Oberlin College

Oberlin College appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Rankings: Best Small Colleges

Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges with the Best ROI

Oberlin College was founded in 1833 by two Presbyterian ministers, John Jay Shipherd and Philo Stewart, as the Oberlin Collegiate Institute. Within two years, Oberlin became the United States' first college to accept students of all ethnicities, including African Americans. Admitting women since its founding, Oberlin is also the world's second oldest co-educational college. Devoted to equality, Oberlin College is a private, non-profit liberal arts institution famous for its Conservatory of Music. Endowed for $832 million, Oberlin enrolls approximately 2,900 students within the Five Colleges of Ohio Consortium. Sprawling across 440 suburban acres, Oberlin is located in Lorain County just 45 minutes southwest of Cleveland and Lake Erie's shoreline.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, Oberlin College is the 23rd best liberal arts school and 17th best college for veterans with the 29th top undergraduate teaching nationwide. With A+ financial aid, Forbes magazine ranked Oberlin as America's 37th best private college producing the 43rd most grateful grads. The Princeton Review placed Oberlin fourth within its "Impact Schools." Sierra Club recognized Oberlin College as the nation's sixth "Coolest School" for environmental sustainability. Kiplinger's Personal Finance crowned Oberlin the 41st best value liberal arts college. In Washington Monthly, Oberlin was also distinguished as the United States' 16th best liberal arts school for service, social mobility, and research.

Oberlin College Accreditation Details

Continuously since 1913, Oberlin College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA). This means Oberlin's bachelor's and master's degrees are recognized by U.S. Department of Education for Title IV funding. In particular, the Conservatory of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The Master of Music Teaching is also aligned with the Ohio Department of Education's standards for licensing.

Oberlin College Application Requirements

Accepting only 32 percent of applicants, Oberlin College has highly selective admission criteria. First-year students must have successfully completed diploma requirements at a licensed high school. Freshmen generally must present 17 academic units, including four units of English, four units of math, and three units of foreign language. Homeschooled applicants must submit an academic portfolio of their coursework. On average, admitted students carry a secondary GPA of 3.59. Oberlin freshman boast a mean SAT score of 2059 and ACT score of 30. First-year Conservatory applicants must also exhibit musical talent by passing an audition and theory test.

Undergraduates who have completed at least 30 credits in degree-seeking programs at other regionally accredited colleges are eligible for transfer. A maximum of 16 academic courses (64 credits) can be transferred. Meeting general education benchmarks grades of "C" or better is required. Incoming transfers must be in good standing and carry a minimum college GPA of 2.5. Whether first-year or transfer, international students who aren't native English speakers must score at least 550 on the TOEFL or 6.5 on the IELTS. Master's applicants must already possess a four-year baccalaureate degree from an accredited university. Graduate Conservatory programs require an on-campus interview and screening portfolio of three original scores.

Oberlin College has Early Decision deadlines on November 15th and January 2nd before the Regular Decision deadline on January 15th. Whichever application route you take, send the following materials to the Admissions Office:

• Completed Common Application form
• Original high school or college transcripts
• Secondary school counselor report
• Two academic teacher evaluations
• SAT or ACT Plus Writing scores
• Typed, 250-word writing supplement
• Arts portfolio and musical recordings (if applicable)
• Verification of English language fluency
• Payment for the $100 application fee (Conservatory only)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates at Oberlin can expect paying $51,324 for yearly tuition. Part-time studies will bill $2,120 per credit taken. Multi-occupancy room and board is estimated to cost $7,278 and $6,732 respectively per year. Mandatory academic, health, and activity fees will add $728. Oberlin College suggests budgeting $930 for textbooks, $978 for personal expenses, and $1,205 for health insurance (unless waived). Total annual cost of attendance for undergraduates is $66,062. Students pursuing the Artists Diploma will pay $25,662 each year. Master's-level musicians must afford $37,446 with $230 in additional fees annually.

The NCES reports that approximately 89 percent of beginning, full-time students earn financial assistance. Aid packages provide $23,846 per year on average. Oberlin College offers a no-interest, 10-month tuition payment plan. Awards like the Stamps Leadership Scholarship, National Merit Scholarship, Conservatory Dean's Scholarship, and Oberlin High School Scholarship are limited. Financially needy students could qualify for the Pell Grant or FSEOG Grant. Ohio residents should apply for the College Opportunity Grant, War Orphans Scholarship, and Forever Buckeyes Grant if eligible. There's also a $1,000 Oberlin College Grant available. Student employment could provide FWS funding for 8 to 12 hours weekly. Borrowing Federal Direct Stafford, Perkins, Direct PLUS, and alternative loans is another option. The college has a below-average default rate at 2.2 percent.

Degrees Available at Oberlin

Oberlin College is divided into the College of Arts & Sciences and Conservatory of Music to grant 55 bachelor's degrees. Bachelor of Arts programs can be tailored with four unique concentrations: Peace and Conflict Studies, Cognitive Science, International Studies, and Education Studies. There's also a 3-2 Engineering program with transfer to Case Western, Columbia, or CalTech. For graduate students, four master's degrees are conferred through the Conservatory. With a student-faculty ratio of 9:1, around three-fourths of classes feature under 20 peers for close mentoring. Over 80 percent of students participate in study abroad programs, such as the Oberlin Shansi Fellowships. One noteworthy degree is the:

Bachelor of Music in Performance

Young musicians at Oberlin College can prepare for artistic professions with the Bachelor of Music (BM) in Performance. Granted by the Conservatory of Music, this four-year degree offered specializations in piano, organ, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion, or early instruments. Building on a liberal arts base, the curriculum features courses from musical theory and aural skills to ethnomusicology and music history. Students can select from over 25 ensembles like the Oberlin Orchestra and Women's Chorale. BM majors often tutor youth in the Community Music School and participate in the Cooper International Competition. Oberlin's Robertson Hall features 150 individual practice rooms for perfecting your instrument of choice.

Other unique degrees at Oberlin College include the B.A. in Jewish Studies, B.A. in Creative Writing, B.A. in Hispanic Studies, B.A. in Archaeology, and Master of Music in Conducting.