Purchase College vs. JMU

Should I go to SUNY at Purchase College or James Madison University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Purchase College or JMU is the better college for you.

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SUNY at Purchase College vs. James Madison University comparison
SUNY at Purchase College James Madison University College 3 College 4
SUNY at Purchase College James Madison University
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Location Purchase, NY Harrisonburg, VA
Setting Large Suburban Small City
Students 4,234 21,751
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $7,070 $7,250
Tuition (Out of State) $16,980 $23,564
Room & Board $14,548 $10,938
Avg Net Price $18,104 $18,708
Avg Grant Aid $8,626 $8,413
% Receiving Grant Aid 66% 32%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 51.5% 76.8%
Avg High School GPA 3.2 3.57
Admissions Standards Difficult Difficult
Applicant Competition Low
ACT Range 23/30 23/28
SAT Range 1060/1260 1120/1290
Application Deadline Jul 15, 2020 Jan 15, 2020


Graduation Rate 56% 81%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $40,200 $60,300
Making Student Loan Payments 65% 83%
Median Student Loan Debt $22,500 $20,899
Median Loan Payment $232 $216
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Comparable Facts

  • SUNY at Purchase College is larger than than JMU based on total student enrollment (4,234 students vs. 21,751 students)

Purchase College vs. JMU Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Purchase College or JMU?

  • James Madison University is 2.5% more expensive to attend than Purchase College for in-state tuition ($7,250.00 vs. $7,070.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 38.8% higher at JMU than SUNY at Purchase College ($23,564.00 vs. $16,980.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at SUNY at Purchase College than JMU ($18,104 vs. $18,708)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at James Madison University are 33% lower than costs at SUNY at Purchase College ($10,938 vs. $14,548)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at SUNY at Purchase College than James Madison University (66% vs. 32%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by SUNY at Purchase College students is 2.5% larger than aid received James Madison University ($8,626 vs. $8,413)

Purchase College vs. JMU Admissions Difficulty Comparison

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

  • The average SAT score at James Madison University (1134) is 52 points higher than at Purchase College (1082)
  • Incoming Purchase College students have at the same average ACT score (25) as students at JMU (25)
  • JMU has a higher acceptance rate (76.8%) than Purchase College (51.5%)

Purchase College vs. JMU Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Purchase College or JMU? 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 JMU and Purchase College.

  • The graduation rate at JMU is higher that SUNY at Purchase College (81% vs. 56%)
  • Graduates from James Madison University earn on average $20,100 more per year than Purchase College graduates after ten years. ($60,300 vs. $40,200)
  • James Madison University students graduate with a $1,601 lower median federal student loan debt than Purchase College graduates. ($20,899 vs. $22,500)
  • JMU graduates are paying $16 less per month on federal student loans than Purchase College graduates. ($216 vs. $232)
  • More JMU graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Purchase College students, three years after graduation. (83% vs. 65%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/