Chapman University Tuition and Fees

Chapman University Tuition and Fees

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    By Kelly Boyer Sagert

    (Last Updated – 08/2022)

    Chapman University is a four-year private research university located in Orange, California. This educational institution offers certificates as well as degrees ranging from bachelors to doctoral degrees. Read on to learn about Chapman University acceptance rates and admission requirements, tuition and fees, popular majors, and much more.

    Total Cost of Attendance

    Chapman ranked #158 of the top universities in 2022 in The World University Rankings. U.S. News & World Report named Chapman one of the two most innovative universities in the West. And the Princeton Review calls Chapman one of the best institutions for undergraduate education, an “extraordinary blend of liberal arts, science and professional programs.” Plus, it’s just 1.5 miles from the beach!

    Costs for 2021-22

    Student Type



    Tuition & Fees



    Books & Supplies



    Room & Board



    Other Expenses



    Total Cost of Attendance



    Financial Aid

    Chapman University uses a need-blind admissions process, not taking a student’s financial status into account. This helps students from lower- and middle-income families who have academic qualifications but couldn’t afford Chapman University tuition without financial assistance. In 2019-2020, 89% of students received financial aid with 82% of them receiving grants and/or scholarships. More specifically they received:

    •  Federal grants: $2.6 million with an average award of $2,017

    •  Pell grants: $1.5 million with an average award of $4,872

    •  Other: $1 million with an average award of $860

    •  State/local government grant/scholarships: $2.3 million with an average award of $8,952

    •  Institutional grants/scholarships: $40 million with an average award of $26,730

    •  Student loan aid: $7.2 million with an average award of $7,049

    •  Federal: $5.6 million with an average award of $5,528

    •  Other: $1.6 million with an average award of $23,584

    Generally, financial aid is monetary assistance awarded to students based on personal need and merit. Students that qualify for financial aid can use it to pay for college costs like tuition, books, and living expenses.

    The federal government is the largest provider of student financial aid. However, aid can also be given by state governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofits. The different types include:

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    •  Scholarships: These can be awarded by schools and other organizations based on students’ academic excellence, athletic achievement, community involvement, job experience, field of study, and financial need.

    •  Grants: Generally based on financial need, these can come from federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations.

    •  Work-study: This federal program provides qualifying students with part-time employment to earn money for expenses while in school.

    •  Federal student loans: This is money borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. It comes with fixed interest rates that are typically lower than private loans.

    Colleges, universities, and state agencies use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed online, but note that state and federal and school deadlines may differ.

    You can find other financial aid opportunities on databases such as:

    •  US Department of Education – Search for grants from colleges and universities by state

    •  College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS) – A global college scholarship application used by select institutions to award financial aid

    Recommended: The Differences Between Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

    Private Student Loans

    Chapman University students received more than $1.6 million in non-governmental financial aid in 2019-2020. The university’s website lists private lenders and their information for students.

    Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. While Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress, private lenders follow a different set of regulations so their qualifications and interest rates can vary widely.

    What’s more, private loans have variable or fixed interest rates that may be higher than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed. Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, compared to federal student loans which you don’t have to start paying back until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.

    Private loans don’t have a specific application window and can be applied for on an as-needed basis. However, if you think you may need to take out a private loan, it’s a good idea to submit your FAFSA first to see what federal aid you may qualify for as it generally may have better rates and terms.

    If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline or you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your payments. Just keep in mind that you will need enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.

    Recommended: Guide to Private Student Loans

    Projected 4-Year-Degree Price

    Using Chapman University tuition figures from 2021-2022, a four-year degree would cost $228,856. As a point of comparison, Chapman University tuition was $54,925 in 2019-2020 when the average for a private four-year university was $36,000. This make’s Chapman’s tuition 53% higher than the national average.

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    Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

    Costs for 2020-21

    Student Type



    Tuition & Fees



    Room & Board



    Total Cost of Attendance



    In 2020-2021, average total costs for private four-year universities were:

    •  On-campus: $54,500, making Chapman 43.6% higher

    •  Off-campus: $54,600, making Chapman 38.9% higher

    Graduate Tuition and Fees

    Costs for 2021-22

    Graduate tuition prices vary widely based on the program with current programs ranging between $1,095-2,590 per unit. There are graduate loans available to help with these costs.

    Chapman offers off-campus housing for graduate students or they can rent an apartment. However, housing is not inexpensive in Orange, California, with housing expenses currently at 157% of the national average.

    Cost per Credit Hour

    Assuming that each semester, an undergraduate student takes 15 credit hours, here is the cost per credit hour for the past four years:

    •  2018-2019: $1,757

    •  2019-2020: $1,830

    •  2020-2021: $1,907

    •  2021-2022: $1,954

    In general, Chapman University tuition is 53% higher than the national average for a similar type of educational institution.

    Campus Housing Expenses

    Costs for 2021-22

    Room and board expenses for the 2021-2022 school year are as follows:

    •  On-campus room and board: $16,138

    •  Additional fees of $3,320

    •  Off-campus room and board: $12,430

    •  Additional fees of $4,570


    Freshmen are assigned to one of five learning communities for housing while six residence halls and apartment buildings are available for sophomores and upperclassmen. They offer a guide to off-campus living, categorizing options by how far they are from campus. For example, a 675-square foot one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment that’s a mile from campus is going for $1,875 per month while a 541-square-foot studio apartment with a bathroom is going for $2,324-$2,427.

    Chapman Acceptance Rate

    Fall 2020

    In fall 2020, 8,303 students were accepted out of a total of 14,252. This is a 58.3% Chapman acceptance rate.

    Admission Requirements

    The university recommends classes that are similar to A-G requirements for University of California/California State University schools:


    •  English: four years

    •  Math: three or four years with business and science majors aiming to take four years of math at least through pre-calculus

    •  Science: two or three years with science majors taking three or four; two or more courses should be a lab science

    •  History/Social Studies: Two or three years

    •  Foreign Language: Three or four years

    •  Arts/Electives: Two or three years

    Application deadlines are:

    •  November 1 (before the academic year) for early action non-binding deadline

    •  November 1 (before the academic year) for early decision binding deadline

    •  January 15 of the academic year for regular decisions

    You can apply to Chapman here .

    SAT and ACT Scores

    Chapman University has a test-optional policy. If you’d like to forward SAT or ACT scores, do so by the application deadlines above.

    Sixty-eight percent of applicants chose to submit SAT scores with these percentiles (25 and 75):


    25th Percentile

    75th Percentile

    SAT Evidence-Based



    SAT Math



    ACT Composite



    ACT English



    ACT Math



    Graduation Rate

    •  4 years: 87%

    •  6 years: 98%

    Post-Graduation Median Earnings

    Chapman graduates have median earnings of $60,835, compared to a national average of $47,891. This means that Chapman graduates, on average, earn 27% more per year.

    Bottom Line

    Chapman University receives accolades for its academic programs and is need blind during the admissions process, making it easier for students from lower-to-middle class families to get accepted. Tuition is higher than the average for private four-year universities, but the institution awards grants and scholarships. Plus, graduates go on to earn more than the average amount.

    SoFi private student loans offer competitive interest rates for qualifying borrowers, flexible repayment plans, and no origination fees.

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    Photo credit: iStock/Rebecca Todd

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