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Online Colleges in California

Most Affordable Online Colleges
   Page Contents

From the laid-back sunny beaches of Los Angeles and San Diego in Southern California to the bustle of Silicon Valley and historic San Francisco or the old-growth redwood forests in Northern California, the Golden State has something for every student, even if you choose to attend college online.

California has two main school systems with campus locations throughout the state so online students can take hybrid courses or on-campus exams, if necessary. There are 23 campuses in the California State University system offering more than 1,800 bachelor's and master's degree programs in 240 different areas of study. Cal State Online offers nine different bachelor's degree paths, 13 master's degree programs and two doctoral programs. Students also have the option of attending online classes from other California State University campuses via a cross-campus learning platform.

The University of California system has 10 campuses with more than 238,000 students and several of the most notable medical centers or research laboratories in the nation. Students have the flexibility of choosing from hundreds of online classes offered throughout the system. Each school also has numerous online degree programs. University of Southern California, for example, offers dozens of online bachelor's or master's degree programs, from dentistry and design to education and engineering.

There also are more than 75 independent colleges and universities in the state where students can attend online classes. Perhaps no independent institution is more recognized than Stanford University, which offers a wealth of online classes.

Following is the number of online programs at different degree levels offered at various colleges or universities throughout California:

Degree LevelNumber of Online ProgramsNumber of Colleges
Associate29687
Bachelor's31852
Master's31274

California is a busy, bustling state brimming with opportunity for students who achieve higher education. Nearly 40 million people called the Golden State their home in 2015, the United States Census Bureau reports. Furthermore, the Census Bureau notes that more than one-third of all residents aged between 25 and 64 attained at least a bachelor's degree. These residents had median annual earnings in 2014 that topped $55,000. In the same year, residents with graduate or professional degrees earned median wages just shy of $80,000 annually. In May of 2015 there were nearly 15.5 million workers employed in California at a median hourly wage of $19.15, or roughly $40,000 annually, the Census Bureau adds.

The cost of living varies greatly throughout the state. Silicon Valley and San Francisco are two of the most expensive places in the nation to live, while the many rural counties of California offer much more affordable housing.

Most Affordable Online Colleges in California

Online students shouldn't let high price of housing in certain parts of California deter them from achieving the California Dream. There are plenty of affordable online colleges in California where students can get the education they need to start a new career and enter the state's workforce.

Below is a list of the five most affordable two-year colleges and five most affordable four-year colleges in California that have English as their primary teaching language. The schools are ranked with the tuition data they reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, a branch of the National Center for Education Statistics. If any schools tied in the ranking because they have the same tuition, the tie was broken by which school had a higher score in the Top Colleges tool.

The schools in these lists are ranked by their affordability, or in other words, their tuition costs. To see other schools in California ranked on quality and a variety of other factors, visit the Top Colleges tool. 

Most Affordable Two-Year Online Colleges in California

Community colleges typically offer more affordable tuition than four-year universities, so attending a community college can be a great way to start earning your degree without racking up those students loans. The following schools are the most affordable two-year online colleges in California. Note that 48 schools tied for first place out of the 124 two-year schools evaluated.

1

Columbia College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
N/A
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Private

About

Columbia College offers hundreds of online courses, ranging from business to criminal justice and humanities to medical terminology. While most classes are offered fully online, some classes are hybrid courses, combining face-to-face instruction with online learning. The college currently uses the Blackboard management system but is in the process of transitioning to the Canvas platform.

The school is dedicated to the success of its online students. It provides numerous resources for online students, including Online Student Readiness Tutorials designed to help students successfully complete online courses, as well as an Online Student Handbook that provides information for online students such as how to sign up for or drop an online class. Columbia College also provides student services specifically for online students, such as online academic counseling services.

School Website: 
GO
2

Saddleback College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,104
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
37.85%
Institution Type
Public

About

Located in Mission Viejo in Southern California, Saddleback College is one of two independent colleges in the South Orange Community College District. Saddleback has a wealth of resources to help veteran and military students transition from military to student life. There are 47 different areas of online study, including accounting, business, nursing, computer programming, health sciences and many other fields. Saddleback also offers a host of requisite undergraduate coursework online, such as English, humanities, geography, ethnic studies and many more. Most courses run 12 weeks, but some run eight weeks, though they may require more study time per a week to complete.
School Website: 
GO
3

Shasta College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,104
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
43.5%
Institution Type
Public

About

Set in scenic Redding at the far northern end of the Sacramento Valley, Shasta College is an excellent place for career changers to get started on their educational journey. Shasta College offers more than 200 online courses taught by the same instructors that teach on-campus classes. The school also has more than 100 associate degree paths from which to choose. Many online courses also offer online tutoring to ensure student success. Students can choose from prominent business fields such as management or accounting, computer fields such as web design, network administration or systems management, or early childhood education and nursing, to name just a few.
School Website: 
GO
4

College of the Canyons

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,104
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
24.1%
Institution Type
Public

About

College of the Canyons, or COC as it is commonly called, is located in the rolling foothills of Santa Clarita north of Los Angeles. COC also added a second campus in 2007, which is also in Santa Clarita. College of the Canyons offers a mix of online and hybrid learning programs to suit students' busy schedules. These courses are offered in both full-term and short-term sessions. COC also has many five-week Go! classes, which offer an accelerated learning schedule. However, note that some tests for these courses must be taken at a campus location. At College of the Canyons, there are dozens of classes from which to choose, from business law and business entrepreneurship to web development, programming, communications and counseling.
School Website: 
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5

Crafton Hills College

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$1,104
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
14.8%
Institution Type
Public

About

Located in Yucaipa, Crafton Hills College is part of the San Bernardino Community College District. Crafton, and other colleges in the system, use Blackboard as its online course management system. Crafton Hills College has a full range of online and hybrid courses, including study in allied health, business administration, communications, computer information systems, as well as many classes typically required for completion of an undergraduate degree. Online classes at Crafton are not self-paced; instructors move at same pace as their campus-based programs. However, students of course can choose their most suitable time to log in and complete required coursework.
School Website: 
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Most Affordable Four-Year Online Colleges in California

Of course, for students seeking a bachelor's degree or higher for their educational goals, there are many affordable four-year universities in California as well. These are the top five most affordable online colleges in California. Note that 23 schools tied for second out of 139 four-year schools.

1

University of America

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$2,500
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Institution Type
Private

About

The University of America is an international Southern Baptist institution with headquarters at Murrieta, California and Salt Lake City, Utah. As many as 70 percent of students enrolled at University of America take online courses, the university reports. University of America offers many traditional online degree programs, including 16 areas of allied health, as well as pre-medical bachelor's degree programs in medical sciences such as dentistry, optometry, pharmaceutical tech, physician's assistant and more. There are similar online offerings for master's degrees as well. As a Southern Baptist institution, the university also has many programs in religious and theological studies.
School Website: 
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2

California State University-Dominguez Hills

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$5,472
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
19.75%
Institution Type
Public

About

Located in Carson, California State University-Dominguez Hills offers 46 undergraduate programs and 22 graduate majors. Although hundreds of courses are offered online, just nine degrees and seven certificate programs are available solely through online education. Bachelor's degrees include applied studies, nursing and quality assurance, while master's degrees include humanities, negotiation and conflict resolution, business administration, public administration, nursing and quality assurance. The university uses the Blackboard learning management system for its online and hybrid distance learning programs. Additionally, CSU-Dominguez Hills uses its broadcast television network, DHTV, to provide more than 20 hours of live weekly programming.
School Website: 
GO
3

California State University-Chico

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$5,472
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
33.21%
Institution Type
Public

About

The second-oldest school in the public California State University system, Chico State is located about 90 miles north of Sacramento. Though the school offers many online classes in 22 different areas of study, true distance learners have a more limited list of online-only options. Students enrolled at Chico State can earn online bachelor's degrees in two different areas of social science, as well as liberal studies and sociology. Nursing is its lone online master's degree program. The liberal studies program is designed primarily for students who plan on teaching elementary school upon completion of the degree program.
School Website: 
GO
4

San Francisco State University

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$5,472
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
26.03%
Institution Type
Public

About

Located in the beautiful Lakeshore district of San Francisco, San Francisco State University offers several fully online and hybrid programs for professional development certificates and academic credit certificates through their College of Extended Learning. These programs include programs such as pharmacy technician, EKG technician, and medical billing and coding, as well as screenwriting, project management, and event and meeting planning.

The university is dedicated to online learning and carefully evaluates each online course to make sure it is the most effective it can be. The online programs are designed to be interactive, and some programs offer 24/7 mentoring and support from instructors.

School Website: 
GO
5

California State University-East Bay

Accredited
 
Tuition/Year Tuition per year refers to the average in-state tuition for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2014, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
$5,472
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
38.55%
Institution Type
Public

About

California State University-East Bay Continuing Education offers dozens of courses, certificates and degree programs that can be completed entirely online. The university offers online bachelor’s degree programs in business administration, ethnic studies, hospitality and tourism, human development, and recreation. In addition to its bachelor's degree programs, East Bay offers four online master's degree programs, including education, educational leadership, healthcare administration, and recreation and tourism.

East Bay prides itself on keeping its classes small. The school hires industry leaders and academic experts to lead its online classes. Those who need to visit the campus can choose from three East Bay locations – Oakland, Hayward and Concord.

School Website: 
GO

College Accreditation in California

There are several different accrediting bodies for online colleges in California. It's important that students considering attending an online college in California chose a school that meets accrediting requirements in their state.

The same governing body accredits institutions for the University of California system, the California State University system, and the Association of California Independent Colleges and Schools. Additionally, programs within schools, such as the bachelor's and master's nursing degree program at the University of California system, for example, are accredited through different bodies -- in this case the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The main accrediting bodies in California include the following:

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC)
  • Senior College Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Students also can check the Department of Education website to see if their school meets accrediting requirements.

School Interviews

Below are interviews with some of the leading educators in the state of California who provide unique insight into attending college online in the Golden State.

J. Kim McNutt
Do a little research, and you’re likely to find the online program that fits your needs.

J. Kim McNutt

Dean of the College of Extended and International Education

California State University-Dominguez Hills

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at California State University-Dominguez Hills?

Cal State Dominguez Hills has the largest distance learning program in the Cal State system, enrolling more than 4,000 students annually. The university has garnered numerous awards for innovative distance learning programs and was named one of the top distance learning colleges by Forbes magazine. CSUDH has been offering distance learning programs since 1974, including the first ever online Master’s program approved by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

CSUDH offers a variety of online degree and certificate programs, as well as individual courses.  Degrees include programs in Business, Nursing, Public Administration, Negotiation, Quality Assurance, Applied Studies and the Humanities. Certificates include programs in supply chain management, purchasing, community college teaching, assistive technology, and technical writing.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Students looking for online degree programs will be aware of the for-profit universities, as they have large advertising budgets.  Most of the time, however, students can find the same degrees for much less money at state universities.  Do a little research, and you’re likely to find the online program that fits your needs.  Look for a college or university that is regionally accredited (in California, the accrediting body is WASC).  Plus, most will be less expensive than private, for-profit institutions.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

If present trends continue, more online teaching methodologies will become part and parcel of even old school face-to-face education. Increasingly, faculty are interested in posting videos of traditional lecture content online within a learning management system (LMS) like Blackboard while leaving face-to-face time with students for problem solving, Q&A, group-work, lab-work, etc. By off-loading content into the LMS, faculty can perform high-touch intervention in the teaching and learning process -- even for larger scaled courses. Online is no longer the exclusive domain of distance learning programs, but ever increasingly those methodologies are being used effectively even in the traditional classroom.


Jennifer Kalfkbeek
One of the really exciting things about studying online ... [is that] because all students are required to participate, everyone has a voice and everyone hears that voice.

Jennifer Kalfsbeek

Assistant Dean and Director of Distance Learning

California State University-Northridge

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at California State University-Northridge?

The programs that have gone online [at Northridge] are predominantly in the graduate and professional education area, and they vary in terms of disciplines.

We have a Master’s of Public Health. We have had for years a Communications Disorders and Sciences Master’s degree, and a Master’s of Social Work is also coming online. We have a Master of Science in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services for people who want to work in various positions focusing on people with disabilities and that has been very popular. For a very long time, we’ve offered our Master’s of Public Administration which is the third largest MPA program in the country. We put it online about three years ago. We also offer one at the executive level to country, state and similar types of employees who have four years of work experience.

We also have a couple certificate programs that are more entry level. One is a speech-language pathology assistant program for people in California to be licensed as SLPAs. Then, we have two radiologic technology certificates online that can lead to people being certified as either MRI radiologic technicians or CT scan radiologic technicians.

In the fall, we’ll start our Bachelor’s completion program in Public Sector Management. It’s for students who have essentially finished their Associate degree or their first two years of undergraduate studies. They can transfer into this program, and we’ll have a Liberal Studies Bachelor’s Completion Program also. These two are intended to meet the demand of people who started school, got about halfway through and then had family demands and work demands pull them away from school. What’s really neat about these two programs is that they can serve as a segue into graduate level programs, especially at Cal State-Northridge, like that Master’s of Public Administration. It’s really a great opportunity for people to find that room for advancement.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

I think what people have to recognize when they are studying online versus studying face-to-face is that rather than doing school work and focusing on projects once or twice a week in an intensive way, you’re really spreading out your time and managing it more effectively.

People sometimes think an online program is like an independent study or a correspondence course, but they are very structured. No matter where you go, you’re required to log-in and provide substantive work for 3-5 days of the week.

One of the really exciting things about studying online that I learned as a teacher…[is that] because all students are required to participate, everyone has a voice and everyone hears that voice. So you really have much more engaging conversations and learn much more from peers than you do in most face-to-face classes. It’s just as interactive and engaging when the classes get large, and it is a very rich space for dialogue about the content of the courses. But it requires discipline to check in regularly. If someone is good at multiple choice tests and cramming at the end, an online opportunity is not likely to be the space where they would be most successful unless they change their study habits.

[Students] should also look for online programs that talk about being interactive and engaging. When faculty and administrators make a point of making the program engaging and interactive and advertise that, you’re going to enter into a program that has been thoughtfully crafted and considered from beginning to end. I think education is not about teaching; it’s about learning. And you’re much more likely to be learning if you’re working in an environment that is intended to be interactive and engaging for the student.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

Today we’re seeing more and more institutions going online, and I think you’re seeing more and more entities and accrediting bodies looking at the learning outcomes that come from online studies. And not only will we see more of it, but we’ll see more opportunities for quality higher education in the online environment.

I think we’ll also see more of the MOOC-type educational opportunities. MOOCs are really opening the eyes of many to what can be possible online. I think we’ll also see a shift toward competency based education. Ultimately, in the end, we want people to not only be more knowledgeable, but we want them to be more skilled with whatever they are going to do in the workplace.

Financial Aid in California

California boasts some of the most highly regarded educational institutions in the country, both public and private colleges and universities. The Golden State also shows its appreciation for education through the Gal Grant system, which helps students attending the University of California or California State University systems.

Read on for information on scholarships, grants and loans available to students in California.

California Scholarships

Many professional and community organizations, charitable foundations and private companies offer scholarships to students in California. Below you'll find details on three major scholarship programs. Keep in mind that this is just a sampling of scholarship opportunities. We suggest doing your own research to find other scholarships that are relevant to your field of study, gender, hometown, university and any other identifying details.

San Diego Foundation's Community Scholarship Program is the largest private non-university scholarship provider in San Diego County. The foundation administers more than 100 scholarships funded by individuals, families and corporate partners. Since 1997, it has awarded more than $26 million to students throughout San Diego county.

  • Application deadline: February 3
  • Award amount: $1,000-$5,000+
  • Number of scholarships awarded: 820 students received scholarships in 2015
  • Renewable: Not specified
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5 for most scholarships
  • Merit vs. need-based: Not specified
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status: Graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, graduate, medical and professional school students and adult re-entry students
  • Residency required: Yes
Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) awards scholarships to diverse high school, community college and university students, mainly those who are current or former residents of San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties. Since 2007, SVCF has awarded more than $11.2 million in scholarships. Two types of scholarships are available: SVCF-managed scholarships and donor-involved scholarships. Eligibility requirements vary depending on the specific scholarship.

  • Application deadline:  February 24 for some scholarships; others vary
  • Award amount: $1,000-4,000
  • Number of scholarships awarded: 400+
  • Renewable:  Many are renewable
  • Minimum GPA:  Varies
  • Merit vs. need-based:  Not specified
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  Varies
  • Residency required:  Yes

Community Foundation Sonoma County has dozens of legacy and new scholarships available to Sonoma County students. Some scholarships, like the Flora de Mayo Scholarship Fund for visual and performing arts students, have specific requirements based on the field of study, but others, like the Helen Kellum Scholarship Fund, are open to all Sonoma County students. Since 1988, Community Foundation Sonoma County has awarded over $4 million in scholarships.

  • Application deadline:  March 2
  • Award amount:  Not specified
  • Number of scholarships awarded: 40+
  • Renewable:  Varies
  • Minimum GPA:  Varies
  • Merit vs. need-based:  Based on both need and demonstrated motivation
  • Ethnicity: All
  • Academic status:  Varies
  • Residency required:  Yes

For more information on how to research and find scholarships that apply to you, read the Ultimate Guide to Scholarships.

California Grants

The Golden State has a wide range of grants available to students. Like scholarships, grants do not need to be paid back, so it's a good idea to apply for grants before taking out student loans. California's major grants fall under the Cal Grants system, which is described below, along with a few more niche grant opportunities.

Cal Grants
The Cal Grant system can cover tuition and fees for students of the University of California or California State University systems. Some of the Cal Grants are merit-based, though a number are set aside for students with demonstrated financial need. For example, Cal Grants A and C both have merit-based awards, but the Cal Grant B is reserved for low-income students. The entitlement grants are based on financial need, but the competitive grants are not limited to low-income students.

  • Application deadline: March 2
  • Award amount: Up to $12,240 depending on where you attend school
Child Development Grant
The Child Development Grant Program is a need-based grant for students planning to enter the child care field. However, to qualify for it, students must promise to provide a year of full-time service in a licensed children's center for each year they get the grant money.

  • Application deadline: August 31
  • Award amount: Up to $6,000 total
Chafee Grant for Foster Youth
The Chafee Grant for Foster Youth is designed for students who were or are in the foster care system but who also have financial need. In addition to filling out the grant application, they must also have filed a FAFSA to be considered.

  • Application deadline: Not specified
  • Award amount: Up to $5,000 per year

For additional information on grants, check out the Ultimate Guide to Grants.

California Loans

California's financial aid program focuses on Cal Grants rather than state-specific student loans. Scholarships and grants should be your first option for funding your degree, since you don't need to repay them. But if grants and scholarships aren't enough to cover your tuition, you can also take out federal or private student loans. To qualify for federal student loans, you'll need to fill out a FAFSA with information on you and your family's financial situation. Learn more about student loans in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in California

  • California Student Aid Commission provides detailed information for students and parents in California. Every January and February, parents and students can also attend free California Cash for College workshops across the state for help completing FAFSA and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form.

Top Cities For Students In California

While there are many places to live and study in California, these three cities offer a wealth of job opportunities for graduates of online degree programs:

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale CA

Total Population

9,974,203

Median salary for high school grads

$26,289

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$51,436

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

11.3%

Median rent

$1,129

Economics

In the Greater Metropolitan Los Angeles, Anaheim-Long-Beach region, the median hourly wage for all residents in May of 2015 was $18.54, or about $38,500 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In this urban swath -- the 13th largest metropolitan area in the world -- salaries vary greatly. Median annual salaries for all management positions topped $108,000, while construction workers earned median wages just under $50,000 per year in 2015, the BLS reports.

Demographics

The greater metropolitan statistical area, which includes Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Ana and Long Beach, is far and away the most populous region of the western United States. In March of 2016, there were more than 6.6 million people employed in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim region, the BLS reports. Unemployment was a very low 4.8 percent.

Fun Facts

Greater Los Angeles is home to many world-famous attractions, including the original Disneyland Park, as well as a host of metropolitan museums such as the Getty Center, the Santa Monica Museum of Art and the Museum of Latin American Art.

San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA

Total Population

1,568,909

Median salary for high school grads

$29,665

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$65,092

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

11.1%

Median rent

$1,512

Economics

The Greater San Francisco Bay Area, which includes the City by the Bay, the City of Oakland, and the East Bay area of Fremont, is home to several million workers, the BLS reports. The economy of the Bay Area is largely driven by tech giants such as Oracle, Google, Yahoo and Facebook. It’s also home to many of the most well-known venture-capital firms in the country as well. Banking and tourism also play a large part of San Francisco's economy. In early 2016, unemployment in the nine counties that make up the Greater San Francisco Bay area ran from a low of 3 percent in San Mateo County to a high of 5.6 percent in Solano County, the BLS reports.

Demographics

San Francisco is the fourth-largest city in California. Residents drawn to the hilly streets and nostalgic clang of cable cars have made San Francisco the second-most densely populated urban area in the country.

Fun Facts

San Francisco is blessed with cool summers and mild winters. It can be chilly in the summer when the fog rolls in off the Pacific Ocean. When residents in neighboring counties are wearing shorts and sandals, residents of San Francisco are wearing sweaters and jackets. However, they also are riding cable cars, shopping in Union Square, eating in Chinatown and quaffing brews at former Beat Generation haunts in the North Beach and Haight-Ashbury districts. San Francisco is steeped in literary history, with scenic attractions seemingly around every corner.

San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

Total Population

3,183,143

Median salary for high school grads

$29,643

Median salary with a bachelor's degree

$53,925

% of the population enrolled in college or grad school

11.8%

Median rent

$1,241

Economics

In 2015 San Diego was home to more than 1.35 million workers, the BLS reports, who earn average median salaries of $40,000 a year. Tourism is a large element of the area's economy. San Diego is also home to the largest concentration of military in the world, with 60 percent of the U.S. Pacific Fleet calling San Diego home. High tech and healthcare industries also greatly impact the area's economy. San Diego's 15-mile border with Mexico means it's also the busiest international border crossing in the world.

Demographics

San Diego is a very culturally diverse city. The Census Bureau reports in 2014 that whites are the majority in San Diego County, making up 76 percent of the population. However, San Diego also has very large Hispanic and Asian populations as well. San Diego County, which stretches from Carlsbad in the north to the Mexico border in the south, is the third-largest urban area in the state of California, the BLS reports.

Fun Facts

Many people think of beaches, sun and surfing when they think of San Diego, and rightly so. The average temperature in winter months is a balmy 65 degrees. San Diego has a vibrant arts scene, with a symphony, opera and stage plays. It is home to a variety of museums and parks, including the original LEGOLAND theme park. The San Diego Zoo is a world-class facility, complemented by the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

 

Sources

  1. 2014 American Community Survey-California, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  2. About California Independent Colleges, California Colleges.Edu, https://secure.californiacolleges.edu/College_Planning/Explore_Schools/Higher_Education_Options/About_Independents.aspx
  1. About Saddleback College, Saddleback College, https://www.saddleback.edu/
  2. Chico Distance and Online Education, California State University Chico, http://rce.csuchico.edu/online-learning
  3. Civilian labor force and unemployment by state and metropolitan area, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
  4. Distance and Accelerated Learning, College of the Canyons, http://www.canyons.edu/Offices/DistanceLearning/Pages/default.aspx
  5. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed February 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  6. Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_31080.htm#00-0000
  7. Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41860.htm#00-0000
  8. Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41940.htm#00-0000
  9. Online and Distance Learning, California State University Dominguez Hills, http://www4.csudh.edu/ceie-odl/ 
  10. Online Classes, Crafton Hills College, http://www.craftonhills.edu/academic-and-career-programs/online-classes/index.php 
  11. Online classroom, University of America, http://www.ua-edu.us/ua_degree_programs
  12. Online Courses, California State University Sacramento, http://www.csus.edu/registrar/online_courses/
  13. Online Degrees and Courses, California State University Fullerton, http://www.onlineadvantage.fullerton.edu/default.aspx
  14. Online Distance Education Classes, Glendale Community College, http://www.glendale.edu/index.aspx?page=269
  15. San Diego County, California, QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/06073,0666000,00
  16. Shasta College online, Shasta College, http://www.shastacollege.edu/SC%20Online/Pages/134.aspx 
  17. The CSU System, California State University, http://www.calstate.edu/students/
  18. The UC System, University of California, http://universityofcalifornia.edu/uc-system
  19. Unemployment in the San Francisco Bay Area by County, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2016, http://www.bls.gov/regions/west/news-release/unemployment_bayarea.htm