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Costa Mesa, California (CA) Colleges and Universities

There are 112 colleges and universities within 25 miles of Costa Mesa, CA. Learn about the schools with largest student populations, highest graduation rates, lowest costs, and closest proximity to Costa Mesa to find the school for you.

With over 110 schools in the nearby area, Costa Mesta students have plenty of options when searching for a college or university. Students can choose from private, 2-year colleges, professional and career schools, or even large 4-year universities. To help students learn about their options, prospective students should review data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in several different categories.

Schools Closest to Costa Mesa, California

There are 3 schools, both public and privately-owned in downtown Costa Mesa. There are many more options offering everything ranging from a certificate to doctorate within driving distance. Below are the 5 schools closest to Costa Mesa:

  • Orange Coast College (downtown Costa Mesa)
  • University of Phoenix-California (downtown Costa Mesa)
  • Vanguard University of Southern California (downtown Costa Mesa)
  • Coastline Community College (3.2 miles away)
  • University of California-Irvine (4.5 miles away)

Largest Schools Near Costa Mesa, California

There are many moderate to large-sized schools near Costa Mesa to choose from if size is a priority in your college search. There are nearly 20 schools with over 10,000 students, and the top 5 range from 28,000 to 39,000 total students. Here is a list of the top 5 largest schools near Costa Mesa:

  • California State University-Fullerton (38,948 total students)
  • California State University-Long Beach (37,446 total students)
  • University of California-Irvine (30,836 total students)
  • Santa Ana College (29,808 total students)
  • Mt San Antonio College (28,991 total students)

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Lowest Net Price

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) determines the net price for U.S. colleges and universities by deducting the amount of financial aid first-time, full-time undergraduate students receive from the total cost of attendance. The following schools have the lowest reported net prices for 2014-2015 among all schools in the Costa Mesa area. These schools had net prices ranging from $3,700 to $6,100.

  • California State University-Dominguez Hills ($3,764)
  • Mt San Antonio College ($4,042)
  • Long Beach City College ($5,546)
  • Santa Ana College ($6,006)
  • Rio Hondo College ($6,060)

Highest Graduation Rate

The NCES bases a school's graduation rate on the percentage of first-time, full-time, undergraduate students who complete their degree programs within 150% of 'normal' time (for example, six years for a bachelor's degree program). The top rates for schools in the area ranged between 70% and 88%. Here are 5 schools with the highest graduation rates near Costa Mesa:

  • University of California-Irvine (88% graduation rate)
  • Chapman University (79% graduation rate)
  • Standbridge College (76% graduation rate)
  • Biola University (70% graduation rate)
  • California State University-Long Beach (67% graduation rate)

For students looking to make an informed, data-drive college selection, it is strongly encouraged to weigh evaluation criteria such as: location, price, size, and graduation rate.


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