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10 Top Cheapest Universities in California

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10 Top Cheapest Universities in California

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Do you wish to inquire about the Top Cheapest Universities in California? If so, this guide is for you. Here, I will provide to you, the best update from our research on Top Cheapest Universities in California. That way, it would be easier for you to compare and contrast between Top Cheapest Universities in California without facing much difficulties.

10 Top Cheapest Universities in California

10 Top Cheapest Universities in California

Nonetheless, It’s hard to go wrong by choosing to attend a school in California. The state works to keep public tuition low, so you’re practically guaranteed to find an affordable option that meets your budget needs. In fact, in the list below, nearly 65% of the schools offer an annual net price less than $23,000. Of course, all these schools also have plenty to offer in the way of quality academics and stimulating research.

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

“The Aztec Experience” is a unique one, as SDSU encourages students to step outside their comfort zone and create unforgettable college memories. Above all, SDSU distinguishes itself as a center for entrepreneurism and encourages students to turn their passions into prototypes. The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center blends business curriculum with hands-on learning opportunities to help students get their ideas off the ground, while the Zahn Innovation Center acts as a social incubator for entrepreneurial students, providing mentorship and resources for groups who are ready for the next step. Although San Diego State hosts nearly 35,000 students at a time and is one of the oldest institutions in the California system, it isn’t open access; the selective college only admits about 34% of its applicants each year.

Net Price: $10,085/yr
Total Score: 126.56

California State University, Monterey Bay

California State University, Monterey Bay is a public university in Marina and Seaside in Monterey County, California.


Cost of Attendance

Tuition and Fees

Room and Board

Books and Supplies

Other Expenses

Payment Plans

In-state: $23,363
Out-of-state: $35,243
In-state: $7,043
Out-of-state: $18,923

California State University Dominguez Hills

Carson, California

California State University at Dominguez Hills earns the unique distinction of having the lowest overall net price on this list. After awards and financial aid, you could potentially attend this university for less than $2,000 a year! Even for its low price, CSUDH provides a “transformative” education that encourages students to step outside their comfort zones. In addition to a slew of undergraduate degree programs, this top university in California supports exciting opportunities like the “America Happens Here” Contest. Part of the school’s annual inaugural activities, this contest invites students to reflect on their experience on campus and express the school’s representative diversity through creative means.

Net Price: $1,640/yr
Total Score: 87.75

California State University Fullerton

Fullerton, California

There are plenty of reasons to choose CSU Fullerton for your college education, not the least of which is its commitment to diversity. Students from all backgrounds collaborate in and out of the classroom and enjoy community-building events like Concert Under the Stars, a Motown-inspired night of music that kicks off the school year and sets the tone for future campus-wide activities. When you’re ready to get down to business more than 50 different undergraduate academic programs await, including Asian American Studies, Comparative Religion, Environmental Engineering, Military Science, and Radio/TV/Film. And from a financial perspective, the California State University at Fullerton is a steal; yearly tuition is low enough to keep many students debt-free and supports quick success after graduation. In fact, its 20-year net ROI tops $360,000.

Net Price: $5,542/yr
Total Score: 111.60

California State University Long Beach

Long Beach, California

At CSU Long Beach, you’ll have the opportunity to explore any and every subject under the sun – and Long Beach has plenty of sunshine! The university promotes a love of learning and encourages students to explore science and technology, develop their artistic expression, and cultivate an appreciation of other cultures all at the same time. Majors at Long Beach span from art (including Design, Dance, and Film and Electronics) and Engineering (including Chemical, Computer, and Aerospace concentrations) to the Liberal Arts (such as Comparative World Literature and Peace Studies). CSU Long Beach also participates in the local Ocean Studies Institute, a collaborative of universities that supports research and academic programs related to marine biology and ocean conservation.

Net Price: $7,672/yr
Total Score: 130.19

California State University Fresno

Fresno, California

Fresno State University boasts strong academics and a mix of student activities and highly ranked Division I athletics to remain one of the best and most affordable California colleges in the state’s San Joaquin Valley. CSU-Fresno has also proven to be a good value, with a 20-year return on investment of over $300,000. There are many opportunities for students to stay active, get involved in a group, conduct research, or even take in a game at Bulldog Stadium or the Save Mart Center. Students can choose from a host of sororities and fraternities, club sport groups, and effect positive change through service-oriented activities. Each April, the university hosts Vintage Days, a community-wide, student-led celebration that draws more than 50,000 people from the Fresno area.

Net Price: $5,559/yr
Total Score: 87.21

University of California Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

As one of the most popular universities in the country, UCLA has plenty to offer undergrads. It’s actually the most applied-to school in the nation, and received more than 90,000 applications last year alone! UCLA fosters a close-knit community of active learners, as more than 95% of students choose to live on campus each year. The university offers more than 100 areas of study, but the most popular degree choices include business (as well as economics and political science) and psychology (as well as biology and psychobiology). Campus life is vibrant and embodies the attitude of surrounding LA; students can get side jobs acting as extras, attend Coachella, road trip up the PCH, and intern with local bigwigs like Sketchers and Boeing. UCLA’s ability to combine tough academics with fun extracurricular activities may be why it maintains a graduation rate above 90%.

Net Price: $12,510/yr
Total Score: 161.89

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona is a public polytechnic university in Pomona, California. It is one of two polytechnics in the California State University system

Non-Resident Tuition Fees

Are in addition to the tuition and mandatory fees and are charged to students whose primary residence is another state or country.  Non-resident fees are calculated at $264 per unit for Quarter and $396 per unit for the upcoming  Semester.

Professional Program Fee

Is calculated at $180 per unit for Quarter and $270 per unit for the upcoming Semester, is in addition to the tuition and mandatory fees for the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science (MS) in Accountancy and Master of Science (MS) in Business Administration.

Late Registration Fee

Late registration period refers to the Add/ Drop Period.  Adding class(es) during this time will incur a $25 late registration fee.  During the add/drop period, you may log on to BroncoDirect to register for classes.  To sign in, you need your BroncoName and BroncoPassword.  Check with the Help Desk at (909) 869-6776, if you have forgotten your BroncoName and BroncoPassword.

San Francisco State University

San Francisco State University is a public research university in San Francisco. As part of the 23-campus California State University system, the university offers 118 different bachelor’s degrees, 94 master’s degrees, 5 doctoral degrees, along with 26 teaching credentials among six academic colleges

Undergraduate Full-Time Attendance For Two Semesters

Fall 2020 & Spring 2020

Expense Off/On Campus Living with Parents
Tuition fee (7 units or greater) $7,254 $7,254
Books & supplies $2,002 $2,002
Food & housing $15,151 $5,418
Personal expenses $1,480 $1,480
Transportation $1,587 $1,588
TOTAL $27,474 $17,742

Graduate Fees For Two Semesters

Fall 2020 & Spring 2020

Expense 6 or less units 6.1 or more units
Tuition fee $5,676 $8,688
Books & supplies $2,002 $2,002
Food and Housing $15,151 $15,151
Personal expenses $1,480 $1,480
Transportation $1,587 $1,587
TOTAL $25,896 $28,908

If you are living with your parents, subtract $9,733 from your corresponding total.

Expense 6 or less units 6.1 or more units
Cost of Attendance $25,896 $28,908
Living with Parents -$9,733 -$9,733
TOTAL $16,163 $19,175

California State University Channel Islands

California State University Channel Islands is a four-year public comprehensive university and Hispanic Serving Institution located outside Camarillo, California in Ventura County.


In-State Tuition $6,817
Out-of-State Tuition $18,697


Room and Board $16,954
Books and Supplies $1,948


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