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California— Ranks the State’s Best Colleges & Universities for 2021

Image of the top higher education institution in California

What are the top colleges and universities in California? See where ranks them in a variety of categories…

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, USA, March 22, 2021 / -- With so many excellent colleges and universities to choose from in California, the challenge for prospective students isn’t selecting just any school but choosing the right school from among the state’s very best institutions. announces the release of its series “The Best Colleges & Universities in the USA,” which ranks every state’s schools in multiple categories. The top higher education institutions in California are ranked here:

California’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

California’s page includes breakdown rankings and links in the following categories:
• 30 Research Universities
• 65 Liberal Arts Colleges & Universities
• 97 Graduate Schools
• 46 Public Colleges & Universities
• 67 Private Colleges & Universities
• 37 Christian Colleges & Universities
• 51 Small Colleges & Universities (fewer than 5,000 students)
• 22 Affordable Colleges (below national average of $16k/yr)
• 96 Community Colleges

Attending an in-state college or university remains a major priority for many students. The tuition benefit students receive from attending a school in their state can be the deciding factor in pursuing a college degree. A local school within driving distance can also make a major difference in the cost, saving commuters money by providing an alternative to the costlier on-campus, residential experience.

What are some of the top California colleges and universities overall?
• California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California)
• Claremont McKenna College (Claremont)
• Golden Gate University (San Francisco)
• Harvey Mudd College (Claremont)
• Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles)
• Mills College (Oakland)
• Occidental College (Los Angeles)
• Pepperdine University (Malibu)
• Pitzer College (Claremont)
• Pomona College (Claremont)
• Santa Clara University (Santa Clara)
• Scripps College (Claremont)
• Stanford University (Stanford)
• University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley)
• University of California, Davis (Davis)
• University of California, Irvine (Irvine)
• University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
• University of California, Merced (Merced)
• University of California, Riverside (Riverside)
• University of California, San Diego (La Jolla)
• University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara)
• University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz)
• University of Redlands (Redlands)
• University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
• Whittier College (Whittier)

Visit the link above to see where these schools place in each ranking, along with additional details about each and rankings of all other California colleges and universities. For those students with specific needs and who want greater customization,’s rankings provide greater detail through 26 customizable filters available using Custom College Rankings for California.

“We believe that students today want more than a degree—they want a college experience that meets their personal needs,” says Dr. Jed Macosko, academic director of and professor of physics at Wake Forest University.

“College can be costly, so students are right to have high expectations. helps students meet these expectations with the best tools on the internet, from our College Strategist and Desirability Score to our Custom College Rankings and fact-packed articles. Visit our site and see how we can help make your college search more effective and satisfying.” uses its InfluenceRanking Engine to generate unbiased rankings that resist manipulation. This innovative machine-learning technology scours the web’s leading data repositories to map and measure the influence of a school’s thought leadership. Students now can access a superior, trustworthy ranking resource found at no other site. See the About page for further details on the unique capabilities and advantages of this ranking technology. is the preeminent technology-driven rankings site dedicated to students, researchers, and inquirers from high school through college and beyond, offering resources that connect learners to leaders. is a part of the EducationAccess group, a family of sites dedicated to lifelong learning and personal growth.

Jed Macosko, Ph.D.
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