Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 82.42

Columbia University in the City of New York

According to Money's analysis, Columbia University is one of the more expensive colleges in the Ivy League, in part because it's in one of the world's most expensive cities. But Columbia's Manhattan location also provides its roughly 9,000 undergraduates with extraordinary opportunities, including proximity to top cultural attractions and access to countless internship opportunities. The location also helps draw world-class scholars, such as Nobel Prize-winning economists Edmund Phelps and Joseph Stiglitz and Fields Medal-winning mathematician Andrei Okounkov. The first two years of study at Columbia, during which all students must dive into the school's celebrated Core Curriculum, can be especially challenging. Even so, more than nine out of 10 freshmen go on to earn a degree within six years. Columbia graduates earn an average of nearly $90,000 in their first several years post college. Previous students include former President Barack Obama, investor Warren Buffett, Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon, and comedian Jenny Slate. Though rarely used, the school's full and official name is Columbia University in the City of New York.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$79,800
% of students who get any grants
59%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$23,400
Average price for low-income students
$9,870

Admissions

Acceptance rate
5%
Median SAT/ACT score
1510/34
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
8,220

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
99%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit grants
N/A
Average merit grant
N/A

Student Success

Graduation rate
94%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$21,500
Early career earnings
$89,870
% earning more than a high school grad
83%

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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