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Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University is a highly esteemed university that is world-famous for nurturing some of the world's top talents. The university excels across a wide range of fields that encompass the entirety of the arts and sciences. Its founder, Andrew Carnegie, endowed the school not only with finances, but with his entrepreneurial spirit that lives on and informs a thriving academic culture. CMU students are thus steeped in a demanding incubator of research, creativity, and innovation.
Overview of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
In fact, CMU supports over 100 centers and institutes that are breaking ground in fields such as architecture and building, arts, botany, cybersecurity, business and policy, and teaching, to name a few. For instance, their Remaking Cities Institute is discovering and sharing ways for cities to remake themselves in a post-industrial society. Other centers are dedicated to robotics, self-healing devices, studying problems in social media, and more.
On campus, students are hard at work becoming tomorrow's leaders. However, there is always time for athletic, recreational, or purely social activities. CMU hosts a wide variety of clubs where students can find space to unwind and explore new interests.
In an effort to carry its founder's banner of philanthropy and civic engagement, CMU offers a number of service opportunities to help students find opportunities to engage with the wider community. In fact, students will find a service opportunity every Saturday.
|School Type||Private not-for-profit|
|Campus Setting||City: Large|
|Student Faculty Ratio||10:1|
CMU Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||Recommended|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Application Deadline||January 1|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
CMU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
Since Carnegie Mellon University is a private, not-for-profit institution, it’s not expensive. However, student loans, grants, and scholarships can help offset the initial cost to make attendance affordable and stress free. In the 2018-19 school year, CMU tuition was just over $57,000. When books, supplies, fees, and living expenses were all tallied, the total sticker price at CMU averaged nearly $75,000.
However, 59% of CMU students received some form of financial aid, including student loans. Federal loan borrowing was around $4,000. Meanwhile, students received grants or scholarships in amounts up to $39,000. The result of these financial measures resulted in lower income students seeing a net price of between $11,000 and $13,600.
While CMU is not cheap, their academic standards and long-term personal and financial outcomes result in a terrific value for all their graduates.
|Average net price||2017-2018|
|Average Total Aid||$39,213|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||59%|
|Room & Board||$14,972|
- Tuition In-State - $57,119
- Tuition Out-of-State - $57,119
- Books and Supplies - $1,000
- Room & Board - $14,972
- Other - $1,400
Academics and Popular Majors at CMU
The Carnegie Mellon name is synonymous with excellence, including the field of academics. Students that are considering Carnegie Mellon University are sure to find a top-shelf education and a student body that is as stable as it is excellent. Carnegie Mellon's retention rate, graduation rate, and admission standards speak of an institution that delivers high value in return for its tuition.
When students enter for their first year, they tend to be impressed with their faculty and the curriculum. This is held up by the numbers, as 97% of Carnegie Mellon first-year students return for a second year. The vast majority make CMU home and complete their degrees on the Pittsburgh campus. A full 75% complete degrees in four years and 89% cross the stage in six years.
Some studies correlate high retention and graduation rates with low admission numbers. Carnegie Mellon has a low admission rate of 17%. Of the 24,351 total applicants, only 4,140 are admitted, and those students submit SAT scores in the 1,450-1,550 range. With such competitive numbers, applicants might need to add other factors to their applications, such as extra-curricular activities or outstanding awards and other achievements.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Engineering Majors||435 Total Graduates / 29%|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineering||190 Graduates|
|Mechanical Engineering||152 Graduates|
|Chemical Engineering||64 Graduates|
|Civil Engineering, General||27 Graduates|
|All Computer Information Science Majors||177 Total Graduates / 12%|
|Computer Science||170 Graduates|
|Computer and Information Sciences, Other||6 Graduates|
|Information Technology Project Management||1 Graduates|
|Mathematics and Statistics||160 Total Graduates / 11%|
|Statistics, General||77 Graduates|
|Mathematics and Statistics, Other||27 Graduates|
|Mathematics, General||26 Graduates|
|Computational Mathematics||16 Graduates|
|Financial Mathematics||8 Graduates|
|Visual and Performing Arts||144 Total Graduates / 10%|
|Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General||54 Graduates|
|Design and Visual Communications, General||31 Graduates|
|Art/Art Studies, General||29 Graduates|
|Music Performance, General||12 Graduates|
|Voice and Opera||10 Graduates|
|Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies||128 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Systems Science and Theory||93 Graduates|
|Cognitive Science||20 Graduates|
|International/Global Studies||4 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||31%|
Outcome & Salary
Student outcomes are as much about personal growth and learning as they are financial rewards. Given CMU's stellar academic numbers, it's certain that their graduates become well-rounded, educated adults capable of integrating new learning for a lifetime. Their financial numbers are also quite optimistic.
In fact, after 10 years, Carnegie Mellon's alumni will have earned an average of nearly a million dollars. That figure more than doubles after 20 years. Considering that these figures are based on salary alone, it's likely that their bonuses and other compensation add up to quite a bit more. This level of ROI means that a CMU education is more than worthwhile and will pay dividends for a lifetime.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$75,900|
|College Grads Average Salary||$98,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$136,100|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$980,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$2,341,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$123,388|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$856,612|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$2,217,612|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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