Cheap Universities in California

7 Cheapest Universities in the State of California

California Scholarships

As one of the largest states in the country, California boasts of its large population that is filled with countless opportunities. To attract young students nation-wide and around the world, California has established many institutions that offer one of the cheapest attendance rates for prospective applicants. In addition, there are several institutions that offer great financial aid such as full-ride scholarships or full-tuition awards. The last four universities were listed as a challenge for high achievers, and if you really want to attend an institution at a low cost, you should definitely apply for a full-ride scholarship that can cover the entirety of your college career.

Name of InstitutionCost of AttendanceAvailable Scholarships / Financial Aid
1. Brandman University$7,000 per yearSmall-Value Scholarships / Need-Based Aid
2. California State University$25,000 per yearMedium-Value Scholarships / Need-Based Grants
3. Humboldt State University$25,000 per yearMedium-Value Merit-Based Awards / Need-Based Aid
4. University of California Berkeley$42,000 per yearFull-Ride Scholarships / Need-Based Assistance
5. Claremont McKenna College$77,000 per yearFull-Tuition Scholarships / Need-Based Grants
6. University of Southern California$78,000 per yearFull-Tuition Scholarships / Need-Based Awards
7. Harvey Mudd College$80,000 per yearFull-Tuition Scholarships / Need-Based Aid

1. Brandman University

By introducing a new avenue for higher education, Brandman University has effectively lowered the cost of attendance while increasing the flexibility of your education. As one of the cheapest colleges in California, Brandman University offers its education through quality online programs, and that is the key reason why this institution charges a low cost of attendance. By offering online education, you can be flexible in your time table, and you don’t have to attend the university in person to receive this great benefit. Just pay for the education itself, and you don’t have to pay for other charges that might incur by attending the institution in person. To effectively lower the financial burden of its students, Brandman University also offers small-value scholarships and need-based aid through its Office of Financial Aid.

For Brandman’s Office of Financial Aid, Click Here.


2. California State University

There is a big gap between Brandman and California State University since CSU doesn’t offer its education online. Instead, you have to attend this university in order to receive the benefits of your college education. Since California State University is a public institution, CSU is a state-wide education system that is composed of 23 campuses. That means you have 23 different campuses to choose from, and the cost of attendance of each campus varies by its location. Among the universities in California, CSU is one of the cheapest universities in California since 23 campuses charge relatively similar educational rates. If you are interested in attending CSU, make sure to choose your campus and figure out the financial aid that might apply during your college career.

For CSU Office of Financial Aid, Click Here.


3. Humboldt State University

One of the HSU key advantages is its location. Situated near a coastline, students of Humboldt enjoy the marine life of the Pacific while also being in the thriving grounds of national parks and wildlife. At Humboldt State, you have a unique mix of academic programs, natural sceneries, and extracurricular activities. Students of HSU enjoy many opportunities to learn their career through hands-on experiences, and particularly through class projects and extensive research. To top it off, you can choose from hundreds of different group activities, clubs, and organizations to join, and many fond memories and friendships are created through the years. As one of the cheapest universities in California State, Humboldt State offers additional financial aid through merit scholarships and need-based aid.

For HSU Office of Financial Aid, Click Here.


4. University of California Berkeley

Established in 1868, Berkeley rose out of the ashes of California Gold Rush. After the gold miners had their fill, many people who moved out to California settled down and made California State their home. To provide higher education to Californian Residents, University of California Berkeley was created to raise the standard of a college education. Being one of the top universities in the States, Berkeley is known for its excellence in education by the quality of its graduates. Offering nearly 200 academic programs, the University of California Berkeley boasts of its low student to faculty ratio and also the quality of its faculty. Even though the cost of attendance is doubled compared to the previous institution, UCB offers full-ride scholarships to match their high education rate.

For Berkeley’s Full-Ride Scholarships, Click Here.

For a Detailed Post Concerning UC Berkeley, Click Here.


5. Claremont McKenna College

Starting from Claremont McKenna College, the cost of attendance is way too high for this institution to be among the cheapest universities in California State. As I have previously mentioned in the introduction, these universities are listed for high achievers. Since there were limited colleges that offered a low cost of attendance, I had to include several top universities that offer a high cost of attendance and a high amount of financial aid to go along with it. All of the listed universities either have a low cost of attendance or a full-ride / full-tuition scholarship to go along with their high cost. If you do receive a full-ride / full-tuition scholarship through your own merit, your cost of attendance will drop to be around $10,000 per year including room & board and mandatory fees. For some universities, it can be even lower than $10,000 per year, so be sure to take advantage of this fact during your application process.

For Claremont McKenna College’s Full-Tuition Scholarships, Click Here.


6. University of Southern California

As a private research university in California State, USC is one of the world’s leading institutions in innovative research and technological advancements. Anchored in Los Angeles, California, CSC provides great research and internship opportunities for its students, and sometimes, graduates of Southern California collaborate with leading researchers of their field. Even though there are many downsides to the high cost of attendance, many benefits also come in by its huge budget. Due to its huge spending, USC is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities that are filled with cutting-edge technology. Also, it can afford to spend millions of dollars on extensive projects that might benefit the community for decades! If you are interested in becoming a part of this workforce, be sure to read over the details of USC Full-Tuition Scholarships.

For USC Full-Tuition Scholarships, Click Here.


7. Harvey Mudd College

Last but not least, Harvey Mudd College is the last institution among our list of cheapest colleges in California State. To say the least, HMC is not cheap but rather expensive to attend since its cost of attendance reaches $80,000 per year. However, HMC offers top-tier education for its students since Harvey Mudd College is a leading institution in engineering, science, and mathematics. As a liberal arts college, HMC doesn’t allow its students to be ignorant of other subjects since students of Harvey Mudd also attend courses in social sciences and humanities. Even though many HMC students are engineering, science, and math majors, you need other courses to liven up your day! If you are interested in attending Harvey Mudd College, be sure to visit its full-tuition scholarship in the link down below.

For Harvey Mudd College’s Full-Tuition Scholarship, Click Here.