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Colleges / James Madison University

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA 4-Year Public
Acceptance Rate86%
Acceptance Rate86%

About JMU

Founded in 1908, James Madison University is a public university located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Location: Harrisonburg, VA Undergrad students: 19,883 #2 most innovative regional university by U.S. News & World Report #1 Best College for Employment in Virginia according to U.S. Department of Education statistics compiled by Zippia. JMU has the highest post-graduation job levels of all Virginia colleges. 96% of 2018 JMU graduates were employed, in graduate school or involved in other career endeavors within six months of graduation #1 graduation rate in the US for large, master's level public universities

James Madison University Overview

James Madison University is a public, state school in the small town setting of Harrisonburg, Virginia. JMU was founded in 1908 and the school enrolls around 22,166 students a year, which includes 20,070 undergrad students. JMU offers housing for students. Most students live in off campus housing.

📆 Mark your calendar! The final application deadline for Fall 2023 is January 15.

Student Activities at JMU

Interested in music or performing? At JMU you can join a campus band, sing in a chorus, or perform with one of the school's theater groups.

Interested in journalism or communications? JMU students can write for the campus newspaper, host a radio show or be a producer for the student-run television channel.

Thinking of pledging? JMU has fraternities and sororities.

Planning to play sports? JMU has many options for athletes. See them all and learn more about life at JMU on the Student Life page.

2022 JMU Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 77%
Early Decision Acceptance Rate Info Not Available
Early Action Acceptance Rate EA Offered but % not available
Applicants Submitting SAT scores 25%
In-State Tuition $13,376
Out-of-State $30,466
Percent of Need Met 37%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $11,737

Is JMU a Good School?

There is no one way to define a "good" college or university. Some factors that can help you determine what a good school for you might be include admissions criteria, acceptance rate, tuition costs, and more.

Let's take a look at these areas to get a clearer idea of what JMU offers and if the school might be the right college for you.

JMU Acceptance Rate 2022

It is very difficult to get into JMU. Around 77% of applicants get into JMU each year. Out of 13,976 applications received in 2022, 18,265 students were offered admission.

Retention and Graduation Rates at JMU

Retention refers to the number of students that stay enrolled at a school over time. Retention measures how satisfied students are with their school experience, and if they have the support necessary to succeed in college.

Out of all the first-year, full-time undergrads who start at JMU, around 91% are still enrolled their sophomore year. Around 82% of students who started at JMU earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. The average six-year graduation rate for U.S. colleges and universities is 61% for public schools, and 67% for private, non-profit schools.

Job Outcomes for JMU Grads

Job placement rates after graduation and average starting salaries can all give important clues about the value of a degree from a specific school.

Check with JMU directly, for information on any information on starting salaries for recent grads.

Tuition and Financial Aid at JMU

Cost is another important factor when choose a college. Some colleges may have high tuition, but do a better job at meeting students' financial need.

JMU meets 37% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. First-year students that attend JMU full-time are awarded $11,737 a year in financial aid, on average.

Graduates in the class of 2022 had an average of $30,542 in student loans per borrower. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2023-2024 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2022

Some aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA as soon as you can. Visit the FAFSA website to apply for student aid. Remember, the first F in FAFSA stands for FREE! You should never have to pay to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), so don't give your money (or info!) to any website that claim you do.

Learn more about Tuition and Financial Aid at JMU.

Based on this information, is JMU the school for you? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may not be the right school for another! So ask yourself: Is JMU a good school for you?

If James Madison University seems like a school you want to apply to, click the heart button to save it to your college list.

Still Exploring Schools?

Choose one of the options below to learn more about JMU:


Student Life


Tuition & Aid

JMU Community Forums

Then use the college admissions predictor to take a data science look at your chances of getting accepted at some of the schools in the U.S.

Where is JMU?

JMU is located in the small town setting of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

If you are interested in seeing JMU for yourself, be sure to plan a visit! The best way to reach campus is to take Interstate 81 to Harrisonburg, or book a flight to the nearest airport, Shenandoah Valley Regional.

You can also take a virtual campus tour to get a sense of what JMU and Harrisonburg are like without leaving home.

Considering Colleges in Virginia?

See a full list of colleges in Virginia and save your favorites to your college list.

College Info

JMU Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Jan 15

Transfer Applications are Due

Mar 1

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to JMU is Jan 15.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to JMU is Mar 1.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

James Madison University is a member of the Coalition for College.

More than an application, the Coalition provides free tools and resources to help students through the college admissions process, beginning as early as 9th grade.

Learn More

JMU ACT Scores


ACT Range

24 - 29

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

29 and Above


24 to 29


24 and Less


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JMU SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1150 - 1300


Math SAT Range

560 - 650


Reading SAT Range

580 - 660

JMU Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees


In State


Cost Breakdown
In State
State Tuition

Student Life

Wondering what life at JMU is like? There are approximately 22,166 students enrolled at JMU, including 20,070 undergraduate students and 2,096 graduate students. 93% percent of students attend school full-time, 79% percent are from VA and 21% percent of students are from other states.


Full Time


Part Time


In State



Data Source: IPEDs and Peterson's Databases © 2022 Peterson's LLC All rights reserved

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment


Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate


Tuition and Fees

In State




Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Jan 15
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