Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 74.7

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA http://www.wpi.edu/
Scientific theory and social issues collide on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute – and that's exactly what this school in Worcester, Massachusetts wants for its roughly 4,700 undergraduate students. All undergrads start their time at WPI in the Great Problems Seminar, a collection of courses aimed at connecting scientific or technological skills with challenges related to health, energy, transportation or housing. Then, when students become upperclassmen, they combine theory with practice through two major projects. During junior year, for example, small teams of students work with a faculty member to research a specific problem and design a solution. These projects take place in Worcester and at the school's 50+ project centers around the world, such as in Cape Town, South Africa, where students recently assisted in implementing alternative building technologies for the Department of Human Settlements. Also unique at WPI is the grading system and term schedule. There are no D or F grades; students simply don't receive credit for anything below a C. And there are four seven-week terms instead of two semesters. Academics are demanding, but students still find time to relax, with popular events including movie nights that happen every Friday and Saturday – in one of the science labs.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$74,300
% of students who get any grants
94%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$48,400
Average price for low-income students
$31,780

Admissions

Acceptance rate
49%
Median SAT/ACT score
NA/NA
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
4,660

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
98%
% of need met
82%
% of students who get merit grants
38%
Average merit grant
$18,260

Student Success

Graduation rate
87%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
$27,000
Early career earnings
$89,410
% earning more than a high school grad
93%

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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