Carleton College vs. Stanford


Should I go to Carleton College or Stanford University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Carleton College or Stanford is the better college for you.

Carleton College Comparison

Carleton College vs. Stanford University comparison
Carleton College Stanford
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Location Northfield, MN Stanford, CA
Setting Distant Town Large Suburban
Students 2,097 17,381
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $54,438 $50,703
Tuition (Out of State) $54,438 $50,703
Room & Board $14,085 $15,763
Avg Net Price $28,148 $16,562
Avg Grant Aid $38,342 $50,134
% Receiving Grant Aid 58% 50%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 19.8% 4.4%
Avg High School GPA 3.9 4.18
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Very High Extreme
ACT Range 31/34 32/35
SAT Range 1350/1530 1420/1570
Application Deadline Jan 15, 2020 Jan 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 93% 96%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $65,600 $122,900
Making Student Loan Payments 92% 88%
Median Student Loan Debt $19,500 $12,475
Median Loan Payment $201 $128
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Comparable Facts

  • Carleton College is larger than than Stanford based on total student enrollment (2,097 students vs. 17,381 students)

Carleton College vs. Stanford Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Carleton College or Stanford?

  • Carleton College is 7.4% more expensive to attend than Stanford for in-state tuition ($54,438.00 vs. $50,703.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 7.4% higher at Carleton College than Stanford University ($54,438.00 vs. $50,703.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Stanford University than Carleton College ($16,562 vs. $28,148)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Carleton College are 11.9% lower than costs at Stanford University ($14,085 vs. $15,763)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at Carleton College than Stanford University (58% vs. 50%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Stanford University students is 30.8% larger than aid received Carleton College ($50,134 vs. $38,342)

Carleton College vs. Stanford Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Carleton College or Stanford? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Stanford or Carleton College .

  • The average SAT score at Stanford University (1479) is 79 points higher than at Carleton College (1400)
  • Incoming Stanford students have a 2 point higher average ACT score (33) than students at Carleton College (31)
  • Carleton College has a higher acceptance rate (19.8%) than Stanford (4.4%)

Carleton College vs. Stanford Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Carleton College or Stanford? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Stanford and Carleton College.

  • The graduation rate at Stanford is higher that Carleton College (96% vs. 93%)
  • Graduates from Stanford University earn on average $57,300 more per year than Carleton College graduates after ten years. ($122,900 vs. $65,600)
  • Stanford University students graduate with a $7,025 lower median federal student loan debt than Carleton College graduates. ($12,475 vs. $19,500)
  • Stanford graduates are paying $73 less per month on federal student loans than Carleton College graduates. ($128 vs. $201)
  • More Carleton College graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Stanford students, three years after graduation. (92% vs. 88%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard