Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 76

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA http://www.sdsu.edu/
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!"

Costs

Est. full price 2022-2023
$31,100
% of students who get any grants
53%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$13,900
Average price for low-income students
$7,170

Admissions

Acceptance rate
34%
Median SAT/ACT score
1220/21
SAT/ACT required?
No
Undergraduate enrollment
30,350

Financial Aid

% of students with need who get grants
66%
% of need met
65%
% of students who get merit grants
7%
Average merit grant
$2,530

Student Success

Graduation rate
74%
Average time to a degree
4.5 years
Median student debt
$15,000
Early career earnings
$59,030
% earning more than a high school grad
74%

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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