With over 350 California universities and colleges, prospective students have plenty of options when it comes to picking a school. To help students narrow down their options, they can compare schools with the highest enrollment, lowest net price, and highest graduation rates, according to statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
California Schools Near Large Cities
Many students prefer to attend school in a big city. If that is the case for you, there are many options available. Here is a list of schools located in California's five largest cities.
- University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
- San Diego State University (San Diego)
- San Jose State University (San Jose)
- San Francisco State University (San Francisco)
- California State University-Fresno (Fresno)
Largest Schools in California
Some students are drawn to large universities because of their diversity. All five of the largest schools in California are 4-year institutions that offer degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. Student populations for public and private non-profit schools in California range from over 38,000 to over 43,000 students.
- University of Southern California (43,401 students)
- University of California - Los Angeles (41,908 students)
- California State University - Northridge (41,548 students)
- California State University - Fullerton (38, 948 students)
- University of California - Berkeley (38,189 students)
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Biological and Biomedical Sciences
- Communications and Journalism
- Computer Sciences
- Culinary Arts and Personal Services
- Liberal Arts and Humanities
- Mechanic and Repair Technologies
- Medical and Health Professions
- Physical Sciences
- Transportation and Distribution
- Visual and Performing Arts
Lowest Net Price
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) determines the net price for schools based on the total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies and miscellaneous expenses), less the average amount of government and institutional financial aid that each student receives. In California, the schools with the lowest net price all cost less than $3,500 per year to attend. The following five schools have the lowest reported net prices for the 2014-2015 academic year, according to NCES.
- Los Angeles ORT College-Van Nuys Campus ($1,088)
- College of the Sequoias ($1,354)
- Grossmont College ($2,296)
- California State University - Los Angeles ($3,160)
- Imperial Valley College ($3,402)
Highest Graduation Rate
Graduation rates can sometimes tell prospective students about the support networks that school offer to ensure that students graduate on time. The NCES calculates graduation rates by determining how many full-time undergraduate students complete their degrees within 150% of the expected time. Here are the California public and private not-for-profit schools with the highest graduation rates for 2014-2015.
- Stanford University (94%)
- Pomona College (94%)
- University of Southern California (92%)
- University of California - Berkeley (92%)
- Claremont McKenna College (92%)
No matter what they are looking for, with more than 350 options to choose from, students seeking to attend public or private not-for-profit schools in California have a great selection to choose from.