Private Universities in Southern California

There are over 430 post-secondary private institutions throughout the Southern California region. Here we will compare the portion of these schools that offer a traditional variety of academic programs.

Many private universities are located in Southern California. This article compares a few of the private colleges and universities that provide a variety of programs in the region and compares them by each of the following National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) statistics:

Southern Californian Private Schools Near Large Cities

Larger urban areas often provide students with a variety of extracurricular and social networking opportunities. Here is a list of five private post-secondary schools in the large cities of Southern California.

  • ITT Technical Institute-Sylmar (Sylmar, CA)
  • Occidental College (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Woodbury University (Burbank, CA)
  • West Coast University-Los Angeles (North Hollywood, CA)
  • Shepherd University (Los Angeles, CA)

Largest Private Schools in Southern California

The large university experience offers many benefits, a larger cohort to offer help, networking opportunities and extracurricular activities. The NCES rates a school's size by its total student population. Here are five of the largest private schools in Southern California according to 2015 NCES reports.

  • University of Southern California (43,401 enrolled students)
  • Ashford University (42,452 enrolled students)
  • University of Phoenix-California (17,869 enrolled students)
  • National University (17,488 enrolled students)
  • Azusa Pacific University (9,975 enrolled students)

Lowest Net Price

Prospective students should keep a close eye on the price tag of any 4-year private university; the cost of attendance is often higher than that of a comparable public institution. The NCES determines net price by subtracting the average amount of undergraduate financial aid from the yearly cost of total undergraduate expenses. These figures come from the 2014-2015 academic year. Below are five private colleges that offer students a low net price.

  • Bethesda University ($11,810)
  • Touro University Worldwide ($12,039)
  • University of the West ($12,187)
  • Trident University International ($14,110)
  • Azusa Pacific University College ($14,646)

Highest Graduation Rate

The graduation rate is one way prospective students can shed light on a school's overall academic quality. These rates only apply to first-time, full-time undergraduates who graduated within 150% of normal time--for a bachelor's program, that would be six years or less. The following schools had some of the highest graduation rates in the area, per 2015 NCES data.

  • Argosy University-Los Angeles (100% graduation rate)
  • Mayfield College (95% graduation rate)
  • Pomona College (94% graduation rate)
  • Claremont McKenna College (92% graduation rate)
  • University of Southern California (92% graduation rate)

There is a lot to consider when searching for a school. For those students interested in private schools, we've covered some information about the location, student population, net price and graduation rates of private schools in Southern California.

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