Discover some of the different kinds of colleges you could attend, where they’re located, and other helpful information for making your decision. You can also use the College Board College Finder or the California Colleges College Search Tool to search for colleges that fit your needs, and check out virtual campus tours to get a closer look at colleges you’re interested in.

The California Colleges College Search Tool helps you find the best colleges in California and across the country, based on the factors that matter most to you.

University of California and California State University

To be considered for a California State University (CSU) or University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU), you will need to earn your high school diploma and meet the minimum a-g requirements.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community. Most of these institutions were founded in the years after the American Civil War and are concentrated in the Southern United States.

Ivy League and Little Ivies

The Ivy League is comprised of eight private research universities in the Northeastern United States. Ivy League schools are viewed as some of the most prestigious universities in the world.

The Little Ivies are an unofficial group of small, academically competitive private liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States with highly selective admissions comparable to the Ivy League.

The Seven Sisters refers to a group of highly selective liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women’s colleges, created to provide women with the educational equivalent to the (traditionally male) Ivy League colleges. Five of them are still women-only colleges.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is an agreement among Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s 16 member states and territories, through which 160+ participating public colleges and universities provide steep nonresident tuition savings for Western students.

Through WUE, eligible students can choose from hundreds of undergraduate programs outside their home state, and pay no more than 150% of that institution’s resident tuition rate. Since full nonresident college-tuition rates may exceed 300% of resident rates, WUE increases affordable higher-education choices for students, and minimizes the adverse impacts of student loan debt.

Vocational/Trade Schools

Vocational schools, also known as trade or career schools, and certificate programs can be a great way to train for a variety of jobs. But not all of these programs are useful or legit, so it’s important to do your research before picking a program. Some community colleges also offer trade and certificate programs, and tuition is often less than that of a private vocational school.

Use the links below to find out more about vocational schools and search for one that may be right for you and the career you want.

Military Schools

The military offers unique educational opportunities for students who plan to pursue a college degree. These options – service academies, senior military colleges and maritime academies – offer world-class education and a deeper understanding of military culture. In addition, these schools grant full tuition in exchange for a period of service commitment. Competition to get in is fierce and the programs are demanding academically, physically, and mentally. To learn more, visit the website managed by the Department of Defense.

California College Systems

State Center Community College District (SCCCD)
California Community Colleges
The California State University
University of California
Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU)
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