Image unavailable
Rank: 79

San Diego State University

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 around the world. SDSU offers about 160 undergraduate majors and programs, including gerontology, music, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. SDSU has more than 350 student organizations, and San Diego, California's second-largest city and a major hub for business and technology, is just a trolley ride away. Greek organizations play a sizable role in campus social life, with more than 50 fraternities and sororities, many of which are located on a fraternity row that runs along the center of campus. 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!" SDSU's 74% graduation rate, is 16% higher than would be expected for a student body with similar economic and academic backgrounds. Furthermore, SDSU graduates on average make 3% more in early career earnings than peers who have graduated from similar institutions, according to Money's calculations.
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
FALL 2020 PLAN: San Diego State University has shifted all fall instruction to virtual.
costs
Est. Full Price 2020-2021
$30,100
% of students who get any grants
51%
Est. price for students who receive aid
$15,200
Average price for low-income students
$9,900
admissions
Acceptance rate
35%
Median SAT/ACT Score
1210/25
SAT/ACT Required for Fall 2021?
no
Enrollment
30,020
Financial Aid
% of students with need who get grants
71%
% of need met
68%
% of students who get merit* grants
6%
Average merit grant
$2,200
student success
Graduation rate
74%
Average time to a degree
4.6 years
Average student debt
$15,340
Average salary within 5 years
$52,100
% earning more than $28,000
80%
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.

* Full price of attendance includes on-campus room & board fees, which may not be applicable to all colleges' reopening plans this year.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, Money/American Institutes for Research calculations, Opportunity Insights.

coronavirus update

FALL 2020 PLAN: San Diego State University has shifted all fall instruction to virtual.

* Share of full-time undergraduates who had no financial need and were awarded grants.

* Full price of attendance includes on-campus room & board fees, which may not be applicable to all colleges' reopening plans this year.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Peterson's, PayScale.com, Money/American Institutes for Research calculations, Opportunity Insights.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign up to receive the latest updates and smartest advice from the editors of Money

SUBSCRIBE