Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 85.99

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA http://www.upenn.edu/
Although it's known for typically having one of the largest freshman classes in the Ivy League (about 2,400 students), the University of Pennsylvania is still wildly tough to get into. Its acceptance rate for the class of 2025 was a record low: less than 6%. Once admitted, students clearly thrive: About 96% of freshmen graduate, giving Penn one of the highest graduation rates in Money's rankings. Among the most elite departments within Penn are business and economics, which are notoriously demanding. Students in introductory economics hold a midnight "Econ scream" just before midterms where they gather and scream in advance of the test. It may all be worth it, however, given how highly employers value degrees from the university. The median earnings for students who attended Penn hit $103,000 within ten years – higher than other schools of similar caliber. For fun, Penn hosts Spring Fling the last week of classes, touted as the largest college party on the East Coast. Past headliners have included Kesha, Ludacris, and OK Go. Another fun tradition is a bit more unusual: During every home football game, students toss thousands of pieces of toast onto the field as a toast to the school.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$83,400
% of students who get any grants
51%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$25,500
Average price for low-income students
$580

Admissions

Acceptance rate
9%
Median SAT/ACT score
1510/32
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
10,770

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
96%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$16,763
Early career earnings
$103,250
% earning more than a high school grad
85%

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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