State Flag for Universities in California California Residency Rules

Gray Square Means In-State Tuition is Special Difficulty Difficulty

Due to popularity and a pretty dire state financial situation, the differences between in-state and out-of-state tuition at Universities in California can be staggering.

California is comprised of the UC-system (University of California) and the CSU-system (California State University).  Although both systems are ostensibly governed by the same overarching state regulations, these two systems are strikingly different when it comes to earning residency.


The UC system includes some of the most popular and sought after colleges in America including: UCLA, UC-Berkeley, UC-Santa Barbara, UCSD, and UC-Davis.  These super-popular colleges attract tons of out-of-state students, they charge those out-of-state students so much, and they have made it exceedingly difficult to earn in-state residency for all but the luckiest and most dedicated of undergrads.


Although comprised of some excellent and attractive schools, the CSU-system attracts far fewer out-of-state residents and therefore, youd think earning in-state residency would be easier. Unfortunately, it’s not. It still requires more than most people are willing to do (of course) and is in reach to only a lucky few.

Individual universities do differ (slightly or drastically) on their interpretation and implementation of state rules so it’s important to learn about the particular university in California instead of relying solely on these state-wide generalizations


Tuition Reciprocity Agreements

California is a member state of the Western Undergraduate Exchange which is a limited regional reciprocity agreement among select Western States.

See Tuition Reciprocity Agreements Explained

See Tuition Reciprocity Agreements Overpromise & Under-Deliver


University-Specific Overviews Below:

Below please find links to in-state overviews for select universities in California. If your college is not highlighted, then please consider buying a University-Specific Nutshell Report or see all available university-specific in-state overviews.


Popular Universities in California:

Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo

Cal State University-Los Angeles

San Diego State University-San Diego

University of California-Berkeley

University of California-Los Angeles

University of California-San Diego

University of California-Santa Barbara


Other Universities in California:

Cal Poly-Pomona
Cal State University-Bakersfield
Cal State University-Channel Islands
Cal State University-Chico
Cal State University-Dominguez Hills-Carson
Cal State University-East Bay Hayward
Cal State University-Fresno
Cal State University-Fullerton
Cal State University-Long Beach
Cal State University-Monterey Bay Seaside
Cal State University-Northridge
Cal State University-Sacramento
Cal State University-San Bernardino
Cal State University-San Marcos
Cal State University-Stanislaus Turlock
California Maritime Academy-Vallejo
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA-Los Angeles
Humboldt State University-Arcata
San Francisco State University-San Francisco
San Jose State University-San Jose
Sonoma State University-Rohnert Park
University of California Irvine School of Medicine-Irvine
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine-San Francisco
University of California-Davis
University of California-Irvine
University of California-Merced
University of California-Riverside
University of California-San Francisco
University of California-Santa Cruz
UC Davis School of Medicine-Sacramento
UC Riverside School of Medicine-Riverside
UC San Diego School of Medicine-San Diego

Every College in California Is Unique

Just as every state has its own in-state regulations, each college in the state has its own interpretations. Learn everything important about how to actually earn in-state tuition at the university in California you’re most interested in.

Get University-Specific Report

University-Specific Nutshell Report

Everything important you need to know about actually earning in-state at your university.