Caltech vs. Stanford


Should I go to California Institute of Technology or Stanford University? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if Caltech or Stanford is the better college for you.

Caltech Comparison

California Institute of Technology vs. Stanford University comparison
Caltech Stanford
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Location Pasadena, CA Stanford, CA
Setting Midsize City Large Suburban
Students 2,233 17,381
Type Private 4 Year Private 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit


Tuition (In State) $50,487 $50,703
Tuition (Out of State) $50,487 $50,703
Room & Board $15,525 $15,763
Avg Net Price $24,466 $16,562
Avg Grant Aid $41,408 $50,134
% Receiving Grant Aid 52% 50%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 6.6% 4.4%
Avg High School GPA 3.97 4.18
Admissions Standards Elite Elite
Applicant Competition Extreme Extreme
ACT Range 35/36 32/35
SAT Range 1530/1580 1420/1570
Application Deadline Jan 3, 2020 Jan 1, 2020


Graduation Rate 87% 96%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $85,800 $122,900
Making Student Loan Payments - 88%
Median Student Loan Debt $14,350 $12,475
Median Loan Payment $148 $128
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Comparable Facts

  • California Institute of Technology is larger than than Stanford based on total student enrollment (2,233 students vs. 17,381 students)

Caltech vs. Stanford Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, Caltech or Stanford?

  • Stanford University is 0.4% more expensive to attend than Caltech for in-state tuition ($50,703.00 vs. $50,487.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 0.4% higher at Stanford than California Institute of Technology ($50,703.00 vs. $50,487.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at Stanford University than Caltech ($16,562 vs. $24,466)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at California Institute of Technology are 1.5% lower than costs at Stanford University ($15,525 vs. $15,763)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at California Institute of Technology than Stanford University (52% vs. 50%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by Stanford University students is 21.1% larger than aid received California Institute of Technology ($50,134 vs. $41,408)

Caltech vs. Stanford Admissions Difficulty Comparison

Which college is harder to get into, Caltech or Stanford? Average SAT and ACT scores plus acceptance rates offer good insight into the difficulty of admission between Stanford or Caltech .

  • The average SAT score at California Institute of Technology (1544) is 65 points higher than at Stanford (1479)
  • Incoming Caltech students have a 2 point higher average ACT score (35) than students at Stanford (33)
  • Caltech has a higher acceptance rate (6.6%) than Stanford (4.4%)

Caltech vs. Stanford Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, Caltech or Stanford? Graduation rate, salary and amount of student loan debt are indicators of a college which offers better outcomes for its graduates. Compare the following outcomes facts between Stanford and Caltech.

  • The graduation rate at Stanford is higher that California Institute of Technology (96% vs. 87%)
  • Graduates from Stanford University earn on average $37,100 more per year than Caltech graduates after ten years. ($122,900 vs. $85,800)
  • Stanford University students graduate with a $1,875 lower median federal student loan debt than Caltech graduates. ($12,475 vs. $14,350)
  • Stanford graduates are paying $20 less per month on federal student loans than Caltech graduates. ($128 vs. $148)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education IPEDS and College Scorecard