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Rank: 22

California State University-Fullerton

This Orange County campus likes to tout its diversity -- and for good reason. The school's student body has large populations from Hispanic, Asian, white, and international communities; more than half of bachelor's graduates are first-generation college students. Those students can choose from more than 50 undergraduate degree programs and another 50 graduate 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 willing to take a drive can reach Disneyland in 15 minutes and the beach in half an hour. 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. Cal State Fullerton's graduation rate comes in at 66%, which is substantially higher than schools with similar student demographics. According to PayScale, grads pull early career salaries around $49,400.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$28,600
% of students who get any grants
65%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$9,100
Average price for low-income students
$4,850
admissions
Acceptance rate
46%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1100/22
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
35,045
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
81%
% of need met
76%
% of students who get merit* grants
4%
Average merit grant
$1,683
student success
Graduation rate
66%
Average time to a degree
4.9 years
Average student debt
$14,800
Average salary within 3 years
$49,400
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
40%
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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