Best Colleges in America 2022
college_name
Prev RANK: 3 Next
Overall Score: 86.11

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA http://www.virginia.edu/
Known as a "public Ivy," the University of Virginia offers in-state students a top-notch education at a reasonable price. What's more, students live and study inside a UNESCO World Heritage Site (the only U.S. college to have that designation), featuring a spectacularly beautiful campus designed by university founder Thomas Jefferson. Students seem to thrive: UVA has the highest graduation rate of any public university in the country, at 94%. It offers undergraduate programs in subjects like astronomy, environmental thought and practice, medieval studies, Slavic languages and literature, and architecture. The school's roughly 17,000-person student body is not particularly diverse economically, with just 13% of undergrads coming from low-income families. The Cavaliers field 25 Division I varsity sports teams, and many are strong; its men's basketball team won an NCAA title in 2019. Greek life also plays a major role in the social scene – about 35% of undergraduates take part in a sorority or fraternity – as do a handful of secret societies. But everyone has to make sure they're on good behavior: UVA has an honor code that forbids students from lying, cheating or stealing, though current students recently voted to ease the punishment for violations.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$36,700
% of students who get any grants
48%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$20,100
Average price for low-income students
$12,480

Admissions

Acceptance rate
24%
Median SAT/ACT score
1430/28
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
16,720

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
91%
% of need met
100%
% of students who get merit grants
4%
Average merit grant
$5,630

Student Success

Graduation rate
94%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$18,250
Early career earnings
$77,050
% earning more than a high school grad
84%

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.

More From Money’s College Team

  • Recent College News

    Recent College News

    Read the latest Money coverage on paying for college, succeeding on campus and transitioning to the working world.
  • How to Apply for the FAFSA

    How to Apply for the FAFSA

    The application is the gateway to billions of dollars in financial aid for college.
  • Best Student Loans

    Best Student Loans

    Learn all about private student loans with Money's expert guide.