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Rank: 2

University of California-San Diego

La Jolla, CAwww.ucsd.edu
One of the top research universities in the world, the University of California-San Diego is renowned for its science programs and its great teachers. Hundreds of students flock to the university's gospel choir classes each year thanks to the popularity of music professor Kenneth Anderson, for example. And Lin Chao, who teaches evolution and ecology, gets top student marks (and teaching awards) for describing complex science concepts through stories. Notable alumni include Mike Judge, who earned a bachelor's in physics before going on to create TV shows like "King of the Hill", and Billy Beane, who put his UCSD economics degree and statistical analysis training to use in building a competitive Oakland Athletics team on the cheap -- a feat immortalized in the book and movie Moneyball. MONEY found that although 40% of UCSD students come from low-income families, 87% graduate within six years, a rate that's about 28% higher than what's typical for colleges with similar student populations. UCSD's student body is highly diverse: Of its roughly 27,000 undergraduates, 37% are Asian and 16% are Hispanic. Most of the Triton teams currently compete in the NCAA's Division II, but UCSD is in the process of becoming a Division I school in the Big West Conference. The college's annual Sun God Festival is one of the most popular events of the year, recently attracting singers like Drake, My Chemical Romance and Sara Bareilles.
costs
Est. Full Price 2018-2019
$32,900
% of students who get any grants
59%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$15,900
Average price for low-income students
$8,600
admissions
Acceptance rate
36%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1310/30
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
29,613
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
95%
% of need met
86%
% of students who get merit* grants
2%
Average merit grant
$11,001
student success
Graduation rate
87%
Average time to a degree
4.4 years
Average student debt
$18,500
Average salary within 3 years
$58,600
% 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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