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Rank: 16

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CAwww.caltech.edu
Even by the demanding standards of elite schools, California Institute of Technology is tough. Freshmen take their first-year courses pass/fail to ease into the school, but after that, professors are notoriously hard graders. There are no easy A's here, and certainly not in the popular engineering and physical sciences programs. Along with the challenging workload comes great research opportunities, a hallmark of the school. Internships at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located near Caltech's Pasadena campus, are a prime example. The school boasts dozens of Nobel laureates among its alumni and faculty members. Techies tend to go on to great jobs, reporting salaries to PayScale that average about $83,400 within three years of getting their degree (which is high even by elite tech school standards). Caltech isn't known for its athletics or social life. The men's Division III basketball team, for instance, had a 310-game losing streak from 1985 through 2011. There are only about 2,200 students total, and males outnumber females. But the school's residential houses pick up the social slack: One fires cannons, one drops pumpkins off of the library, and they all throw parties.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$72,000
% of students who get any grants
61%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$26,100
Average price for low-income students
$870
admissions
Acceptance rate
8%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1560/35
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
961
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit* grants
N/A
Average merit grant
N/A
student success
Graduation rate
89%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Average student debt
$12,180
Average salary within 3 years
$83,400
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
66%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 3

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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