Annual Fee Report Shows CSU and San José State Among Most Affordable Institutions in the Nation

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Academics

A recent CSU report showed that 81% of all students systemwide received financial aid in 2021-2022. Photo by David Schmitz.

In late January, the California State University (CSU) Chancellor’s Office presented CSU Trustees with the university system’s annual student fee report. Data from the report demonstrates that the CSU’s annual undergraduate and graduate resident tuition and fees are substantially lower than those of peer comparison institutions* across the country.

“The CSU continues to be a national leader in providing a high-quality education at an unmatched value,” said CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester during the January 2023 Board of Trustees meeting. “A college degree is increasingly important in today’s society, and the CSU’s value proposition empowers students to achieve their dreams of pursuing higher education and, in turn, transforming their lives and those of their families as they elevate their communities.” 

The data compared the CSU’s systemwide tuition plus average campus-based mandatory fees against 15 public peer comparison institutions from across the nation. 

With just one tuition increase in the last 11 years, CSU’s annual tuition for an undergraduate resident student checks in at $5,742. When including the average for campus-based fees, that total moves to $7,520, which is nearly $1,300 less than the next university from the comparison group. Additional data points demonstrate the CSU’s commitment to affordability:

  • Thanks to robust financial aid, more than 387,600 — or 81% — of all CSU students received financial assistance.
  • Nearly 61% of all undergraduate students do not pay tuition as it is fully covered through financial aid.
  • 2020-21 CSU bachelor’s degree recipients who did accrue loan debt had lower average debt ($17,966) than the state average ($21,125), and far lower than the national average ($28,950).

According to the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard, the average annual cost to attend San José State is $16,542, whereas the midpoint for most four-year institutions is $19,526. Not only that, but many Spartans benefit from financial aid. During the 2020-2021 academic year alone:

  • 25,652 students were disbursed financial aid
  • 3,683 scholarships were awarded
  • $188,363,061 was awarded in state aid
  • $147,534,737 was awarded in federal aid

“This report underscores San José State’s commitment to providing affordable and equitable access to high-quality higher education,” said SJSU President Cynthia Teniente Matson. “When our students succeed, so do their communities. By offering career-oriented degrees at a lesser cost than our competitors, we can help relieve the financial burden for students, while preparing them for well-paying jobs in high-demand occupations.”

The annual report adds further evidence that San José State serves as the most transformative university in the nation, as ranked by Money magazine in 2020. The ranking focused on social mobility characteristics like graduation rates, earnings, and student loan repayment.

Higher education provides opportunities to transform students’ lives. When we come to campus, we bring our identities, our families, our communities, and our backgrounds,” said Nina Chuang, ’23 Nutrition and Food Science, president and CEO of Associated Students at SJSU.

“Students today face barriers to their education such as high costs of living, housing insecurity, and decreased access to basic necessities. It’s vital that the price of our education is affordable for everyone to be able to succeed in and out of the classroom. To continue our legacy of service and transformative change, we must actively decrease barriers and costs of education to lead the charge of uplifting students and the next generation.”

*The CSU annual fee report compared the 23-campus system to the University of Connecticut; Rutgers University; Wayne State University; Illinois State University; George Mason University; University of Maryland, Baltimore County; University of Colorado at Denver; Arizona State University at Tempe; University of Texas at Arlington; State University of New York at Albany; Cleveland State University; Georgia State University in Atlanta; University of Wisconsin, Madison; North Carolina State University and University of Nevada, Reno.

Learn more about SJSU financial aid and scholarship services.