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Colleges in California

25 colleges
669,380 yearly degrees
$9,651 average yearly in-state tuition
$22,214 average 4-year student loan

There are fewer schools than is typical in this state, but students should remember quality is more important than quantity. Students who are able to take advantage of in-state tuition will only pay an average of $9,651 to get their degree at a public California college, while out of state students will pay an average of $23,796.

An estimated 28% of college students in California take out loans, with the average loan amount being $5,554.

Below is a listing of the most popular colleges in California sorted by largest school to smallest:

#1

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California
Private not-for-profit public vs private
17,090 yearly awards
$30,232 net cost

The total student population at University of Southern California is 45,687, of which 18,631 students are full-time undergraduates. It takes the average USC undergraduate about 4.2 years to complete their degree.

About 16% of students who apply get accepted. Of the accepted students, 49% are men and 51% are women.

Roughly, 30% of students at USC take out loans to pay for college. The typical loan amount is $7,747. The student loan default rate of 1.8% means most graduates are not struggling to pay off their loans.

Students who graduate for USC with a bachelor’s degree make an average of $74,000 after graduation.

#2

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
Public public vs private
13,600 yearly awards
$14,309 net cost

There are 30,458 full-time undergraduates at UCLA, and 44,027 students altogether. Students tend to stick around at UCLA. The freshman retention rate is 97%.

About 16% of students who apply get accepted. Around 43% of accepted students are men, and 57% are women.

Approximately 33% of the students who attend this school take out loans. The average amount of these loans is $5,912. UCLA has a 1.8% student default rate. This is excellent when you compare it to the national rate of 10.8%.

A typical bachelor-degree holder from this school earns $60,700.

#3

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California
Public public vs private
13,500 yearly awards
$15,859 net cost

There are approximately 41,891 students at UC Berkeley in total, 29,351 of which are full-time undergraduates. It takes the average UC Berkeley undergraduate about 4.2 years to complete their degree.

About 17% of students who apply get accepted. Of the accepted students, 43% are men and 57% are women.

21% of UC Berkeley students take out loans to afford college costs. Most of these students take out loans totaling $6,237. The student loan default rate of 2.4% means most graduates are not struggling to pay off their loans.

The average earnings of bachelor-degree holders from UC Berkeley is $64,700.

#4

Santa Ana College

Santa Ana, California
Public public vs private
12,850 yearly awards
$4,393 net cost

There are approximately 28,083 students at SAC in total, 5,469 of which are full-time undergraduates.

0% of SAC students take out loans to afford college costs. Most of these students take out loans totaling $3,498. This school’s student loan default rate of 9.8% is close to the national average.

$33,800 is the average amount a bachelor-degree holder from SAC earns.

Public public vs private
11,350 yearly awards
$8,737 net cost

There are 28,475 full-time undergraduates at Cal State Fullerton, and 40,905 students altogether. Students tend to stick around at Cal State Fullerton. The freshman retention rate is 87%.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 46%. Around 37% of accepted students are men, and 63% are women.

Approximately 32% of the students who attend this school take out loans. The typical loan amount is $5,594. Cal State Fullerton has a 3.9% student default rate. This is excellent when you compare it to the national rate of 10.8%.

The typical graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton earns $47,200.

Public public vs private
11,180 yearly awards
$9,423 net cost

The total student population at California State University - Long Beach is 37,622, of which 27,507 students are full-time undergraduates. Students tend to stick around at Cal State Long Beach. The freshman retention rate is 88%.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 28%. Around 40% of accepted students are men, and 60% are women.

Roughly, 35% of students at Cal State Long Beach take out loans to pay for college. The average amount of these loans is $5,454. Cal State Long Beach has a 3.6% student default rate. This is excellent when you compare it to the national rate of 10.8%.

$48,100 is the average amount a bachelor-degree holder from Cal State Long Beach earns.

#7

University of California - Davis

Davis, California
Public public vs private
10,960 yearly awards
$15,737 net cost

There are 29,284 full-time undergraduates at UC Davis, and 37,380 students altogether. It takes the average UC Davis undergraduate about 4.4 years to complete their degree.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 43%. Of the accepted students, 41% are men and 59% are women.

Approximately 39% of the students who attend this school take out loans. Most of these students take out loans totaling $4,971. The student loan default rate of 2% means most graduates are not struggling to pay off their loans.

The average earnings of bachelor-degree holders from UC Davis is $58,200.

Public public vs private
10,830 yearly awards
$5,703 net cost

The total student population at California State University - Northridge is 41,319, of which 29,739 students are full-time undergraduates. It takes the average California State University - Northridge undergraduate about 5.1 years to complete their degree.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 58%. Around 42% of accepted students are men, and 58% are women.

Roughly, 32% of students at California State University - Northridge take out loans to pay for college. The average amount of these loans is $4,644. The school reports a student loan default rate of 5.4% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

A typical bachelor-degree holder from this school earns $45,400.

#9

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, California
Public public vs private
10,300 yearly awards
$14,630 net cost

There are approximately 35,772 students at UCSD in total, 27,880 of which are full-time undergraduates. Students tend to stick around at UCSD. The freshman retention rate is 94%.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 34%. Of the accepted students, 45% are men and 55% are women.

37% of UCSD students take out loans to afford college costs. The typical loan amount is $5,333. The school reports a student loan default rate of 2.1% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

Students who graduate for UCSD with a bachelor’s degree make an average of $59,900 after graduation.

#10

San Diego State University

San Diego, California
Public public vs private
10,000 yearly awards
$14,030 net cost

There are 27,060 full-time undergraduates at SDSU, and 35,158 students altogether. It takes the average SDSU undergraduate about 4.7 years to complete their degree.

About 35% of students who apply get accepted. Around 42% of accepted students are men, and 58% are women.

32% of SDSU students take out loans to afford college costs. Most of these students take out loans totaling $6,485. SDSU has a 2.8% student default rate. This is excellent when you compare it to the national rate of 10.8%.

The typical graduate with a bachelor’s degree from SDSU earns $51,000.

#11

Ashford University

San Diego, California
Private for-profit public vs private
9,920 yearly awards
$18,749 net cost

There are approximately 36,453 students at Ashford University in total, 31,545 of which are full-time undergraduates. It takes the average Ashford University undergraduate about 5 years to complete their degree.

Approximately 79% of the students who attend this school take out loans. The average amount of these loans is $6,769. Students should know that the student default rate at this school is 13.5% which is higher than the national average of 10.8%!

$41,200 is the average amount a bachelor-degree holder from Ashford University earns.

#12

San Jose State University

San Jose, California
Public public vs private
9,730 yearly awards
$14,627 net cost

The total student population at San Jose State University is 35,835, of which 23,097 students are full-time undergraduates. It takes the average San Jose State undergraduate about 5.1 years to complete their degree.

About 67% of students who apply get accepted. Of the accepted students, 46% are men and 54% are women.

Roughly, 39% of students at San Jose State take out loans to pay for college. The typical loan amount is $5,680. The school reports a student loan default rate of 3.5% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

Students who graduate for San Jose State with a bachelor’s degree make an average of $56,100 after graduation.

#13

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, California
Public public vs private
9,720 yearly awards
$13,376 net cost

There are approximately 35,242 students at UC Irvine in total, 28,855 of which are full-time undergraduates. Students tend to stick around at UC Irvine. The freshman retention rate is 94%.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 37%. Around 44% of accepted students are men, and 56% are women.

Roughly, 36% of students at UC Irvine take out loans to pay for college. The average amount of these loans is $5,162. The school reports a student loan default rate of 1.9% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

A typical bachelor-degree holder from this school earns $58,400.

#14

California State University - Sacramento

Sacramento, California
Public public vs private
7,970 yearly awards
$9,733 net cost

The total student population at California State University - Sacramento is 31,255, of which 23,491 students are full-time undergraduates. Students tend to stick around at California State University - Sacramento. The freshman retention rate is 83%.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 68%. Of the accepted students, 40% are men and 60% are women.

Approximately 34% of the students who attend this school take out loans. Most of these students take out loans totaling $5,109. The school reports a student loan default rate of 5.4% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

The typical graduate with a bachelor’s degree from California State University - Sacramento earns $48,900.

#15

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, California
Public public vs private
7,570 yearly awards
$13,787 net cost

There are 22,263 full-time undergraduates at SFSU, and 29,758 students altogether. Students tend to stick around at SFSU. The freshman retention rate is 81%.

About 70% of students who apply get accepted. Around 37% of accepted students are men, and 63% are women.

40% of SFSU students take out loans to afford college costs. The typical loan amount is $5,461. The school reports a student loan default rate of 4.8% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

The average earnings of bachelor-degree holders from SFSU is $49,200.

#16

University of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California
Public public vs private
7,010 yearly awards
$15,764 net cost

The total student population at University of California - Santa Barbara is 25,057, of which 21,777 students are full-time undergraduates. It takes the average UCSB undergraduate about 4.2 years to complete their degree.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 33%. Of the accepted students, 41% are men and 59% are women.

Roughly, 37% of students at UCSB take out loans to pay for college. The average amount of these loans is $6,053. The school reports a student loan default rate of 2.4% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

The average earnings of bachelor-degree holders from UCSB is $55,300.

#17

California State University - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California
Public public vs private
6,600 yearly awards
$3,792 net cost

There are 21,004 full-time undergraduates at California State University - Los Angeles, and 28,531 students altogether. It takes the average California State University - Los Angeles undergraduate about 5.2 years to complete their degree.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 46%. Of the accepted students, 39% are men and 61% are women.

24% of California State University - Los Angeles students take out loans to afford college costs. The typical loan amount is $3,945. California State University - Los Angeles has a 5.4% student default rate. This is excellent when you compare it to the national rate of 10.8%.

The typical graduate with a bachelor’s degree from California State University - Los Angeles earns $46,100.

Public public vs private
6,310 yearly awards
$13,068 net cost

There are approximately 26,053 students at CSU Pomona in total, 21,668 of which are full-time undergraduates. Students tend to stick around at CSU Pomona. The freshman retention rate is 86%.

About 55% of students who apply get accepted. Around 46% of accepted students are men, and 54% are women.

Approximately 36% of the students who attend this school take out loans. Most of these students take out loans totaling $6,161. The school reports a student loan default rate of 3.7% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

Students who graduate for CSU Pomona with a bachelor’s degree make an average of $54,000 after graduation.

#19

Santa Monica College

Santa Monica, California
Public public vs private
6,300 yearly awards
$4,868 net cost

There are approximately 29,760 students at SMC in total, 11,095 of which are full-time undergraduates.

1% of SMC students take out loans to afford college costs. The average amount of these loans is $4,511. Students should know that the student default rate at this school is 13.1% which is higher than the national average of 10.8%!

$33,000 is the average amount a bachelor-degree holder from SMC earns.

#20

Chaffey College

Rancho Cucamonga, California
Public public vs private
6,180 yearly awards
$8,845 net cost

The total student population at Chaffey College is 22,508, of which 5,992 students are full-time undergraduates.

Roughly, 0% of students at Chaffey College take out loans to pay for college. Most of these students take out loans totaling $8,853. The school reports a student loan default rate of 6% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

A typical bachelor-degree holder from this school earns $31,500.

#21

East Los Angeles College

Monterey Park, California
Public public vs private
6,070 yearly awards
$8,261 net cost

There are 8,009 full-time undergraduates at East Los Angeles College, and 34,578 students altogether.

Approximately 0% of the students who attend this school take out loans. The typical loan amount is $4,665. Students should know that the student default rate at this school is 15.8% which is higher than the national average of 10.8%!

$31,300 is the average amount a bachelor-degree holder from East Los Angeles College earns.

#22

Pasadena City College

Pasadena, California
Public public vs private
5,940 yearly awards
$5,487 net cost

There are approximately 27,324 students at Pasadena City College in total, 10,422 of which are full-time undergraduates.

Roughly, 1% of students at Pasadena City College take out loans to pay for college. The average amount of these loans is $4,496. Students should know that the student default rate at this school is 13.4% which is higher than the national average of 10.8%!

Students who graduate for Pasadena City College with a bachelor’s degree make an average of $33,800 after graduation.

#23

University of California - Riverside

Riverside, California
Public public vs private
5,810 yearly awards
$12,344 net cost

There are 19,719 full-time undergraduates at UCR, and 23,279 students altogether. It takes the average UCR undergraduate about 4.4 years to complete their degree.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 57%. Around 43% of accepted students are men, and 57% are women.

53% of UCR students take out loans to afford college costs. Most of these students take out loans totaling $5,208. The school reports a student loan default rate of 2.8% which is much lower than the average rate of 10.8%!

The average earnings of bachelor-degree holders from UCR is $49,700.

Public public vs private
5,750 yearly awards
$5,872 net cost

The total student population at California State University - Fresno is 25,325, of which 19,432 students are full-time undergraduates. It takes the average Fresno State undergraduate about 5 years to complete their degree.

The school doesn’t accept everyone: It has an acceptance rate of 59%. Of the accepted students, 38% are men and 62% are women.

Approximately 25% of the students who attend this school take out loans. The typical loan amount is $4,816. Fresno State has a 5% student default rate. This is excellent when you compare it to the national rate of 10.8%.

The typical graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Fresno State earns $44,700.

#25

American River College

Sacramento, California
Public public vs private
5,700 yearly awards
$5,419 net cost

There are approximately 31,858 students at American River in total, 6,073 of which are full-time undergraduates.

3% of American River students take out loans to afford college costs. Most of these students take out loans totaling $6,076. Students should know that the student default rate at this school is 18.2% which is higher than the national average of 10.8%!

A typical bachelor-degree holder from this school earns $32,000.

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