Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 75.16

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA http://www.cmu.edu/
Carnegie Mellon University is just over a century old – a relative newbie compared to the elite universities it is often grouped alongside. Still, much of modern-day campus life is influenced by the private research university's history. Students in the marching band perform in kilts and knee-high socks, and the school's mascot is the Scottish Terrier, both of which are nods to founder Andrew Carnegie's Scottish roots. Carnegie Mellon is best known for programs in computer science, engineering and information technology, with a broad academic offering of 85 undergraduate majors and over 90 minors. Graduates excel when they enter the workforce, with median early career earnings of nearly $100,000. Each spring for 100 years, student teams have designed and built "buggies," which look like a cross between a soapbox car and a luge racer, for a race called the Buggy Sweepstakes (or Buggy for short). Another well-known custom draws students outside in the middle of the night to paint a campus fence that serves as an announcement board for student groups. Tradition dictates the hours the fence can be painted – between midnight and sunrise – and that students must then stand guard to keep other groups from claiming the fence for their own message.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$78,900
% of students who get any grants
51%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$39,100
Average price for low-income students
$16,460

Admissions

Acceptance rate
15%
Median SAT/ACT score
1510/34
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
6,540

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
97%
% of need met
98%
% of students who get merit grants
5%
Average merit grant
$37,840

Student Success

Graduation rate
89%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Median student debt
$22,014
Early career earnings
$100,000
% earning more than a high school grad
87%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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