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Rank: 3

University of California-Irvine

Irvine, CAwww.uci.edu/
At just over 50 years old, Irvine is one of the youngest campuses in the state's public university system, but it's already among the world's most respected research institutions -- three former faculty members have received Nobel Prizes. Undergraduates also thrive: Some 87% of freshmen go on to graduate, which MONEY found is about 28% more than the average for schools with similar student bodies. Its average annual cost is slightly below the national median. And the typical Anteater's early career earnings come in at about $55,000, according to PayScale, which is about 12% more than alums of comparable colleges. Irvine is one of the most diverse schools in the country -- 37% of the roughly 28,000 undergrads are Asian, and 25% are Hispanic. It also has a sweet location in the suburbs, just nine miles from the Pacific Ocean. UCI doesn't field a football team, but its baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball programs are strong. In one of the quainter college cheers, the "Antourage," as fans are called, cheer "Zot! Zot! Zot!" to mimic the sound of an anteater sucking up ants.
costs
Est. Full Price 2018-2019
$34,700
% of students who get any grants
68%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$14,800
Average price for low-income students
$9,300
admissions
Acceptance rate
41%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1200/27
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
28,947
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
96%
% of need met
82%
% of students who get merit* grants
2%
Average merit grant
$7,814
student success
Graduation rate
87%
Average time to a degree
4.2 years
Average student debt
$17,000
Average salary within 3 years
$54,900
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
55%
key deadlines
Early decision application
N/A
Regular application
Nov 30

* 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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