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Overall Score: 73.59

Clarkson University

Students who like to run things should feel right at home at Clarkson, a small university serving about 4,600 students in upstate New York. The college was founded by a local entrepreneur, and it says that one out of five alumni has held positions as a CEO, owner or other senior executive of a business. Clarkson has a strong reputation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) areas, and it prides itself on job placement. Its Center for Advanced Materials Processing is sponsored by corporate heavyweights including Xerox and Corning. And though tuition isn't especially cheap, the school is known to be generous with merit aid – it offers a variety of scholarships, including some that cover tuition for four years and an extra $8,000 scholarship to early-decision applicants. While Clarkson's location about 35 miles from Canada might seem a bit remote – and cold – the student body isn't hiding under the covers: Outdoor sports and recreation are popular, and the Golden Knights ice hockey team competes in Division I. The surrounding town of Potsdam, also home to a State University of New York campus, has quaint restaurants and shops, among them a comic book store and a vendor of natural soaps.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

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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