Even by the demanding standards of elite schools, California Institute of Technology is tough. Freshmen take their first-year courses pass/fail to ease into the school, but after that, professors are notoriously hard graders. There are no easy A's here — and certainly not in the popular engineering and physical sciences programs.
But with the challenging workload comes the chance to brush shoulders with some of the science world’s top thinkers: The school boasts 46 Nobel laureates and 42 MacArthur fellows among its alumni and faculty members. Research opportunities, too, are a hallmark of the campus experience. Internships at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located near Caltech's Pasadena campus, are a prime example. Techies tend to go on to great, high-paying jobs, with median salaries topping $100,000 (which is impressive even by tech school standards).
There are about 2,400 students on campus, but fewer than half are undergraduates. One of the campus’s most popular events is Ditch Day, a 100-year-old tradition where seniors challenge undergraduates to “stacks” or puzzle-themed adventures. Most of the campus social life and traditions are centered around the residential houses, whose members are known by nicknames including Moles, Pageboys and Averites.
California Institute of Technology tuition and fees
Estimated cost and due date
Tuition and fees at California Institute of Technology amount to $63,255. You’ll also need to factor in room and board, books, and living expenses while enrolled.
The due date for Fall is September 12, 2023. However, it's always a good idea to check the university's official calendar or your student portal regularly for any changes. Late payments may incur extra fees.
Feeling overwhelmed by the cost? That’s understandable. College can be expensive, but there are a variety of financial aid sources you can access, including student loans, grants, and scholarships. Here is a brief overview of the available options; for a more comprehensive step-by-step, read our How to Pay for College guide.
Exploring financial aid options at California Institute of Technology
Scholarships and grants
On average, undergraduates at California Institute of Technology receive $43,064 in grant aid from federal, state, local and college programs. 12% of students at the college receive the Pell Grant, a form of financial assistance dedicated to lower-income students. In order to access this type of grant, one must fill out the FAFSA.
All around the country, college-bound students have access to a variety of state-funded financial assistance options, typically restricted to local students. It might be worth taking the time to look into the eligibility requirements for your home state, such as California's Cal Grant program.
University scholarships, aka institutional aid
At California Institute of Technology, 54% of freshmen receive an institutional scholarship, with an average amount of $45,569. This type of financial aid is typically divided into two categories: need-based aid — which is based on one's financial situation — and merit-based aid, which covers awards that are not based on financial need and can be given out for academic achievement, artistic talent, leadership qualities and more.
Don't neglect to hunt down other external scholarships too. A great many local associations have money available to support understudies with college costs, and there are some scholarships with no due date so you can get support after you enroll. For more information about various types of gift aid, look at our exemplary guide on college grants and scholarships.
Federal student loans
Federal student loans are the most common way to finance educational expenses. These are loans provided by the government and have relatively low-interest rates, as well as flexible repayment options.
Private student loans
Private student loans are an alternate choice. These are offered by private lenders such as banks and credit unions. They can be used to cover the costs not taken care of by federal loans, but they usually have higher interest rates and less flexible repayment plans.
How to pay tuition bills at California Institute of Technology
If you are awarded a loan, grant or scholarship, the funds will usually be sent directly to the university. You will need to cover any remaining balance. You can pay your tuition fees online at https://www.caltech.edu/.
The information included in this page contains data published in university sites, government public records and other vetted sources as of June 23, 2023. Be advised to validate this information with the university registrar or financial office.
This content was created with the assistance of AI technology and has been reviewed, edited and fact-checked by Money's editorial staff.