Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 85.9

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA http://www.ucla.edu/
There's a lot of star power at UCLA. There are professors like computer science pioneer Leonard Kleinrock, who sent the first message over the Internet; Pulitzer Prize-winning geographer Jared Diamond; and Terence Tao, who won the Fields Medal, for outstanding mathematicians, in 2006. And then there are the students. The Theater, Film, and Television school is among the best in the country, and scores of former students are working in movies and on television, including Mariska Hargitay, Jack Black, and James Franco. On the sports front, the Bruins have produced a galaxy of stars, including Arthur Ashe, Jackie Robinson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Troy Aikman and several Olympians in track and field. That said, the university does a fine job of supporting ordinary students as well. About one-third of its students come from low-income families, and about 92% eventually graduate – about 16% more than is expected for schools with similar student bodies. Bruins tend to graduate into good jobs, with median annual salaries of about $73,700 ten years after they began school. The university also offers more than 1,000 clubs and organizations, including the Daily Bruin newspaper, and Campus Events Commission, which programs free sneak previews of films on campus. Students looking to escape the bubble of Westwood Village are only a short drive away from both Beverly Hills and the beach in Santa Monica.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$37,800
% of students who get any grants
72%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$17,400
Average price for low-income students
$9,040

Admissions

Acceptance rate
12%
Median SAT/ACT score
1420/32
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
31,540

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
97%
% of need met
79%
% of students who get merit grants
4%
Average merit grant
$5,900

Student Success

Graduation rate
91%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$15,000
Early career earnings
$73,740
% 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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