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Colleges in Northern California with School Overviews

With well over 100 schools in the region, northern California offers some of the most diverse post-secondary institutions in the country. Learn about some of the best schools in the area to find out which might be right for you.

There are approximately 166 colleges and universities in the northern California area. Preview several institutions and learn about graduation rates, net prices, proximity to large cities, and student populations courtesy of the National Center for Education Statistics.

Northern California Schools Near Large Cities

Attending college within a big city can be appealing for many students, and California is home to several. The NCES provides information on the large cities within northern California and the schools within them. These are a few examples of the different colleges in some of the cities in the state.

  • California State University - Sacramento (Sacramento)
  • University of the Pacific (Stockton)
  • Sacramento City College (Sacramento)
  • Lincoln University (Oakland)
  • Golden Gate University - San Francisco (San Francisco)

Largest Schools in Northern California

A larger campus size can often go hand in hand with a college offering a more diverse number of services and activities for its students. If this interests you, the NCES lists the region's schools along with their student populations from 2015. The five largest schools in the area are:

  • University of California - Berkeley (38,189)
  • University of California - Davis (35,186)
  • California State University - Sacramento (30,284)
  • San Francisco State University (30,256)
  • American River College (29,381)

Lowest Net Price

Always a major factor when determining which institution to enroll in, the net price of attendance is an important aspect of the decision-making process. Thankfully, the NCES College Navigator supplies the average net price of attendance for students who attended these institutions during 2014-2015 academic school year. This number is calculated by subtracting the average amount of financial aid provided from the average full-time undergraduate tuition. The least expensive schools in the area are:

  • City College of San Francisco ($4,849)
  • Yuba College ($5,691)
  • Butte College ($5,934)
  • Los Medanos College ($6,086)
  • College of the Redwoods ($6,266)

Lowest Graduation Rate

Although not the sole indicator, graduation rates display a deep commitment by an institution to ensure their alumni are prepared for life after enrollment. The NCES provides undergraduate graduation rates by calculating the number of students who receive their degrees within six years of first attending classes. The five institutions with the highest graduation rates in the region are:

  • University of California - Berkeley (92% for those enrolled by 2009)
  • University of California - Davis (85% for those enrolled by 2009)
  • MTI Business College Inc. (80% for those enrolled by 2012)
  • Brightwood College - Sacramento (78% for those enrolled by 2012)
  • Blake Austin College (77% for those enrolled by 2012)

When researching where to attend college in the northern California area, remember to account for student population, graduation rate, net price, and location before making a decision on where to enroll.

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