Nestled in the redwood forests of coastal California, Humboldt State University (HSU) is a mid-sized university with over 6,000 undergraduate students. In fact, the official name recently changed to Cal Poly Humboldt, resulting in California's third polytechnic institution in the state. The newfound focus on STEM education is intended to stimulate the northern California economy with highly trained technical professionals. However, students can still find an amazing education in the humanities including English, Philosophy, and Art degrees, though computer science and engineering may soon dominate the coastal campus.
Overview of Humboldt State University (HSU)
Naturally, students on the Arcata campus must work very hard to make grades but they also find time to enjoy recreation, fellowship, and even party to ease the stress of college life. To help create that well-rounded atmosphere, the campus supports a range of athletic, social, and entertainment options. The campus recreation center, for instance, offers students a midday workout on its fleet of exercise machines. There are also boats to rent, hikes in the forests, paddling trips, and surfing lessons.
For those who desire more competition in their recreation, Humboldt comes through. Intramural leagues include sports such as basketball and soccer. Sport club opportunities include archery, baseball, rugby, ultimate frisbee, and disc golf, among others. Students can also enjoy rooting on one or more of their home teams, the Lumberjacks, who compete in a wide range of varsity sports such as soccer, basketball, softball, and track.
|Campus Setting||Town: Remote|
|Student Faculty Ratio||19:1|
Humboldt State University Reviews
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HSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||N/A|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||N/A|
|Application Deadline||November 30|
|Common Application Accepted||No|
HSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
Cal Poly Humboldt is a publicly funded institution in a state known for providing very affordable college degrees to its resident students. While costs have risen over the decades, HSU still provides a terrific academic value. Californians and students who are part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) enjoy educational costs that are under $9,000. Meanwhile, non-residents pay more than twice that amount with gross educational expenses exceeding $20,000. On top of these gross costs, students must cover their living expenses. Once these costs are tallied, those with in-state tuition pay between $25k and $26,000 for a year at Humboldt. Non-residents face gross costs that reach nearly $38,000.
The net cost tells a different story, however. In fact, the financial aid office is able to get the average net price down to $15,000 for a year, including living costs. For the lowest income students, this average falls to a mere $11,000 per year and families that earn over $110,000 pay around $23,000.
|Average net price||2018-2019|
|Average Total Aid||$9,476|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||79%|
|Room & Board||$13,120|
- Tuition In-State - $7,864
- Tuition Out-of-State - $19,744
- Books and Supplies - $1,820
- Room & Board - $13,120
- Other - $2,540
Academics & Popular Education Programs at HSU
Humboldt State, now Cal Poly Humboldt, has long enjoyed a terrific academic reputation. To test the veracity of this reputation, educational researchers evaluate many statistics such as the school's retention rate, graduation rate, and more. The retention rate indicates student satisfaction by measuring how many first-time, full-time students return to Humboldt for a second year. Indeed, the school reports a 73% retention rate, significantly higher than the national average.
Down the line, CPH's statistics show a 50% overall graduation rate, with 6% transferring to other institutions. Given the difficulty of earning a college degree, these are solid numbers. Since Humboldt has a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1, it's clear that smaller and perhaps more nurturing classroom experiences add up to somewhat better outcomes.
Given Humboldt's transition to a polytechnic institution, it's certain that the campus will only improve on its high academic standards. After all, California is already home to several top polytechnic institutions and STEM departments in general, so it's not a stretch to assume that only excellence will arise on the Arcata campus.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|Natural Resources and Conservation||325 Total Graduates / 18%|
|Environmental Science||122 Graduates|
|Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management||87 Graduates|
|Forestry, General||64 Graduates|
|Environmental Studies||31 Graduates|
|All Biological & Biomedical Majors||189 Total Graduates / 10%|
|Biology/Biological Sciences, General||129 Graduates|
|Zoology/Animal Biology||37 Graduates|
|Botany/Plant Biology||23 Graduates|
|All Psychology Majors||174 Total Graduates / 10%|
|Psychology, General||174 Graduates|
|All Social Sciences Majors||169 Total Graduates / 9%|
|Sociology, General||37 Graduates|
|Anthropology, General||29 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||24 Graduates|
|All Business Majors||143 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Business Administration and Management, General||143 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||44%|
Outcome & Salary
While college years are full of growth experiences and lots of learning, students are interested to know how well it will all pay off in the job market. Though there are no guarantees, alumni are asked to report their earnings in order to give the younger classes a view to the future. Thus, of the top-earning degrees, CPH's computer science graduates start their careers with the highest median salary of $70,000. Of the top five degrees, business administration students report the lowest starting salary, still a solid $40,000 at the entry level. In the middle of the pack are forestry students who report median earnings of $46,000. Many of these workers actually earn quite a bit more once other compensation, such as benefits and bonuses, are factored in.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$47,300|
|College Grads Average Salary||$64,602|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$90,000|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$646,020|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,546,020|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$59,064|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$586,956|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,486,956|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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