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University of California System

The University of California system has 10 universities throughout the State, one of which is devoted to graduate level work only-UC San Francisco. The other 9 University of California campuses start from outside Sacramento with UC Davis, continue to the central coast with UC Santa Barbara, and all the way that a student needs to take in high school to be eligible for admittance, called “a-g” requirements. The requirements are as follows:

a.  History/Social Science - 2 years required
b.  English - 4 years required
c.  Math - 3 years required, 4 recommended
d.  Laboratory Science - 2 years required, 3 recommended
e.  Language other than English - 2 years required, 3 recommended
f.  Visual/Performing Arts - 1 year required
g.  College Prep Electives - 1 year required

It is important to note that meeting the minimum “a-g” requirements does not guarantee admission to any campus. Admission to the different UC campuses is particularly competitive and requires students to go above and beyond the minimum to satisfy the rigorous standards held at the UC institutions.

> University of California

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California State University System

There are 23 California State University campuses throughout the state. All of the Cal State Universities are public universities. When compared with the UC system (University of California system), the California State University system is the cheaper of the two options. Cal State University population differs from campus to campus, but the range of enrollment is approximately 850-40,000 students. All Cal State University campuses have the same admission “a-g” requirements, test requirements, and GPA requirements.

> The California State University

> Explore CSU Campuses - Comparative View

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Ivy League Universities

The Ivy League consists of 8 prestigious universities; Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale. Note that all have similar characteristics; all 8 schools were some of the first founded universities in the United States, they are private universities, all are in the Northeastern United States, all receive a significant amount of donations and have a generous alumni financial support system, and finally, all are highly selective with their applicants. Most schools use The Common Application, and each school will usually have an additional supplemental application specific to their school. Please check the school that you are wishing to apply to website for more information and requirements.

Often considered “the Ivy League of the West Coast”, Stanford is one of the most esteemed universities in the United State, alongside all of the east coast Ivy League schools. Just like its east coast counterparts, Stanford also is a private school, receives sizable donations and has a generous alumni financial support system, and is also highly selective with their applicants. Stanford University uses the common application to apply to the school; more information can be found on the school’s website.

> Ivy League Colleges & Universities

> The Common Application

California Colleges and Universities

California college and university system not only consist of the UC and the Cal State system, but also includes the Community Colleges and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, as well.

Community colleges are public and state funded. They prepare students for transfer into a four year college or university, pursue various educational programs, or take classes for life and skill development. This is the least expensive out of all the options for college; current rate is $26 dollars per unit. Typically, a student will complete their first two years of undergrad at a community college, then transfer into a 4 year college or university. One should check, however, that the courses you are transferable and they meet the college or university transfer requirements.

Your college advisor at your community college can help you with this.

California has community colleges located in each county. However, larger cities may have more than one community college option. For example, Los Angeles has Los Angeles City College, West LA College, Santa Monica College, and El Camino College to name a few.

> California Colleges & Universities

> Map of California Community College Locations

California Independent Colleges

The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities has over 75 campuses in the state. They are non-profit, which means each college/university has its own rules, regulations, and governing board. Some are religiously affiliated, all women’s campus, or are for art and design. Each campus will have its own application and requirements.

> California Independent Colleges Directory

Catholic Colleges and Universities

There are 85 members (or campuses) of the Catholic College Admission Association. These colleges and universities are spread all over the United States, throughout the East Coast, Mid West, and the West Coast. For example, Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, University of San Diego in San Diego, California and University of Portland in Portland, Oregon, are some. However, there are many more colleges and universities and all range from small to large campuses. These schools are religiously affiliated, and tend to have higher tuitions, but do offer financial aid packages. Some of the campuses use the common application, but also require an additional supplemental application. Please check with the schools' websites for exact information on the application process.

> Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

Jesuit Colleges and Universities

Similar to their Catholic college and university counterparts, there are 28 Jesuit Colleges and Universities in the United States. Each campus is run independently of each other, and has its own rules and regulations. They are private colleges and universities are religiously affiliated, and tend to have higher tuitions. However, the schools do offer financial aid. Some examples of campuses are Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, Boston College in Boston, Massachusetts, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, and University of San Francisco in San Francisco, California. Some use the common application, but also require an additional supplemental application. Please check with the schools' websites for exact information on the application process.

> Jesuit Colleges and Universities

Colleges That Change Lives

Education writer Loren Pope goal was to spread the word that students often make college choices that are based on false information, lack of information, and misconceptions. These uneducated choices have led to higher dropout rate and students not succeeding in the college setting. It was because of this that Mr. Pope put together a group of lesser known colleges known for their life-changing achievements with students. He called them “Colleges That Change Lives”, and wrote a book by the same name. There are 40 colleges and universities total across the United States. These schools have smaller campuses. Therefore they have a very low student to faculty ratio, which, in turn, allows for individualized attention from the professors. There is also a holistic application process which takes into account the applicant as a whole, not just numbers like GPA and test scores.

> Colleges That Changes Lives