Acceptance Rate
Average HS GPA

GPA Breakdown

Over 3.75
3.50 - 3.74
3.25 - 3.49
3.00 - 3.24
2.50 - 2.99

Test Scores

SAT Reading
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
640 - 730
SAT Math
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
620 - 720
SAT Writing
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
640 - 730
ACT Composite
25th-75th percentile (enrolled students)
28 - 32


Early Decision
November 15

Early Decision II
January 1

January 15

Other Admission Factors


Rigor of Secondary School Record
Class Rank
Academic GPA
Standardized Test Scores

Selectivity Rating

Faculty and Class Information

Total Faculty
with Terminal Degree

Most frequent class size
2 - 9
Most frequent lab / sub section size
2 - 9

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years


  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology

  • Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

  • Computer and Information Sciences, General

  • Education

  • Music Teacher Education

  • Engineering

  • Engineering, General

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • Creative Writing
  • English Language and Literature, General

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Ancient/Classical Greek Language and Literature
  • French Language and Literature
  • German Language and Literature
  • Latin Language and Literature
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences

  • Pre-Dentistry Studies
  • Pre-Medicine/Pre-Medical Studies
  • Pre-Veterinary Studies

  • History

  • History, General

  • Legal Professions and Studies

  • Pre-Law

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Biopsychology
  • Neuroscience

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Jewish/Judaic Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Physiological Psychology/Psychobiology
  • Psychology, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Archeology
  • Economics, General
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Social Sciences, Other
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History, Criticism and Conservation
  • Conducting
  • Dance, General
  • Digital Arts
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General
  • Film/Cinema Studies
  • Fine/Studio Arts, General
  • Jazz/Jazz Studies
  • Music History, Literature, and Theory
  • Music Performance, General
  • Music Theory and Composition
  • Piano and Organ
  • Violin, Viola, Guitar and Other Stringed Instruments
  • Visual and Performing Arts, General
  • Voice and Opera

Students Say

Oberlin College, a school “for laid-back people who enjoy learning and expanding social norms, allows each and every student to have the undergrad experience for which he or she is looking, all the while challenging the students to change themselves and the world for the better.” Oberlin is a place where students “focus on learning for learning’s sake rather than making money in a career.” As one student explains, “I didn’t plan on becoming a scholar when I entered Oberlin.…As fate would have it, I ended up loving my college classes and professors. Now I hope to be a professor of religion.” At Oberlin, “academics are very highly valued, but balanced with a strong interest in the arts and a commitment to society.” Some might suggest Oberlin puts the “liberal” in “liberal arts,” and the school’s staunchest supporters agree, stressing the school’s emphasis on open-mindedness and the belief that “one person can change the world.” Among the school’s offerings, “the sciences, English, politics, religion, music, environmental studies, and East-Asian studies are particularly noteworthy.” The presence of a prestigious music school imbues the entire campus community. One undergrad writes, “Oberlin’s greatest strength is the combination of the college and the conservatory. They are not separated, so students mix with each other all the time.” Professors here—the “heart and soul of the school”—are dedicated teachers who “treat you more like collaborators and realize that even with their PhDs, they can learn and grow from you, as well as you from them.” They are “excellent instructors and fantastic people” who are “focused on learning instead of deadlines.” Undergrads also appreciate “a cooperative learning environment” in which “students bond over studying together for difficult exams.”


Post-Bachelor's certificate

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

Notable Faculty

David Orr
Paul Sears Professorship, Environmental Studies

Robin Eubanks
Associate Professor of Jazz Trombone, Conservatory Jazz Studies

Alexandre Klein
Professor of Oboe, Conservatory Winds/Brass/Percussion

Prominent Alumni

Donald A. Henderson
Leader in Eradication of Small Pox

Liz Phair

Eduardo C. Mondlane
Father of Modern Mozambique

Jerry Greenfield
Co-Founder of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream

Julie Taymor
Creator of Broadway's The Lion King

Tracy Chevalier
novelist , author of The Girl with the Pearl Earri

Billy Cohn
Developed Cohn Cardiac Stabilizer

Academic Rating

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
Graduate in 5 years
Graduate in 6 years

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available

ROI & Outcomes

Information from PayScale:

Median Starting Salary

Median Mid-Career Salary

Alumni with High Job Meaning

Return on Education (ROE) rating

Students Say

Oberlin offers abundant opportunities for students to gain experience that may be valuable to future employers. The Career Center, for example, coordinates Winter Term internships in various fields (past sites have included the Smithsonian Institution, Global Green, and Discovery Communications), usually sponsored by Oberlin alumni. Oberlin’s recruiting database, ObieOpps, makes the sometimes daunting search for internships and jobs a simple process. The Office of Undergraduate Research provides support for students interested in faculty-mentored research, and OSU has special scholars programs in areas like law, business, and entrepreneurship for undergraduates who wish to hone their skills. To draw upon the experience of Oberlin graduates, students can visit TAPPAN, an online directory with thousands of alumni career profiles. Finally, there are frequent information sessions about anything you might be interested in pursuing after graduation from Google to grad school. Oberlin graduates who visited Payscale.com reported an average starting salary of about $38,800.

Colleges that Create Futures

Hands-on Coursework

Give many college students the option of taking January off from school, and they’ll gladly hop a bus back home for a few weeks of free food and laundry. Not so much at Oberlin, where the beloved winter term gives students the opportunity to pursue interests that aren’t listed on the usual course schedule. Without actual classes, students can devote all their time and energy to one special project, which can be completed as a solo or group endeavor, pitched by students or faculty, conducted on campus or elsewhere in the world.
From hand-making paper to overhauling one’s personal fitness regimen, from recording radio programs in El Salvador to working at a socially responsible investment firm through the Business Scholars Program, winter term is designed to give students the chance to focus on something that matters to them—or try out something they think might matter to them. “I use winter term as a time to express some creative part of myself that is not as well nurtured as it should be during the academic year,” wrote an African studies/sociology major on the Oberlin student blogs. And a math/creative writing major wrote, “There will never again be a time in my life when I can drop everything for four weeks and do whatever I want without having to worry.” Plus, being able to conceive of, line up, and execute a month’s worth of fruitful, self-directed work is inarguably a fantastic experience for the working world—regardless of what month of the year you do it in!
Service Learning

Each year, 63 percent of Oberlin students rally to contribute more than 100,000 hours of community service through the Bonner Center for Service and Learning, a college organization that teams up students, faculty, community partners, and alumni to solve pressing problems. Students frequently work within the community of Oberlin or the greater Northeast Ohio area, but in recent years they’ve also spread their good work to more than thirty countries, too. Opportunities include acting as Ninde Scholars to mentor students attending Oberlin City Schools (often so they can be the first in their families to attend college) and joining AmeriCorps as part-time members through the Bonner Leader Program to work on initiatives in public health, the environment, veteran issues, education, and clean energy, to name a few. For fifteen incoming freshmen who are especially passionate about kicking off lifetimes of community service, the center offers the Bonner Scholars Program, a generous, four-year scholarship initiative that requires several hours of weekly community service and participation in seven weeks of summer volunteer programs. “I’m a Bonner Scholar and it’s quickly turning out to be one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve made since coming to Oberlin,” one computer science major blogged. “I work at America Reads and the Du Bois Fraction Club right now and I love both sites.” There’s also the Dalai Lama Fellows Program and Projects for Peace, competitive scholarship programs that reward and facilitate cross-cultural, inter-faith, and conflict-reducing projects at home and abroad.

Oberlin may seem like a hippie’s haven, but that doesn’t mean it’s not keeping up with the entrepreneurial spirit of our times. “As a word that describes money-centric capitalists, yes, entrepreneurship has always been a little antithetical to Oberlin’s values,” blogged one two-time LaunchU participant and the current Creativity & Leadership Program fellow. “As a skill set and state of mind, however, it defines nearly everything that makes Oberlin what it’s proud to be today.” The Creativity and Leadership Program offers loads of mentorship and funding opportunities—in the case of the LaunchU accelerator, up to $45,000 in funding. Held during winter term, LaunchU is a three-week boot camp that helps students develop business models and hone pitches to venture capitalists at its annual pitch competition. LaunchU participants receive ongoing support from Oberlin alumni—in the form of venture coaching and connections to industry experts and investors, for example. Students of all stripes can participate: There’s a venture track for those with the next big tech ideas, social track for nonprofit visionaries, and small business track for innovators in the performing arts, food, and so forth.
For those students who aren’t quite in pitch mode yet, there’s the Ignition Fund, a smaller grant that will help them take their ideas to the next level. And for conservatory students, the Flint Initiative Grants are music-specific endowments that allow them to dream up big new artistic endeavors. Creativity and Leadership programming also offers workshops that coach students through the various application processes. Examples of ventures include a startup that provides a solar-run education platform to schools in developing nations, which they then use to hold interactive video sessions; an indie record label and collective; a running app that pairs up the best music for your workout; and a Moroccan rug collective that gives back to weavers back in Africa.
Special Facilities

Not all colleges can count a nationally ranked art museum as a major facility, but then again, Oberlin isn’t just any college. The Allen Memorial Art Museum is considered on par with museums at Harvard and Yale, and it boasts 14,000 works of art—some of which students can rent for five dollars a semester. You read that right: In the dorm rooms of Oberlin students, original works by Renoir, Picasso, and Dalí hang on the walls next to the usual Jimi Hendrix and Pulp Fiction posters. This is one school that trusts its student body!
Beyond being a beautiful place to take in the works of the Dutch Masters for free, the Allen Memorial Art Museum is a huge draw for students interested in pursuing museum work as a career. There’s the Student Docent Program, which introduces students to the theory of museum learning, trains them in leading guided tours, gives them exceptional access to the collection, and exposes them to a variety of practical careers within the museum world, often inspiring them to become curators or art educators. “[The] museum … is a place where students can get all sorts of experience as undergraduates,” Professor Erik Inglis told us. “Which then means that when they are applying to . . . grad school or internships, they really have more experience than students from other schools. You can go through any museum of significance in the United States and find Oberlin grads.”


Application Deadlines
Feb 15
Notification Date
Apr 1

Required Forms

Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent

Bottom Line

Oberlin’s top-notch education does not come free. The annual tuition is $48,054 and students will spend another $14,664 a year on housing, books, and required fees. That said, Oberlin is very committed to helping students financially. Ninety-six percent of needy freshmen receive need-based financial aid here, and 60 percent of the undergraduate population as a whole receive some form of financial aid. The average grant was $31,071to students who needed aid last year. Oberlin is also one of the few American universities that offer a substantial amount of aid to international students. Those who get into Oberlin will get a truly unique education. As one student exclaims, “Oberlin has let me expand my horizons in ways I never would have imagined before I got to college!”

Bang For Your Buck

With an undergrad population of about 2,800 students, Oberlin is a small and selective school. The “excellent instructors” are easily accessible to students, as Oberlin boasts an impressive 9:1 student-to faculty-ratio. “Because of the small-town atmosphere, you can get to know professors quite personally,” one student explains. Oberlin students tend to love their experience: a full 94 percent of freshmen return for sophomore year. Sixty-nine percent of students graduate in four years. “The beautiful campus” has, in addition to the worldclass music conservatory, a great art museum with a peculiar art rental program. For a mere five dollars, students are able to rent out original works of art by such renowned artists as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol to hang in their dorm rooms. This is just one example of the kind of unique and forward-thinking ideas that you will fi nd while receiving Oberlin’s one-of-a-kind education.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid

Average Need-Based Loan

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package

Financial aid provided to international students

Expenses per Academic Year

Required Fees
Average Cost for Books and Supplies

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
Board for Commuters
Transportation for Commuters

On-Campus Room and Board
Comprehensive Fee

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodology
Federal and Institutional

Scholarships and Grants


Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships
Need-Based United Negro College Fund

Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)

Direct Lender

Financial Aid Rating


Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
Out of State


55% female
45% male
92% are out of state
99% are full time
1% are part time

Students Say

“If you’re a liberal, artsy, indie loner who likes to throw around the phrase ’heteronormative white privilege,’” then Oberlin might be the place for you. “We’re like the Island of Misfit Toys, but together we make a great toy chest.” “We’re all different and unusual, which creates a common bond between students.” “Musicians, jocks, science geeks, creative writing majors, straight, bi, questioning, queer, and trans [students],” all have their place here, alongside “straight-edge, international, local, and joker students.” Oberlin has a reputation for a left-leaning and active student body. One undergrad observes, “They are less active politically than they would like to think, but still more active than most people elsewhere.” Another adds, “Most students are very liberal, but the moderates and (few) Republicans have a fine time of it. Every student has different interests and isn’t afraid to talk about them.” Some here worry, “Oberlin’s student body is becoming more and more mainstream each year.”


Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
Help finding off-campus housing

First-Year Students living on campus

Campus Environment

Housing Options

Apartment Single
Disabled Student
Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
Theme Housing
Wellness Housing

Students Say

Life during the week at Oberlin can be “pretty bland,” as “almost everyone has to crack the books and study it up.” It’s not always bland, though. Some here manage to find time for the many “events [going on] each weekend—operas, plays, organ pumps, etc.,” or “rally to stage to help the oppressed.” Thursday afternoons at Oberlin mean “Classical Thursdays,” an event during which “you get free beer from the college if you bring a professor to the on-campus pub.” Another feature of campus life is “the musical scene, which has its heart in the conservatory. All of the other arts—performing, studio, whatever—are intertwined with the talent in the conservatory.” On weekends, “people let loose and drink beer. Not everyone does this every weekend. Some don’t do it at all,” and “there is absolutely no pressure on those who don’t.” There are also “tons of student-produced social events like parties, fundraisers, concerts, dances, etc.,” keeping students “very connected to each other and to what’s going on in the community.” Hometown Oberlin “is a small town, and about all there is to do there is go out for pizza or Chinese, see a movie for two or three dollars at the Apollo, or go to the Feve, the bar in town.”

Special Needs Admissions

Type of Program
For all students with disabilities

Jane Boomer

College Entrance Tests Required

Interview Required

Documentation Requred for LD
A recent psychological evaluation.

Documentation Requred for ADHD

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams

Dictionary allowed in exams

Computer allowed in exams

Spellchecker allowed in exams

Extended test time



Oral exams


Distraction-free environment

Accommodation for students with ADHD

Reading machine

Other assistive technology

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
Number of Honor Societies

Number of Social Sororities
Number of Religious Organizations


Athletic Division
Division III

Men's Sports (Yeoman)
12 Sports

Cross Country
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor
Women's Sports (Yeoman)
13 Sports

Cross Country
Field Hockey
Track Field Indoor
Track Field Outdoor

Student Services

LGBT Support Groups: GLBT Union

Minority Support Groups: Multicultural Resource Center


Oberlin College was one of the first four institutions of higher learning in the nation to sign the ACUPCC. The college is actively addressing sustainability issues on campus by conducting annual greenhouse gas inventories, developing energy efficiency projects, and working to integrate sustainability into the curriculum and all operations. Currently, 71 percent of Oberlin’s electricity comes from renewable resources, and by 2015 will be 85 percent. The college has determined that all new construction and major renovation on campus will be built to LEED Silver standard or above. The Adam Joseph Lewis Center (AJLC) for Environmental Studies is the greenest building on campus, a net-positive building featuring solar panels, recycled and environmentally friendly materials, geothermal wells, and The Living Machine, an “ecologically-engineered system that combines elements of conventional wastewater technology with the purification processes of wetland ecosystems to treat and recycle the building’s wastewater.” Equally noteworthy, the college has created six experimental wetland restoration cells on the George Jones Memorial Farm. Oberlin also boasts a Green Room rating system, a Free Store, residential composting program and recycling programs, and the student-funded “Green EDGE Fund” for sustainability and efficiency projects. The recycling program is unique in that it focuses not just on cans and plastic, but also clothing and even carpets! Oberlin has developed a Campus Resource Monitoring System, which gives students, faculty, and administration the opportunity to monitor energy use in dorms in real-time. The system also allows the college to hold a yearly competition to see which dorms can reduce its energy consumption—and thereby its carbon footprint—the most. First-year students who live in Kahn Hall, the newest residence on campus, have pledged not to bring a car on campus and to make environmental sustainability a way of life.

School Has Formal Sustainability Committee

Sustainability-focused degree available

School employs a sustainability officer

Public GHG inventory plan

% food budget spent on local/organic food

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share

Car Sharing Program

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program

Cash-Out Parking

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2015.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security

Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network

Email and Web Access Available

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms

Average Number of PC's per Lab

Network Access in Dorm Rooms

Network Access in Dorm Lounges

Fee for Network Use

Student Web Pages Permitted

Student Web Pages Provided

Partnerships with Technology Companies

Online Class Registration Available

Personal computer included in tuition for each student

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers

Undergraduates that Own Computers

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors

Apple, Gateway

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations

Campus Visits Contact

Debra Chermonte
Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

Admissions Office
Carnegie Building
Oberlin, OH 44074-1075



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Allen Art Museum
Oberlin College Science Center
Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
Mudd Library
Jesse Philips Recreational Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Cleveland Art Museum
Cleveland Natural History Museum
Severance Hall (concert hall)
Tower City

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday and Saturdays in September-May
8:30am-5pm and 9am-noon

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: No
Dates: Year-round
Times: Mon-Fri 10am, noon, 2:30pm, 4:30pm; Sat 10am, noon
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

Mon-Fri 1:30pm, Sat 11:15am

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

2-night maximum; not available during exam periods and summer; not available to juniors during April


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport is 25 minutes from the college. Public transportation is available from the airport to campus; see bus route 33 at http://www.loraincountytransit.com for details. Relatively inexpensive limousine service is also available for the ride from the airport to campus; call 216-267-8282 to arrange for this.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From the east, take I-80 (the Ohio Tpke.) to Exit 152; then take Ohio Rte. 10 W. to Rte. 20 W. Take Rte. 20 to the SR 511 exit, and take Rte. 511 W. into Oberlin. From the west, take I-80/90 to Exit 145 (Elyria-Lorain). Take Ohio Rte. 57 S. to Ohio Rte. 113; then take Rte. 113 W. to Ohio Rte. 58. Proceed south on Rte. 58 to Oberlin. From the north, take Rte 58 S. to Oberlin. From the south, take I-71 N. to the Ashland exit; take U.S. Rte. 250 E. to Ohio Rte. 89. Head north on Rte. 89 to Ohio Rte. 58, then follow Rte. 58 N. to Oberlin.

Local Accommodations
The Oberlin College Inn (Main and College Sts. across from Tappan Square; 440-775-1111) is conveniently located in downtown Oberlin, just one block from the Admissions Office. Downtown you will find a variety of restaurants, coffee shops, bookstores, and a movie theater. The Ohio Tpke. (I-80 and I-90) pass approx. 10 minutes north of Oberlin, heading west from Cleveland to Toledo. You will find familiar chains of hotels located near these major highways.