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Rank: 34

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VAhttps://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 teacher 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). Such programs are one reason the school has an unusually high graduation rate among public schools: about 85%. Moreover, graduates report early-career salaries of about $60,900, which is nearly 11% higher than schools with similar student bodies, according to MONEY's calculations. Although Virginia Tech is known especially for engineering, its business, social sciences, and agriculture programs are also strong. 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 2019-2020
$27,400
% of students who get any grants
49%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$20,000
Average price for low-income students
$12,900
admissions
Acceptance rate
70%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1270/28
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
27,120
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
71%
% of need met
64%
% of students who get merit* grants
9%
Average merit grant
$4,064
student success
Graduation rate
84%
Average time to a degree
4.3 years
Average student debt
$23,250
Average salary within 3 years
$60,900
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
48%
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 15

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

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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