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Rank: 1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Drum roll, please: Money's No. 1 Best College for the 2020-2021 academic year is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT is one of the world's most respected science schools, and for good reason. For starters, consider its notoriously competitive selection process -- only about 7% of applicants were accepted last year. Then there's the grueling workload, which includes physics, biology, chemistry, and calculus as required courses. And, of course, MIT's professors are world class, with 10 Nobel laureates currently on the faculty. Students can count on a lot of individual attention from their professors, given that MIT is tied for having the lowest student-faculty ratio in Money's universe. All that hard work reaps rewards, as most of the 94% of Techies who graduate within six years tend to do well. Those who go straight into the workforce report earning $81,400 five years out of school, which is 10% higher than the average salaries at similarly tech-focused colleges, according to PayScale data. While the school isn't exactly a bargain, it awards need-based scholarships to about 60% of undergrads, and most of the class of 2019 left MIT without student loan debt. MIT has a diverse student body, and the 166-acre campus in Cambridge gives students access to nightlife as well as the cultural activities of nearby Boston. MIT alone has a dozen galleries and museums on campus. When not appreciating the arts, Techies are known for creative, nerdy fun, like playing Quidditch or experimenting in the Laboratory for Chocolate Science.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
FALL 2020 PLAN: As far as on-campus instruction goes, MIT prioritized seniors who need to complete their degrees in 2021; students not living on campus are taking courses online. The university also kept tuition at last year's level and boosted its financial aid budget, which included giving all undergrads a $5,000-grant.
costs
Est. Full Price 2020-2021
$71,800
% of students who get any grants
65%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$19,800
Average price for low-income students
$7,900
admissions
Acceptance rate
7%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1540/35
SAT/ACT Required for Fall 2021?
no
Enrollment
4,550
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
98%
% 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
Average student debt
$12,500
Average salary within 5 years
$81,400
% earning more than $28,000
93%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 1

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

* Full price of attendance includes on-campus room & board fees, which may not be applicable to all colleges' reopening plans this year.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, Money/American Institutes for Research calculations, Opportunity Insights.

coronavirus update

FALL 2020 PLAN: As far as on-campus instruction goes, MIT prioritized seniors who need to complete their degrees in 2021; students not living on campus are taking courses online. The university also kept tuition at last year's level and boosted its financial aid budget, which included giving all undergrads a $5,000-grant.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

* Full price of attendance includes on-campus room & board fees, which may not be applicable to all colleges' reopening plans this year.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, Money/American Institutes for Research calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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