College Profile: Oberlin College

The Blurb: Renowned for it’s music conservatory, Oberlin is a small liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio. If you’re looking for a school with an amazing history and a truly unique community, Oberlin is it—not only was it the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit black and female students, it also boasts more alumni who earn Ph.D’s than any other liberal arts college in the country. Oberlin is home to some unusual practices, such as Winter Term, a period in January during which students take on projects outside of their academic track and focus their energy completing it. Another notable tradition is Oberlin’s Art Rental,  which allows students at the college to rent original, often priceless works of art from the Allen Memorial Art Museum to be hung in their dorm room for five dollars a semester.

The downside: some student express frustration at the small size and tightness of the Oberlin community, writing that it can occasionally get constricting.

The Stats: 

  • Acceptance Rate: 22%
  • Location: Oberlin, Ohio
  • Size: Small (around 2500 undergrads)
  • Housing: On-campus housing is guaranteed for all four years, with 100% of first years living in campus housing.
  • Financial Aid: Oberlin meets 100% of demonstrated need and merit aid is available. About half of incoming first years last year received some sort of need-based aid.
  • Additional Notes: If you’re looking for a unique housing experience, check out Oberlin’s unusual resident halls—they have everything from a DIY community to a Sustainability Hall under their “themed living” residential options.