Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 83.49

University of California, Irvine

Irvine, CA http://www.uci.edu/
Just over 50 years old, Irvine is one of the youngest campuses in the state's public university system, but it's already among the world's most respected research institutions – three former faculty members have received Nobel Prizes. Students can choose from over 85 undergraduate majors and 70 minors, and they tend to thrive within their programs: About 85% of freshmen go on to graduate within six years, which is slightly higher than predicted based on institutions with comparable student bodies. Irvine is one of the most diverse schools in the country – 36% of the roughly 30,000 undergrads are Asian, and 26% are Hispanic. The school also has a sweet location in the sunny suburbs of Orange County, just miles from famous California beaches and Disneyland, and about a one hour drive from downtown Los Angeles. UCI doesn't field a football team, but its baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball programs are strong. In one of the more quaint college cheers, the "Antourage," as fans are called, cheer "Zot! Zot! Zot!" to mimic the sound of an anteater sucking up ants.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$37,100
% of students who get any grants
69%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$13,800
Average price for low-income students
$6,540

Admissions

Acceptance rate
27%
Median SAT/ACT score
1300/29
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
30,370

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
97%
% of need met
82%
% of students who get merit grants
3%
Average merit grant
$9,230

Student Success

Graduation rate
83%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Median student debt
$15,060
Early career earnings
$71,960
% earning more than a high school grad
77%

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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