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In 2016, Washington Monthly rankings — using criteria of social mobility, research, and service — ranked Sarah Lawrence 173rd in the liberal arts college category.
A major component of the College's early curriculum was "productive leisure," wherein students were required to work for eight hours weekly in such fields as modeling, shorthand, typewriting, applying makeup, and gardening.
Its pedagogy, modeled on the tutorial system of Oxford University, combined independent research projects, individually supervised by the teaching faculty, and seminars with low student-to-faculty ratio — a pattern it retains to the present, despite its cost.
Sarah Lawrence College is ranked 57th in the National Liberal Arts Colleges category by U. Sarah Lawrence College was established by real-estate mogul William Van Duzer Lawrence, 1842-1927, on the grounds of his estate in Westchester County and was named in honor of his wife, Sarah Bates Lawrence, 1846-1926.
The College was originally intended to provide instruction in the arts and humanities for women.
Taylor spent much of his career calling for educational reform in the United States, using the success of his own College as an example of the possibilities of a personalized, modern, and rigorous approach to higher education.