Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 77.72

University of Chicago

While the University of Chicago's official motto is "crescat scientia; vita excolatur," which translates to "let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched," some students refer to the school as the place "where fun comes to die." That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it gets to the heart of UChicago's reputation for academic intensity. The school is incredibly selective, with an acceptance rate that hovers around 6%. All 6,800 or so undergraduates must complete a rigorous liberal arts core curriculum, where A's are much harder to come by than at other schools. Even the academic calendar year, divided into quarters instead of semesters, tends to intensify the atmosphere on campus. The student body is intellectual and prides itself on being so: Many credit the school with teaching them to think critically. Partying happens, but students generally have to seek it out. Downtown Chicago, a few miles to the north of the school's Hyde Park campus, is an important part of university life, providing job, internship and volunteer opportunities to students, as well as athletic and cultural activities. The university's graduation rate of 94% is high, although it's slightly less than is expected of schools that enroll students with similar test scores and economic backgrounds.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$83,800
% of students who get any grants
54%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$38,600
Average price for low-income students
$2,500

Admissions

Acceptance rate
6%
Median SAT/ACT score
1540/34
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
6,800

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
99%
% 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
Median student debt
$14,601
Early career earnings
$76,730
% 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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