California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA
Median SAT/ACT
Even by the demanding standards of elite schools, California Institute of Technology is tough. Exhibit A: Recently admitted students scored about 1600 on average on their SATs—higher than at MIT or Stanford. Freshmen take their first-year courses pass-fail to ease into the school, but after that, professors are notoriously hard graders. No easy A’s here. Along with the challenging workload comes great research opportunities, a hallmark of the school. Internships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located near Caltech’s Pasadena campus, are a prime example. The result: Caltech is one of the nation’s top producers of science and engineering Ph.D.s, according to the National Science Foundation. The school also boasts 34 Nobel laureates among its alumni and faculty members. And Techies tend to go on to great jobs, reporting salaries that average more than $76,000 within five years of getting their degree. Caltech isn’t known for its athletics or social life. The men’s Division III basketball team, for instance, had a 310-game losing streak from 1985 through 2011. Male students outnumber females by two to one. But the school’s six residential houses pick up the slack. Each throws at least one big party a year, often complete with theater-style sets.
Est. Full Price 2016–17
% of students who get financial aid
Estimated price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students
Financial Aid
% of students who get need-based aid
% of need met
% of students who get merit aid
Average merit grant
Student Success
Est. graduation rate
Average time to degree
4.1 years
Average student debt
Average salary within 5 years
Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT Score
Average student debt
SAT/ACT required?
Key Deadlines
Early decision
Regular application
Jan 3
Financial aid

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations.

See What Students Have to Say
Academics are tough most of the time, but I have been told that people appreciate the education they received, many years after they graduate. Registration usually goes smoothly because it's a small school. Come prepared to work hard.
Caltech is probably the best place for geology in the country. There are lots of field trips, brilliant professors (the tops in their fields), and it's easy even for freshman to find research opportunities.
Most of the classes are great, but some are poorly taught. There are also a lot of humanities requirements for a science school, which would be less of an issue if it weren't a small school with very few people who care about humanities. The choices for humanities end up being rather slim.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations.

Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes. Market data provided by Interactive Data. ETF and Mutual Fund data provided by Morningstar, Inc. Dow Jones Terms & Conditions: http://www.djindexes.com/mdsidx/html/tandc/indexestandcs.html. S&P Index data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions