Caltech’s Undergraduate Programs Tuition

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

One of the walkways in Caltech campus

Caltech’s Undergraduate Programs Tuition

How much is the tuition per year for undergraduate programs at Caltech?

Caltech, short for the California Institute of Technology, is a private, nonprofit institution located in Pasadena, California, and is one of the world’s leading science and engineering education, research, and innovation institutions. As with most private institutions, the cost of Caltech’s undergraduate tuition can be steep, and prospective students and their families are encouraged to factor in the cost of attendance when making their college decisions.

How much is the tuition per year for undergraduate programs at Caltech? For the academic year 2023-2024, Caltech’s undergraduate tuition costs $60,816. However, this is just a portion of Caltech’s total cost of attendance. The tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses total $86,886 for students residing on campus.

Female student holding a folder in a room with her classmates.

While the cost of Caltech’s undergraduate tuition may seem high, it’s important to remember the high-quality education and resources students receive. The institution is renowned for its small class sizes, rigorous coursework, and world-class faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. Students also have access to cutting-edge research facilities, laboratories, and technology, which can help them gain practical experience and advance their academic and career goals.

Additionally, Caltech provides eligible students with a financial aid package proportionate to their demonstrated need. This long-standing policy aligns with Caltech’s tradition of providing unprecedented opportunities to outstanding students, regardless of their families’ financial situation.

How much does room and board cost at Caltech?

As an aspiring student or a parent of a potential student, one of the crucial things to consider when applying is the cost of attendance, which includes Caltech’s undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board. Some prospective students might wonder, “How much does room and board cost at Caltech?”

Room and board costs at Caltech vary depending on the type of housing and meal plan selected by the student. The university offers various housing options, including on-campus residence halls, off-campus apartments, and family housing. Housing is provided for students at Caltech, who are required to live on campus throughout their first two years of education. However, most students choose to reside on campus for all four years.

Young woman attending a social event.

The standard room rate for undergraduate students is $11,247 for the 2023-2024 school year, while the cost for the meal plan is $8,256. This brings the total cost of room and board for undergraduate students to $19,503 per academic year.

Living on campus at Caltech can be a valuable and important experience for many students. Caltech is a small, close-knit community, and living on campus can help students feel more connected to the community and have greater access to the resources and opportunities available at the university.

Living on campus can also give students easy access to academic and social support networks. Many students form strong bonds with their roommates and neighbors, which can lead to long-lasting friendships and a support system throughout their time at Caltech.

Furthermore, living on campus can provide students with a greater sense of independence and responsibility. Students living in dorms are often responsible for managing their own schedules, laundry, meals, and other aspects of daily life. These experiences can help students develop important life skills and prepare for life after college.

However, apart from Caltech’s undergraduate tuition and the cost of living on campus, students should also consider other expenses, such as textbooks, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses, when budgeting for their education.

Fortunately, Caltech offers financial aid to students who demonstrate financial need, and the university is committed to meeting the full demonstrated needs of all admitted students.

Does Caltech give full financial aid to international students?

As a top-ranked university, Caltech attracts the brightest and most diverse group of students worldwide, including international students.

According to Caltech, international applicants are non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent U.S. residents attending secondary school outside of the United States. You are considered a domestic applicant if you are in the United States as an asylee, refugee, or undocumented student.

If you are an international student considering Caltech, one of the most important questions is financial aid availability to international students. So, does Caltech give full financial aid to international students?

View of three people studying in a desk.

Caltech offers need-based financial aid that fulfills 100% of international students’ demonstrated financial need. International students seeking financial aid must apply as incoming first-year students. If they did not apply for financial help as a first-year, or if they will apply but do not qualify, they will not be able to apply for financial aid in later years at Caltech.

Caltech is need-aware for international candidates since financial aid funding for these students is limited, and the school is dedicated to supporting the demonstrated needs of all admitted students. The application and review processes are the same for all candidates. Caltech will assess your application in the context of your school, regardless of where you reside or attend school.

International students must complete the CSS Profile to be considered for financial aid at Caltech. The CSS Profile is used to determine a student’s financial need. Students must also provide the Parents’ Non-Tax Filer’s Statement for Foreign Filer or Foreign Non-Filer Form. After matriculation, students must complete two more forms: the Parents’ Tax Return and the Caltech Scholarship Data Form.

International students do not qualify for Federal Student Aid. As a result, they are ineligible for the Federal Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), or Federal Work-Study, and they are not eligible for further financial aid under the Federal Direct Stafford Loan or Federal Direct PLUS Loan programs. International students should expect Caltech Work-Study rather than Federal Work-Study.

International students can consult the Caltech Financial Aid Office for more information about financial aid opportunities and how to afford a Caltech education.

How do you get a full scholarship to Caltech?

If you are an aspiring Caltech student, you might wonder, “How do you get a full scholarship to Caltech?” With the rising cost of Caltech’s undergraduate tuition and other fees, students and their parents work with the institution to lessen the financial burden of attending college.

Female student holding her books while smiling for the camera.

The university offers a range of financial aid options to help students afford their education. Let’s quickly run through the financial aid application process.

  1. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you only want to apply for federal financial aid, such as federal grants, work-study, and loans. This is applicable to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.
  2. Complete the CSS Profile. Caltech uses the College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile to assess your financial need. The CSS Profile is a detailed application that asks for information about your family’s income, assets, and expenses. The information you provide on the CSS Profile will be used to determine the amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.
  3. Submit the Caltech Supplemental Application to provide details about your family’s expenses, assets, and special circumstances. There are also additional tax documents that must be submitted through IDOC after admissions decisions have been released.
  4. After matriculation, to be considered for named scholarships, you must complete the Scholarship Data Form and tell Caltech about your interests, activities, accomplishments, future plans, and so on.

Grants account for most of the financial aid provided to Caltech’s undergraduates. Grants are classified as “gift aid” because they do not have to be repaid or earned. As a result, grants are the most advantageous kind of financial assistance.

Caltech does not have a merit assistance program, so all scholarships and grants are need-based. Undergraduate students who complete a financial aid application will be immediately considered for Caltech and federal government scholarships and grants. State governments also offer grants. However, the application process differs per state.

Work-study opportunities and student loans are also available for students. In addition to the scholarships offered by Caltech, there are many outside scholarships that you may be eligible for. Research and apply for these scholarships as early as possible to increase your chances of receiving them.

The cost of attending Caltech can vary depending on a student’s individual circumstances, and some families may still find it challenging to afford Caltech’s undergraduate tuition and other expenses. However, by utilizing the resources available, many students can make attending Caltech a reality.

Why do students want to study at Caltech?

Why do students want to study at Caltech? Caltech, or the California Institute of Technology, is a private research university widely recognized as one of the best universities in the world for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Caltech attracts students from around the world who are looking for a rigorous and challenging academic experience.

World-Renowned Faculty

Caltech is home to some of the world’s most distinguished scientists and researchers, including numerous Nobel laureates, MacArthur “genius” grant recipients, and members of the National Academy of Sciences. The faculty members at Caltech are not only experts in their fields, but they are also dedicated to teaching and mentoring their students.

Research Opportunities

Caltech is a research-focused institution, and students have numerous opportunities to engage in cutting-edge research across various fields. About 90% of undergraduates participate in programs such as Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF), Amgen Scholars, and others in which students do research under the supervision of faculty and graduate mentors.

Caltech is also a member of JPL’s Higher Education Group, which offers programs and research opportunities related to NASA’s mission.

Many undergraduate students work alongside faculty members on research projects, which can lead to co-authorship on publications and opportunities to present at conferences. Caltech’s graduate students are also actively involved in research, and many publish their work in prestigious journals.

Small Class Sizes

Caltech’s small size means that students benefit from personalized attention from faculty members and smaller class sizes. This allows for a more personalized educational experience, giving students more opportunities to interact with their professors and classmates.

Challenging Academic Environment

Caltech is known for its rigorous academic programs, and students are constantly challenged to think critically and solve complex problems.

While computer science is the most popular subject, the university also offers bioengineering, astrophysics, geobiology, materials science, and mathematics as majors. Students may choose degrees in English, history, and political science besides STEM majors. However, HSS programs frequently incorporate a scientific focus. Minors in aerospace, computer science, philosophy, and structural mechanics are available to students.

In addition, as part of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program (ISP), students may also create tailored curricula in partnership with faculty advisors.

The university’s academic environment fosters a culture of intellectual curiosity and creativity, and students are encouraged to take risks and explore new ideas.

Strong Sense of Community

Despite its small size, Caltech has a diverse and close-knit community. Students often work and study together, and there are numerous opportunities for socializing and participating in extracurricular activities. The university also has a strong alumni network, which can be a valuable resource for students and graduates.

Career Opportunities

Caltech graduates are highly sought after by employers in various fields, including academia, industry, and government. Some of Caltech’s most recent graduates were hired at Meta and SpaceX, a variety of top research institutes and graduate schools. One recent graduate even worked as an EMT before starting medical school.

While the cost of Caltech’s undergraduate tuition and other fees might be steep, the university’s reputation for academic excellence and research prowess opens various career opportunities after graduation.

Suppose you are interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. In that case, Caltech could be the perfect place to achieve your goals and realize your academic and professional potential.

However, you must take note that Caltech’s admission rate is exceedingly low. For the Class of 2025, Caltech received 13,026 applicants, and only 510 were admitted. This resulted in a 3.9% acceptance rate. For the following admissions cycle, Caltech has withheld the acceptance rate, however, it was estimated to be at 3 percent or lower.

On the other hand, your acceptance prospects are determined by several variables, including academics and extracurricular activities. Students with outstanding GPAs and SAT scores, as well as unique activities and hobbies, are sought after by the university. College admissions experts like AdmissionSight can help you boost your chances of admission.

Moreover, AdmissionSight also offers counseling services for various aspects and processes of your college admission. With our company’s ten-year experience in the college admissions process, you are indeed in good hands. Book an initial consultation with our experts today!


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