ISU vs. Cal State LA vs. UCLA

Should I go to Iowa State University or California State University Los Angeles? Compare the two schools' costs, SAT, ACT, GPA, admissions criteria and outcomes to help you determine if ISU or Cal State LA is the better college for you.

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Iowa State University vs. California State University Los Angeles vs. University of California Los Angeles comparison
Iowa State University California State University Los Angeles University of California Los Angeles College 4
Iowa State University California State University Los Angeles University of California Los Angeles
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Location Ames, IA Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
Setting Small City Large City Large City
Students 31,822 26,745 44,589
Type Public 4 Year Public 4 Year Public 4 Year
Religious Affiliation - - - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit Non-profit

Costs

Tuition (In State) $8,042 $5,742 $11,442
Tuition (Out of State) $23,230 $17,622 $41,196
Room & Board $9,193 $16,932 $17,599
Avg Net Price $16,105 $3,859 $16,474
Avg Grant Aid $8,287 $11,315 $15,461
% Receiving Grant Aid 91% 95% 69%

Admission and Academics

Acceptance Rate 88.4% 76.5% 14.3%
Avg High School GPA 3.71 3.32 3.9
Admissions Standards Difficult Extremely Easy Unavailable
Applicant Competition Very High
ACT Range 21/28 15/20
SAT Range 1010/1310 870/1060
Application Deadline Jul 1, 2022 Nov 30, 2021

Outcomes

Graduation Rate 68% 36% 90%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $53,700 $46,900 $70,700
Making Student Loan Payments 74% 57% 78%
Median Student Loan Debt $23,868 $12,920 $16,300
Median Loan Payment $246 $133 $168
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Comparable Facts

  • Iowa State University is larger than than Cal State LA based on total student enrollment (31,822 students vs. 26,745 students)

ISU vs. Cal State LA Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, ISU or Cal State LA?

  • Iowa State University is 40.1% more expensive to attend than Cal State LA for in-state tuition ($8,042.00 vs. $5,742.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 31.8% higher at ISU than California State University Los Angeles ($23,230.00 vs. $17,622.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at California State University Los Angeles than ISU ($3,859 vs. $16,105)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at Iowa State University are 84.2% lower than costs at California State University Los Angeles ($9,193 vs. $16,932)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at California State University Los Angeles than Iowa State University (95% vs. 91%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by California State University Los Angeles students is 36.5% larger than aid received Iowa State University ($11,315 vs. $8,287)

ISU vs. Cal State LA Admissions Difficulty Comparison

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

  • The average SAT score at Iowa State University (1142) is 268 points higher than at Cal State LA (874)
  • Incoming ISU students have a 7 point higher average ACT score (25) than students at Cal State LA (18)
  • ISU has a higher acceptance rate (88.4%) than Cal State LA (76.5%)

ISU vs. Cal State LA Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, ISU or Cal State LA? 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 Cal State LA and ISU.

  • The graduation rate at ISU is higher that California State University Los Angeles (68% vs. 36%)
  • Graduates from Iowa State University earn on average $6,800 more per year than Cal State LA graduates after ten years. ($53,700 vs. $46,900)
  • California State University Los Angeles students graduate with a $10,948 lower median federal student loan debt than ISU graduates. ($12,920 vs. $23,868)
  • Cal State LA graduates are paying $113 less per month on federal student loans than ISU graduates. ($133 vs. $246)
  • More ISU graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former Cal State LA students, three years after graduation. (74% vs. 57%)

Sources: U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov IPEDS and College Scorecard https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/