SDSU places fourth in tuition A-list

Pat Bowden Reporter

In a recent national A-List based on out-of-state tuition, SDSU placed fourth in’s top 30 colleges based on affordability, academic quality and accessibility. The factors that helped reach this high-ranking include low tuition, high acceptance rate and an average number of students compared nationally. 

The compilation is based on a finely tuned algorithm with statistics from a variety of sources spanning from government records to the US News college rankings. 

“We decided to use US News ( as the base for most of our data,” said General Manager of College Atlas Branden Neish. “We looked at over 1300 colleges across the country that are covered by the various US News rankings … SDSU is unique on how low the out-of-state tuition is.”

Only 30 percent of College Atlas’s algorithm uses schools’ tuition as a data point; the rest of it is 45 percent academic quality, 5 percent size of the student body, and the final 20 percent are the school’s accessibility (the acceptance rate). 

“It boils down to an academic rating quality score … What the state is doing is taking your money as a tax payer and putting it into a university to educate the people to progress in their careers and gain general knowledge,” Neish said. “The three main strong areas are strong academic reputations, high accessibility and an affordable out-of-state tuition.” 

For some students, tuition wasn’t their top priority when picking a college. Some came to SDSU for other reasons – the low out-of-state tuition was just a bonus.

“I chose SDSU because it’s more affordable, it’s a new living experience compared form a large city in California, and I enjoy the cold weather,” said Los Angeles, Calif. native and freshman history major Francisco Alvarez-Evangelista. “The plan was to go somewhere cold … I think SDSU being on that A-List gives the state a good name and attracts students. It was a new experience here and a great way to meet new people and experience life in a colder climate.”

Coming from a different part of the globe, however, can give a twist on how American tuition is perceived. It becomes a whole separate issue and the cost may seem steep compared to a foreign government’s higher education policy.