a current student here
This one is hard because it IS such an expensive school. 40k a year is hard to chew. But SPU is incredibly generous when it comes to scholarships and financial aid, making it very comparable to state school tuition. If I recall correctly, going into my freshman year, ~95% of students were given financial aid. Woohoo!
That being said, even if it totals more than a state school, you get the benefit of small class sizes, not being taught by TAs, and the comfortability of being known.