Measuring the Value of the CSU

Systemwide Information: The CSU's Value to Students

Here are some of the important ways in which the public's investment in the California State University system provides exceptional returns.

Affordable Costs
While the cost of a college education is a concern for most students and their families, the California State University provides a high-quality education that is far less than the cost of the national public university average, as evidenced below.

Sticker and "Net" Tuition & Fees*
Average tuition and fee "sticker" charged to public four-year full-time instate undergraduates in AY 2011-12 $7,897
Average tuition and fee "sticker" charged to private four-year (not-for-profit) full-time undergraduates in AY 2011-12 $27,252
CSU average tuition and fee "sticker" charged to all full-time undergraduates in AY 2011-12 $6,519
CSU average tuition and fee "net" paid by full-time undergraduates in AY 2011-12 $3,108
CSU "Net" percent of "Sticker" Tuition & Fees for full-time undergraduates in AY 2011-12 47%
Source: CSU Chancellor's Office, National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) IPEDS Data Center

*The "sticker" price is the university's average tuition and fees charged to full-time undergraduates; the "net" price is the amount actually paid, on average, by a CSU full-time undergraduate after grants and scholarships.

Access to All Students
The CSU is the nation's most diverse university system and the largest recipient of Pell awards in the country, with more than 146,000 undergraduate students receiving grants. The CSU's percentage of undergraduate Pell Grant recipients is 42 percent, compared to the national average of public four-year institutions of 36 percent.

Economic Diversity: Access & Completion
Undergraduate Pell Grant Recipients (Fall 2010)
CSU Undergraduates 349,188
CSU Undergraduate Pell Grant Recipients 146,302
CSU Pell Percentage of Undergraduates 42%
National Pell Percentage of Public Four-Year Undergraduates 36%
National Pell Percentage of Private Four-Year (Not-for-Profit) Undergraduates 35%
Bachelor's Degree Pell Grant Recipients (2011-12)
CSU Bachelor's Degrees 76,427
CSU Pell Grant Bachelor's Degree Recipients 37,403
CSU Pell Percentage of Bachelor's Degrees 49%
Source: CSU Chancellor's Office, National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)

BACHELOR'S DEGREE AWARDS 2011-12
By Racial and Ethnic Background CSU % of
State
African American / Black3,40246%
American Indian / Alaskan Native47041%
Asian12,18935%
Hispanic18,63757%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander62059%
White28,01843%
Two or More Races1,77174%
Race and Ethnicity Unknown8,45847%
Non-Resident Alien2,86244%
Total76,42745%

Lower Loan Debt
CSU students' loan debt upon graduation is significantly less than the national average, with only 36 percent of CSU students carrying a debt of less than $17,000 at graduation while the national average stands at 57 percent with an average debt of $30,000.

Loan Debt of Baccalaureate Recipients
Percent of 2010-11 Baccalaureate Recipients who Started as Freshmen and Assumed Loans
CSU Percentage 36%
State Percentage 51%
National Public Four-Year Percentage 57%
National Private Four-Year (Not-for-Profit) Percentage 65%
Average Loan Debt of 2010-11 Baccalaureate Recipients who Started as Freshmen and Assumed Loans
CSU Average $16,648
State Average $18,879
National Public Four-Year Average $29,059
National Private Four-Year (Not-for-Profit) Average $23,065
Loan Debt Default Rate
CSU Default Rate 5.1%
National Public Four-Year Default Rate 6%
National Private Four-Year (Not-for-Profit) Default Rate 5.2%
Source: CSU Chancellor's Office, National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), "The Project on Student Debt (.pdf)" of The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), U.S. Department of Education, and The Institute for College Access & Success, College InSight.

Higher Salaries

Salaries of Baccalaureate Recipients—PayScale (2012)
National average starting median salary of graduates from public universities $41,392
CSU graduates' median starting salary $43,630
National average mid-career median salary of graduates from public universities $70,407
CSU graduates' mid-career median salary $78,315
Source: "Top State Universities by Salary Potential", PayScale Inc.

Workforce Contributions
The CSU provides California's industries with highly-qualified, well-prepared college graduates. The CSU awards nearly half of all the bachelor's degrees awarded by all of the universities, public and private, in the state and nearly one-third of all the master's degrees.

DEGREES GRANTED 2011-12
Total Degree Awards CSU % of
State
Bachelor's 76,427 45%
Master's 19,517 28%
Doctoral 208 1%
Total 96,152 38%

BACHELOR'S DEGREE AWARDS IN HIGH DEMAND FIELDS
Field CSU % of
State
Hospitality and Tourism 612 95%
Agriculture 914 72%
Criminal Justice 2,587 70%
Nursing 2,575 53%
Public Administration 1,429 52%
Business and Professional Services 16,119 50%
Engineering 4,331 47%
Media/Culture/Design 8,691 41%
Life Science 8,224 39%
Information Technology 1,284 28%

REGULAR AND INTERNSHIP CREDENTIALS 2010-11
  CSU % of
State
First-Time/New Type Credentials Issued, Single Subject 3,093 46%
First-Time/New Type Credentials Issued, Multiple Subject 3,538 54%
First-Time/New Type Credentials Issued, Educ. Specialist 2,010 45%
Source: CSU Chancellor's Office, National Center for Educational Statistics(NCES), and Commission on Teacher Credentialing (.pdf)