Oberlin College

A logo of Oberlin College for our school profile


Degrees and Programs

This school appears in our ranking of the 10 Best University Jazz Programs. Oberlin College is a liberal arts college that offers dozens of majors for incoming students. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music is part of the campus and is responsible for all its music programs. Students can declare a major in Musical Studies. Not only do they get the chance to play music and learn how to perform on a professional level, but they also learn how to instruct and teach others how to play. The conservatory offers Bachelor of Music programs that students can earn through that school. Students can also enroll in a dual degree program and earn a Bachelor of Music through the conservatory and a Bachelor of Arts from the college itself. The top music programs allow students to focus their studies on a specific type of music like jazz or classical. Some of the more unique degrees available through this college include those in cinema studies, creative writing and gender, sexuality and feminist studies. The cinema studies program teaches students how to write, shoot and edit film productions. Graduates of this program work for production studios in New York City and Los Angeles, but they also work for news and television programs. Oberlin offers a creative writing program for those who want to write their own novels. This program features courses on short story writing and longer pieces and allows students to get feedback from professional authors. Through its gender, sexuality and feminist studies program, students learn the way in which these terms changed over the years. They also look at other issues, including race and ethnicity. Oberlin allows students to choose a minor in one of dozens of fields and encourages its students to take courses from disciplines outside of their majors.

About Oberlin College

Oberlin College is a small private college in the Ohio city of the same name that emphasizes a liberal arts education. Founded in 1833 as the Oberlin Collegiate Institute, it served as a seminary that was open to students of all religions, though some of its early founders had ties to the Presbyterian Church. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music opened in 1865, which makes it one of the oldest music conservatory schools in the nation. The conservatory is responsible for most of the music programs offered by the college. Students can earn a degree through the conservatory or enroll in a joint program to also earn a degree from the college. Forbes ranks Oberlin College as the 54th best college in the United States, and both Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report rank the college within the top 100 liberal arts schools in the United States. The college now offers more than 50 programs for undergrads that include different majors and minors. Several programs are also available through the conservatory. Oberlin College has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, with more than half those students majoring in programs through its College of Arts & Sciences. More than 400 students enroll in the programs offered by the conservatory.

Oberlin College Accreditation Details

Oberlin College has accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) for all its music programs. The NASM is the main organization operating in the country today that provides opportunities for music majors. Students will find that the college offers degree programs that meet all the standards and guidelines established by that association. The college also has regional accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). NCACS accreditation allows students to transfer credits between two schools with the same accreditation and to use federal financial aid towards their educational costs.

Oberlin College Application Requirements

Oberlin is one of the most selective schools in the Midwest because it only accepts 29% of the applications that it receives in a normal school year. The college has an early decision deadline of November 15 and a regular decision deadline of January 1. Accepted students will need to put down a deposit for the upcoming school year. Freshmen must submit an application through either the Common Application website or the Coalition Application website. Both sites allow students to submit information to Oberlin and other schools at the same time. The application asks students to write an essay of no more than 250 words on a given prompt. Oberlin also requires a high school transcript, ACT or SAT score and two evaluations written by the student’s teachers. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music requires many of the same things from students. Students must submit their applications by December 1 and pay the application fee. The conservatory asks for screening materials such as videos that show students performing in public. It uses those materials to determine which students it will call for an audition. Chosen students must audition on the Oberlin campus for a spot in one of its performing arts programs and also attend an interview session with faculty. The conservatory also asks for at least one letter of recommendation from someone familiar with the student’s musical talents.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attending Oberlin College comes in at a little over $69,000 a year. This includes more than $52,000 in tuition alone. Students may pay even more to cover their textbooks and other required supplies. Oberlin also offers health insurance for around $1,600 for students who do not have coverage. Despite its high cost, Oberlin offers a range of financial aid packages for its students. When a student submits the FAFSA, Oberlin will create a package that meets the estimated need of that student minus the estimated contribution of his or her family. Students can get loans and work for the college. The college awards students both grants and scholarships too. National Merit Scholarships award students up to $2,000 a year and go to National Merit students. Those with lower grades and test scores may qualify for one of the college’s other scholarships that award students at least $500 a year. The Office of Conservatory Admissions offers scholarships for students attending the conservatory. Other scholarships go to students who are the children of alumni and parents currently working for the college and those who attended Oberlin High School. Oberlin College creates large financial aid packages to significantly reduce the amount that students pay out of their own pockets to attend the college.

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