Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

San Diego State University tuition is $5,742 per year for in-state residents. This is 20% cheaper than the national average public four year tuition of $7,203. The cost is 76% cheaper than the average California tuition of $23,930 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 15th in California amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 130th most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $17,622 which represents a 207% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $1,746 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $7,488.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $16,892 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in San Diego should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,915.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $3,023 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $3,463 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state California residents to go to San Diego State is $29,318 for the 2018/2019 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have California residence can expect a one year cost of $41,198.

Citation: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education's 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 IPEDS survey response for San Diego State University and represent reported costs for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 academic years.

Costs and Tuition for San Diego State University
Estimated Budgets
California Resident Total Budget $29,318
   In-State Tuition$5,742
   Other Fees$1,746
   Room and Board$16,892
   On-Campus Other Budget$3,023
   Books and Supplies$1,915
Non-Resident Total Budget $41,198
   Out-of-State Tuition$17,622
   Other Fees$1,746
   Room and Board$16,892
   On-Campus Other Budget$3,023
   Books and Supplies$1,915


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 $29,318 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 San Diego State net price for in-state students is $13,363* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

44% of San Diego State University students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $7,549. 24 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 $4,682. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend San Diego State University, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for San Diego State University
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$13,363*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid44%
Average Total Grant Aid$7,549
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants24%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,682

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$8,182
$30,001 to $48,000$10,145
$48,001 to $75,000$14,311
$75,001 to $110,000$18,262

Average Financial Aid Mix - $29,318 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $29,318. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 29% - $7,549

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

Federal Loans

 20% - $5,219

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

Out of Pocket

 51% -  $13,527

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 Public Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. San Diego State University
University of California Riverside99.3% more expensive
University of California Santa Cruz99.3% more expensive

Cost of a Degree

When considering ability to pay for college, the annual cost is often discussed but it's the "all in" multi-year degree cost which matters in the end. Let's take a look at what it could really cost for four years at San Diego State University.

Estimated 4 Year Cost at Published Tuition

At the current published rates, an estimated total tuition, fees and living expense price for a 4 year bachelor's degree at San Diego State is $117,272 for students graduating in normal time. This methodology for estimating the 4 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 $8,527 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $34,108**

If you end up on the "five year plan" and need an additional year to graduate, your five year cost could be as high as $146,590 or $42,635 using an average net price.

**Based on a 4 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 San Diego State University.

California Resident Tuition Per Semester$2,871
California Resident Total Cost Per Semester$14,659
Non-California Resident Tuition Per Semester$8,811
Non-California Resident Total Cost Per Semester$20,599

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. 31% of San Diego State University students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $5,219. The reported average student debt upon graduation is $18,100.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for San Diego State University? 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 $34,108, 100% of the estimated average net price for a four year program and paid nothing while enrolled. The total of all payments including interest would sum $42,320.21. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at San Diego State University. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 44% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $8,527. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our San Diego State University 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.

San Diego State University Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$352.67
Amount Borrowed$34,108.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$8,212.21
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$42,320.21

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend San Diego State? 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 San Diego State University, 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 $42,320.21 would be needed to afford a $352.67 monthly payment in the example $34,108.00 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 San Diego State University in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $5,472 to $5,742. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 1%. 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 4 year degree assuming tuition increases at the national average rate. Estimated future prices are based on the current in-state 4 year cost of $117,272.00. 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 San Diego State University.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2025$40,319$161,276
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2030$51,459$205,834
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2035 $65,676$262,702
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2038 $76,028$304,111

Tuition History

What was tuition at San Diego State 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$5,472$16,632 0%
2010$4,902$16,062 30.6%
2009$3,754$13,924 9.5%
2008$3,428$13,598 8.5%
2007$3,160$13,330 1.2%
2006$3,122$13,292 6.3%
2005$2,936$13,106 18%
2004$2,488$10,638 33%
2003$1,870$9,822 5.3%
2002$1,776$8,590 0%
2001$1,776$8,492 0%
2000$1,776$9,606 -0.4%
1999$1,784$9,164 -7.7%
1998$1,932$9,312 -0.2%
1997$1,935$9,315 2.3%
1996$1,891$9,271 2.1%
1995$1,853$9,233 10.7%
1994$1,674$9,054 11.6%
1993$1,500$7,572 60.3%
1992$936$5,904 -2.7%
1991$962$6,150 13.7%
1990$846$5,670 5.5%
1989$802$4,680 11.7%
1988$718$4,352 8.6%

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at San Diego State University 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
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General Bachelor's Degree 318 14% costlier
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse Bachelor's Degree 200 15% costlier
International Business/Trade/Commerce Bachelor's Degree 186 0% cheaper
Hospitality Administration/Management, General Bachelor's Degree 115 14% costlier
Civil Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 93 3% cheaper
Speech Communication and Rhetoric Bachelor's Degree 92 4% costlier
Dietetics/Dietitian Bachelor's Degree 89 13% costlier
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 75 3% cheaper
Social Work Bachelor's Degree 65 14% costlier
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 62 2% cheaper
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 47 2% cheaper
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 34 4% cheaper
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 34 2% cheaper
Geography Bachelor's Degree 31 11% costlier
Computer Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 28 3% cheaper
Music Performance, General Bachelor's Degree 28 3% costlier
Construction Engineering Technology/Technician Bachelor's Degree 25 22% costlier
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering Bachelor's Degree 25 9% cheaper
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 20 1% cheaper
Statistics, General Bachelor's Degree 18 8% cheaper
Microbiology, General Bachelor's Degree 15 4% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 14 2% costlier
Humanities/Humanistic Studies Bachelor's Degree 14 4% cheaper
Women's Studies Bachelor's Degree 13 13% cheaper
Music Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 13 9% costlier
Comparative Literature Bachelor's Degree 13 26% cheaper
Urban Studies/Affairs Bachelor's Degree 10 12% cheaper
Art/Art Studies, General Bachelor's Degree 10 5% costlier
International Relations and National Security Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 10 11% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 9 3% costlier
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 9 1% cheaper
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 9 8% cheaper
International Relations and Affairs Bachelor's Degree 9 12% cheaper
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies Bachelor's Degree 6 21% costlier
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 6 11% cheaper
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 5 0% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 5 2% costlier
Business Administration and Management, General Bachelor's Degree 4 19% costlier
European Studies/Civilization Bachelor's Degree 4 25% cheaper
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 4 9% cheaper
Trade and Industrial Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 3 32% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 3 13% cheaper
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 3 22% cheaper
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 3 9% cheaper
History, General Bachelor's Degree 3 1% costlier
Rhetoric and Composition Bachelor's Degree 3 10% costlier
Hispanic-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American/Chicano Studies Bachelor's Degree 3 15% cheaper
Public Administration Bachelor's Degree 2 21% costlier
Early Childhood Education and Teaching Bachelor's Degree 2 19% costlier
Atomic/Molecular Physics Bachelor's Degree 2 8% cheaper
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 3% costlier
Japanese Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 2 22% cheaper
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 2 0% costlier
Health Professions Bachelor's Degree 2 8% costlier
Asian Studies/Civilization Bachelor's Degree 1 21% cheaper
Radio and Television Bachelor's Degree 1 7% costlier
Physical Sciences Bachelor's Degree 1 2% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 1 3% cheaper
Social Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 1 7% costlier
Latin American Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 22% cheaper
Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 1 17% cheaper
American Indian/Native American Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 11% costlier
Communication Sciences and Disorders, General Bachelor's Degree 1 14% costlier
Journalism Bachelor's Degree 1 7% costlier
Dance, General Bachelor's Degree 1 9% cheaper
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 1 1% cheaper
African-American/Black Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 13% cheaper
Gerontology Bachelor's Degree 1 16% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 6% cheaper
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 19% costlier
German Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 13% cheaper


Use the calculators below to formulate a college savings plan for San Diego State University 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 San Diego State University 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 San Diego State University student loan.

Prepayment Option

About San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a four year public college located in San Diego, California.  Full time enrollment is 30,451 and part time is 4,852. Learn more about getting accepted at San Diego State University at CollegeSimply.

Students attending this school may pursue both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, California

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

San Diego State University 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.

San Diego State University cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=122409 IPEDS survey data.