Oberlin College

2014 Quick Stats
247 W. Lorain Street, Suite C

Oberlin, OH 44074

Phone: (440) 775-8121
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 15
application deadline

More Information


U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#25 Overall Score: 80 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

More About U.S. News Rankings


Oberlin College is a private institution that was founded in 1833. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,930, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 440 acres. It utilizes a 4-1-4-based academic calendar. Oberlin College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 25. Its tuition and fees are $46,870 (2013-14).

Oberlin College is located in Oberlin, Ohio, 35 miles southwest of Cleveland. Among the 150 or so student organizations are the Student Senate, Oberlin Film Series and Swing Dance. Athletics play a big role in student life, as well, and Oberlin fields more than 20 NCAA Division III athletic teams, known as the Yeomen. Intramural sports include bowling, 4-on-4 basketball, frisbee, and cycling. All students are required to live either in College housing or an Oberlin Student Cooperative Association (OSCA) co-op. OSCA, Oberlin’s largest student organization, offers an alternative to College-run housing and dining.

Oberlin is comprised of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music, which offers bachelor of music degrees and a number of master’s programs and is regarded as one of the best undergraduate music schools in the country. The four-week winter term in January enables students to pursue a specific topic through an individual or group project; past projects have included traveling to India to study Gandhi and an intensive group course on electronic music. Oberlin also has the Experimental College, which offers for-credit courses taught by students, administrators, townspeople and faculty that tend to focus on nontraditional subjects like the fundamentals of rock climbing or community organizing. For $5 each, students can rent up to two works of art for a semester by artists such as Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec through the Art Rental program.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Celebrated as a college of firsts, Oberlin has often stood at the forefront of history. The college and town were founded together in 1833 by utopian abolitionists. Two years later, Oberlin adopted a policy to admit students regardless of race, the first college in America to do so. In 1837 Oberlin was the first to offer women opportunities to earn bachelor degrees alongside men. Inclusion and social justice remain core values today. Students exert a strong influence in decision-making, and have led the way in shaping an environmentally sustainable campus through local food purchases, carbon-neutral energy policies, and green building practices. Oberlin attracts academically and musically talented individuals who care deeply about the world and want to make it a better place. At Oberlin, a highly selective College of Arts and Sciences and world-class Conservatory of Music combine to spark unparalleled opportunities for intellectual inquiry, creative expression, and peer learning. Oberlin enrolls about 2,900 students, including about 200 in the Double Degree Program who earn degrees from both the liberal arts college and the conservatory. Students in both divisions live, eat, and study together on a single campus. Conservatory students can take up to 40 percent of their courses in the college; non-music majors can take classes and private lessons in the conservatory. All enjoy the nearly 500 musical concerts and recitals that take place each year on campus, in addition to performances in popular music, theater, dance, opera, poetry, and comedy. The Allen Memorial Art Museum collection ranks among the top five of any academic museum in the country; its art rental program allow students to borrow great works for $5 a semester. The Science Center promotes collaboration across disciplines and among students and faculty mentors. Research labs include a supercomputer, confocal microscope, and 600-MHz NMR spectrometer. About 100 students receive summer stipends for research with faculty in science, social science, and humanities. The Environmental Studies Center, one of the first solar-powered academic buildings in the nation, has photovoltaic arrays totaling 160 kW and produces most of the energy it consumes on location. In buildings across campus, a resource monitoring system encourages energy conservation with real-time displays of electricity and water usage. Oberlin has four LEED-certified buildings: art museum, jazz studies facility, first-year residence hall and field house. About 90 percent of Oberlin students live on campus. Many opt to live in one of 10 cultural and language houses such as Afrikan Heritage House, Asia House, or Russian House. Students create and participate in more than 175 campus organizations. Each year more than 1,200 participate in community service. Nearly 75 percent enjoy learning experiences abroad during their college careers. Since 1920, more Oberlin graduates have earned PhDs than have graduates of any other primarily undergraduate institution. During the January Winter Term, students explore the value of self-education. The Creativity & Leadership Project offers entrepreneurship courses and grants for business ideas. Nearly one-quarter of the student body participates in the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association, which offers alternatives to traditional campus housing and dining. Four residential co-ops and eight dining co-ops provide experiences in shared responsibility and decision-making. Oberlin attracts independent thinkers who value inclusion and individual expression while upholding high standards of academic rigor, intellectual debate, and service to society.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1833
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar 4-1-4
Setting suburban
2012 Endowment $708,238,026


When applying to Oberlin College, it's important to note the application deadline is January 15, and the early decision deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due February 1. The application fee at Oberlin College is $35. It is most selective, with an acceptance rate of 31.3 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity most selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 31.3%
Application deadline January 15
SAT/ACT scores must be received by February 1

More About Applying

Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Oberlin College is 9:1, and the school has 74.7 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Oberlin College include: Music Performance, General; Biology, General; Political Science and Government; English Language and Literature, General; and History. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 93.5 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 9:1
4-year graduation rate 70%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Music Performance, General 18%
Biology, General 9%
Political Science and Government 9%
English Language and Literature, General 7%
History 7%

More About Academic Life

Student Life

Oberlin College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,930, with a gender distribution of 45.4 percent male students and 54.6 percent female students. At this school, 89 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 11 percent of students live off campus. Oberlin College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,944
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

More About Student Life

Campus Info & Services

Oberlin College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, health service, and health insurance. Oberlin College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Oberlin College, 18 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Oberlin College.

Students who have cars on campus 18%
Health insurance offered Yes

More About Campus Info & Services

Paying for School

At Oberlin College, 53.5 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $29,082.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $46,870 (2013-14)
Room and board $12,604 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

More About Paying for School

* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

More College Rankings & Lists
National Universities, Regional Universities, Regional Colleges, Best Values, more

U.S. News College Compass - My Fit

Find out how this school measures up based on your preferences.

Sign Up Now

Calculating this school's fit to see if it meets your personal preferences.

Save This School

Edit Your Preferences

Find out how this school measures up based on your preferences.

Save This School

Edit Your Preferences

College Search

Advanced Search

Now Hiring

Now Hiring Powered by After College



See more jobs »

Top College Resources

Looking at colleges? Find out what you need to know.

Studying in the United States
Finding the Right School
Paying for College
Applying to College

Follow U.S. News Education