The UChicago Common Data Set

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

College female student learning remotely.

The UChicago Common Data Set

When it comes to researching colleges and universities, the Common Data Set is a valuable tool. Understanding how to interpret the data in a Common Data Set can help prospective students and their families get a better sense of what a school is like and make informed decisions. In this article, we’ll dive into the UChicago Common Data Set and what it can tell us about this prestigious institution.

Understanding the Common Data Set

Before we explore the specifics of the UChicago Common Data Set, let’s take a moment to review what the Common Data Set is and why it’s important. The Common Data Set is a standardized way for colleges and universities to report information about themselves to the public. This information includes statistics on admission, enrollment, financial aid, graduation rates, and more. This standardized format allows students and families to compare schools side by side with consistent data.

View of the University of ChicagoBut what exactly is the Common Data Set? The Common Data Set is a set of questions and reporting standards that schools use to report data about themselves. The questions cover a range of topics from student demographics to graduation rates to post-graduation plans. The Common Data Set is updated annually and is available to the public.

For UChicago, the Common Data Set is an important tool as it allows the institution to share information with prospective students and their families. The Common Data Set provides data on key topics such as admission rates and financial aid packages, allowing potential applicants to make informed decisions based on accurate information.

But it’s not just UChicago that benefits from the Common Data Set. Colleges and universities across the country use the Common Data Set to report information about themselves to a wide variety of audiences. Admissions offices use Common Data Set information to track and analyze trends while college rankings publications use Common Data Set information in their methodologies.

So why is it important for students and families to have access to this standardized data? The answer is simple: it allows for more informed decision making. When students and families have access to accurate and consistent data, they can compare schools side by side and make decisions based on what matters most to them.

For example, a student interested in studying engineering might use the Common Data Set to compare the engineering programs at different schools. They could look at graduation rates, post-graduation employment rates, and other data points to determine which school might be the best fit for them.

Overall, the Common Data Set is an important tool for both colleges and universities and for students and families. It allows for transparency and consistency in reporting, which ultimately leads to more informed decision making.

UChicago’s Admissions Statistics

Now that we understand the Common Data Set, let’s take a closer look at UChicago’s admissions statistics.

Acceptance Rate

UChicago is known for its selective admissions process. According to the Common Data Set, the acceptance rate for the class of 2024 was 6.2%. This means that out of the over 34,400 applicants, only around 2,100 were admitted. Admitted students had an average SAT score of 1550 and an average ACT score of 35.

But what does this low acceptance rate really mean? It means that UChicago is looking for students who not only have high test scores and grades, but who also have unique perspectives, experiences, and passions. UChicago wants students who will contribute to the intellectual and cultural vibrancy of their campus community.

Average SAT and ACT Scores

In addition to the high test scores of admitted students, UChicago reports that the middle 50% range of SAT scores for admitted students was between 1490 and 1570, while the middle 50% ACT score range was between 33 and 35. This means that the majority of UChicago’s admitted students are in the top 1-2% of test takers nationally.

Sign for the University of Chicago in the Hyde Park area of Chicago

But UChicago doesn’t just look at test scores. They also consider a student’s extracurricular activities, essays, recommendations, and other factors when making admissions decisions. UChicago wants to see that students are well-rounded and have a variety of interests and talents.

High School GPA Distribution

The Common Data Set also reports that the middle 50% range of high school GPAs for admitted students was between 4.13 and 4.56 on a 4.0 scale. This high GPA range reflects UChicago’s rigorous academic environment and their focus on academic excellence.

But UChicago doesn’t just want students who have a perfect GPA. They want students who have challenged themselves academically and have taken rigorous courses in high school. UChicago values intellectual curiosity and a love of learning.

Demographics of Admitted Students

It’s also worth noting the demographics of UChicago’s admitted students. In 2020, UChicago admitted a diverse group of students with 47% identifying as minorities and 23% of admitted students being the first in their family to attend college.

UChicago is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive community. They believe that a diverse student body leads to a more vibrant and intellectually stimulating campus environment. UChicago values students who come from a variety of backgrounds and who bring unique perspectives to their community.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

For many families, one of the most important factors in selecting a college is the availability of financial aid and scholarships. Let’s explore what the Common Data Set can tell us about UChicago’s financial aid offerings.

Types of Financial Aid Offered

UChicago offers a variety of financial aid options to make a UChicago education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial background. The Common Data Set reports that UChicago offers need-based aid, merit-based scholarships, and work-study programs.

Need-based aid is awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. This type of aid can come in the form of grants, loans, or work-study programs. Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, leadership, and community service. Work-study programs provide students with part-time jobs on campus to help offset the cost of tuition.

Average Financial Aid Package

The Common Data Set also provides information on the average financial aid package offered to UChicago students. In the 2019-2020 academic year, the average financial aid package for first-year students was $55,778. This aid package covers tuition, fees, room, and board. Over 60% of students at UChicago receive some form of financial aid, making a UChicago education accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds.

It’s important to note that the amount of financial aid you receive will depend on your financial need, as well as the availability of funds.

Scholarships Available at UChicago

In addition to need-based financial aid, UChicago also offers a number of merit-based scholarships. One of the most prestigious is the Odyssey Scholarship which provides full tuition and fees to students from families with incomes below $75,000 per year. This scholarship is renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.

UChicago also offers scholarships for academic achievement, leadership, and community service. These scholarships can range in value from a few thousand dollars to full tuition and fees.

Applying for Financial Aid

If you’re thinking about applying to UChicago, it’s important to note that the financial aid application process is separate from the admissions process. To apply for financial aid, you’ll need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. These applications allow UChicago to assess your financial need and determine the types and amounts of aid you may qualify for.

a male student carrying a laptop while standing

It’s important to submit your financial aid applications as soon as possible, as some types of financial aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. UChicago’s financial aid office is available to answer any questions you may have about the application process.

Overall, UChicago is committed to making a high-quality education accessible to all students, regardless of their financial background. With a variety of need-based and merit-based financial aid options, UChicago is a great choice for students who are looking for a top-notch education without breaking the bank.

UChicago’s Academic Offerings

Now that we’ve explored UChicago’s admissions and financial aid statistics, let’s turn our attention to their academic offerings. UChicago has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence and offers a wide range of programs to cater to the diverse interests of its students.

Popular Majors and Programs

UChicago is known for its academic rigor and breadth of academic offerings. According to the Common Data Set, some of the most popular majors at UChicago include Economics, Political Science, and Biology. However, UChicago also offers a number of unique programs such as the Financial Mathematics program and the Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies program. These programs are designed to provide students with a deep understanding of complex issues and prepare them for success in their chosen fields.

For instance, the Financial Mathematics program combines the study of mathematics, statistics, and finance to equip students with the skills and knowledge required to work in the financial sector. The Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies program, on the other hand, provides students with a critical understanding of race and ethnicity in relation to social, political, and economic issues.

Faculty and Student Ratios

One aspect of UChicago’s academic environment that sets it apart from other institutions is its focus on small class sizes and individualized attention from faculty. The Common Data Set reports that UChicago’s student to faculty ratio is 5:1, meaning that students have ample opportunity to work closely with dedicated faculty members.

Moreover, UChicago’s faculty comprises some of the most distinguished scholars in their respective fields. These faculty members are not only experts in their areas of research but are also committed to providing students with a transformative learning experience. They challenge students to think critically, engage in rigorous debate, and develop creative solutions to complex problems.

Graduation and Retention Rates

Another indicator of academic success is a school’s graduation and retention rates. UChicago excels in both areas with a retention rate of 99% for first-year students and a four-year graduation rate of 90%. These high rates demonstrate UChicago’s commitment to providing a supportive academic environment that encourages student success.

UChicago’s Office of Career Advancement also plays a crucial role in ensuring that students are well-prepared for life after graduation. The office offers a range of services such as career counseling, resume workshops, and networking events to help students secure internships and jobs in their chosen fields.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Finally, UChicago recognizes the importance of global perspectives and offers a wide variety of study abroad programs. The Common Data Set reports that in the 2018-2019 academic year, over 43% of UChicago students studied abroad. This reflects UChicago’s commitment to helping students gain a global perspective and prepare for success in a rapidly changing world.

UChicago’s study abroad programs are designed to expose students to different cultures, languages, and ways of thinking. Students can choose from a range of programs that cater to their interests and academic goals. For instance, UChicago’s program in Paris focuses on French language, literature, and culture, while its program in Beijing provides students with an in-depth understanding of Chinese history, culture, and society.

Overall, UChicago’s academic offerings are designed to provide students with a rigorous and transformative learning experience. From its unique programs to its distinguished faculty and study abroad opportunities, UChicago prepares students to become leaders in their respective fields and make a positive impact on the world.


The UChicago Common Data Set is a valuable tool for prospective students and their families. This information allows prospective applicants to get a better sense of what UChicago is like and make informed decisions about their college search. By understanding UChicago’s admissions statistics, financial aid offerings, and academic environment, you can determine if UChicago is the right fit for you.

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