, stress management advice, tutoring information, and one-on-one peer mentoring. The Academic Resource Center (ARC) also provides support and learning strategies for students with a diagnosed learning difference.

Sweet Briar operates on a traditional, two-semester calendar.

Students Say

“A place where students want to be a part of something bigger than themselves,” Sweet Briar College is a small, all-female, liberal arts college set in rural Virginia. Known as “a sisterhood” that fosters “leadership in and out of the classroom,” this college attracts women interested in a personalized academic environment where “my professors know me by name, and [the] administration has immense respect for me.” “Small class sizes” and “professors [that] become like family” are the school’s biggest draws. The professors provide “so many opportunities for students to do undergraduate research, hands-on projects… fieldtrips, networking, jobs, and internships,” but they are engaged enough with the student body that “they will join you for lunch in the cafeteria or joke around with you in class.” This type of care and attention, so characteristic of Sweet Briar, begins even before students are admitted to the school through “truly special” hand-written recruitment letters sent from the admissions office. As one student explains, “Sweet Briar creates a whole person, one capable of taking on the world’s problems with creativity, enthusiasm, and class.” In addition to “an incredible study abroad program” and career services center, Sweet Briar boasts “100 percent job-placement rate post-graduation” in particular programs like education and a dedicated network of alumnae that “have time to sit down and talk with you, let you stay with them if you are visiting the area, or even help you find a job, and take you to happy hour.”

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree


Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years



Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Interest Inventory
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School


Prominent Alumni

Diana Muldaur Dozier
First woman president, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Actress

Anne Litle Poulet
Director, Frick Collection

Sarah Porter Boehmler
1st female Sr VP American Stock Exchange

Marshalynn Yeargin-Allsop
1st Afr-Amer graduate Emory U Medical School

Leah Busque

Susan Scanlan
Chair, National Council of Women's Organizations

Debra Elkins
US Department of Homeland Security Section Chief, Office of Strategy


From The School

For the 2011 2012 academic year, tuition and mandatory fees totaled $31,095 and room and board totaled $11,100. Books and class supplies average about $1,100. Personal expenses average $1,150.


Financial Aid Rating
Application Deadlines
Notification Date
Mar 1

Required Forms

Forms Divorced Parent

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of loan debt per graduate

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy

Scholarships and Grants
Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender


From The School

Students who benefit the most from the Sweet Briar experience are those who get involved in the co-curricular activities on campus. Sweet Briar students recognize that one of the advantages of a women's college is the opportunity for women to be involved and to hold leadership roles in organizations and activities.

More than fifty campus organizations are available, including honor societies, community service groups, a multicultural club, a student newspaper, drama and dance clubs, a radio station, and singing groups. Students plan and participate in an extensive array of concerts, films, and dance and theatre productions as well as workshops and master classes by visiting scholars and performers. Recent visitors have included writer, Rebecca Skloot; environmental attorney, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.; columnist, Christine Brennan; and country music singer, Stephanie Quayle.

Varsity athletes compete in NCAA Division III field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, and volleyball. Sweet Briar's riding program, both competitive and instructional, has consistently garnered national recognition.

Students participate actively in the governance of the College through offices and committee positions of the Student Government Association. The Association and its committees are largely responsible for the self-governance of the student body.

Students Say

"Students come to Sweet Briar to discover who they are [and] to learn to chal­ lenge themselves."It is overwhelmingly felt that their"goals of achieving in life" is what bonds the student body together. While there's still a want of diversity and marketing, for the school seems "to aim for a certain demographic" of the "preppy; white girl who...comes from a middleto upper-middle-class family;" the typical Sweet Briar woman "isn't always in pearls and talking about the latest stuff from Lilly Pulitzer...[She] is clever, independent, and adaptable." Sweet Briar women also "tend to fill their plates completely," and it "is not unusual for a student to be involved in four or more clubs or leadership opportunities on campus." The most important facet of the student body; however, is the friend­ ship developed between its students. "Every student is able to find a niche," and through shared values and the many available campus activities, women here create "lasting memories" and "friends that will last a lifetime."

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Out of State

Foreign Countries Represented



98% female
2% male
53% are out of state
97% are full time
3% are part time


From The School

Sweet Briar is located in central Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The spacious campus of 3,250 acres contains hiking trails, nature preserves, and spectacular views. The core buildings, designed by Ralph Adams Cram, form the Sweet Briar College National Historic District.

The College opened a 53,000 square foot Fitness and Athletic Center addition to its gymnasium in November 2009, as well as a new "green" residence hall/townhouse facility in August 2009. The FAC includes multiple volleyball/tennis courts, a suspended indoor running track, racquetball courts, lots of student common space, and a movie theater. The "Green Village" is composed of 5 buildings, each with 3 townhomes, providing an independent living option for 60 seniors and juniors. Other recent additions to campus include a student commons that opened in 2002 and a fine arts facility that opened in 2006. Sweet Briar is the only college in the country with a residential artists' colony on its campus, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. The on-campus equestrian center, one of the largest and best-designed college facilities in the country, attracts both competitive and recreational riders.

The community atmosphere of the College is enhanced by the large proportion of faculty and administrators who also live on campus.

The College is 12 miles north of Lynchburg, Virginia; less than an hour south of Charlottesville, VA; and about 3 hours southwest of Washington, D.C.

Students Say

Set in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of the rural South, the school offers access to the outdoors, and that is a big draw for many here. With more than "3,000 acres to explore," students at Sweet Briar are involved in many outdoors activities "like hiking, camping, and rock-climbing, with kayak­ ing thrown in as well" in an environment that makes this campus "one of the most beautiful in the country." In addition to its "wonderful horse riding pro­ gram," athletics like lacrosse and Division III field hockey are also popular. Sweet Briar strikes a balance between being "a suitcase school" where the cam­ pus "becomes a ghost town" on weekends and being a bustling campus full of student involvement. The weeks are spent "focusing on school work Monday through Friday," while on the weekends, students "jet off to Hampden-Sydney, VMl, W&L, or UVA" for a more "raging nightlife." Nightlife at Sweet Briar itself-marked by "boathouse" parties held on campus every Thursday-is more of a "'girls' night' with a box of wine and good girlfriends" rather than debaucherous partying. In addition, students have a wide range of activities to choose from, such as movie nights, laser tag, "clubs, Campus Christian Fellowship, music, [and] theater." Traditions such as "freshmen versus sopho­ more paint wars, junior week, secret sophomores and seniors" continue to fos­ ter "an extremely close and tightly knit community."

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

Quality of life rating
First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment
Fire safety rating

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Dorms Female
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Special Needs Admissions

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Special Need Services Offered

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division
Division III

Men's Sports ()
0 Sports

Women's Sports (Vixens)
7 Sports

Equestrian Sports
Field Hockey

Student Services

Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups: GLOW (Gay, Lesbian, or Whatever) is a student-organized club that embraces a variety of lifestyles, hosts numerous events on campus to increase awareness, promote campus diversity, and provide support.

Minority Support Groups: Unity (student-organized club)


Green Rating

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources:

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education:

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Available through Computing. Apple and Dell

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Melanie Campbell
Visiting Coordinator

Office of Admissions
Box B
Sweet Briar, VA 24595

434 3816142


Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Riding Center
Art Barn

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Lynchburg - mall, theatres
Charlottesville - UVA
Lexington - VMI
Roanoke - concerts
Farmville - Hampden-Sydney

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday; Saturday
8:30am-5pm; 9am-12:30pm
434 3816142

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Call for times
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

Not available Fri-Sat nights and during exam periods


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
The Lynchburg Municipal Airport is a 30-minute drive from campus. Taxi service is available for the trip from airport to campus. The admissions office will arrange for transportation if you request it at least 3 days prior to your visit.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From Richmond, take U.S. Rte. 64 W. to U.S. Rte. 29. Head south on U.S. 29 to the college.

Local Accommodations
The Florence Elston Inn (; 434-381-6207) is most convenient as it is located on Sweet Briar campus. A lovely bed-and-breakfast, Dulwich Manor (; 434-946-7207), is about 5 minutes away from the college in Amherst. This English manor house is in a beautiful setting surrounded by woodland. Winridge Bed and Breakfast (Madison Heights; 434-384-7220) is about 20 minutes from campus.
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Key Stats

Acceptance Rate
SAT Scores

Rankings & Lists