Aegis Maelstrom via wikimedia.org
: 4-yr., 68%; 6-yr., 90%
Annual in-state cost
Annual out-of-state cost
Avg. debt at graduation
Despite increases in tuition for California state schools, they remain competitive in our rankings
, thanks to generous financial aid and rigorous academics. The posh neighborhood of Westwood in Los Angeles isn't a bad place to spend four years, but you'll need to be a top student to get into UCLA. The first of three California schools on our top-ten list admits just 25% of applicants, with 44% earning 700 or higher on the math portion of the SAT and 22% scoring 700 or above on the verbal portion. At first glance, total cost is high. But with 84% of need met, Californians who qualify for need-based aid can expect to pay just $10,229 this year.
6. University of California, Los Angeles