3 Best Colleges in California

California’s four-year institutions include some of the world’s most prestigious public and private schools, with highly competitive admissions processes reflecting said reputations. Freshmen impaction, or setting caps on the number of students a school can admit, is a real concern for public universities in California, including campuses within the California State University (CSU) system. State schools make clear that restricted openings for certain majors can ultimately influence admission timeframes and limit availability to students living in certain regions. The LA Times explains that public colleges and universities are involved in efforts to expand student capacities through the creation of new facilities; however, these developments will likely lead to continued tuition increases.

But even with tuition hikes, a 4-year education is valuable. On average, a bachelor’s degree increases an individual’s earning power 108% over those with a high school diploma or GED. In addition, the state is suffering from an inability to produce enough graduates to keep pace with employer demands, driving companies to pay extra for qualified personnel imported from other states. Given the great need for in-state 4-year degree holders, now is the perfect time to enter a bachelor’s program as a California resident. We’ve compiled the following list of top colleges to help you get started.

  • Stanford University

Stanford’s academic programs are offered in seven schools: Business, Earth Sciences, Education, Engineering, Humanities and Sciences, Law, and Medicine. Majors with the highest enrollment rates include computer science, engineering, and biology. The school’s research enterprise encompasses more than 5,500 externally funded projects, with a total budget in excess of $1.2 billion. Admission is competitive, but Stanford’s excellent reputation presents a favorable value proposition.

  • Pomona College

The school’s academic programs include a total of 48 majors in fields across the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Despite the school’s small and close-knit feel, it offers resources and opportunities that compare favorably to the best colleges in California.

University of California-Los Angeles

Despite UCLA’s large size, classes tend to be small, offering students the opportunity to forge meaningful connections with its renowned faculty members. About 70% of all undergraduate classes are comprised of fewer than 30 students, and the school’s extensive alumni network includes connections with leaders in practically every academic and business field.

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