California State Colleges and Universities

There are 356 public and private non-profit colleges and universities in California (CA). We've categorized the schools with the highest graduation rates and lowest costs, among other areas, to find the school that's most appropriate for you.

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It's no surprise that such a large, populated state is home to colleges and universities of all types and sizes. The following will help students zero in on the schools that are a good fit for them by listing and describing these California schools into four categories based on statistics from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES).

California Schools Near Large Cities

California schools near large cities offer students the chance to attend college in a variety of areas around the state. Several of these schools are private institutions offering myriad opportunities for undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

  • University of California-San Francisco (San Francisco)
  • Golden Gate University-San Francisco (San Francisco)
  • Mount Saint Mary's University (Los Angeles)
  • San Jose State University (San Jose)
  • San Diego State University (San Diego)

Largest Schools in California

The largest schools in California are among some of the largest institutions in the county, as of the fall in 2015. Most of these schools are public institutions offering bachelor's, master's and doctorate's degrees.

  • 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)

Lowest Net Price

Knowing how much it's going to cost can often help a student choose a college. NCES determines the net price by subtracting the total amount of government or institutional financial aid a student receives from the total cost of attending the college. The following schools offered the lowest net price among traditional not-for-profit schools in California, for full-time undergraduates in 2014-2015.

  • College of the Sequoias ($1,354)
  • Grossmont College ($2,296)
  • California State University-Los Angeles ($3,160)
  • Imperial Valley College ($3,402)
  • Cuyamaca College ($3,576)

Highest Graduation Rate

Colleges in California have relatively high graduation rates. The rates reported by the NCES are based on the overall graduation rate of full-time students who completed their studies in 150% of the 'normal time' it should take to complete the program. The following California schools had the highest graduation rates for full-time undergraduates who graduated in 2015.

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

These public and private non-profit schools and colleges have been gathered into categories representing graduation rates, tuition, location, and student enrollment to aid students in their college search.

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