Hi Anon! Solid question, sometimes we still ask this one ourselves
Liberal Arts comes from the Latin word “liber”, meaning “free”, and refers to a curriculum that is meant to shape a person intellectually as a whole, as opposed to say, a pre-professional program that prepares students for a specific career. Liberal Arts isn’t for everyone—some students know exactly what they want to do out of high school and have no interest in other things, and that’s fine.
In the US, when some one refers to Liberal Arts style curriculum or a Liberal Arts college, this means an education with an emphasis on the undergraduate education and sometimes a set core curriculum, designed to develop a student’s intellect by exposing them to a wide variety of subjects—things like music, english, calculus, physics, etc. The classes will usually be taught in a Socratic style; small discussions, low teacher to student ratio.
Additionally, because there are no graduate programs, Liberal Arts Colleges often offer the advantage of professors that are entirely focused on their students as opposed to research.
Thanks for asking!