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Rank: 87

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, MAwww.umass.edu
There's an urban legend that the characters in Scooby Doo were based on the schools in the Five College consortium. If true, the University of Massachusetts Amherst might be the eager, over-excited, lovable mutt Scooby. Students have been known to live up to their Scooby-like reputation, with rowdy parties and enthusiasm for a good time. Still, like good ol' Scooby, they know when to buckle down, and they're friendly, if occasionally unruly. With about 21,700 undergrads (plus another 7,000 grad students), students can usually find whatever experience they're looking for at UMass -- although they have to work hard to stand out in such a large crowd. UMass Amherst is the flagship campus in the UMass system. Some of its best programs are in business and communications, but the university offers a wide selection -- over 100 bachelor's degree programs alone, at last count. Students can also take courses at the four other colleges in the consortium: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith. The university's graduation rate of 76% is nearly 7% higher than universities with similar student demographics, according to MONEY's analysis. Alumni can also expect to earn an average of $53,500 in their early careers, about 7% more than graduates from comparable institutions. Notable among the school's student groups is the Not Ready for Bedtime Players, an award-winning sex-education theater troupe founded in 1988 as part of a UMass Amherst theater project about the AIDS crisis.
costs
Est. Full Price 2018-2019
$30,800
% of students who get any grants
71%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$21,600
Average price for low-income students
$9,600
admissions
Acceptance rate
60%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1230/28
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
26,735
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
87%
% of need met
85%
% of students who get merit* grants
14%
Average merit grant
$5,132
student success
Graduation rate
76%
Average time to a degree
4.1 years
Average student debt
$24,000
Average salary within 3 years
$53,500
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
N/A
key deadlines
Early decision application
Nov 1
Regular application
Jan 15

* 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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