Friday, August 17, 2018

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Ahmed Abdi and Kee Moon, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering. Ahmed Abdi and Kee Moon, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering.

SDSU Among Most Affordable Colleges in the Nation

SDSU was selected as one of the top 50 most affordable colleges, providing its graduates with a high-value education.
By Natalia Van Stralen

San Diego State University is among the nation's highest ranked universities in terms of affordability and return on investment (ROI), according to

A total of 875 colleges were analyzed to determine the top 50 schools whose 30-year net ROI were the highest. SDSU ranked No. 43 on the list.

The university, which provides opportunities for transformative experiences both in and out of the classroom, including undergraduate research, internships, study abroad and hundreds of student organizations, had an estimated return on investment of $248,900.

“This comparison of 875 colleges and universities provides further evidence of the exceptional quality of our academic and co-curricular programs,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.

“We are extremely pleased to see that our students’ experiences and the strength of the Aztec alumni network are helping our alumni attain great professional success.”

SDSU is a major public research institution offering bachelor's degrees in 89 areas, master's degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 21 areas.

Of SDSU’s 34,000 students, undergraduates will pay an average of $6,766 in tuition and fees in 2013-2014. The web site estimates the average starting salary for SDSU graduates is $43,000.

A life investment

“This is an important list for prospective students to consider,” said Dan Schuessler, founder of

“Many students don't have the financial means or are not comfortable taking on mounds of debt to attend an expensive college. The colleges ranked here are affordable, yet still provide students a solid return on their tuition investment.”

For consideration as an affordable college that provides high ROI for its students, universities had to first meet the following criteria:

  • a four-year U.S. institution with a total four-year tuition of less than $40,000
  • either public or private
  • non-profit
  • fully accredited calculated ROI by subtracting a student’s cost, or investment, in college from the return of incremental salary expected from earning a degree at a specific college.

SDSU has also been ranked in the top 75 high-value universities as part of Kiplinger's “Best Values in Public Colleges.” Kiplinger recognized SDSU for its academic excellence, high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, abundant financial aid and overall great value.

More information

“Affordable Colleges With High ROI” was released online on Monday, May 13, by The complete rankings are available online.