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Top 25 Colleges in California for 2017

California, the most populous state in the country, is home to more than 660 public and private colleges and universities, including those associated with the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges. The University of California system includes some of the most prestigious colleges in California, such as the University of California – Berkeley, University of California – Los Angeles, University of California – Santa Barbara, University of California – Irvine, University of California – Davis, and University of California – San Diego. These six schools are not only some of the best colleges in California; they are each ranked in the top 45 of national universities by U.S. News & World Report in its 2017 Best Colleges rankings.

The state of California is also home to many other schools ranked very highly on the national stage. Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, and University of Southern California are all in the top 25 according to the 2017 Best Colleges rankings put together by U.S. News & World Report. In total, there are three public higher education systems in the state: the University of California (UC), which hosts a student body of more than 230,000 students, The California State University (CSU) system, which is the largest university system in the United States with approximately 430,000 students, and the California Community Colleges System (CCCS), a system made up of 114 colleges in California and more than 2.4 million students. Additionally, there are hundreds of private colleges in California that educate many more students.

With so many options for attending colleges and universities in California, students have a difficult decision when looking for higher learning in the Golden State. To help make the decision easier, we’ve put together a list of the 25 top colleges in California for 2017.

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Online Colleges in California

To provide better access to education in the state of California, the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative was established. This initiative is part of a collaborative effort between the community colleges in California to give a broader range of students the opportunity to receive higher education throughout the state. While this has created a substantial number of online colleges in California in the community college system, it has also spurred on many of the universities and colleges in the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) systems to create their own online programs. Many of the schools listed above offer both courses and full degrees online. At the graduate level, fully online degrees become even more accessible, as many of the applicants are working professionals looking to advance their careers. By creating online programs, these prestigious colleges have become some of the best online colleges in California.

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