Type of Schools


U.S. News collapses 12 of those Carnegie categories from the Basic Classification into four main groupings: National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities, and Regional Colleges. There are a total of 1,607 regionally accredited schools. Click here to see the details of category definitions.
National Universities
offer a full range of undergraduate majors, as well as master's and doctoral degrees; many strongly emphasize research
173 public, 101 private, and 7 for-profits
National Liberal Arts Colleges
emphasize undergraduate education and award at least 50% of their degrees in the liberal arts
223 private, 27 public, and 1 for-profit
Regional Universities
provide a full range of undergraduate programs and some master's level programs
263 are public, 350 private, and 12 are for-profit
Regional Colleges
focus primarily on undergraduate education but grant fewer than 50% of their degrees in liberal arts disciplines
95 public institutions, 258 privates, and 17 for-profits
Specialty schools
offer most or all of their degrees in fine arts, performing arts, business, and engineering

Sources of Information

Family Members
College Web Sites
College Rankings
Guidance Counselors
College Search Web Sites
Visits by College Representatives
College Fairs
College Mailings
College Guides
Previous Graduates from Your High School
Campus Visits
Virtual Visits

Factors to Consider

School/Class Size
Student Body - Diversity
Disability Services
Male/Female Ratio
Admissions Standards/Selectivity
Study Abroad Programs
Public versus Private
Campus Life
Programs of Study
Internship/Externship/Mentor Opportunities
Academic Assistance
Family Issues
Quality of Professors
Career Resources

College Application List

Honors Progam / Honors College


Medical Schools



Physician Assistant


By Values


Computer Science


Admission Statistics

UC Admissions Statistics

Profile of Admitted Freshmen

Academic Programs to Look For

College Profile


University of California (UC)

external image 300px-UC_campuses_and_labs.pngThe UC system has 9 campuses enroll both undergraduate and graduate students; 1 campus, UCSF, enrolls only graduate and professional students in the medical and health sciences.

UC Ranking

U.S. News
Washington Monthly
University of California–Berkeley
University of California–Davis
University of California–Irvine
University of California–Los Angeles
University of California–Merced

University of California–Riverside
University of California–San Diego
University of California–San Francisco

University of California–Santa Barbara
University of California–Santa Cruz

Requirements include completing a minimum of 15 college-preparatory courses (a-g courses), with at least 11 finished prior to the beginning of your senior year. You must earn a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (3.4 if you're a nonresident) in these courses with no grade lower than a C. The UC application period is November 1 - November 30. Official transcripts are not required until the student has made the decision to attend the university (they are not sent automatically with application). Letters of Recommendation are not required.

You must take the ACT With Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test by December of your senior year. SAT Subject Tests are not required, but certain programs on some campuses recommend them, and you can use subject tests to satisfy the "a-g" requirements listed.

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California State University (CSU)

The CSU system is composed of 23 campuses.

Students must complete the 15 subject requirements and meet the Eligibility Index Table (GPA and SAT I) to be considered for admission to the CSU's. The minimum GPA is 2.0. The CSU system does not use comprehensive review, and admits on the basis of GPA and test scores alone (except Cal Poly SLO, which asks a few questions about extracurricular activities). The CSU application period is October 1 - November 30. Official transcripts are only submitted when the individual school requests them; they are not sent automatically with application. Letters of Recommendation are not required.

California Community Colleges System (CCCS)

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The CCCS consists of 112 community colleges in 72 community college districts.


California Independent Colleges

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Other States

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

WUE (pronounced "woo-wee") is a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). It is a program through which students can attend participating institutions in other states for reduced tuition. Instead of paying full out-of-state tuition, a WUE participant pays the regular in-state tuition plus 50 percent of that amount. This applies to participating four-year as well as two-year schools. Students do not need to demonstrate financial need. The participating states are Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Search the WUE Online Database to see which institutions participate and which programs are available at the discounted WUE rate. Virtually all undergraduate fields are available to WUE students at participating colleges and universities.

Your residency alone is does not guarantee you the WUE rate. Some institutions have opened their entire curriculum on a space­-available or first­-come, first­‐serve basis; others offer only designated programs at the reduced WUE rate. Some colleges and universities also have additional criteria such as ACT/SAT test scores, high school GPA, or specified majors and/or campuses. Many institutions limit the number of new WUE awards each academic year, so apply early! Consult each institution’s profile for admissions requirements and application deadlines.

College Fair

College fairs give you the opportunity to speak with representatives from numerous institutions. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you go:
  • When you arrive, locate the schools you are most interested in attending and investigate them first.
  • Ask questions and take notes.
  • Add your name to lots of mailing lists. (Bring adhesive address labels to avoid writer's cramp.)
  • Ask about ways to pay for higher education.
  • Take a shopping bag with you for the loads of brochures and admission materials you will collect.
  • When you get home, organize and file your materials so you can easily access them when it's time to start making decisions.
  • Getting the Most Out of College Fairs - BloombergBusinessweek (10/30/2013)


Virtual Tour

Questions to Ask

  • Questions to ask colleges
    • Admissions
      • What are the admission requirements?
      • What qualities should prospective students have?
      • Which standardized test scores do you require?
      • What majors are offered? What’s the most popular?
      • What are the application deadlines for admission?
      • Are interviews required? Are there group or individual interviews?
      • How can I arrange a campus visit?
      • How long should I expect to wait for an answer once I submit my application?
    • Financial aid
      • How much will it cost?
      • What financial aid options are offered?
      • When is your financial aid deadline?
      • Estimate the percentage of work study, loans, grants, and scholarships awarded in your financial aid packages.
    • Classroom
      • What is the average class size?
      • How accessible are professors outside of class?
      • Will professors or graduate students teach my courses?
      • When must I choose a major?
      • Do I need a computer?
      • What student services are offered (tutoring, career counseling, study workshops)?
      • How are the libraries, computer labs?
    • Housing
      • What type of housing is available?
      • Is student housing guaranteed for four years?
      • Would I have a roommate or live alone?
      • How are roommates selected?
    • Student life
      • What special interest groups, activities, fraternities/ sororities are available?
      • What’s it like on campus on the weekends?
      • Are any programs offered to help students adjust to the college life?
      • Are intramural, club, and varsity sports offered?
      • How are the sports facilities?
      • What types of meal plans are available?
    • Just the facts
      • What is the school known for?
      • What are recent graduates doing now?
      • How many freshman return for their sophomore year?
      • How safe is the campus and its surrounding neighborhoods?