What is a Private University?

  • Private colleges differ from public institutions in their difficulty of admission, rules and requirements. Private schools may have higher tuition rates than UCs and CSUs, but they tend to look beyond grades and test scores. Private schools often consider the student's overall achievements and involvement in society.

    Private colleges also offer many financial programs and scholarships to assist with tuition. Some schools – mostly private colleges – use a supplemental form called the College Scholarship Service Profile to determine how to give out their own financial aid funds.

    Do not forget that the most important factor in choosing a college is finding a school that best fits your academic needs, lifestyle and career objectives. 

    There are 85 private colleges and universities in California enrolling 260,391 students. California is home to popular private schools like Stanford University, University of Southern California, Pepperdine University and University of San Francisco. 

    To explore California private colleges and universities, please click on the thumbnail:



The Common Application

  • Each year, more than 1 million students apply to more than 1,000 Common App member colleges worldwide through our online college application platform. To get started, click on the thumbnail:

    Common App

    Common App guide


What is the Common App?