How Much is the UCSD Out of State Tuition?

May 16, 2023
By AdmissionSight
UC San DIego Health building

How Much is the UCSD Out of State Tuition?

The UCSD out of state tuition can be a significant financial consideration for prospective students who are not California residents, as it is substantially higher than the in state tuition rate.

UC San Diego, a highly renowned public research university in Southern California, offers an exceptional education to students from all over the world. Known for its strong emphasis on research, innovation, and interdisciplinary collaboration, UCSD draws thousands of out of state students each year.

Factors Affecting UC San Diego Tuition

Several factors contribute to the tuition costs at UC San Diego, including the cost of instruction, faculty salaries, academic resources, and campus facilities. Other factors include California’s state budget allocations for higher education and the University of California system’s policies.

As a public institution, UCSD relies on state funding to help cover the costs of education. However, as state funding has decreased over the years, universities like UCSD have been forced to raise tuition to maintain the quality of education.

In State vs. Out of State Tuition

UC San Diego, like other public universities in the United States, has different tuition rates for in state and out of state students. As of the 2021-2022 academic year, the base tuition for in state undergraduate students was $12,570 per year, while the UCSD out of state tuition was $43,482. The difference in tuition rates is primarily due to the fact that in state students’ families pay California state taxes, which help fund public universities like UCSD.

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Understanding the Additional Costs for Out of State Students at UC San Diego

Understanding the additional costs for out of state students at UC San Diego is critical in making an informed decision about attending this prestigious institution. By taking into account the tuition differences, non-resident supplemental tuition, and other expenses, out of state students can better prepare for the financial responsibilities associated with their education.

Higher Tuition Rates for Out of State Students

As a public university, UCSD offers different tuition rates for in state and out of state students. In the 2021-2022 academic year, the base tuition for in state undergraduate students was $12,570 per year, while out of state students paid $43,482 per year. The primary reason for this discrepancy is that in state students’ families contribute to California’s state taxes, which help fund public universities like UCSD. Out of state students do not pay these taxes and, as a result, are charged higher tuition rates.

Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition

In addition to the UCSD out of state tuition, out of state students are also required to pay non-resident supplemental tuition. For the 2021-2022 academic year, this fee was $29,754, bringing the total annual tuition cost for out of state students to $73,236. This supplemental tuition covers the difference in funding that out of state students do not contribute through state taxes and helps maintain the quality of education provided by the university.

Additional Costs and Expenses

Out of state students at UC San Diego should also consider other costs associated with attending the university, such as:

  • Room and board: Depending on housing preferences and meal plan choices, room and board costs can range from $13,000 to $17,000 per year. Out of state students may also face additional expenses if they choose to live off-campus or need to secure temporary housing during breaks.
  • Books and supplies: Students should budget approximately $1,200 per year for textbooks and other course materials. Prices can vary depending on the course requirements and whether students choose to buy new, used, or digital textbooks.
  • Personal expenses and transportation: Out of state students may incur higher transportation costs, such as airfare, as they travel to and from their home state. Additionally, they should budget between $3,000 and $5,000 per year for personal expenses, which can include clothing, entertainment, and other miscellaneous costs.

Budgeting Strategies and Financial Aid Opportunities

To help manage the additional costs associated with attending UC San Diego as an out of state student, it’s essential to develop a comprehensive budget and explore various financial aid opportunities:

  • Create a detailed budget: Estimate your total expenses, including tuition, fees, housing, food, transportation, and other personal expenses, and develop a monthly budget to track spending and avoid overspending.
  • Apply for financial aid: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal grants, work-study programs, and low-interest student loans. Note that out of state students may receive less federal aid compared to in state students.
  • Seek scholarships: Research and apply for UCSD-specific scholarships, as well as private scholarships offered by various organizations, foundations, and companies. This will be of great help in mitigating the hefty cost of the UCSD out of state tuition.
  • Explore part-time work opportunities: Consider finding a part-time job, either on-campus or off-campus, to help cover personal expenses and gain valuable work experience.

Financial Aid for Out of State Students at UC San Diego

While the university’s rigorous academic programs, innovative research opportunities, and vibrant campus life make it an attractive choice for out of state students, the higher tuition and associated costs may present financial challenges.

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Fortunately, there are various financial aid opportunities available to help out of state students manage these expenses. This part of the blog will explore the different types of financial aid available to out of state students at UC San Diego, provide resources for finding these opportunities, and offer strategies for maximizing financial aid success.

Types of Financial Aid for Out of State Students

Out of state students at UCSD can access several types of financial aid to help offset the costs of attendance, including:

  • Federal financial aid: By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), out of state students can determine their eligibility for federal grants, work-study programs, and low-interest student loans. Keep in mind that out of state students may receive less federal aid compared to in state students.
  • UCSD scholarships: The university offers a variety of scholarships for both in state and out of state students based on factors such as academic merit, extracurricular involvement, and financial need. Some scholarships may be specifically designed for out of state students, making them a valuable resource to explore.
  • Private scholarships: Out of state students can also apply for private scholarships offered by various organizations, foundations, and companies. These scholarships often have unique eligibility criteria and may cater to specific demographics, areas of study, or talents.
  • Student loans: In cases where additional financial assistance is needed, out of state students can consider applying for private student loans. However, it is important to note that interest rates and repayment terms for private loans can be less favorable than federal loans.

Resources for Finding Financial Aid Opportunities

Out of state students can use the following resources to find financial aid opportunities to cut the cost of UCSD out of state tuition:

  • UCSD Financial Aid and Scholarships Office: The university’s financial aid office provides information about available scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs, as well as guidance on completing the FAFSA.
  • UCSD Scholarship Library: This online database allows students to search for UCSD-specific scholarships based on various criteria, such as major, class level, and residency status.
  • Private scholarship search engines: Websites like Fastweb, Scholarships.com, and Cappex can help out of state students find private scholarships that match their unique qualifications and circumstances.
  • Professional organizations and foundations: Many professional organizations, foundations, and companies offer scholarships for students pursuing specific fields of study or demonstrating exceptional talents. Researching these opportunities and contacting organizations can directly yield valuable results.

Strategies for Maximizing Financial Aid Success

To increase the chances of receiving financial aid as an out of state student at UC San Diego, consider the following strategies:

  • Start early: Begin researching financial aid opportunities and completing applications as early as possible. Many scholarships have deadlines well before the start of the academic year, so starting early can maximize your chances of success.
  • Complete the FAFSA accurately and on time: Submitting a complete and accurate FAFSA by the deadline is crucial for determining your eligibility for federal financial aid and many university-based scholarships.
  • Apply for multiple scholarships: Increase your chances of receiving financial aid by applying for as many scholarships as possible. Be sure to customize your application materials to address the specific requirements of each scholarship.
  • Maintain strong academic performance: Many scholarships, both UCSD-specific and private, are based on academic merit. By maintaining strong academic performance throughout your high school and college career, you’ll increase your chances of receiving merit-based financial aid and finding other ways to lessen the UCSD out of state tuition.
  • Engage in extracurricular activities and community service: Demonstrating leadership, involvement in clubs or organizations, and community service can help strengthen your scholarship applications and set you apart from other applicants.
  • Craft compelling essays and personal statements: Take the time to develop well-written, thoughtful essays and personal statements for scholarship applications. This is your opportunity to showcase your unique experiences, passions, and ambitions, making a strong impression on scholarship committees.
  • Seek guidance and support: Utilize available resources, such as high school guidance counselors, UCSD financial aid advisors, and online forums, to seek advice and support throughout the financial aid application process.

Reasons Why You Should Study at UC San Diego

Let’s explore the many reasons you should consider studying at UC San Diego, including its exceptional academic offerings, cutting-edge research opportunities, vibrant campus life, and stunning location.

medical students wearing scrubs, talking and laughing

Exceptional Academic Offerings

UC San Diego is renowned for its high-quality academic programs, with many departments consistently ranking among the top in the nation. The university offers over 130 undergraduate majors across various disciplines, including science, engineering, humanities, arts, and social sciences.

This broad range of programs allows students to pursue their passions and interests while receiving an education that prepares them for success in their chosen field. UCSD’s faculty is comprised of world-class scholars, researchers, and educators, many of whom have received prestigious awards and recognitions for their work.

Cutting-Edge Research Opportunities

As a leading research institution, UC San Diego provides students with ample opportunities to engage in innovative and groundbreaking research. Undergraduates have the chance to work alongside faculty members and graduate students on research projects, gaining hands-on experience and developing essential skills for their future careers.

UCSD is home to numerous research centers and institutes, such as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, and the Qualcomm Institute, which focus on addressing global challenges and advancing knowledge across various fields. This justifies the reasonable cost of the UCSD out of state tuition.

Vibrant Campus Life

UCSD’s vibrant campus life offers students a diverse and engaging college experience, with numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. The university is home to six undergraduate colleges, each with its unique general education requirements, residential communities, and support systems. This structure fosters a close-knit community where students can build lasting connections and benefit from personalized academic advising.

The campus offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including over 600 student organizations, club sports, and recreational facilities, providing students with ample opportunities to explore their interests, develop leadership skills, and forge lifelong friendships. Cultural and social events, such as Sun God Festival and Triton Day, further enhance the UCSD experience and promote a strong sense of campus unity.

Stunning Location

UC San Diego’s picturesque coastal location in La Jolla offers students a beautiful and inspiring environment in which to live and learn. The campus is situated near stunning beaches, parks, and natural reserves, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation. Furthermore, the vibrant city of San Diego offers a wealth of cultural attractions, entertainment, and professional opportunities for students to explore during their time at UCSD.

Strong Post-Graduation Outcomes

A degree from UC San Diego not only equips students with a solid educational foundation but also opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities. UCSD graduates have gone on to achieve success in various fields, including academia, industry, and public service. The university’s strong network of alumni, career services, and industry connections provide students with valuable resources and support as they navigate their post-graduation journey.

group of medical students sitting and communing at a stair outside of a medical college


The price you’d be paying for the UCSD out of state tuition is a considerable investment. The University of California, San Diego, offers a world-class education, abundant research opportunities, a diverse and engaging campus life, and a stunning location for students to enjoy. These factors, combined with the university’s commitment to excellence and innovation, make UCSD an attractive choice for students seeking a well-rounded and fulfilling college experience.

By choosing to study at UC San Diego, students can look forward to personal and professional growth, lifelong connections, and a bright future. Pursuing a degree at UC San Diego as an out of state student can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand and plan for the higher tuition costs associated with attending this prestigious institution.

Remember, investing in your education can lead to long-term benefits, such as expanded career opportunities and higher earning potential. UC San Diego’s strong academic programs, cutting-edge research, and vibrant campus life make it an attractive choice for out of state students. By carefully planning and taking advantage of available resources, you can mitigate the cost of UCSD out of state tuition and make your dream of attending this university a reality.

How AdmissionSight can help you with college admissions

AdmissionSight is a college consulting firm that provides personalized assistance to students throughout the college admissions process. Here are some ways that AdmissionSight can help you:

Admissions strategy: AdmissionSight can help you develop a strategic plan for your college application process. Our professional consultants can assist with identifying schools that are a good fit for your academic, extracurricular, and personal goals and help you plan and prioritize your application strategy.

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Application review: AdmissionSight can review your application and provide feedback on how to improve it. We can offer suggestions on how to make your application stand out and highlight your strengths and unique qualities.

Essay coaching: AdmissionSight can help you craft compelling essays that showcase your personality, goals, and achievements. We can guide you through the essay writing process and provide feedback on your drafts to help you refine your writing.

Interview preparation: AdmissionSight can provide interview coaching to help you feel confident and prepared for your college interviews. Our experts can offer tips on how to present yourself professionally and how to answer common interview questions.

Extracurricular planning: AdmissionSight can help you plan and develop your extracurricular activities to make them more impactful and meaningful. We can suggest activities that align with your interests and goals and provide guidance on how to demonstrate your leadership and initiative.

Overall, AdmissionSight can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the college admissions process to help you maximize your chances of getting accepted into the college of your choice.

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