Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 73.37

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA http://www.jmu.edu/
Civic engagement and community service are a part of campus culture at James Madison University, stemming back to the 1986 establishment of an initiative promoting service-learning. At 83%, James Madison's six-year graduation rate stands out among large public universities and is slightly higher than is expected of colleges that enroll similar students, according to a Money analysis of graduation rates. The college has strong offerings in visual and performing arts, as well as in the social sciences. Health-related programs, business and communications are among the most popular majors. Although James Madison has nearly 20,000 undergraduates, 88% of classes have fewer than 50 students in them, and the student-faculty ratio is 16:1. James Madison is in the middle of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, offering mountain views and some hilly walks around the campus and the city of Harrisonburg. Students can also join wide-ranging organizations like the 3D printing club, caving club, and the antisocial social club.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$29,600
% of students who get any grants
35%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$19,600
Average price for low-income students
$14,290

Admissions

Acceptance rate
77%
Median SAT/ACT score
1210/NA
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
19,660

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
63%
% of need met
35%
% of students who get merit grants
1%
Average merit grant
$6,730

Student Success

Graduation rate
84%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Median student debt
$20,500
Early career earnings
$61,270
% earning more than a high school grad
82%

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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