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Rank: 7

University of California-Berkeley

Berkeley, CAwww.berkeley.edu
UC-Berkeley, or Cal for short, is one of the most selective public colleges in the country, with an acceptance rate of about 17%. Over 90% of freshmen graduate within six years, which is 14% more than comparable elite public schools. A respected research institution, Cal gives students access to a faculty that includes numerous MacArthur "geniuses," Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel laureates, including biologist Randy Schekman, who received the 2013 Nobel for medicine, and astrophysicist George Smoot, who won the 2006 award in physics. As with many big universities, lower-level classes are large -- one computer science course usually draws more than 1,000 students. With scale also comes a mind-boggling array of choices for non-academic pursuits, including more than 50 sororities and fraternities as well as hundreds of clubs (including half a dozen devoted to specific dance styles such as tango, salsa, ballroom and K-Pop). Sports are a big attraction on campus, and the Golden Bears' Division I sports teams tend to be very strong -- the football rivalry with nearby Stanford is legendary. Cal grads go on to earn an average of $65,400 in their first three years after graduation, according to PayScale, which is 13% more than their peers from comparable schools typically make. Notable alumni include the author Maxine Hong Kingston, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, actor John Cho, novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen and "Myspace Tom" Anderson.
costs
Est. Full Price 2018-2019
$37,900
% of students who get any grants
60%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$18,400
Average price for low-income students
$8,700
admissions
Acceptance rate
17%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1410/33
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
31,133
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
99%
% of need met
87%
% of students who get merit* grants
4%
Average merit grant
$9,390
student success
Graduation rate
92%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Average student debt
$14,200
Average salary within 3 years
$65,400
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
55%
key deadlines
Early decision application
N/A
Regular application
N/A

* 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, Equality of Oppourtunity Project.

* 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, Equality of Oppourtunity Project.

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