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Rank: 63

California State University-Monterey Bay

Ocean-front views are plentiful at California State University-Monterey Bay, two hours south of San Francisco. 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. The school has just under 7,000 undergraduate students who choose from among 25 majors, including sustainable hospitality management and Japanese language and culture. More than half of the students at CSU Monterey Bay are first-generation college students. CSUMB has a 60% graduation rate, which is an impressive 50% higher than schools with similar student bodies, according to MONEY's analysis. Students report early career salaries of about $48,700, which is slightly above average. But the university offers more than just academics. The Monterey Bay Otters participate in NCAA Division II athletics, with 13 teams competing for both men and women throughout the year. 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. A solar panel farm on campus produces enough energy to power up to 20% of the university's needs annually. The college is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
costs
Est. Full Price 2019-2020
$24,400
% of students who get any grants
69%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$12,000
Average price for low-income students
$7,300
admissions
Acceptance rate
53%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1070/21
SAT/ACT required?
Yes
Enrollment
6,557
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
82%
% of need met
70%
% of students who get merit* grants
2%
Average merit grant
$1,679
student success
Graduation rate
60%
Average time to a degree
4.8 years
Average student debt
$13,750
Average salary within 3 years
$48,700
% of low-income students who become upper middle class
32%
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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