Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 80.97

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA http://www.vt.edu/
Virginia Polytechnic and State University, or Virginia Tech, is a leader in using technology to teach – and have fun. The campus Math Emporium is a former department store that houses hundreds of computers programmed with math tutoring lessons that have boosted students' math success rates. Geography instructor John Boyer, who styles himself as "The Plaid Avenger," is regularly voted among the top instructors at the school and made a name for himself by getting world leaders to hold discussions with his classes via Skype (he also recently opened a wine bar, in case you're looking for a happy hour after lecture). Although Virginia Tech is known for its competitive engineering programs, the school offers 73 fields of study, with particularly strong business, social sciences and agriculture programs. More than 1,000 students participate in the school's cadet program, which can – and often does – lead to an officer commission in the military. Virginia Tech's Division I teams are all cheered on by a mascot called HokieBird, a kind of mythical, muscled-up turkey. In an example of nerdy fun, the school's robotics researchers created an award-winning robot that could dance "Gangnam Style." In a more recent (and serious) project, engineering students designed a human-size robot meant to support a variety of search and rescue tasks in disaster situations.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$28,500
% of students who get any grants
57%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$21,400
Average price for low-income students
$11,930

Admissions

Acceptance rate
66%
Median SAT/ACT score
1290/25
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
29,200

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
75%
% of need met
54%
% of students who get merit grants
9%
Average merit grant
$3,610

Student Success

Graduation rate
83%
Average time to a degree
4.3 years
Median student debt
$22,406
Early career earnings
$73,160
% 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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