Top 2020 Colleges in California

California's 717 Colleges and Universities

That's right, there are 717 colleges in California. This is by far more than any other sate. These schools are all across the state from northern California to Southern California. Large hubs can be found in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Like most other states, schools range from four year colleges to vocational schools. Let’s look at some NCES stats about the Golden State:

  • California is home to 309 four year colleges. 239 of them offer masters or doctorate programs in addition to undergraduate degrees.
  • There are by far more two year or less schools. 408 in total, only 30% of them are public community colleges.
  • California is one of the few states that has seen a boost in colleges enrollment.  Over the past 5 years there was a 3.5% increase in students. In 2017, 2,714,051 students were enrolled in college!
  • In total, there were 461,909 degrees awarded for the 2016 school year. By far the most of any state. 46% of those awards were bachelor degrees.

Salary Breakdown

College Scorecard tells us alums from Samuel Merritt University earn the highest average salary. 10 years after starting school, the average alum earns $111,100. Meanwhile, the 2018 mean annual wage earned in California is $59,150. You do the math!

California's Tuition Programs

As of 2019, CA residents are now eligible for two free years of community college.  California Community Colleges currently serves almost 25% of the nations two year students!  The new program only covers tuition costs. It does not cover costs such as books, transportation and housing.

California is also a member of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program. This program enables students to pursue degrees in one of 15 Western states at an in state tuition rate. According to WICHE, California students have saved over $1.35 billion out of state tuition since 1997. In 2018 that number was $187.3 million! Participating states include Oregon and  Nevada.

Top 4 Year Colleges

Top California colleges were ranked by total student population.

#1
47,310
Total Number of Students
$56,225
Tuition & Fees
13%
Acceptance Rate
#2
44,537
Total Number of Students
$13,226 / $42,218
Tuition & Fees
14%
Acceptance Rate
#3
42,501
Total Number of Students
$14,184 / $43,176
Tuition & Fees
15%
Acceptance Rate
#4
40,280
Total Number of Students
$6,886 / $18,766
Tuition & Fees
43%
Acceptance Rate
#5
40,212
Total Number of Students
$6,893 / $18,773
Tuition & Fees
51%
Acceptance Rate

Top Community Colleges in California

#1
East Los Angeles College, Monterey Park CA
35,403
Community College Students
$1,220 / $7,746
Tuition & Fees
Open
Acceptance Rate
#2
American River College, Sacramento CA
31,366
Community College Students
$1,104 / $8,712
Tuition & Fees
91%
Acceptance Rate
#3
29,346
Community College Students
$1,350 / $9,414
Tuition & Fees
79%
Acceptance Rate

All Colleges in California

Thousands of students have rated these California Colleges. Discover what they have to say. Find out about campus life, academics and more!

Source for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH