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Chico State

Chico State Students Graduate with Lowest Federal Debt of Any Public College in California

An academic building at night with the words California State University Chico are lit up
Matt Bates / University Photographer

The Facewall on the exterior of the Arts and Humanities building on Thursday, July 14, 2022 in Chico, Calif. (Matt Bates/University Photographer/Chico State)

According to a recent report by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), among all public four-year colleges and universities in California, Chico State students amass the lowest amount of total federal debt upon graduating. This list includes all UC and CSU institutions for the 2019–20 academic year.

The rankings underscore how affordable a college education is at Chico State:

  • With a statewide average debt of graduates of $21,125, Chico State graduates have $5,732 in debt
  • While 46 percent of statewide students graduate with debt, just 36 percent of Chico State students do

“In addition to having a reputation as a beautiful campus that offers an outstanding education, we are very proud that Chico State has been ranked as an affordable and assessable university,” said Jerry Ross, associate vice president of enrollment management at Chico State. “As more first-generation students decided to attend college in Chico, we are working to make a college education as attainable as possible for them.”

At Chico State, the University’s Financial Aid and Scholarship Office encourages students to only borrow what they need as opposed to borrowing the maximum loan amounts every year.

Additionally, because Chico has one of the lowest costs of living in the state and 85 to 90 percent of Chico State students live within a mile of campus, commuting costs are reduced or eliminated altogether, compared to other commuter campuses around the country.

The full report and companion interactive map with details for states and more than 1,000 colleges are available online at