Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 74.62

Davidson College

Davidson, NC http://davidson.edu/
Despite its classification as a liberal arts college, Davidson prides itself on being a leader in undergraduate research. Small class sizes mean its 1,800 students can conduct research alongside professors, and a grant-funded initiative gives them the opportunity to design a research project, work with a faculty mentor, and publish their findings. The school offers about 74 majors, minors and pre-professional programs ranging from degrees in Arab studies to global literary theory to pre-medicine and even pre-ministry. Davidson ranks high because of its strong graduation rate; some 90% of students graduate within six years. But it also scores well for affordability. It was one of the first liberal arts colleges to commit to meeting all of the demonstrated financial needs of students through a combination of grants and campus jobs; less than one in five freshmen borrow federal student loans. Students go on to relatively high-paying jobs, with median early career earnings coming in at $71,600, according to the College Scorecard. The college has performance groups devoted to music, dance and comedy, including four a cappella groups: the Generals, the Delilahs, Androgyny, and the Nuances. For a small school, Davidson offers a large variety of athletics, with about 20 Division I teams. It may not be considered a powerhouse, but the college has found itself in the sports headlines, thanks to NBA golden boy Steph Curry. (He helped bring the Wildcats to the NCAA's 2008 Elite Eight while at the school.)

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$75,200
% of students who get any grants
73%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$30,200
Average price for low-income students
$8,870

Admissions

Acceptance rate
18%
Median SAT/ACT score
1400/NA
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
1,830

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
100%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit grants
6%
Average merit grant
$30,040

Student Success

Graduation rate
89%
Average time to a degree
4 years
Median student debt
$19,500
Early career earnings
$71,670
% earning more than a high school grad
80%

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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