Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

Palomar College tuition is $1,288 per year for in-state residents. This is 63% cheaper than the national average public two year tuition of $3,443. The cost is 67% cheaper than the average California tuition of $3,929 for 2 year colleges. Tuition ranks 93rd in California amongst 2 year colleges for affordability and is the 44th most expensive 2 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $7,028 which represents a 446% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $50 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $1,338.

Housing Costs

Palomar College doesn't offer on campus housing. If you're not living with family you will need to budget for food and housing in the San Marcos area just like you would for a college with dorms. The estimated rent and meal expense per academic year for off campus housing is $12,826.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,764.

Other Living Expenses

Off-campus students should budget for $2,668 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state California residents to go to Palomar College is $18,596 for the 2015/2016 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have California residence can expect a one year cost of $24,336. Students residing at home with parents providing food and housing should budget a total cost of $5,626.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 IPEDS survey response for Palomar College and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for Palomar College
Estimated Budgets
California Resident Total Budget (Living Off Campus)$18,596
   In-State Tuition$1,288
   Other Fees$50
   Off-Campus Housing Budget$12,826
   Off-Campus Other Budget$2,668
   Books and Supplies$1,764
California Resident Total Budget (Living with Parents)$5,626
   In-State Tuition$1,288
   Other Fees$50
   Family Provided Room and Board$0
   With-Family Other Living Budget$2,524
   Books and Supplies$1,764


What it Really Costs

Depending on many factors including student and parent income and assets, the total cost of attendance may be less than the $18,596 published price if scholarship or grant aid is made available to you.

Net Price

The net out-of-pocket total cost you end up paying or financing though student loans is known as the net price. The reported Palomar College net price for in-state students is $5,110* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

59% of Palomar College students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $4,313. 37 percent of students received aid in the form of Pell Grants from the U.S. Federal Government. The average Pell Grant awarded for 2014/2015 was $4,478. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend Palomar College, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for Palomar College
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$5,110*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid59%
Average Total Grant Aid$4,313
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants37%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,478

Average Net Price for In-State Students by Family Income

The average net total cost of attendance for different levels of family income after federal, state or local government, institutional grant and scholarship aid are awarded. Data last published for the 2014/2015 academic year.

Family Income Avg. Net Price
$0 to $30,000$3,038
$30,001 to $48,000$3,925
$48,001 to $75,000$5,737
$75,001 to $110,000$7,321

Average Financial Aid Mix - $18,596 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $18,596. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 27% - $4,313

Money granted to you by the U.S. Department of Education, Palomar College or other organizations. These are not loans and do not need to be repaid.

Federal Loans

 19% - $2,990

Low interest student loans funded by the U.S. Department of Education. This amount will need to be repaid.

Out of Pocket

 54% -  $8,625

Covered by family savings, work or private student loans which you will have to repay.

*Reported Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's Academic Year 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Note that for colleges with no reported on-campus room and board, the average net price has been increased to account for living expenses. This number may not only reflect the net price paid to the school for tuition.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Community Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. Palomar College
MiraCosta College14.3% less expensive
San Diego Miramar College14.3% less expensive
San Diego Mesa College14.3% less expensive
Grossmont College3.6% more expensive
San Diego City College14.3% less expensive

Cost of a Degree

Being a school offering two year programs, prospective students should consider the multi year outlay when budgeting the cost for two years at Palomar College.

Estimated 2 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 2 year associate degree at Palomar College is $37,192 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 2 year cost is a straight multiple of the most recent reported annual total cost and does not factor in tuition increases during the time you're in school. It also assumes you receive no grant or scholarship aid and pay the full list price.

A potentially more accurate but less conservative estimate of a degree cost can be made by using the school's annual $7,014 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 2 would estimate the cost of a degree at $14,028**

**Based on a 2 year multiple of Average Annual Net Price for in state students receiving grant or scholarship aid reported to the U.S. Department of Education's 2014-2015 IPEDS Survey. Financial aid is only available to those who qualify. Consult this school's net price calculator for further understanding of your potential net price.

Other Costs

Estimated Cost Per Semester

Most colleges don't charge students on an annual basis but instead require payment semester by semester. If you ever need to take an additional semester of classes to complete you degree you shouldn't have to pay for a full academic year. These our estimated costs for a semester at Palomar College.

California Resident Tuition Per Semester$644
California Resident Total Cost Per Semester$9,298
Non-California Resident Tuition Per Semester$3,514
Non-California Resident Total Cost Per Semester$12,168

Cost Per Credit Hour and Cost for a Class

Some schools offer the ability to take single classes by paying on a per credit hour basis. The reported price per credit hour and estimated cost for one class at Palomar College are as follows. Per credit costs are for reference only as many schools will not allow students to pay by credit hour.

Cost per credit hour and per class at Palomar College
Price per credit hour for California residents$36
Cost for one class for California residents (3 credit hours)$108
Price per credit hour for out of state residents$180
Cost for one class for out of state residents (3 credit hours)$540
Cost for one class for out of state residents (4 credit hours)$720


Student Loans and Debt

The second consideration after understanding the cost of college is determining how to finance it. Some students are fortunate enough to have some form of family financial assistance, but student loans end up financing a significant portion of higher education in the U.S. 2% of Palomar College students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $2,990.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for Palomar College? Obviously this varies based on a number of factors - offsetting financial aid you receive, percentage of fee you pay upfront while enrolled and the interest rate on your loans. We've modeled a sample student loan based on current Stafford loan rates to give you an approximate idea.

The following are the costs for a loan if you borrowed $14,028, 100% of the estimated average net price for a two year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $17,405.53. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at Palomar College. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 59% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $7,014. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our Palomar College student loan calculator below to change loan assumptions and recalculate.

Student loans are not free money and must be repaid. You cannot dismiss student loans by via bankruptcy.

Palomar College Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$145.05
Amount Borrowed$14,028.00
Interest Rate4.4%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$3,377.53
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$17,405.53

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend Palomar College? In the end, the answer comes down a determination if you will earn enough to comfortably pay back a student loan with your post graduation salary. This is an extremely important point to consider. In order to afford student loan payments and still meet all your other costs of living, it is recommended not to borrow more than you can pay back using 10% of your monthly income earned after graduation. If you're considering attending Palomar College, you need to carefully consider if it will be realistic to make the post graduation loan payments based on your expected salary.

Using the 10% of salary threshold, an annual income of $17,405.53 would be needed to afford a $145.05 monthly payment in the example $14,028.00 loan modeled above. You will need to determine if it is at all realistic that you will be earning this type of salary after graduation. This assumes a loan payback over 10 years. You can change the terms of this example loan using the student loan calculator below.

Estimated Future Cost and Expected Tuition Increase

What will it cost to send your child to Palomar College in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $1,008 to $1,288. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 5.6%. Nationally, university tuition prices are rising around 5% per year. Looking out five, ten, fifteen or eighteen years, these are CollegeCalc's estimates how much you could expect to pay for a 2 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 2 year cost of $37,192.00. Use the college savings plan calculator below to perform a more comprehensive analysis on future costs and how much you will need to save for Palomar College.

Annual2 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2023$24,327$48,654
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2028$31,048$62,096
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2033 $39,626$79,252
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2036 $45,872$91,745

Tuition History

What was tuition at Palomar College five, ten, fifteen or twenty years ago? Hop into our time machine and take a look. Pay attention to how aggressive the school has been with price increases in the past as it provides indication as to how the school may raise tuition in the next few years. Historical tuition and fees for all available data years back to 1987 follows.

YearIn-StateOut-of-stateAnnual Increase
2012$1,008$5,184 30.6%
2011$772$5,180 -6.5%
2010$826$5,374 36.5%
2009$605$5,617 0.8%
2008$600$5,164 -16.6%
2007$719$4,403 -5.9%
2006$764$4,992 0%
2005$764$4,656 42%
2004$538$4,430 43.1%
2003$376$4,384 0%
2002$376$4,384 3.3%
2001$364$4,264 3.4%
2000$352$3,652 -7.9%
1999$382$3,952 -5%
1998$402$3,552 4.7%
1997$384$2,880 11.3%
1996$345$3,081 150%
1993$138$2,461 0%
1992$138$2,461 20%
1991$115$2,423 0%

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at Palomar College to the national average for all other colleges offering the same major. Use this comparison to determine particular programs where this school offers value relative to other colleges.

Area of Study Graduates vs National Avg
Social Sciences, General Associate's Degree 484 25% costlier
Humanities/Humanistic Studies Associate's Degree 363 17% costlier
Biological and Physical Sciences Associate's Degree 227 20% costlier
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Associate's Degree 201 15% costlier
Fire Prevention and Safety Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 65 28% costlier
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Associate's Degree 54 25% costlier
Business/Commerce, General Associate's Degree 43 16% costlier
Accounting Technology/Technician and Bookkeeping Associate's Degree 30 28% costlier
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General Associate's Degree 28 40% costlier
Business Administration and Management, General Associate's Degree 26 17% costlier
Child Care Provider/Assistant Associate's Degree 17 30% costlier
Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, General Associate's Degree 12 48% costlier
Criminal Justice/Police Science Associate's Degree 11 32% costlier
Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 11 35% costlier
Mathematics, General Associate's Degree 10 35% costlier
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) Associate's Degree 9 40% costlier
Medical/Clinical Assistant Associate's Degree 9 20% costlier
LEGAL PROFESSIONS AND STUDIES Associate's Degree 8 17% costlier
Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design Associate's Degree 6 36% costlier
Sign Language Interpretation and Translation Associate's Degree 6 31% costlier
Dance, General Associate's Degree 6 19% costlier
Cabinetmaking and Millwork Associate's Degree 6 54% costlier
Library and Archives Assisting Associate's Degree 5 47% costlier
Computer Graphics Associate's Degree 5 13% costlier
Welding Technology/Welder Associate's Degree 5 40% costlier
Homeland Security Associate's Degree 5 52% costlier
Fashion/Apparel Design Associate's Degree 5 3% cheaper
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling Associate's Degree 5 34% costlier
Dental Assisting/Assistant Associate's Degree 5 26% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Associate's Degree 4 35% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Associate's Degree 4 32% costlier
Music, General Associate's Degree 4 33% costlier
Education/Teaching of Individuals in Early Childhood Special Education Programs Associate's Degree 4 25% costlier
Photographic and Film/Video Technology/Technician and Assistant Associate's Degree 4 13% costlier
French Language and Literature Associate's Degree 4 14% costlier
Aviation/Airway Management and Operations Associate's Degree 4 18% costlier
Commercial and Advertising Art Associate's Degree 3 22% costlier
Apparel and Textile Marketing Management Associate's Degree 3 12% costlier
Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production Associate's Degree 3 40% costlier
Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD Associate's Degree 3 24% costlier
Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications Associate's Degree 3 22% costlier
Film/Cinema/Video Studies Associate's Degree 3 14% costlier
Education, General Associate's Degree 3 35% costlier
Information Technology Associate's Degree 2 29% costlier
Public Administration Associate's Degree 2 20% costlier
Interior Design Associate's Degree 2 16% costlier
Journalism Associate's Degree 2 33% costlier
Advertising Associate's Degree 2 5% cheaper
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies Associate's Degree 2 39% costlier
Graphic Design Associate's Degree 2 7% costlier
Radio and Television Associate's Degree 2 26% costlier
Economics, General Associate's Degree 2 18% costlier
Forensic Science and Technology Associate's Degree 2 37% costlier
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects Associate's Degree 2 25% costlier
Pre-Engineering Associate's Degree 1 32% costlier
Computer Installation and Repair Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 1 25% costlier
Administrative Assistant and Secretarial Science, General Associate's Degree 1 36% costlier
Women's Studies Associate's Degree 1 23% costlier
Child Care and Support Services Management Associate's Degree 1 41% costlier
Design and Visual Communications, General Associate's Degree 1 7% costlier
Diesel Mechanics Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 1 40% costlier
Real Estate Associate's Degree 1 29% costlier
Archeology Associate's Degree 1 31% costlier
Psychology, General Associate's Degree 1 32% costlier
Culinary Arts and Related Services Associate's Degree 1 22% costlier
Geography, Other Associate's Degree 1 16% costlier
Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot and Flight Crew Associate's Degree 1 23% costlier
Building/Home/Construction Inspection/Inspector Associate's Degree 1 26% costlier
Family and Community Services Associate's Degree 1 44% costlier
Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician Associate's Degree 1 39% costlier
International Business/Trade/Commerce Associate's Degree 1 8% costlier
Speech Communication and Rhetoric Associate's Degree 1 23% costlier
Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design Associate's Degree 1 13% costlier
Sheet Metal Technology/Sheetworking Associate's Degree 1 73% costlier
Electrician Associate's Degree 1 41% costlier
E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce Associate's Degree 1 23% costlier
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences, General Associate's Degree 1 24% costlier


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for Palomar College or model a student loan.

College Savings Calculator

Plan and Save for College

Discover how much will you need to start saving now to afford Palomar College in the future.

Student Loan Calculator

Estimate Loan Payments

Modify the loan assumptions to fit your financial situation and likely tuition price. Then calculate your payoff and loan payments for a Palomar College student loan.

Prepayment Option

About Palomar College

Palomar College is a two year community college located in San Marcos, California.  Full time enrollment is 7,318 and part time is 16,605.  Palomar College has an open admission policy meaning that any prospective student who has completed high school or attained a GED certificate may enroll in classes.

Only undergraduate degrees are offered at this school.

Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, California

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

Palomar College is a public not for profit institution. Public schools often represent the best value for your education dollar, especially when students qualify for in-state tuition.

Palomar College cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=120971 IPEDS survey data.