Orange County, California Colleges and Universities

With many options to choose from, it's important to consider a variety of factors - such as nearness to large cities, student population, net price, and graduation rate - before making a decision on where to enroll in Orange county, California.

Orange County Schools Near Large Cities

Being able to travel to and from the downtown area from your college campus is appealing to many students for numerous reasons. The NCES lists two different cities within the bounds of Orange County that qualify as being 'large cities', each with a few colleges located near them. These are:

  • Santa Ana College (Santa Ana)
  • North-West College - Santa Ana (Santa Ana)
  • West Coast University - Orange County (Anaheim)
  • Bristol University (Anaheim)

Largest Schools in Orange County

Larger student populations are often an indicator of the level of diversity at a school and the number of activities and clubs a college campus provides. Orange County has several large schools within its borders. The NCES ranks these five schools as the largest in the county based on the 2014 student population data.

  • University of California - Irvine (30,051)
  • Santa Ana College (29,590)
  • University of Phoenix - California (23,257)
  • Orange Coast College (21,775)
  • Saddleback College (20,007)

Lowest Net Price

The NCES determines the average net cost for colleges and universities by subtracting the amount of financial aid students typically receive from the total cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies and miscellaneous expenses. These schools had the lowest reported net prices for full-time undergraduates in 2014-2015.

  • Santa Ana College ($6,006)
  • Santiago Canyon College ($6,121)
  • Orange Coast College ($10,486)
  • Irvine Valley College ($11,266)
  • Coastline Community College ($11,557)

Highest Graduation Rates

The overall graduation rates reported by the NCES represent full-time undergraduate students who began their studies in 2009 and graduated in 150% of the 'normal time' it takes to complete their degree program (such as six years for a bachelor's degree). The schools listed below had the highest graduation rates in Orange County.

  • Bristol University (89%)
  • University of California - Irvine (88%)
  • Chapman University (79%)
  • Pacific College (74%)
  • Concordia University - Irvine (61%)

Orange County has a several great schools to choose from, so it's important to consider graduation rate, net cost, student population, and closeness to large cities before deciding where to attend.

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