Best Colleges in America 2022
college_name
Prev RANK: 79 Next
Overall Score: 73.84

California State University, Monterey Bay

Seaside, CA http://www.csumb.edu/
Ocean-front views are plentiful at California State University, Monterey Bay, two hours south of San Francisco. Like much of the Cal State system, CSU Monterey Bay scores high marks for being both affordable and accessible: Three-quarters of applicants get in, and more than half of the students are first-generation college students. The university boasts interesting architecture, as it was built at the location of an old Army base – some of the military buildings have been repurposed into art gallery spaces. There are just under 7,000 undergraduate students who can choose from among 25 majors, including sustainable hospitality management, Japanese language and culture, and (no surprise here) marine science. The Monterey Bay Otters participate in NCAA Division II athletics, with 13 teams competing throughout the year. Greek life is also a big part of CSUMB, with seven fraternities and nine sororities. The school's World Theater hosts student-run theater productions and concerts. The school has an environmental pedigree, too; it aims to be carbon neutral by 2030. Currently, a solar panel farm on campus produces enough energy to power about 17% of the university's needs annually.

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$24,900
% of students who get any grants
69%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$14,800
Average price for low-income students
$9,190

Admissions

Acceptance rate
75%
Median SAT/ACT score
1060/20
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
6,620

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
77%
% of need met
75%
% of students who get merit grants
4%
Average merit grant
$1,830

Student Success

Graduation rate
60%
Average time to a degree
4.6 years
Median student debt
$13,750
Early career earnings
$53,190
% earning more than a high school grad
69%

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.

More From Money’s College Team

  • Recent College News

    Recent College News

    Read the latest Money coverage on paying for college, succeeding on campus and transitioning to the working world.
  • How to Apply for the FAFSA

    How to Apply for the FAFSA

    The application is the gateway to billions of dollars in financial aid for college.
  • Best Student Loans

    Best Student Loans

    Learn all about private student loans with Money's expert guide.