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Rank: 28

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Unsurprisingly for a school with nearly 45,000 students -- 32,000 of them undergraduates --- opportunities abound at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Eclectic arts scene? Check. Grade-A athletics? Badger faithful go crazy on game days. Charming college town? Affirmative -- people bike along Lake Mendota. Strong Greek community? Got it. Impassioned political activism? The university is steps from the state capitol, where protestors often gather. Great academics? You'd better believe it. Students have more than 9,000 courses and 230 majors and certificates to pick from. The business and engineering programs are notably prestigious. The downsides are that the school's size can be intimidating, and students say professors are sometimes more focused on research than teaching. Still, UW-Madison students come from all over the country to attend this esteemed public institution, and 87% of them graduate within six years of matriculating. Their early career salaries come in at about $55,000, according to PayScale. Badger alums go on to do other big things, too, like starting The Onion and founding Earth Day.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
FALL 2020 PLAN: The university plans to begin courses as scheduled on Sept. 2, with a primarily in-person format. These classes will adhere to physical distancing and face covering guidelines, and some may have remote options.
costs
Est. Full Price 2020-2021
$26,700
% of students who get any grants
42%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$14,800
Average price for low-income students
$5,700
admissions
Acceptance rate
52%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1370/30
SAT/ACT Required for Fall 2021?
no
Enrollment
30,360
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
77%
% of need met
75%
% of students who get merit* grants
7%
Average merit grant
$4,110
student success
Graduation rate
87%
Average time to a degree
4.3 years
Average student debt
$20,500
Average salary within 5 years
$55,000
% earning more than $28,000
86%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Feb 1

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

* Full price of attendance includes on-campus room & board fees, which may not be applicable to all colleges' reopening plans this year.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, Money/American Institutes for Research calculations, Opportunity Insights.

coronavirus update

FALL 2020 PLAN: The university plans to begin courses as scheduled on Sept. 2, with a primarily in-person format. These classes will adhere to physical distancing and face covering guidelines, and some may have remote options.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

* Full price of attendance includes on-campus room & board fees, which may not be applicable to all colleges' reopening plans this year.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, Money/American Institutes for Research calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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