Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 78.47

California State University, Fullerton

This Orange County campus likes to tout its diversity – and for good reason. Hispanic students make up nearly half of the undergraduate student body, 21% of students are Asian, and 50% of all students come from low-income backgrounds. Those students can choose from 55 undergraduate degree programs. When not doing classwork, Cal State Fullerton students can join more than 350 clubs and organizations, from the weightlifting club to the video game design club. There's also an active Greek life on campus. Off campus, Fullerton has a busy downtown full of sidewalk cafés and boutiques. Students can reach Disneyland in 15 minutes or spend a sunny Saturday at Huntington Beach, just half an hour away. Los Angeles is 35 miles away. The school's mascot, an elephant named Tuffy Titan, is a reminder of a 1962 event in which Cal State Fullerton hosted an "intercollegiate elephant race," which included real pachyderms and drew more than 10,000 spectators. Notable Cal State Fullerton alumni include rocker Gwen Stefani and actor Kevin Costner. The university's graduation rate comes in at 75%, which is substantially higher than expected when compared to schools with similar student demographics.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$29,500
% of students who get any grants
68%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$8,800
Average price for low-income students
$4,590

Admissions

Acceptance rate
68%
Median SAT/ACT score
1120/18
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
35,090

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
86%
% of need met
87%
% of students who get merit grants
3%
Average merit grant
$1,620

Student Success

Graduation rate
75%
Average time to a degree
4.8 years
Median student debt
$14,000
Early career earnings
$54,590
% earning more than a high school grad
73%

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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