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Independent Colleges, Universities, and Out-of-State Colleges

After high school you may want to consider attending an independent or private college or university in California. There are seventy-five independent colleges and universities in California including major research universities, comprehensive universities, small liberal arts colleges, faith-based colleges and universities, and specialized colleges (for example, the arts). You can begin exploring these schools by going to the Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities website.

Another college option to consider is attending out-of-state colleges and universities. There are a variety of benefits and drawbacks to going to an out-of-state college so talk with your school counselor and explore individual college websites for further information. College Navigator has information on over 7,000 schools across the country so is a good place to start exploring. Use the College Affordability and Transparency Center for cost comparisons.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs, are historically black colleges or universities whose main mission is to educate black Americans, while offering all students, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. You can explore HBCU’s on the College Navigator website. Select “More Search Options” and then scroll down to “Specialized Mission” where HBCUs are one of the options. The California Community Colleges and HBCUs, California community college students who complete certain academic requirements are guaranteed transfer to a participating HBCU.

Admission to some independent institutions—such as the Ivy League Schools like Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and California Institute of Technology—is more  competitive than at other institutions. It is very important to research the individual college catalogs and websites for specific admission information. Transfer to many independent colleges is possible after your freshman year at a community college or other institution.

If you have taken a rigorous program in high school including “A-G” requirements, Advanced Placement, honors, international baccalaureate classes, involved in leadership roles or athletics, have special interests or talents, solid GPA and test scores, and strong letters of recommendation, you could be a candidate for a good private college or university.