Top 20 Preppy Colleges in the South

In 2011, I published my first list of the top preppy colleges in the South.  It was limited to 10 colleges, and it was difficult to make decisions on which to include.  It was an entirely subjective process.  Most decisions were based on my experiences of the respective campuses considered.  I also spent time talking to current students and recent graduates to get their perspective.

For this year’s list, I’ve decided to expand the number to 20.  I use the term colleges, but I’m including both colleges and universities.  So the range is extensive.  Most of the schools listed this year are relatively small, private liberal arts institutions.

Hampden-Sydney College keeps its  #1 ranking again — as the most preppy college in the South – while Washington and Lee University moves up to the #2 ranking to challenge.

Hampden-Sydney College

The state of Virginia has the most schools listed (8), followed by  North and South Carolina (4 each), Tennessee (2), Mississippi (1) and Alabama (1).  Is there a bias? Probably.  Am I open to suggestions and revisions?  Definitely!  Let me know which schools you think should make the list, or which ones should be excluded.


1.  Hampden-Sydney College, Hampden-Sydney, VA.  (Founded 1775)

2.  Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA.  (Founded 1749)

3.  Sweet Briar College, Sweet Briar, VA.  (Founded 1901)

4.  University of the South, Sewanee, TN.  (Founded 1857)

5.  University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. (Founded 1819)

6.  Wofford College,  Spartanburg, SC.  (Founded 1854)

7.  Furman University, Greenville, SC.  (Founded 1826)

8.  College of Charleston, Charleston, SC.  (Founded 1770)

9.  Converse College, Spartanburg, SC.  (Founded 1889)

10.  Hollins University, Roanoke, VA.  (Founded 1842)

11.  Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA.  (Founded 1842)

12.  Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, VA.  (Founded 1830)

13.  Elon University, Elon, NC.  (Founded 1889)

14.  Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.  (Founded 1873)

15.  University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS.  (Founded 1848)

16.  Davidson College, Davidson, NC.  (Founded 1837)

17.  Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.  (Founded 1834)

18.  University of Richmond, Richmond, VA.  (Founded 1830)

19.  University of Alabama, Tuscalosa, AL.  (Founded 1831).

20.  Duke University, Durham, NC.  (Founded 1838)

Top 10 Preppy Colleges in the South

As a Southern expatriate living in New York City, I was recently asked for my opinions about some colleges below the Mason-Dixon Line.  This got me thinking about which of them are the most preppy.  The Top 10 list that I’ve put together is very subjective.  Some people will disagree with the rankings, but are not likely to disagree about whether these schools have very preppy student bodies.  I’m an alumnus of two of them (but won’t say which) and as a student dated girls from three others (Sweet Briar, College of Charleston  and Furman).  Friends of mine attended all of the others, and I’ve spent time on their campuses.  In addition to being preppy, all of these schools have excellent academic reputations.  Feel free to sound off if you think I’ve missed a school that should have been included.  If your parents send you to one of  the Top 10 Preppy Colleges in the South, they may not be buying any expensive new clothes for a while.  Tuition and room and board average $40,000 a year.  Let them know about my blog!

1.  Hampden-Sydney College 
(Hampden-Sydney, VA)

2.  Sweet Briar College (Sweet Briar, VA)

3. Washington & Lee University (Lexington, VA)

4.  Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC)

5.   College of Chrleston (Charleston, SC)

6.  University of the South (Sewanee, TN)

7.  University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)

8.  Furman University (Greenville, SC)

9.  Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, NC)

10.  Davidson College (Davidson, NC)