Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 74.68

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA http://www2.gmu.edu/
George Mason University is a relatively new university, beginning as a branch of the University of Virginia in the 1950s before splitting off into its own institution in 1972. GMU is extremely diverse, with a large international contingent representing about 130 countries. The main campus, in suburban Fairfax, is about 15 miles from Washington, D.C., giving students vast opportunities for internships while they’re enrolled. Once a largely commuter school, GMU now requires that freshmen live on campus, and it has grown into the largest public university in Virginia, with over 38,000 students, about 27,000 of them undergraduates. It offers more than 80 undergraduate majors in its 10 schools and colleges. GMU prides itself on its values, among them innovation, integrity, inclusivity, freedom of thought and expression. The university likes to say “there’s something for everyone” on campus. Indeed, the university fields 20 men's and women's teams in Division I sports, and students not into sports can check out the more than 350 clubs, ranging from the Anime & Gaming Society to X-alt, a Christian a cappella group. The school’s mascot, the Patriot, is a nod to the university’s namesake, one of the country’s founding fathers.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$30,800
% of students who get any grants
59%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$19,300
Average price for low-income students
$14,780

Admissions

Acceptance rate
87%
Median SAT/ACT score
1220/27
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
26,010

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
84%
% of need met
54%
% of students who get merit grants
20%
Average merit grant
$3,530

Student Success

Graduation rate
70%
Average time to a degree
4.4 years
Median student debt
$19,750
Early career earnings
$66,150
% 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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