California colleges and universities are among the most popular in the nation, and it's no surprise. Hopping cultural hubs, diverse cuisine, and an active nightlife are big incentives for some students, but those looking for a small-town college experience aren't disappointed either. Featuring big city centers, sea-side retreats, and agricultural communities, California is likely home to your ideal college town.
Still, it's California's colleges' stellar reputations that really stand out. The University of California (UC) is one of the largest and most respected in the world, offering public campuses in cities like Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, San Diego and Santa Barbara. The California State University system, often less expensive than its UC counterpart, has more than 20 public campuses. California is also home to many prestigious private universities, like Stanford University, and a variety of community colleges and career schools.