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Rank: 36

California State University-Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CAwww.calstatela.edu
Nestled between downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel mountains, California State University-Los Angeles attracts students who want to excel in business, nursing, engineering, and the solar system. (The school's NASA University Research Center offers courses in aerospace technology and aims to inspire students to pursue STEM-related careers.) Undergraduate class sizes are reasonable, too, with about 65% having fewer than 30 students. The school also has robust cultural offerings -- the Luckman Fine Arts Complex provides a venue for theater, dance, music, and other performances, and features one of the biggest stages in the Los Angeles area. The school is also home to the first-ever Chicano studies program in the United States, founded in 1968. For go-getters, the Early Entrance Program in CSULA's Honors College accepts promising middle and high school students into full-time college courses (accepted students are as young as 11). While the university's graduation rate is 47%, which is below the average for public colleges in MONEY's rankings, it's significantly higher than expected based on the academic and economic background of the student body. Where Cal State LA really stands out, though, is by helping students from low-income families climb up the socioeconomic ladder; the university has one of the highest mobility rates in MONEY's rankings this year.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$26,000
% of students who get any grants
83%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$4,200
Average price for low-income students
$1,680
admissions
Acceptance rate
46%
Median SAT/ACT Score
990/18
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
24,780
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
96%
% of need met
70%
% of students who get merit* grants
N/A
Average merit grant
$4,167
student success
Graduation rate
47%
Average time to a degree
5.2 years
Average student debt
$12,500
Average salary within 3 years
$49,200
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
30%
key deadlines
Early decision application
N/A
Regular application
Nov 30

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, MONEY/College Measures calculations, Opportunity Insights.

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