Types of California Colleges & Universities
California has three public college systems and private campuses to choose from. It is important to find a college that meets your educational needs and fits your lifestyle.
California College Systems At A Glance
|System||California Community Colleges||California State University||University of California||Independent Colleges & Universities|
|College Entrance Exam||None Required||ACT or SAT||ACT or SAT I
SAT II recommended for STEM majors
|Varies: check with the college or university of your choice|
|Degrees Offered||Associate Degrees and Vocational Certificates||Bachelor's, Master's and Joint Doctoral Degrees||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral and Professional Degrees||Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral and Professional Degrees|
|Cost (CA residents)||Approximately $1,636 per year||Approximately $6,881 per year||Approximately $13,900 per year||Varies: check with the college or university of your choice|
- Information is subject to change
California Colleges & Universities
California Community Colleges (CCC)
- The CCC system is composed of 113 campuses.
- Must be 18 years of age, a high school graduate or equivalent to attend.
- CCC offers associate degrees and a wide range of program certificates.
- Students may attend for two years then transfer to a college or university
California State University (CSU)
- The CSU system has 23 campuses.
- CSU usually admits the top third of high school graduates.
- CSU is the largest four-year system of higher education in the nation.
- Each campus reflects its own personality, academic focus and strengths.
- CSU offers an applied hands-on education that prepares students for either graduate school or the job market.
University of California (UC)
- The UC system has 10 campuses.
- UC usually admits the top 12.5 percent of high school graduates.
- UC has nationally ranked academic and athletic programs.
- UC provides an education based in research and theory that prepares many students for graduate or advanced degree programs.
Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities (AICCU)
- The AICCU has 75 colleges and universities throughout the state.
- AICCU offers a number of different degree programs.
Costs vary depending on the school. Financial aid is available to qualifying students.
Find information about higher education in California for students, counselors and parents.
Complete or renew the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
CA Dream Act
Apply for financial aid under the CA Dream Act if you are a qualifying AB540 student.
Find and apply for scholarships, colleges and jobs.
SAT Testing Information
Practice and register for the SAT I and SAT II.
ACT Testing Information
Practice and register for the ACT.