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Rank: 13

California State University-Long Beach

Long Beach, CAhttps://www.csulb.edu
Students seeking an intimate, small-college experience should probably steer clear of CSULB, or "The Beach." One of the largest schools in California, it has an enrollment of about 32,000 undergrads. Yet its graduation rate is about 45% higher than colleges that admit similar students, according to MONEY's analysis, so it's clear that many CSULB students find it a good fit. Plus, they're getting one of the best bargains in higher education. Strong departments in practical subjects such as accounting, health care administration, and engineering help students nab post-graduation jobs with early career salaries of about $51,100, which according to PayScale is slightly higher than those of peers from other schools. The campus environment is quintessentially California, with scenic, landscaped grounds just three miles from the beach and lots of student gripes about lack of parking. Famous Hollywood alumni include director Steven Spielberg and actor Steve Martin. Students can spend plenty of time keeping in shape, courtesy of the school's 125,000-square-foot fitness center. Fun fact: The university recently asked students to vote for a new mascot, having "retired" Prospector Pete in 2018. They chose a shark, which will formally debut in 2020. (The other options were a stingray, or no mascot at all.)
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$25,100
% of students who get any grants
70%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$10,300
Average price for low-income students
$5,700
admissions
Acceptance rate
28%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1130/23
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
31,402
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
80%
% of need met
78%
% of students who get merit* grants
N/A
Average merit grant
N/A
student success
Graduation rate
69%
Average time to a degree
5 years
Average student debt
$15,000
Average salary within 3 years
$51,100
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
38%
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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