Students sit on the quad in front of Hubbard Hall at Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 2015.

Three Maine educational institutions were ranked in the top 25 liberal arts colleges in the country on Monday by U.S. News & World Report, whose annual post-secondary education rankings have become a closely watched reference guide and source for school bragging rights.

Bowdoin College in Brunswick ranked top among Maine liberal arts schools at sixth, down one notch from its tie in 5th place last year. That’s out of the 223 national liberal arts colleges ranked by the magazine, which highlighted that the school for not requiring SAT or ACT score submissions.

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Colby College in Waterville moved up to 11th from 18th last year. U.S. News cited the school’s wildlife refuge as a distinguishing characteristic.

Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

Bates College in Lewiston was 21st, up one spot from last year’s rankings. It was cited as the first coed college in New England.

Colby and Bowdoin also ranked among the most innovative liberal arts schools, at 18th and 21st, respectively. College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor tied with Bowdoin at 21st.

College of the Atlantic was ranked the best value at ninth, the highest rank among Maine schools, followed by Bowdoin at 12th, Colby at 16th and Bates at 39th.

Credit: Phyllis Graber-Jensen | Bates Co

U.S. News added social mobility rankings for the first time this year to gauge how colleges help economically disadvantaged students, which it said are less likely than others to finish college.

College of the Atlantic scored the highest among Maine liberal arts schools in social mobility, ranking 25th nationwide. Bates was next at number 160, Bowdoin at 165 and Colby at 185.

Among all national universities, the University of Maine in Orono ranked at 202, the University of New England in Biddeford at 246 and Husson University in Bangor at 293.

Husson ranked No. 70 in social mobility, followed by University of Maine at No. 186 and the University of New England at No.234.