Best colleges in California 2018

What are the top 4-year colleges in California? Whether you’re looking to decide between a public or private university, find best-value colleges, or compare schools like University of Hawaii at Manoa, World Medicine Institute, and University of Hawai'i at Hilo, we’ve got you covered.

We’ll help you find the best colleges in California - and afford them too. Over 79000 students and 4995 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.

727

Number of
4-year colleges in California

1,492,218

Students attending
4-year colleges in California

$19,696

Average
in-state tuition

$21,906

Average
out-of-state tuition

Best colleges in California 2018

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

10 US News
The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of

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: $77,800
Follow

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: $59,200
Follow

Best colleges in California 2018

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

4 US News
http://exploredegrees.stanford.edu/stanfordsmission/ From the Stanford University Founding Grant, November 11, 1885: ...the Nature, Object, and Purposes of the Institution Hereby Founded, to Be: Its nature, that of a university with such seminaries of learning as shall make it of the highest grade, including mechanical institutes, museums, galleries

Best colleges in California 2018

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Total undergraduates: 8,302
Acceptance rate: 4%
Average annual cost: $16,695
Average salary: $86,000
Follow
school gear image

Earn scholarships from colleges starting in high school

Over 500,000 high school students are earning scholarships for their grades, activities, and other achievements. Sign up for free and see how much you can earn!

Sign up for free

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: $60,800
Follow

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: $56,400
Follow

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: $54,500
Follow

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: $59,600
Follow

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: $59,000
Follow

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: $51,400
Follow

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: $67,700
Follow

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!

paper airplane

Sign up with RaiseMe to personalize your college search - it's free!


Sign up for free