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Public/private universites in California - reviews/opinions please

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I am just browsing for information. We live in California, would like the dc to stay geographically close. Our oldest is a rising sophomore, so lots of time to plan. Our goal is a 4-year university. But I'd love to hear others' reviews/thoughts/opinions on various public/private campuses around the state. Maybe you'll open my eyes to a campus I'd never heard of or thought about. Small, large, anything. Love to hear your thoughts! While we live here, I grew up in the south - so am not familiar with any of the campuses here in CA. And short of a long road-trip which isn't going to happen anytime soon, love to hear some input.

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My twins applied to a handful of California schools this past year. Schools that I was impressed by - Loyola Marymount (although they do not give great aid), University of Redlands, Saint Mary's College of California, UCLA and UCI. My son is going to attend UC Irvine and we are already so impressed with all the support he is receiving there. 

 

 

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The College of Creative Studies at UCSB could be a hidden gem for the right student seeking an intellectual, small college experience within the large UC system.

 

If you're looking for merit (non-need based) scholarships, Chapman, University of San Diego, and Santa Clara are worth a look. They are all mid-sized private colleges. Chapman is strong in film/entertainment studies and business. USC and some of the Claremont Colleges give merit as well but it's much more selective. 

 

Also, if you're in N. California, you might consider looking north to Oregon and Washington. There are some nice liberal art colleges such as Reed, Lewis & Clark, Willamette, Whitman or University of Puget Sound. They would only be a short plane ride away. 

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The College of Creative Studies at UCSB could be a hidden gem for the right student seeking an intellectual, small college experience within the large UC system.

 

If you're looking for merit (non-need based) scholarships, Chapman, University of San Diego, and Santa Clara are worth a look. They are all mid-sized private colleges. Chapman is strong in film/entertainment studies and business. USC and some of the Claremont Colleges give merit as well but it's much more selective. 

 

Also, if you're in N. California, you might consider looking north to Oregon and Washington. There are some nice liberal art colleges such as Reed, Lewis & Clark, Willamette, Whitman or University of Puget Sound. They would only be a short plane ride away. 

 

 

That looks awesome.  My kids aren't going into those majors, but I would def. be looking at that if they were.

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Following.  

 

What does your child want to study?

 

The oldest is completely undecided anyway, but I've got others in the pipe so any and all majors welcome. I've got an artist-type, and a mathy type and others as-yet-unknown. So I'll take any thoughts on anything.

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The oldest is completely undecided anyway, but I've got others in the pipe so any and all majors welcome. I've got an artist-type, and a mathy type and others as-yet-unknown. So I'll take any thoughts on anything.

 

 

I have two interested in arts/entertainment.  We are strongly looking at Cal State Northridge for at least my middle son.  It is affordable and has what he needs (Film Editing.)

 

Oldest would love to get in to UC Irvine, but I am not sure he will be able to.  He is currently at CC.

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I have heard that UC Merced is an up and coming college. I have a colleague that went to grad school - there he was content with his choice.

 

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I have heard that UC Merced is an up and coming college. I have a colleague that went to grad school - there he was content with his choice.

 

UC Merced is where kids who are guaranteed a slot at one of the UC campuses by virtue of being in the top X% of their class go when they cannot get into any of the other UC's. Honestly, a number of the CSU's have better reputations.

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Both Cal Polys (SLO and Pomona) are tough to get into, focus a lot on engineering stuff but definitely offer other majors. We have a friend who taught @ Pomona in Industrial Sciences.

 

My oldest attended Laguna College of Art and Design (So Cal, near beach), a fairly affordable, small non-profit art school (400 students). Loved the price, good quality preparation but not much choice of teachers in a particular area. We also toured Otis (near LAX), more expensive and much more urban, and Pasadena (gold standard of art schools) which was not worth twice the price, KWIM? For your artsy student check out the colleges listed at National Portfolio Day, which is held all over the country yearly but at least once in SoCal and once in NorCal each year.

 

My 2nd just graduated from Sonoma State University, part of the CSU system, north of San Francisco. He transferred there from our local CC and finished in 2 years. They do have a mandatory gender studies and internship requirement to graduate. He said the classes were challenging but easier than the CC. (Is that because the CC prepared him well? I think so.) His choice of college was based on proximity -- he knew the $ value of living @ home and keeping his excellent p/t job, LOL.

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Both Cal Polys (SLO and Pomona) are tough to get into, focus a lot on engineering stuff but definitely offer other majors. We have a friend who taught @ Pomona in Industrial Sciences.

 

My oldest attended Laguna College of Art and Design (So Cal, near beach), a fairly affordable, small non-profit art school (400 students). Loved the price, good quality preparation but not much choice of teachers in a particular area. We also toured Otis (near LAX), more expensive and much more urban, and Pasadena (gold standard of art schools) which was not worth twice the price, KWIM? For your artsy student check out the colleges listed at National Portfolio Day, which is held all over the country yearly but at least once in SoCal and once in NorCal each year.

 

My 2nd just graduated from Sonoma State University, part of the CSU system, north of San Francisco. He transferred there from our local CC and finished in 2 years. They do have a mandatory gender studies and internship requirement to graduate. He said the classes were challenging but easier than the CC. (Is that because the CC prepared him well? I think so.) His choice of college was based on proximity -- he knew the $ value of living @ home and keeping his excellent p/t job, LOL.

 

 

Oh wow, I haven't heard of that school.  It looks great!  Can you tell me more, like about the merit scholarship?  Did your daughter get any of that?

 

https://www.lcad.edu/admissions/paying-for-tuition/

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I could swear I read nearly this exact thread before, but I can't find it.

Colleges in CA:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colleges_and_universities_in_California  I suggest getting a college guide like Fiske and looking up the descriptions for each one.

 

If private colleges are an option, I'd suggest not limiting yourself to in-state only.

Edited by wapiti
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wapiti - Strange, I also remember that thread and even posted on it but couldn't find it either despite a lot of googling. 

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wapiti - Strange, I also remember that thread and even posted on it but couldn't find it either despite a lot of googling. 

google has limited hits with well-trained mind

 

sometimes I can't find a post I made several months back - even looking through my posts

sometimes I scroll back until I find it but that is a PITA

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I could swear I read nearly this exact thread before, but I can't find it.

wapiti - Strange, I also remember that thread and even posted on it but couldn't find it either despite a lot of googling.

 

By the OP in March 2017 California Universities - public & private, your thoughts

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/639651-california-universities-public-private-your-thoughts/

Edited by Arcadia
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Haha! I thought I'd posted that - but couldn't find it either!

 

Well your new thoughts are still most welcome. There's nothing like genuine opinions that can't be culled by reading descriptions in some college guide.

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I have a friend who attended Occidental College in LA and felt small class sizes and excellent teachers gave her the education she couldn't have gotten at a UC.

I have met people who were very pleased with their education in business at Pepperdine.

Harvey Mudd is the school for math and engineering and as hard to get into as other top schools.

I have heard from few that Caltech has a very unique culture, and despite the fact that it's a top school, many won't be happy here.

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Oh wow, I haven't heard of that school.  It looks great!  Can you tell me more, like about the merit scholarship?  Did your daughter get any of that?

 

https://www.lcad.edu/admissions/paying-for-tuition/

 

My dd got a scholarship for her portfolio -- $5500/year, and they gave it to her for her extra semester, too. We had 3 kids @ home when she went to school, so she got a CalGrant, too. They host the National Portfolio Day in San Diego.

 

I don't know about merit scholarship other than by portfolio evaluation -- dd had a B average and an low-average SAT, but that didn't seem to be a big consideration. She loved the school -- it backs up to a conservancy and they had their science classes there, town is very artsy with galleries and plein air paintings, etc.

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My dd got a scholarship for her portfolio -- $5500/year, and they gave it to her for her extra semester, too. We had 3 kids @ home when she went to school, so she got a CalGrant, too. They host the National Portfolio Day in San Diego.

 

I don't know about merit scholarship other than by portfolio evaluation -- dd had a B average and an low-average SAT, but that didn't seem to be a big consideration. She loved the school -- it backs up to a conservancy and they had their science classes there, town is very artsy with galleries and plein air paintings, etc.

 

I have already put it on our list of places to visit while we are there in a couple of weeks.  We don't even need a tour, we just want to see it.  We are touring a couple of other schools and may need to cancel one of the tours, but we will see.

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UC Merced is where kids who are guaranteed a slot at one of the UC campuses by virtue of being in the top X% of their class go when they cannot get into any of the other UC's. Honestly, a number of the CSU's have better reputations.

Funny. You should be in that video!

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UC Merced is where kids who are guaranteed a slot at one of the UC campuses by virtue of being in the top X% of their class go when they cannot get into any of the other UC's. Honestly, a number of the CSU's have better reputations.

Not only the kids who are in the top X% of their class (Eligible in the Local Context), but also the kids who may not be ELC but who still are in the top 9% in the state (Statewide Path).

http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/california-residents/admissions-index/index.html

"If you're in the top 9 percent of California high school graduates and aren't admitted to any of the UC campuses you apply to, you'll be offered a spot at another campus if space is available. We use a formula — called an admissions index —to determine if you fall in that group."

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My oldest will be a senior at Biola. She loves the small campus and their Great Books honors program - Torrey. They also offer an accelerated teaching credential program. She received a nice financial aid package and it the has been a great fit all around!

 

We originally thought she was UC/CSU bound, but she didn't end up applying to any. Private universities seem to be more homeschool friendly.

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Funny. You should be in that video!

The kids I know IRL who didn't get into any of the UC's except for Merced have ALL ended up going either out-of-state (Oregon State and ASU apparently give discounts to CA residents) or to a private university. I can't think of a single one who decided to go to Merced.

 

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The kids I know IRL who didn't get into any of the UC's except for Merced have ALL ended up going either out-of-state (Oregon State and ASU apparently give discounts to CA residents) or to a private university. I can't think of a single one who decided to go to Merced.

 

I would also rate ASU and Oregon State in general over UC Merced - they are both "flag ship" state universities in their respective states where for a particular major they may be highest rated in-state choice or at least equal.

 

I was thinking UC Merced versus a Cal State or UC Riverside.

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Stanford University in Palo Alto is excellent for many different majors.   One of my late uncles got his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering there and then he was a Full Professor there. I had a girl friend who graduated from there and one of my childhood friends went there and I think he also went to Medical School there.

 

That uncle eventually went from the academic world to industry and was a V.P. of an Aerospace company for many years in So CA.  He occasionally taught classes at Cal Tech at night.  

 

Cal Tech is in Pasadena near NASA JPL.  If one is interested in Engineering or Physics, one could make a lot of contacts at Cal Tech.

 

My cousin, an M.D. who is eminent in his specialty, told me, a year or 2 ago, that he went with my uncle to a couple of classes he taught at Cal Tech. My cousin said he was the only dumb person in the classroom...

 

One of my cousins went to Harvey Mudd for Biochemistry. One of the Claremont Colleges. 

 

OT: I think it was UC - Irving that recently rescinded admission to approximately 500 students who'd received Acceptance Letters? During July 2017?

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The kids I know IRL who didn't get into any of the UC's except for Merced have ALL ended up going either out-of-state (Oregon State and ASU apparently give discounts to CA residents) or to a private university. I can't think of a single one who decided to go to Merced.

 

 

I have a niece going to Merced. She likes it fine, is on a pre-med track (dermatology is her goal). But in her case proximity to home may have been a significant factor.

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Stanford University in Palo Alto is excellent for many different majors. One of my late uncles got his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering there and then he was a Full Professor there. I had a girl friend who graduated from there and one of my childhood friends went there and I think he also went to Medical School there.

 

That uncle eventually went from the academic world to industry and was a V.P. of an Aerospace company for many years in So CA. He occasionally taught classes at Cal Tech at night.

 

Cal Tech is in Pasadena near NASA JPL. If one is interested in Engineering or Physics, one could make a lot of contacts at Cal Tech.

 

My cousin, an M.D. who is eminent in his specialty, told me, a year or 2 ago, that he went with my uncle to a couple of classes he taught at Cal Tech. My cousin said he was the only dumb person in the classroom...

 

One of my cousins went to Harvey Mudd for Biochemistry. One of the Claremont Colleges.

 

OT: I think it was UC - Irving that recently rescinded admission to approximately 500 students who'd received Acceptance Letters? During July 2017?

Yes, it was. The LATimes reported, "Overall, about 7,100 of the 31,103 freshmen offered admission to UC Irvine for this fall accepted it as of May, according to the UC Office of the President. That amounts to 850 more students than UC Irvine’s planned freshman class of 6,250, though some are expected to decide to enroll elsewhere this fall in what is known as “summer melt.†Still, in the last two years, the summer drop-off has been only about 250 students."

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Lanny has good taste LOL, citing the most selective colleges in the state.

Stanford acceptance rate for 2017:  4.65%
Caltech acceptance rate for 2017:  7.15%
Mudd acceptance rate for 2017:  somewhere between 13.6 and 16.1% (which probably underestimates its selectivity level; see Common Data Set)

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Lanny has good taste LOL, citing the most selective colleges in the state.

 

Stanford acceptance rate for 2017: 4.65%

Caltech acceptance rate for 2017: 7.15%

Mudd acceptance rate for 2017: somewhere between 13.6 and 16.1% (which probably underestimates its selectivity level; see Common Data Set)

Nothing wrong with having good taste! ;)

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We toured Laguna College of Art and Design yesterday.  They had an open house from 11-3.  We stayed for the entire thing.  Our son LOVED it.   

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Interesting thread. Anyone with experience at Santa Clara U? Its pricey and not sure they offer much in the way of scholarships relative to EFC.

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Anyone with experience at Santa Clara U? Its pricey and not sure they offer much in the way of scholarships relative to EFC.

SCU is a Jesuit college so it is very low on our list. It is a short 4 mile drive for us but no public transport to get there. We are keeping SCU in mind for their summer youth program for high school students.

 

“Q. Do students have to attend religious services?

A. Santa Clara encourages all students to practice and deepen their faith, but religious participation is not mandated. However, events like the 10 a.m. Sunday Mass often are full houses in the historic Mission Church, and many regular attendees are not Catholic. They appreciate the sense of community with other students, and the quiet time set aside for meditation and prayer just before the busy school week begins.

...

Q. Is religion taught in the classroom?

A. All undergraduate students are required to take three religious studies courses. There are dozens of diverse classes to select from to meet this requirement. For example, a student might take Asian Religious Traditions, Environmental Justice in the Catholic Imagination, and Shia Islam in the Contemporary World to meet this requirement. Santa Clara’s approach to Jesuit education means your professor may challenge you to consider how ethics, social justice, or a faith commitment may affect issues in history, economics, or literature. But this does not mean that every faculty, staff, and student activity has an explicitly religious dimension.â€

https://www.scu.edu/aboutscu/jesuit-catholic-tradition/jesuit-education-faqs/

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Interesting thread. Anyone with experience at Santa Clara U? Its pricey and not sure they offer much in the way of scholarships relative to EFC.

 

From what I got out of reading CC threads, there are some merit scholarships available at SCU but they are very hard to predict (opaque) and the amount is variable over a broad range.  Naturally, the stats to get into the engineering school are higher than for the school overall, though reading through the threads over on CC, some of the rejections of higher-stat engineering students were surprising to me (is that Tufts syndrome?  I got the sense that it wasn't but who knows).  SCU has not posted a profile for Class of 2021 beyond a news snippet or two (overall average SAT composite 1371) - the website still has Class of 2020 and no CDS is up yet unless I missed it.

 

The NPC gives some sort of automatic merit award based on SAT scores but I have to believe that is old info ($9k if you plug in a score around the current average).

 

Recently we were seated at a dinner with a bright, successful guy from Silicon Valley and I asked about SCU's reputation.  On the one hand, he confirmed that yes, indeed, students from SCU get internships and employment in the valley.  On the other hand, he comes from an east-coast perspective and wasn't especially impressed with the school's ranking (as he assumed it to be).

 

It is a popular option for students from my kids' Jesuit high school.

 

It runs on a quarter system.

Edited by wapiti
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Does it seem like the majority of quality private universities in CA are all very expensive when compared to other states (bang for the buck)?

 

For those in-state, it really makes one consider outside options especially if looking for affordability. We are in the 'donut hole' as are many others. Consequently private is out of reach for most unless receiving close to full ride scholarships at these high cost schools. Even the lessor known, unranked schools are expensive.

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Does it seem like the majority of quality private universities in CA are all very expensive when compared to other states (bang for the buck)?

No. Vanderbilt in Tennessee isn’t cheap either. RPI in New York, Williams College in Massachusetts, JHU in Maryland cost around the same amount. Canadian universities international student cost of attendance is around that amount too.

Edited by Arcadia
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Does it seem like the majority of quality private universities in CA are all very expensive when compared to other states (bang for the buck)?

 

For those in-state, it really makes one consider outside options especially if looking for affordability. We are in the 'donut hole' as are many others. Consequently private is out of reach for most unless receiving close to full ride scholarships at these high cost schools. Even the lessor known, unranked schools are expensive.

 

From our experience it did seem like we got less scholarship money from many of the private schools in-state compared to the private schools out-of-state that my twins applied to. However they weren't applying to the top-ranking schools such as Stanford or Pomona. That said, especially for my son, his in-state private school financial aid packages were very disappointing. 

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I don't think the prices at CA private colleges are different from the prices of private colleges in other states.  I've been making a spreadsheet and one needs to look much further down in rankings for cheaper tuition prices.  R&B and fees together are usually around the same.  Merit varies so much by individual private school and where the student might stand within the applicant pool.  But sure, our in-state flagship (not in CA) is the bargain price that everything will be weighed against.

Edited by wapiti
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The son of a friend qualified for a $10K merit scholarship at SCU IIRC. This was for 2016/17. His SAT was almost perfect and he had a slew of CC classes under his belt. Small departments and very customized attention was what she reported when I asked how he liked it. Just one anecdote.

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I think the best values for those in the donut hole or full pay are in Texas, the Midwest or South. Private LACs in those regions have lower starting COA and often offer significant merit which can bring the net COA under $40,000. 

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I think the best values for those in the donut hole or full pay are in Texas, the Midwest or South. Private LACs in those regions have lower starting COA and often offer significant merit which can bring the net COA under $40,000. 

 

Yeah, if I could only talk my ds into that! lol I've seen some of those schools mentioned in CC in a thread on automatic full ride scholarships given certain test scores and GPA. He really wants to stay in CA and has zero interest when we talk about out of state options. Whereas our middle dd says she'd like to go to school in Germany. Each kid is so different.

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Yeah, if I could only talk my ds into that! lol I've seen some of those schools mentioned in CC in a thread on automatic full ride scholarships given certain test scores and GPA. He really wants to stay in CA and has zero interest when we talk about out of state option.

Why does your ds want to stay in CA? I'm not dismissing the notion of staying close to home at all. Is that his reason?

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Yeah, if I could only talk my ds into that! lol I've seen some of those schools mentioned in CC in a thread on automatic full ride scholarships given certain test scores and GPA. He really wants to stay in CA and has zero interest when we talk about out of state options. Whereas our middle dd says she'd like to go to school in Germany. Each kid is so different.

My daughter said no to mid west or southern universities. She agreed to south west states. Arizona and New México are good ones to get merit. In the end she wanted to stay in state. She is an hour and a half from home, which was a very good thing indeed when she had an unexpected and serious health crisis last year.

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Why does your ds want to stay in CA? I'm not dismissing the notion of staying close to home at all. Is that his reason?

 

Yes, I think that's mostly it. He loves the state and even our location within the state along the coast. We do a lot of outdoor adventure together such as surfing, paddleboarding, backpacking, mountain biking, etc... all within a relatively short distance. Additionally, I think he would like to stay close to us. No desire to go off and explore the world on his own at this stage of his life. Though he enjoys taking trips together.

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