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The University of Chicago is a private research university that’s considered one of the best in the country. Ranked number six in national universities (in a tie with Stanford University) by U.S. News and World Reports, the university is affiliated with 92 Nobel Prize winners and 25 Pulitzer Prize winners. It has highly regarded schools in law, medicine, and public policy, among others. In this guide, we’ll detail the university’s admission process, the UChicago acceptance rate, tuition, financial aid, popular majors, and more.
Total Cost of Attendance
In 2021-2022, costs at the University of Chicago were:
• UChicago tuition: $62,241, a 2.8% increase over the previous year
• Books and supplies: $1,800 (this cost has remained steady since at least 2018-2019)
• On-campus room and board: $17,685, a 4% increase from the previous year
• Other expenses: $2,400, a 10.3% increase over the previous year
• Total expenses: $84,126, a 3.2% increase from the previous year
The admissions process at UChicago is need blind, which means the school focuses on a student’s merit alone. Plus,those who apply for financial aid do not need to pay an application fee. These policies can help aspiring students with low to middle class family incomes who otherwise wouldn’t have the financial resources to attend.
In 2020-2021, 58% of students received some kind of financial aid, including student loans. More specifically:
• Grant or scholarship aid: 52% received this kind of aid with the average award being $48,412
• Federal grants: 29% received this kind of aid with an average award of $4,953
• Pell grants: 14% received this kind of aid with the average award being $5,251
• Other federal grants: 29% received this kind of aid with an average award of $2,416
• State/local: 2% received this kind of aid and the average award was $5,340
• Institutional: 52% received this kind of aid with the average award being $45,686
• Student loan aid: 7% received this kind of aid with an average award of $13,636
• Federal student loans: 6% received this kind of aid and the average award was $5,265
• Other student loans: 2% received this kind of aid with the average award being $37,860
Generally, financial aid is monetary assistance awarded to students based on personal need and merit. Students that qualify for financial aid can use it to pay for college costs like tuition, books, and living expenses.
The federal government is the largest provider of student financial aid. However, aid can also be given by state governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofits. The different types include:
• Scholarships: These can be awarded by schools and other organizations based on students’ academic excellence, athletic achievement, community involvement, job experience, field of study, and financial need.
• Grants: Generally based on financial need, these can come from federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations.
• Work-study: This federal program provides qualifying students with part-time employment to earn money for expenses while in school.
• Federal student loans: This is money borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. It comes with fixed interest rates that are typically lower than private loans.
Colleges, universities, and state agencies use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed online, but note that state and federal and school deadlines may differ.
You can find other financial aid opportunities on databases such as:
In 2020-2021, 2% of students received private student loan funding with an average award of $37,860.
Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. While Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress, private lenders follow a different set of regulations so their qualifications and interest rates can vary widely.
What’s more, private loans have variable or fixed interest rates that may be higher than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed. Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, compared to federal student loans which you don’t have to start paying back until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.
Private loans don’t have a specific application window and can be applied for on an as-needed basis. However, if you think you may need to take out a private loan, it’s a good idea to submit your FAFSA first to see what federal aid you may qualify for as it generally may have better rates and terms.
If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline or you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your payments. Just keep in mind that you will need enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.
The average tuition for a four-year private university in the U.S. is $54,500. That makes the UChicago tuition of $62,231 about 14% higher.
Graduate Tuition and Fees
Graduation tuition at the university in 2021-2022 was $62,640, with fees of $1,296, for a total of $63,936. In 2019-2020, the average tuition for graduate school at a four-year private, university in the U.S. was $26,551. That means that UChicago tuition is 1.4 times higher. Graduate loans can help with this cost.
Cost per Credit Hour
Taking the UChicago tuition of $62,241 and dividing it by two semesters of 15 hours each, equals a cost per credit hour of $2,074.40.
Campus Housing Expenses
In 2021-2022, room and board cat the University of Chicago was $17,685, a 4% increase from the previous year. For students looking for off-campus housing, the current average rent for a 750-square-foot apartment is $2,080.
University of Chicago Acceptance Rate
In fall 2021, 37,974 people applied to the university. The UChicago acceptance rate was 6%, making the school challenging to get into.
As part of the application process, students should include transcripts, two teacher evaluations, and a midyear report, plus a list of extracurricular activities and a personal essay. It’s optional to include a video profile and a financial aid application.
SAT and ACT Scores
The University of Chicago is a test optional school. In fall 2021, 49% of applicants submitted SAT scores and 35% submitted ACT scores. The 25th and 75th percentile scores were:
SAT Evidence-Based Reading/Writing
Popular Majors at University of Chicago
In 2021, 1,597 undergraduates received their degree in dozens of different academic programs. Here are some of the most popular majors.
This curriculum prepares students to understand today’s economy (pricing, markets, income, employment, and more). Econometrics integrates the disciplines of mathematics and statistics. In 2021, 26.11% of graduating undergraduates completed this degree.
Undergraduates can choose between a BA and a BS program, each offering comprehensive instruction. BS degrees can have an applied mathematics specialization or one with a focus on economics. In 2021, 8.3% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
Students can choose between a BA or BS with optional specializations that include cancer biology, cellular/molecular, developmental, endocrinology, genetics, immunology, microbiology, and quantitative biology. In 2021, 7% of graduating undergraduates earned a biology degree.
4. Computer Science
This degree is also available as a BA or BS, and each can be combined with an MS program. Students in the BA program who don’t go to grad school are prepared for the career in the computer science industry. Those in the BS program can add another field of study for a broader education. In 2021, 6.5% of graduating undergraduates earned a computer science degree.
5. Political Science
This program prepares students for a wide range of careers: in government, business, nonprofit organizations, education, and journalism, and serves as a basis for a law degree, among other options. In 2021, 4.6% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree
6. Public Policy Analysis
Students learn how to analyze policy, use economic and quantitative methods, conduct policy research, enhance communication skills, and focus on one or more policy areas. In 2021, 4.9% of graduating undergraduates earned a public policy degree.
Undergraduates study the fundamentals of physics in a way that grounds them in foundational knowledge. This prepares the students who want to earn additional degrees in the field. In 2021, 3.4% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
Students can choose from tracks that allow them to gain expertise in a specific historical time, place, or theme, and complete a research project. In 2021, 3.4% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
9. Experimental Psychology
In this program, undergrads learn about psychology in broad ways, integrating knowledge in methodologies that connect the discipline with other areas of study. They also participate in research projects. In 2021, 3.3% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
Students can choose between a BA and a BS with the latter having access to an honors program and providing intensive individual research. Undergraduates learn about neural function from molecule to species level. In 2021, 2.9% of graduating undergraduates earned this degree.
UChicago Graduation Rate
Graduation rates at UChicago are high. Specifically:
• 4 years: 91%
• 6 years: 96%
Post-Graduation Median Earnings
The median amount University of Chicago graduates earn after completing their studies is $76,730. That’s 60.2% higher than the average for graduates of all four-year institutions of $47,891.
The University of Chicago is one of the best schools in the nation with top-rated academic programs. Although the tuition is higher than average, the admissions process is need blind and the university is generous with institutional grants and scholarships. The toughest part is getting in: The university’s acceptance rate is just 6%.
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