We’ll help you find the best colleges in California - and afford them too. Over 90000 students and 5010 high schools in California use RaiseMe to earn scholarships for college starting in 9th grade. Follow colleges to start earning scholarships from our 200+ college partners, and get a head start on choosing and affording your dream college. Read on for essential information about the best 4-year colleges in California.

729

Number of
4-year colleges in California

1,502,928

Students attending
4-year colleges in California

$19,635

Average
in-state tuition

$21,849

Average
out-of-state tuition

Best colleges in California 2018

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

10 US News
Caltech is a world-renowned institution, where extraordinary faculty and students seek answers to complex questions, discover new knowledge, lead innovation, and transform our future.

Best colleges in California 2018

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

Total undergraduates: 1,034
Acceptance rate: 8%
Average annual cost: $26,839
Average salary: $74,200
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Best colleges in California 2018

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

52 US News

Best colleges in California 2018

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

Total undergraduates: 3,698
Acceptance rate: 36%
Average annual cost: $39,637
Average salary: $61,100
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Best colleges in California 2018

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

4 US News
Located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, Stanford is one of the world's leading teaching and research universities.

Best colleges in California 2018

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Total undergraduates: 8,302
Acceptance rate: 4%
Average annual cost: $16,695
Average salary: $85,700
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Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

20 US News

Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Total undergraduates: 29,591
Acceptance rate: 16%
Average annual cost: -
Average salary: $61,800
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Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Davis

Davis, CA

41 US News

Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Davis

Davis, CA

Total undergraduates: 30,215
Acceptance rate: 42%
Average annual cost: -
Average salary: $56,300
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Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, CA

39 US News

Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, CA

Total undergraduates: 26,991
Acceptance rate: 40%
Average annual cost: -
Average salary: $55,100
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Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

23 US News

Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Total undergraduates: 31,906
Acceptance rate: 17%
Average annual cost: -
Average salary: $58,700
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Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, CA

39 US News

Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, CA

Total undergraduates: 27,918
Acceptance rate: 35%
Average annual cost: -
Average salary: $58,600
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Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

37 US News

Best colleges in California 2018

University of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

Total undergraduates: 21,897
Acceptance rate: 35%
Average annual cost: -
Average salary: $52,500
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Best colleges in California 2018

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

23 US News

Best colleges in California 2018

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Total undergraduates: 20,543
Acceptance rate: 16%
Average annual cost: $32,932
Average salary: $70,400
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Our Methodology

We show up to 10 universities for our "best colleges" section. These universities are chosen based on Forbes or US News rank (depending on what you've chosen) and sorted alphabetically. If there are fewer than 10 universities that are Forbes (or US News) ranked, we add alphabetically. Forbes' 2016 Rank of America's Best Colleges factors in post-graduate success (including salaries and awards like MacArthur Fellowships, National Academy of Sciences seats, and performing arts honors), student debt, student satisfaction, graduation rate, and academic success (which includes how many students go on to get advanced degrees or receive prestigious fellowships).

Read more about the rankings. US News' 2016 Best Colleges Rankings are also based on a variety of factors, including graduation and retention rates, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate, and alumni giving rate. Read more about their methodology. You can also sign up for a free RaiseMe profile to customize your college search by location, popular majors and more!

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