Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 78.95

California State University, Fresno

California State University, Fresno, commonly referred to as Fresno State, is part of the 23-campus California State University system. It has about 24,000 students, including over 22,000 undergrads, in its eight schools and colleges. The 388-acre campus and its 1,000-acre farm are located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in central California's San Joaquin Valley, one of the world's most productive agricultural regions. Students put their geographical advantage to good use; they operate the acclaimed Fresno State Winery. Fresno State considers itself one of the country's most diverse institutions of higher education – in fact, the school's motto is "Discovery. Diversity. Distinction." Its undergraduate population is nearly half Hispanic, and a significant portion of Bulldogs are first-generation college students. Sixty-three percent of students graduate within six years, a rate that Money finds is 13% higher than expected of schools with comparable student bodies. One of Fresno State's time-honored traditions is Vintage Days, a celebration where students and guests gather for games, beer, concerts, pony rides, wing-eating contests and more. Year-round entertainment can be found at Bulldog Bowl, which has 12 bowling lanes that offer "the cleanest and cheapest game in town."

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$22,900
% of students who get any grants
78%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$7,300
Average price for low-income students
$3,860

Admissions

Acceptance rate
58%
Median SAT/ACT score
1040/16
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
21,160

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
88%
% of need met
66%
% of students who get merit grants
3%
Average merit grant
$2,980

Student Success

Graduation rate
54%
Average time to a degree
4.9 years
Median student debt
$14,667
Early career earnings
$52,200
% earning more than a high school grad
68%

Notes: Students who get merit grants are full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants. Graduation rate measures degree completion within six years for both transfer students and first-time students. Early career earnings are the median earnings for both graduates and non-completers, 10 years after they first enrolled.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson’s, Money/Witlytic calculations.

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