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Colleges / James Madison University

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 is a public, state school in a small town setting in Harrisonburg, Virginia. JMU was founded in 1908 and now enrolls around 21,594 students a year, including 19,727 undergrads. JMU provides on-campus housing for students. Most students live in off campus housing.

There are many ways for students to get involved at JMU! Love music or performing? Join a campus band, sing in a chorus, or perform with one of JMU'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.

Learn more about life at JMU on the Student Life page.

Mark your calendar! January 15, 2022 is the final deadline to submit an application for Fall. Regular decision applicants for Fall 2022 should receive admissions decisions by March 15.

2021 JMU Facts At-A-Glance
Academic Calendar Semester
Overall Acceptance Rate 80%
Applicants Submitting SAT scores 56%
In-State Tuition $7,250
Out-of-State $24,150
Percent of Need Met 35%
Average First-Year Financial Aid Package $10,313

Is JMU a Good School?

There is no one way to define a "good" college or university. Admissions criteria, acceptance rate and average GPA are good indicators of how selective an institution is, but they don't tell you how happy or successful students are. There are a few statistics that can give you a good idea of how satisfied students are and how well a school supports its students.

Let's take a closer look at each of these factors to get a better idea of what JMU offers and if it could be the right college for you.

JMU Acceptance Rate 2021

It is very difficult to get into JMU. The acceptance rate at JMU is 80%. Last year, 23,922 students applied to JMU and 19,255 were admitted.

Retention and Graduation Rates at JMU

Retention is the number of students that stay enrolled at a school over time. This is a way to get a sense of 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 89% come back their sophomore year. Around 82% of students who started at JMU earn their Bachelor's degrees within six years. Compare this to the average six-year graduation rate for colleges and universities in the U.S., which is around 61% for public schools and 67% for private.

Job Outcomes for JMU Grads

Job placement statistics for recent graduates can give you a sense of the return on investment a school offers.

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 35% of the demonstrated financial need for undergraduates. First-year students that attend JMU full-time are awarded $10,313 a year in financial aid, on average.

Graduates in the class of 2021 had an average of $30,524 in student loans per borrower. For context, compare this number with the average national debt, which is around $36,000 per borrower.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA Opened on October 1st, 2021

Some aid is available 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! No one should ever pay to fill out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA), so be very wary of anyone asking you for money.

Learn more about Tuition and Financial Aid at JMU. Based on this information, how does JMU sound? Remember, a school that is perfect for one person may be a terrible fit for someone else! 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 Looking for 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 calculate your chances of getting admitted to some of the most selective schools in the U.S.

Where is James Madison University Located?

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

If you want to see JMU for yourself, 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 and Universities 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


Wondering what your chances are of getting into James Madison University?

Complete your profile to get your personalized, AI-calculated prediction score.

Calculate Chances

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

23 - 28

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

28 and Above


23 to 28


23 and Less


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JMU SAT Scores


Composite SAT Range

1130 - 1270


Math SAT Range

550 - 630


Reading SAT Range

570 - 650

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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 21,594 students enrolled at JMU, including 19,727 undergraduate students and 1,867 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



© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

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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