Elon University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Elon University
An Elon education will challenges perspectives and helps create advocates for global change. Generations...

Elon University

Elon, North Carolina

Elon students are fully involved. This is a university of boundless opportunity. Students have a passion to fulfill their roles as global citizens, putting their knowledge into action on campus, in the community, and around the world. Elon’s four-year core curriculum has a strong global focus and is organized around the themes of inquiry, knowledge, and communication.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
5,903 undergraduate students
97% of undergrad students are full time
41% male — 59% female
80% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
441 full-time faculty
151 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

67% of undergraduates live on campus. Elon’s campus is organized into seven distinct residential neighborhoods for students at various stages of their college careers. The goal is to create a seamless academic, co-curricular and residential experience that will energize and engage students throughout their time at Elon and beyond. Elon also offers 22 living learning communities. Students living on campus are closer to their classes, more involved in student organizations and often have higher GPAs. International dinners, film series and student-faculty discussions are regular neighborhood features. Whether you prefer to live in a suite, apartment, living-learning community or traditional double room, campus residents benefit from individualized teaching and advising and access to a host of activities emphasizing global citizenship, service, integrity and respect for human difference.

School Location

Elon is located in North Carolina’s beautiful Piedmont region. The town of Elon is adjacent to Burlington, a city of about 50,000. Greensboro is 30 minutes away, while Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Winston-Salem are within an hour’s drive. There is just three-hour drive to the beach, and a two-and-a-half hour drive to the mountains.

Retention Fall 2015

90% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

83% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 2%
Hispanic/Latino 5%
Black or African American 6%
White 82%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 1%


Elon’s 17 NCAA teams compete in the Colonial Athletic Association

Men’s Division 1
Cross Country

Women’s Division I
Cross Country
Indoor Track
Outdoor Track and Field

Mascot:  Phoenix
Colors: Maroon and gold

Academic Programs

Acting, Anthropology, Applied Mathematics, Art, Art History, Arts Administration, Biochemistry, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Communications, Computer Science, Dance Performance & Choreography, Dance Science, Economics, Education, Engineering, English, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Exercise Science, French, History, Human Service Studies, Independent Major, Information Science, International Economics, International Studies, Journalism, Mathematics, Music, Music Education, Music Performance, Music Production and Recording Arts, Music Theatre, Philosophy, Physical Education and Health, Physics, Policy Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health Studies, Religious Studies, Science Education, Sociology, Spanish, Sport and Event Management, Statistics, Theatre Studies, Theatrical Design and Production

The Elon Experiences

Elon students connect their education to the real world through hands-on learning. The university’s signature program, The Elon Experiences, provides a natural extension of the work done in the classroom.

The Elon Experiences can be completed individually or combined to suit students’ specific goals. Students can seek out service opportunities while they’re abroad. They can find internships that correlate with their multi-year research project. They can establish leadership development programs in local schools.

Professors become students’ mentors and guides throughout the Experiences and beyond. By the time students graduate, they have a wealth of real-world experiences that ease their transitions out of college, and they all stand out when applying for careers and graduate school.

Study Abroad

Global Study at Elon includes 100+ study abroad programs and Study USA. During their time abroad, many Elon students pursue research, service, and internships. International internships can be completed for academic credit. Elon’s domestic travel programs take students not only to large cities like New York and Los Angeles, but also to rural communities in Appalachia and the Gulf Coast. Winter Term, summer, and semester-long Study USA program options are offered.

Driven Faculty

Distinguished faculty choose to teach at Elon because they love to mentor students. With small classes and a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, they are able to challenge individual students to reach their highest potential. Elon faculty are active and productive scholars with rich academic and professional experience. Through Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning, faculty members are leading an international conversation about the most effective teaching and learning strategies.

Core Curriculum

Elon’s four-year core curriculum has a strong global focus and is organized around the themes of inquiry, knowledge, and communication. Students learn to see the world through many different perspectives and understand the complex relationships among the world’s people, cultures, beliefs, and environments.

A Campus of Comfort and Growth

Elon students live and learn on a campus that has been specifically designed to encourage personal growth and academic discovery. The high-tech campus encompasses seven distinct residential neighborhoods for students at various stages of their college careers.

First-Year Experiences

Freshmen can make the most of their first years with programs and experiences that help them navigate the transition to college. A fall semester orientation course, a common reading program, and move-in help from faculty and staff make students feel welcome to the Elon community.

First-Year Summer Experiences are optional programs that pair hands-on learning with core Elon values such as leadership and service. Incoming freshmen can hike the Appalachian Trail, work with Habitat for Humanity, learn how to become activists, and more.

Prepared for the World

The Elon Core Curriculum is a set of courses and experiences that are shared by every undergraduate. The curriculum complements everyone’s major, focusing on the liberal arts and sciences that are so important to Elon’s mission and so vital for globally engaged citizenship in a democratic society. Students explore ideas and expand their worldview. In the process, they gain the lifelong benefits of complexity of thought, personal fulfillment, economic opportunity, and global awareness.

The learning goals of the Core Curriculum reflect the same skills expected in the workplace, including critical thinking, writing, and problem-solving skills. Elon has undertaken an extensive Writing Excellence Initiative to help students in all majors develop written communication skills that they will use throughout their lives.

Alumni of Prestige

Graduates work with many organizations including the Smithsonian Institution, SAS Institute, Inc., the Peace Corps, the Oakland Museum of California, Credit Suisse, Teach for America, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Alumni also pursue graduate degrees at institutions such as the University of Chicago, Harvard University, Yale University, Columbia University, Duke University, and American University.

Awarded for Excellence

Elon University was one of 17 master’s-level colleges and universities listed by the Chronicle of Higher Education as a “top producing” institution of students receiving Fulbright grants.


Admissions Fall 2015

10,256 Total Applicants 
5,866 Total Admissions 
1,524 Total Freshman Enrollment

57.20% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 550 640
SAT Math 560 650
SAT Writing 550 650
ACT Composite 25 29
ACT Math 24 28
ACT English 25 31
ACT Writing    





Tuition $31,773
Fees $399
Total $32,172
Room and Board (on campus) $10,998
Room Only $5,399
Board Only $5,599
Estimated Total On Campus $43,170


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

63% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
32% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$11,735 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$8,297 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates


Presidential Scholarships

Top student – top recognition: that’s the philosophy of the Presidential Scholarship award. You have made academics a priority, and Elon wants to recognize your commitment and hard work by investing in your potential to be a top student. Presidential Scholarships are awarded to the top 15 percent of the incoming first-year class and are based on the high school transcript and SAT/ACT scores. You don’t even have to apply. Elon does the work for you and awards $4,500 per year, renewable annually for a total of four years based on acceptable academic performance.

Elon Engagement Scholarships

Every first-year applicant is a candidate for this $3,500 scholarship, which is renewable annually. In addition, each recipient is awarded a one-time $2,000 Elon Experiences grant. That’s scholarship and program support totaling $16,000 over four years. Selection is based on your high school academic record, standardized test scores, and very important — your application essay and extracurricular activities. You have a choice of essay topics, so choose the one that shows us why you’d be an ideal recipient. This scholarship may not be combined with the Presidential Scholarship. Learn full details at elon.edu/engagement.

Fellows Scholarships

Distinguish yourself as an Elon University Fellow. These premier academic and leadership programs are based on your academic interests and talent and require a separate application. Fellows Programs include Honors, Elon College (arts and sciences), Communications, Business, Teaching and Leadership. Read all about the Fellows Programs online at elon.edu/fellows. Fellows scholarships range from $4,000 to $12,000 per year in addition to a $1,000 Global Study grant to be used for an approved study abroad or Study USA program. Fellows scholarships may also be combined with Presidential or Elon Engagement scholarships to boost your total even higher! The Fellows application is available online and is due Jan. 10.

The Watson and Odyssey Scholars Program

Academically talented students with significant documented financial need are eligible for scholarships in the Watson and Odyssey Scholars Program. The program was created for students poised to take advantage of an Elon education but for whom this possibility might not be an option due to financial reasons. The four-year program empowers students through peer and administrative support so they can excel and have an impact at Elon and in the broader community.  All students also receive a one-time $4,000 Global Study grant to be used for an approved study abroad or Study USA program. Learn more: elon.edu/watson_odyssey.