Best Colleges in America 2022
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Overall Score: 73.2

Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, CA
Located about 50 miles north of San Francisco, Sonoma State is part of the 23-campus California State University system. Set in the heart of California’s wine country, it makes good use of its location. Through its Wine Business Institute, the university offers one of the only wine business programs in the country. It also markets its own wine, Sonoma State Cellars; and campus residences are named for varietals – Cabernet, Zinfandel and Sauvignon. But there’s more to SSU than viticulture. It offers its nearly 7,000 undergraduate students about 60 majors in six different schools. Its most popular majors include business, psychology, sociology and early childhood development. Campus housing is known for its suite-style living and comfortable accommodation in six “village” formats. Over 90% of freshmen live on campus; over all, about a third of students use undergrad residences. Outdoor research opportunities are possible at two college-owned preserves, including the 3,200-acre Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in Mendocino County. Notable on-campus facilities include the Cerent Engineering Science Complex, which houses eight different state-of-the-art laboratories, and the Environmental Technology Center, which serves as a working lab on sustainable building techniques. SSU’s library is housed in the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center, named for the “Peanuts" cartoonist who lived in nearby Santa Rosa.


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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