Should I go to University of California San Diego or University of San Diego? Compare 50+ facts and figures about the colleges to help you determine if UCSD or USD is the better college for you. The CollegeSimply comparison tool allows side-by-side comparison of 50+ statistics and facts for over 2,500 colleges and universities.

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University of California San Diego vs. University of San Diego comparison
University of California San Diego University of San Diego College 3 College 4
University of California San Diego University of San Diego
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Location La Jolla, CA San Diego, CA
Setting Large City Large City
Enrollment 41,885 9,041
Type Public 4 Year Private 4 Year
National Ranking #80
Religious Affiliation - Roman Catholic - -
Status Non-profit Non-profit
Website ucsd.edu sandiego.edu
Team Colors                    


Tuition (In State) $11,442 $52,120
Tuition (Out of State) $41,196 $52,120
Room & Board $16,145 $16,246
Avg Net Price $15,222 $37,547
Avg Grant Aid $18,530 $33,074
% Receiving Grant Aid 58% 81%


Admission Chances Calculate Calculate
Applied 118,386 14,326
Admitted 40,493 7,550
Acceptance Rate 34.2% 52.7%
Enrolled % 18.6% 15.4%
Avg High School GPA 3.82 3.95
Typical High School Grades A- A-
Admissions Standards Exceptional Unavailable
Applicant Competition High Low
ACT Range 28/34
SAT Range 1270/1480
Submit Test Scores Neither required nor recommended Neither required nor recommended
Application Deadline Nov 30, 2023 Dec 15, 2023


Student to Faculty Ratio 19:1 13:1
Popular Majors
  • Biology (23%)
  • Social Sciences (21%)
  • Engineering (10%)
  • Psychology (8%)
  • General Studies (7%)
  • Business (39%)
  • Social Sciences (15%)
  • Communication (10%)
  • Biology (6%)
  • Psychology (6%)


Graduation Rate 85% 75%
Median Earnings (After 10 years) $67,900 $70,200
Making Student Loan Payments 82% 78%
Median Student Loan Debt $18,500 $22,904
Median Loan Payment $191 $236


% Men 51% 43%
% Women 49% 57%
Racial Diversity Very High High
% White 21% 53%
% Black 1% 3%
% Hispanic 16% 19%
% Native American 0% 0%
% Pacific Islander 0% 0%
% Two or More Races 5% 6%
% International 17% 7%
% Unknown Race 2% 3%


% In-State 70% 52%
% Out-of-State 14% 43%


Campus Housing Yes Yes
Freshman Dorm Required No No
Meal Plan Yes Yes
Weekend/Evening Classes No No
Daycare Facility Yes Yes
Learn More Details Details

Comparable Facts

  • University of California San Diego is larger than than USD based on total student enrollment (41,885 students vs. 9,041 students)

UCSD vs. USD Cost Comparison

Which college is more expensive, UCSD or USD?

  • University of San Diego is 355.5% more expensive to attend than UCSD for in-state tuition ($52,120.00 vs. $11,442.00)
  • Out of state tuition is 26.5% higher at USD than University of California San Diego ($52,120.00 vs. $41,196.00)
  • The typical actual cost that students pay to attend (average net price) is less at University of California San Diego than USD ($15,222 vs. $37,547)
  • Living costs (room and board or off-campus housing budget) at University of California San Diego are 0.6% lower than costs at University of San Diego ($16,145 vs. $16,246)
  • More students receive financial grant aid at University of San Diego than University of California San Diego (81% vs. 58%)
  • The average total grant financial aid received by University of San Diego students is 78.5% larger than aid received University of California San Diego ($33,074 vs. $18,530)

UCSD vs. USD Admissions Difficulty Comparison

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

  • The average SAT score at University of California San Diego (1344) is 108 points higher than at USD (1236)
  • Incoming UCSD students have a 3 point higher average ACT score (31) than students at USD (28)
  • Accepted freshman USD students have a 0.13 point higher average high school GPA (3.95) than students at UCSD (3.82)
  • USD has a higher acceptance rate (52.7%) than UCSD (34.2%)

UCSD vs. USD Graduation Outcomes Comparison

Which is better, UCSD or USD? 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 USD and UCSD.

  • The graduation rate at UCSD is higher than University of San Diego (85% vs. 75%)
  • Graduates from University of San Diego earn on average $2,300 more per year than UCSD graduates after ten years. ($70,200 vs. $67,900)
  • University of California San Diego students graduate with a $4,404 lower median federal student loan debt than USD graduates. ($18,500 vs. $22,904)
  • UCSD graduates are paying $45 less per month on federal student loans than USD graduates. ($191 vs. $236)
  • More UCSD graduates are actively paying back their federal student loan debt than former USD students, three years after graduation. (82% vs. 78%)

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