Annual Costs

Undergraduate Tuition

University of California San Diego tuition is $11,502 per year for in-state residents. This is 63% more expensive than the national average public four year tuition of $7,056. The cost is 51% cheaper than the average California tuition of $23,377 for 4 year colleges. Tuition ranks 48th in California amongst 4 year colleges for affordability and is the 97th most expensive 4 year college in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition is $39,516 which represents a 244% premium.

The school charges an additional fees of $2,516 in addition to tuition bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $14,018.

Housing Costs

On campus room and board is provided by the school at a cost of $13,115 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in La Jolla should budget at least this amount.

Books and Supplies

The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,198.

Other Living Expenses

If living on-campus, students should budget for $3,832 in additional living expenses. Off-campus students should budget for $4,521 in other miscellaneous living expenses.

Total Costs

The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state California residents to go to UCSD is $32,163 for the 2017/2018 academic year. Out-of-state students who don't have California residence can expect a one year cost of $60,177.

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

Costs and Tuition for University of California San Diego
Estimated Budgets
California Resident Total Budget $32,163
   In-State Tuition$11,502
   Other Fees$2,516
   Room and Board$13,115
   On-Campus Other Budget$3,832
   Books and Supplies$1,198
Non-Resident Total Budget $60,177
   Out-of-State Tuition$39,516
   Other Fees$2,516
   Room and Board$13,115
   On-Campus Other Budget$3,832
   Books and Supplies$1,198


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 $32,163 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 UCSD net price for in-state students is $13,693* for the 2014/2015 academic year. This net price includes housing and meal expenses.

Pell Grants and other Grant Aid

56% of University of California San Diego students received grant aid in 2014/2015. The average total aid amount was $17,034. 32 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 $4,626. To apply for a Pell Grant to attend University of California San Diego, the first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Net Price and Financial Aid for University of California San Diego
Financial Aid Summary
Average Annual Net Price$13,693*
Percent of Students Receiving Grant Aid56%
Average Total Grant Aid$17,034
Percent of Students Receiving Pell Grants32%
Average Amount of Pell Grant Aid$4,626

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$8,362
$30,001 to $48,000$9,832
$48,001 to $75,000$12,831
$75,001 to $110,000$20,286

Average Financial Aid Mix - $32,163 In-State Total Cost

CollegeCalc has estimated typical coverage of the annual in-state tuition and living expenses of $32,163. Breakdown is based on average grant aid and federal loan aid which will vary based on your family income.


Grants and Scholarships

 60% - $17,034

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

Federal Loans

 17% - $4,750

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

Out of Pocket

 23% -  $6,547

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.

Is it Worth the Cost?

To make a comparative assessment if UCSD is worth the price, measures of it's relative value for tuition dollar can be examined. We've calculated an academic national percentile rating of 94/100 for University of California San Diego. Considering an average net price paid of $12,621, this leads to an overall value ranking of 85/100. This places the school 10th on our national Best Value Colleges ranking as a provider of a very high value education compared to actual overall price paid.

Tuition Comparison to Similar Public Colleges in the Region

School Cost vs. University of California San Diego
University of California Irvine0% less expensive
University of California Los Angeles0% less expensive
University of California Santa Barbara0% less expensive
California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo50.1% less expensive
University of California Berkeley0% less 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 University of California San Diego.

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 UCSD is $128,652 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 $12,621 in-state net price as the basis. Applying this cost over 4 would estimate the cost of a degree at $50,484**

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 $160,815 or $63,105 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

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. 40% of University of California San Diego students receive U.S. Federal Student Loans with an average annual Federal Loan aid amount of $4,750.

Example Loan Payments and Costs

How much are student loan payments for University of California San Diego? 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 $50,484, 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 $62,639.07. This could be your effective total out of pocket cost of an education at University of California San Diego. Note that this calculation assumes you don't pay full list price tuition, are part of the reported 56% of students at this school who receive financial aid and you are paying an average annual net price of $12,621. If you do not financially qualify for a reduced net price, your student loan payments could be significantly higher than this example. Use our University of California San Diego 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.

University of California San Diego Student Loan Payments
Example Payments
Monthly Loan Payment$521.99
Amount Borrowed$50,484.00
Interest Rate4.5%
Term10 years
Number of Monthly Payments120
Total Interest Cost$12,155.07
Sum of All Payments over 10 years$62,639.07

Affording Student Loan Payments and Post Graduation Salary

Can I afford to attend UCSD? 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 University of California San Diego, 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 $62,639.07 would be needed to afford a $521.99 monthly payment in the example $50,484.00 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 University of California San Diego in the future? In the past four years, this school's published in-state tuition and fee total rose from $11,220 to $11,502. This amounts to an average annual price increase of 0.5%. 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 $128,652.00. 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 University of California San Diego.

Annual4 Year Degree
Estimated Cost in 5 years for students enrolling in 2024$44,232$176,927
Estimated Cost in 10 years for students enrolling in 2029$56,452$225,808
Estimated Cost in 15 years for students enrolling in 2034 $72,049$288,195
Estimated Cost in 18 years for students enrolling in 2037 $83,405$333,621

Tuition History

What was tuition at UCSD 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$11,220$34,098 19.3%
2011$9,402$32,281 6.9%
2010$8,792$31,461 9.1%
2009$8,062$28,673 8.1%
2008$7,456$27,076 11.5%
2007$6,688$25,372 0%
2006$6,685$24,505 -2.4%
2005$6,851$23,807 12.2%
2004$6,105$20,315 35.9%
2003$4,493$16,872 3.2%
2002$4,355$15,429 13.2%
2001$3,848$14,462 -4.4%
2000$4,027$13,411 0.5%
1999$4,008$13,392 -4.5%
1998$4,198$13,183 -13.2%
1997$4,836$12,534 15.2%
1996$4,198$11,899 -1.6%
1995$4,266$11,967 17%
1994$3,645$11,346 48%
1993$2,463$10,164 1.7%
1992$2,422$10,120 39.7%
1991$1,734$7,650 5.8%
1990$1,639$7,438 1.5%
1989$1,614$6,120 3.9%
1988$1,554$5,632 9.3%

Comparable Cost for Popular Majors

We've compared the out of state cost of the most popular undergraduate areas of study at University of California San Diego 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
Mechanical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 161 42% costlier
Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 140 18% costlier
Structural Engineering Bachelor's Degree 105 36% costlier
Electrical and Electronics Engineering Bachelor's Degree 99 43% costlier
Chemical Engineering Bachelor's Degree 66 31% costlier
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering Bachelor's Degree 64 32% costlier
Molecular Biology Bachelor's Degree 55 24% costlier
Ecology, Evolution, Systematics and Population Biology, Other Bachelor's Degree 40 32% costlier
American Government and Politics (United States) Bachelor's Degree 34 66% costlier
Music, General Bachelor's Degree 32 46% costlier
English Language and Literature, General Bachelor's Degree 29 50% costlier
Microbiology, General Bachelor's Degree 28 53% costlier
Psychology, General Bachelor's Degree 22 49% costlier
Animal Physiology Bachelor's Degree 19 30% costlier
History, General Bachelor's Degree 17 47% costlier
Economics, General Bachelor's Degree 14 34% costlier
Computer Engineering, General Bachelor's Degree 13 42% costlier
Political Science and Government, Other Bachelor's Degree 13 30% costlier
Bioinformatics Bachelor's Degree 11 46% costlier
Communication, General Bachelor's Degree 10 55% costlier
Mathematics Teacher Education Bachelor's Degree 10 70% costlier
Political Science and Government, General Bachelor's Degree 10 45% costlier
Spanish Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 9 40% costlier
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 9 22% costlier
Sociology Bachelor's Degree 9 46% costlier
Anthropology Bachelor's Degree 8 33% costlier
International/Global Studies Bachelor's Degree 8 37% costlier
Urban Studies/Affairs Bachelor's Degree 8 29% costlier
Geology/Earth Science, General Bachelor's Degree 8 45% costlier
Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering Bachelor's Degree 7 27% costlier
Chinese Studies Bachelor's Degree 7 15% costlier
Area Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 7 19% costlier
Mathematics and Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 6 25% costlier
Management Science Bachelor's Degree 5 45% costlier
Physical Sciences, Other Bachelor's Degree 5 40% costlier
Dance, General Bachelor's Degree 5 33% costlier
Visual and Performing Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 5 48% costlier
Engineering Science Bachelor's Degree 5 26% costlier
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 5 42% costlier
Human Development and Family Studies, General Bachelor's Degree 4 62% costlier
English Language and Literature/Letters, Other Bachelor's Degree 4 29% costlier
Japanese Studies Bachelor's Degree 4 9% costlier
Italian Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 4 16% costlier
Environmental Studies Bachelor's Degree 3 23% costlier
Biophysics Bachelor's Degree 3 10% costlier
Chemistry, Other Bachelor's Degree 3 43% costlier
Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 3 21% costlier
Biochemistry Bachelor's Degree 3 29% costlier
Art History, Criticism and Conservation Bachelor's Degree 3 22% costlier
Cognitive Science Bachelor's Degree 3 12% costlier
Biology/Biological Sciences, General Bachelor's Degree 3 49% costlier
Philosophy Bachelor's Degree 2 33% costlier
Social Sciences, Other Bachelor's Degree 2 28% costlier
Physics, Other Bachelor's Degree 2 29% costlier
Anatomy Bachelor's Degree 2 7% costlier
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other Bachelor's Degree 2 44% costlier
Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 2 47% costlier
Religion/Religious Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 27% costlier
Latin American Studies Bachelor's Degree 2 13% costlier
Computer Science Bachelor's Degree 2 43% costlier
Applied Mathematics, General Bachelor's Degree 2 34% costlier
Neurobiology and Anatomy Bachelor's Degree 2 0% costlier
Mathematics, Other Bachelor's Degree 1 24% costlier
Engineering Physics/Applied Physics Bachelor's Degree 1 23% costlier
Chemistry, General Bachelor's Degree 1 44% costlier
Russian Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 7% costlier
Statistics, Other Bachelor's Degree 1 69% costlier
German Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 8% costlier
Fine/Studio Arts, General Bachelor's Degree 1 39% costlier
Geochemistry Bachelor's Degree 1 56% costlier
Physics, General Bachelor's Degree 1 37% costlier
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Bachelor's Degree 1 13% costlier
Chemical Physics Bachelor's Degree 1 3% costlier
Italian Studies Bachelor's Degree 1 4% cheaper
French Language and Literature Bachelor's Degree 1 30% costlier
Geophysics and Seismology Bachelor's Degree 1 24% costlier


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

Prepayment Option

About University of California San Diego

University of California San Diego is a four year public college located in La Jolla, California.  Full time enrollment is 33,821 and part time is 1,158.

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

University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr
La Jolla, California

For Profit / Not For Profit Status

University of California San Diego 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.

University of California San Diego cost and financial aid data source: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=110680 IPEDS survey data.