Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 74.7

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA
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.


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

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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