In this article, we are going to write about the top best colleges in California.
Choosing a college can be difficult, but it is an important decision that will significantly impact your future.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best colleges in California for you to peruse.
We analyzed and ranked the best schools based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life along with millions of reviews from students and alumni.
This list includes some well-known colleges like Stanford University or Caltech as well as lesser-known colleges like UC Davis or Harvey Mudd College so there should be something for everyone!
What to consider when choosing a college
When thinking of college to attend, you need to focus on a few key factors.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a college:
- You’ll need an excellent academic record.
- It’s best if you have a certain career in mind and want to enroll at the best possible school for your field of study.
- Location of the best college in California, or proximity to your home.
- You want to be close enough for visits but not too close so that you spend time and money commuting instead of studying!
- Best colleges ranking; weighing how well a school performs academically on national exams like the ACT and SAT and how much it charges you for tuition.
- Best colleges in California based on whether they are public or private, what kind of campus life they offer to students.
- Cost is also important, but it shouldn’t be your only consideration.
- You should balance cost with other factors like safety or location so that you can make sure that what may seem cheap isn’t actually going to end up being unaffordable.
How much does it cost to attend the best colleges in California
The cost of attending a colleges in California is going to vary.
But for the best colleges in California, you can expect a cost of around $30,000 per year.
This breaks down to an average annual tuition rate at public schools is about $12,500 and private institutions range from $33,750-$45,250.
Some best colleges in California offer merit scholarships or other types of financial aid.
This can help lower your college expenses so don’t let this discourage you!
Costs include room & board which are calculated at an average price nationwide – if these costs rise then it would be reflected as well.
The college with the lowest out-of-state fee was Stanford University while UC Berkeley had one of the highest fees (but they have excellent academics too!).
Other ways of paying for your education
There are other ways you can pay for your education tuition fee and you don’t need to break the bank or go bankrupt.
Scholarships are a great way to reduce tuition costs and there are scholarships out there that may be specific to you!
For example, if you’re an athlete or have special skills then maybe one of those could help fund your college degree.
There are also work-study programs which allow students to earn money during their studies while they go through school.
This is helpful because it means less debt in the long run but keep in mind some jobs might not suit your desired profession.
So, think about what would best fit with where you want to study.
You can also get financial aid from Federal College Aid like grants and loans (you might need parental co-signers).
Tips on finding the right college for you
If you’re a first-time college student, then it might be best to go with an in-state school.
It’s usually easier for your family because there are less expenses and more opportunities available should something happen.
Also, if you have any special skills or desires (for example: sports) then make sure that the university has those programs as well!
If not, they might offer scholarships which can help reduce tuition costs!
All of these factors will contribute to what makes the best college for YOU so do some research before enrolling at one institution.
You’ll be glad you did when it comes time for graduation day 🙂 !
Top Colleges in California – CA in 2021
However, the list of the best colleges in California are as follows:
1. Stanford University
The west coast school of Stanford University, which is less than 30 miles from San Francisco,
However, Standford university has produced top influencers in various fields, such as Jack Ma in the field of entrepreneurship and Sergey Brin from Google.
Stanford University fees are as follow:
- Tuition and Fees: $49,229
- Room and Board Rates: $15,431
- Total Cost of Attendance (COA): $64,660
Financial Aid Awarded to Students 2016-2017:
- Scholarships -$28 million
- Loans -$380 million.
However, there are some other information you need to know about Standford university as an aspirant.
- The best way to get into Stanford University is by getting a high SAT score.
- There are 20% Native American and Hispanic
- International students needs a good academic transcript.
2. California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Caltech as most people use to call the college.
This is one of the best colleges in California for a student who wishes to study engineering-related programme and Mathematics.
It is best known for its academic-centered focus and not so much for its extracurricular activities.
The average SAT score in California Institute are 1490 to 1560 (combined) with a percentile rank of 99 percentile.
Also, it has an acceptance rate at 6%.
However, Caltech rank is number one for best engineering school and mathematics programme among the US colleges.
This best ranked College has many high-achieving students with an average SAT score of 1490 to 1560 (combined) percentile rank 99%.
Their Tuition Fees for undergraduate student a year range from $48,909 to 49,750 dollars a year which can be costly but it’s also worth each penny spent.
There are 20% Native American and Hispanic Students that need a good academic transcript.
They have very rigorous admission criteria required for all incoming undergraduates including those wishing to come from other countries (international applicants).
3. University of Southern California (USC)
The university ranks as the third-best college out of all 800+ best colleges with its rigorous academics.
But also a less than competitive tuition cost to join.
It was founded by Leland Stanford Junior who had tremendous wealth from his successful railroad business that he created after moving to California during The Gold Rush era.
He wanted to create an institution where different people could come together and learn without being treated unfairly due to race or gender.
USC is a private, not-for-profit university that as of Fall 2017 had over 34,000 undergraduate and graduate students
The University has an acceptance rate of 11% and student to faculty ratio at USC is 14:11
90% of the classes are taught by professors who have earned their Ph.D or terminal degree in their discipline(s)
95% admit rate for first year applicants (Fall 2015 freshmen cohort) – 92% yield rates after freshman year (2015 entering class).
4. California Polytechnic State University, Pomona
You need to know that this college is also known as “Cal Poly Pomona“.
- School Type: Public
- 14,000+ undergraduate students
- 7% acceptance rate (2020)
- Student to Faculty ratio is about 18:18.
The best part of this college is that it also has a program for veterans and they offer scholarships as well.
Another information you need to know about the school is that their admission process includes an essay and interviews.
This has makes them very selective in who gets accepted into the university.
This helps ensure quality education by only accepting people with high grades or ACT/SAT scores.
Student are authorise to use the library and they have a lot of open study spaces.
The best part of this college is that it has over 100-degree programs to choose from, so students will never be bored while attending school here.
Another great thing about Cal Poly Pomona is that they offer more than 50 different fields for studies in engineering!
5. The University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA is one of the best colleges in California.
The University of California, Los Angeles is a college located in Westwood, Los Angeles.
It’s also one of the best schools to attend!
UCLA has an excellent reputation for their academics as well as students life.
They have many different majors that are offered including various fields such as astronomy, theater arts etc.
So there will never be any shortage on what you want to study at this school.
This university offers more than 12000 courses per year which makes them great for people who can’t decide on just one career path or area they would like to pursue.
The best part about attending USC is that they offer housing opportunities besides dorms for those who prefer not living with strangers.
But instead live in the best apartments they offer.
The one downside about this school is that the tuition cost isn’t very affordable for many students but scholarships and grants are always available for those in need.
6. The University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley ranks 12th best college out of all 800+ best colleges in America
It’s a part of one of the original “Public Ivies” meaning it has excellent academics but is also affordable for most students because they are subsidized by taxpayers.
Berkeley is known to produce some notable alumni like Timothy Berners-Lee inventor of the world wide web which he invented while at this school!
UC Berkeley’s best majors are Economics, Political Science, and Environmental Policy.
Berkeley is ranked the best public university in America by U.S News & World Report for 2018-2019!
It has a total of six schools that offer 50 bachelor degree programs with about 40% being STEM degrees.
which rank it high nationally as well and stand out when compared to other best colleges in California.
its graduates are known for their leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship as well as its high levels of engagement throughout the world.
Even though a lot of people may not know this but Berkeley houses one of America’s best business schools right here on campus!
7. University California Davis (UCD)
The campus itself spans over 500 acres with its own competitive sports teams alongside other well-rounded extra curious activities that you can participate in on a daily basis.
UC Davis best alumni include the founders of LinkedIn and YouTube.
However, the city was built so you can enjoy the student relationship with staffs and professors in the university.
In addition to that, the college offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
You can join the institution with over 31,500 undergraduate and 12,800 graduate students.
The best part is that UC Davis has a low student to faculty ratio.
It also offers 100% of the classes in English and it even offers an impressive 93% graduation rate!
This college is perfect for students who want to pursue their own interests while still being surrounded by other like-minded individuals with similar majors and backgrounds.
8. University California Irvine (UCI)
UCI is ranked the best public university in California with an undergraduate acceptance rate of 36%.
This is considered one of the best universities for STEM majors as well.
It also has a low student-to-faculty ratio and faculty members are accessible to students, which means you can get help from them whenever you need it!
UCI is ranked among the top 50 best colleges in America by Forbes.
The best feature about UCI?
It has some beautiful scenery that will make your college experience all worth it.
Students experience in the campus is what makes UCI an outstanding college.
The location of this college is one of its best features because it’s just a short drive from San Diego or Los Angeles.
If you’re looking for an easy weekend trip.
It’s not too far away but still close enough for family members to come visit on holidays such as Thanksgiving.
Plus, with many sports teams (such as soccer) there’s plenty of fun opportunities waiting for you even outside your academics!
9. San Diego State University (SDSU)
San Diego State University is ranked as the best college in California.
SDSU was founded on February 12, 1897 and has a current enrollment of over 35,000 students.
It’s one of those colleges that you can easily find because it’s right outside of downtown San Diego.
Which means there are plenty of things to do close by!
The best thing about SDSU besides its location is that they offer more than 100 undergraduate majors across six academic colleges.
You will also see their nationally high-ranking graduate programs such as nursing or business administration.
This gives applicants many opportunities for their future career paths.
It would be a great choice for someone who wants to pursue their education in this region.
10. San Jose State University
San Jose State University campus is located on 260 acres and offers over 240 programs across seven colleges.
It has an enrollment of almost 36,000 students.
This means it’s one of those schools that are a little less popular than others but still have something to offer.
The best thing about SJSU besides its large amount of alumni is their strong commitment to diversity.
However, if you’re looking for somewhere with people from different backgrounds then this might be your best bet!
If you want some school spirit then head down to Spartan Stadium (which seats just under 30,000).
You’ll get yourself fill there with football games or other student athletics events every week.
And while we’re talking, their tuition fee start at $22,000.
Another great value about this college is that they offer the best financial aid package.
BONUS: Loyola Marymount University
I just decided to mention the Loyola Marymount University becuase of it highest number of acceptance each year.
Being included in the list of the best colleges in California makes them an outstanding institution.
Their tuition fee starts at $22,000 and they offer the best financial aid package to students.
Loyola Marrymount university average SAT scores range from 1230 to 1410.
International applicant will need to submit TOEFL, IELTS and SAT scores.
Loyola Marymount University best known for its Business Administration programs.
All of their MBA classes are taught in English.
There is no minimum GPA requirement for admission to Loyola Marymount., but some degrees have required GPAs.
We advice you do enough research about the college and how they best fit your needs.
It all comes down to research: do enough of it and make sure you know exactly what are your best options.
Student life is awesome and the interesting part is that you will be surrounded by people of similar interests.
However, the student receives a free account to search for part-time jobs, internships, volunteer positions, and eventually, full-time jobs.
You can work as a tutor, a peer mentor or a student ambassador.
they give you free transportation and you’re limited to 10 – 20 hours per week.
Conclusion on Best Colleges in California
We hope you enjoy reading about the best colleges in California and that this list helps you make a more informed decision.
Feel free to let us know your thoughts on our list by commenting below or emailing [email protected]!
It takes time for any student at these schools to complete their education.
The best part is that each school offers so much diversity and opportunity for every type of student.
What do I think about the best colleges in California?
Personally, my favorite colleges on this list are Stanford University (#19), UC Berkeley (#14), and Harvey Mudd College (#11).
My least favorites would be Claremont McKenna Colleges (CMC).
Dont ask me why! 🙂
We will be waiting for your question in the comments below.
Feel free to share our article on social media!