Quaker Colleges 2022 (Expert Research)4 min read

A Quaker school often referred to as a “Friends school”, is an institution whose educational approach aligns with “The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers” values. 

Quakers believe that the Divine Light exists and stays within each individual, and they strive to let each pupil see, feel, and hear that light.

They believe that bringing out the gifts in each student helps them build a vibrant and connected community. 

Beyond this, while every institution has its educational philosophy and mission, learning commitment can only become possible through reflection and inquiry, which is common in Quaker education.

To that effect, curiosity, critical thinking, and creativity often become part of the Quaker school academics. 

Characteristics of Quaker Education

Student Population Size:

Most Quaker universities and colleges in the United States possess a relatively small student population.

Campus Size: 

Generally, the campuses are smaller and more intimate due to the student population.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 

Many Quaker schools have a minimal student-to-faculty ratio. This, in turn, improves experiences gathered through learning.

On-Campus Activities: 

Due to a smaller and more intimate campus, students may discover fewer on-campus programs or activities, unlike large public universities or colleges.

For instance, Haverford College does not have any sororities or fraternities in Haverford, Pennsylvania.

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However, this school is the only varsity cricket team in the country that has over 130 student bodies.

Guiding Principles of Quakerism

The acronym SPICES often recognizes the principles which guide Quaker educational colleges. 

SPICES stands for:

  • Simplicity
  • Peace
  • Integrity
  • Community
  • Equality
  • Stewardship

Each of these principles or values generally shapes the school community and its environment. 

Different locations of Quaker Colleges in the United States

According to the Friends Association for Higher Education, in total, there are about 15 Quaker schools situated in the following US states:

  • California
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • North Carolina
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Oregon

Most Quaker colleges can be found in either Indiana, Ohio, or Pennsylvania. If you attend a Quaker school, you have a reasonable probability of living in one of these states.

Pennsylvania has about four of the 15 Quaker colleges. However, other Quaker schools located in different parts of the country give you the opportunity to reside in other states.

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Quaker-originated Colleges and Universities

Below are compilations of Quaker-originated colleges and universities, arranged in no particular order. 

How expensive is Quaker Education?

As explained above, Quaker colleges and universities are private or independent schools; this makes most Quaker schools’ tuition costs more significant across the board.

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The advantage of this is that despite the high tuition fees, students from out of state pay lesser than students from in-state.

For instance, the yearly tuition fees for students at Bryn Mawr College located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, cost over $43,000 per year.

In contrast, Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, costs an estimate of $21,000 yearly.

Luckily, not all Quaker colleges are quite as expensive as this.

If you’re having considering attending a Quaker university or college, be sure you can afford the fees of that school.

Most Quaker colleges provide mouth-watering financial aid packages, so ensure not to rule out any particular school without proper considerations of all these options.

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Is enrolling in a Quaker School right for your family?

For families that are partially new to Quaker schools, learning about the educational philosophy can be enlightening. It can also be a bit confusing.

One of the most frequent questions asked by people is, Do you have to be a Quaker to attend a Quaker school?

The answer is No. Students do not have to be Quakers before going to a Quaker school.

Quakerism has so much in common with a lot of diverse faith traditions, and in turn, this makes people of all backgrounds come up with ways to connect with Quaker pedagogy and Quakerism.

Those who work or go to a Quaker school find themselves involved in the belief systems and values only, not the religion itself.

Parents and families weighing the pros and cons of a particular Quaker school or any of the schools must understand their family needs before making any choice.

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For instance, most parents and families desire their children to receive an exceptional education.

However, most times, they also want their children to be happy, healthy, and engaged with the world at the same time.

While many schools provide exceptional academics, it takes a genuinely unique school to accomplish both of these outcomes. 


A solid Quaker education encompasses an endless search for truth and reveals to students how their learning joins the world around them.

For families with high regard for academics and emotional and social growth, a Quaker college can most certainly be the best as it instills in the children a lasting love for education.  

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