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Top Colleges in California for 2017

Welcome to OnlineColleges.com’s newly redesigned Top Colleges 2017 tool. We ranked more than 2,500 accredited colleges and universities on a variety of factors, including affordability, student services and the availability of online programs. The result is a list of the best online colleges in the U.S. that is built into this interactive tool.

The filters on the left let you create customized lists of schools based on the factors that are most important to you, including location, price and religious affiliation, among others. Choosing the right school is the first step toward success in higher education, and we’re excited to help you get started.

Browse Online Colleges in California
by selecting filters that matter to you most

STATE
TUITION
INSTITUTION TYPE
DEGREE LEVEL
MILITARY BENEFITS
RELIGIOUS AFFILATION
1 San Joaquin Delta College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
42%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
36
OVERALL SCORE
98.64
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
2 Foothill College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
45%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
14
OVERALL SCORE
96.44
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
3 San Diego State University Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
28%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
4
OVERALL SCORE
95.2
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
4 California State University-Fullerton Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
29%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
5
OVERALL SCORE
92.8
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
5 California Baptist University Type: Private
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
46%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
28
OVERALL SCORE
92.72
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
6 De Anza College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
7
OVERALL SCORE
92.28
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
7 California State University-Long Beach Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
16%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
91.6
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
8 California State University-Chico Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
27%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
4
OVERALL SCORE
91.28
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
9 California State University-East Bay Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
49%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
9
OVERALL SCORE
90.96
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
10 California State University-Fresno Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
28%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
2
OVERALL SCORE
90.44
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
11 Saddleback College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
44%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
2
OVERALL SCORE
90.32
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
12 Irvine Valley College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
32%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
89.4
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
13 California State University-Sacramento Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
25%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
87.84
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
14 The Master's College and Seminary Type: Private
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
23%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
5
OVERALL SCORE
87.13
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
15 San Jose State University Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
1
OVERALL SCORE
87.09
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
16 College of the Canyons Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
30%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
86.21
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
17 California State University-Dominguez Hills Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
26%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
1
OVERALL SCORE
85.81
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
18 Azusa Pacific University Type: Private
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
21%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
11
OVERALL SCORE
84.77
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
19 National University Type: Private
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
69%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
110
OVERALL SCORE
84.69
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
20 Biola University Type: Private
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
15%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
4
OVERALL SCORE
84.37
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
21 California State University-Northridge Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
39%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
84.29
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
22 Simpson University Type: Private
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
29%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
2
OVERALL SCORE
83.81
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
23 Orange Coast College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
16%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
83.49
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
24 San Francisco State University Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
22%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
83.33
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
25 San Diego Christian College Type: Private
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
49%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
6
OVERALL SCORE
82.33
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
26 Moorpark College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
81.97
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
27 Golden West College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
36%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
81.89
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
28 Ohlone College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
31%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
2
OVERALL SCORE
81.49
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
29 California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
27%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
80.25
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
30 California State University-San Marcos Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
79.85
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
31 Coastline Community College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
85%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
20
OVERALL SCORE
79.21
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
32 West Los Angeles College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
48%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
14
OVERALL SCORE
77.17
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
33 California State University-San Bernardino Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
19%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
1
OVERALL SCORE
76.97
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
34 Shasta College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
45%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
76.37
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
35 Fullerton College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
76.25
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
36 University of San Francisco Type: Private
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
5%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
5
OVERALL SCORE
75.69
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
37 Citrus College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
19%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
6
OVERALL SCORE
75.53
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
38 University of California-Los Angeles Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
5%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
1
OVERALL SCORE
74.54
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
39 Santa Rosa Junior College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
21%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
3
OVERALL SCORE
73.74
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
40 West Valley College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
38%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
20
OVERALL SCORE
73.38
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
41 Glendale Community College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
72.26
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
42 Sierra College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
26%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
72.18
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
43 Crafton Hills College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
72.06
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
44 Los Angeles Mission College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
15%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
1
OVERALL SCORE
71.94
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
45 California State University-Stanislaus Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
31%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
71.9
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
46 San Diego Miramar College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
28%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
3
OVERALL SCORE
71.3
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
47 California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
3%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
71.02
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
48 Santa Monica College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
24%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
8
OVERALL SCORE
70.9
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
49 Sonoma State University Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
7%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
OVERALL SCORE
70.66
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services
50 Chaffey College Type: Public
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
12%
ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
2
OVERALL SCORE
69.22
More details+
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Career Counseling Services
    Placement Services

Methodology and Sources

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:

  • Level of institution is either “Four or more years” or “At least 2 but less than 4 years”
  • At least 1% of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  • Data is reported for all 14 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section

We ranked 2,503 colleges on 14 criteria, using 2015 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified:

  • Number of programs offered via distance education
  • Ratio of students participating fully or partially in distance education to total enrollment
  • Average in-state tuition for undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate students
  • Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases and media
  • Graduation rate
  • Retention rate
  • The availability of the following tuition plans:
    • Payment plan
    • Guaranteed tuition plan
    • Other alternative tuition plan
  • The availability of academic/ career counseling services
  • The availability of job placement services for graduates
  • The availability of virtual reference services
  • Offers dual credit
  • Offers credit for life experience
  • Offers advanced placement (AP) credit
  • Offers credit for military training

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2015-16 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

Sources

  1. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2015-16, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed February 2017, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
, if applicable,