California Private Colleges with Program and School Information

There are nearly 200 private non-profit colleges and universities in California. Read about the schools with most program variety, highest graduation rates, lowest student-faculty ratios and lowest costs to find the school for you.

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Students who are seeking out a private non-profit college or university in California have a large list from which to choose. This article helps sort through the options by assessing the schools by categories like undergraduate student enrollment, graduation rates and tuition using rates and statistics compiled by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

California Private Non-Profit Colleges Near Large Cities

With the vast number of private non-profit colleges in California, students have the freedom to choose which city they'd like to be near while they attend school. Cities include Oakland, San Jose and San Pedro.

  • Bethesda University (Anaheim)
  • Mills College (Oakland)
  • California College San Diego (San Diego)
  • Fresno Pacific University (Fresno)
  • Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles)

Largest Private Colleges in California

The top private non-profit colleges in California with the largest undergraduate enrollment, as of Fall 2014, are listed below. These schools had more than 5,000 students at the undergraduate level, while a majority of the schools had less than 1,000.

  • University of Southern California (18,739 undergraduates)
  • National University (9,721 undergraduates)
  • Stanford University (7,019 undergraduates)
  • University of San Francisco (6,845 undergraduates)
  • Chapman University (6,281 undergraduates)

Lowest Net Price

Also important in the college selection process is the cost of attending a particular college. The net costs listed by NCES are determined by subtracting the average total government or institutional financial aid a student receives from the total cost of attending the college. The schools listed below offer some of the lowest net prices among California's private non-profit colleges, and they were the lowest priced among traditional 2- and 4-year schools for 2014-2015.

  • Humphreys College-Stockton and Modesto Campuses ($11,250)
  • Bethesda University ($11,810)
  • Touro University Worldwide ($12,039)
  • University of the West ($12,187)
  • Brandman University ($12,504)

Highest Graduation Rate

The graduation rates compiled by NCES are calculated based on the percentage of students who graduated at 150% of the expected time. For 2-year colleges, these rates reflect those who graduated within 3 years, and for 4-year colleges, rates show how many students completed their degrees within 6 years. The private non-profit schools in California with the highest graduation rates are 4-year schools.

  • Pomona College (94% graduation rate)
  • Stanford University (94% graduation rate)
  • Claremont McKenna College (92% graduation rate)
  • University of Southern California (92% graduation rate)
  • Harvey Mudd College (92% graduation rate)

California has one of the most diverse assortment of private colleges in the country, due to the size of its population; for that reason, we've listed these schools in a manner that could help you decide which is best for your needs.

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