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Rank: 66

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, founded back in 1859, is a small college in New York City's artsy East Village that focuses on art, architecture, and engineering. It is among the nation's most selective schools, with a 13% acceptance rate and fewer than 1,000 undergraduate students enrolled, but getting in pays off. Cooper Union's graduation rate is about 83%, and grads say their early-career salaries average about $65,900 -- that's 11% higher than similar students from other universities. Cooper Union alumni also tend to thrive in the competitive art and architecture worlds. Famous former students include Thomas Edison, sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Daniel Libeskind, who designed New York City's new Freedom Tower. One reason for Cooper Union's past popularity, and its high placement on many "value college" lists, was its free tuition policy. But in 2014, the school started charging tuition, a decision that was questioned and criticized by many alumni, faculty, and students. The school has said it plans to return to the earlier model in about a decade, with scholarships increasing in the meantime. Cooper Union is also notable for being one of the first institutions to make all of its bathrooms gender neutral back in 2016.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$67,900
% of students who get any grants
100%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$30,400
Average price for low-income students
$9,040
admissions
Acceptance rate
13%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1420/31
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
854
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
76%
% of students who get merit* grants
51%
Average merit grant
$24,338
student success
Graduation rate
83%
Average time to a degree
4.3 years
Average student debt
$14,750
Average salary within 3 years
$65,900
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
52%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 8

* 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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