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Overall Score: 76

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA
Founded in 1897 with just 91 students, San Diego State University has grown into a major research institution with around 30,000 undergrads and about 4,300 grad students. The sunny, Spanish-style campus hosts a student body notable for its diversity, both ethnically and academically. Its students represent more than 100 countries and 60 languages around the world. SDSU has more than 300 student organizations and offers about 160 undergraduate majors and programs, ranging from gerontology, to music to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. The university’s graduation rate is about 10% higher than expected based on the makeup of its student body, according to Money’s calculations. On campus, Greek organizations play a sizable role in the social scene, with 46 recognized fraternities and sororities, many of which are located on a fraternity row that runs along the center of campus. San Diego, the state’s second-largest city and a major hub for business and technology, is just a trolley ride away. Then, too, there's the enviable weather, which the university characterizes as "a beautiful Mediterranean climate," with little rain and daytime temperatures that usually fall between 60 degrees and 80 degrees. "In other words," SDSU boasts on its website, "it's always flip-flop weather!"


Est. full price 2022-2023
% of students who get any grants
Est. price for students who receive aid
Average price for low-income students


Acceptance rate
Median SAT/ACT score
SAT/ACT required?
Undergraduate enrollment

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
% of need met
% of students who get merit grants
Average merit grant

Student Success

Graduation rate
Average time to a degree
4.5 years
Median student debt
Early career earnings
% earning more than a high school grad

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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