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Overall Score: 90.03

Yale University

New Haven, CT
Like many other elite schools on the list, Yale offers students the opportunity to learn from some extraordinary minds, from Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller to Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Louise Gluck. It should be no surprise that Yale is one of the most selective schools in the country. But at the same time, it's also one of the most generous: Yale promises to "meet the full demonstrated financial need" of students. Partially as a result, 85% of the class of 2020 graduated without student debt. Although the faculty boasts some of the world's top scientific researchers, Yale offers students a traditional liberal arts education. There are no specific course requirements, but undergraduates must take courses in a wide variety of subjects and demonstrate strong skills in writing, quantitative reasoning and foreign language. Class sizes are small, and the student-faculty ratio is 6:1. At 96%, Yale's graduation rate is among the highest in Money's rankings. Much of Yalies' social life revolves around the residential college to which they are assigned, and live in, starting freshman year. But students also form friendships across colleges through activities like a cappella, sports, campus publications, volunteer groups and – for a select group – senior-year secret societies, such as Skull and Bones.


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
4.2 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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