Skip to main content

Private, Independent & Out of State Colleges


Both are equally accepted at private and independent college admissions.  COVID Update: Most colleges are "test optional" and not requiring SAT or ACT scores.  Check this list and/or each college admission's webpage to be sure.

Related Links

Private, independent and out-of-state colleges can be excellent, viable choices.  Though tuition is much more expensive than public colleges in California (CSU and UC), private and independent colleges usually offer large financial aid packages, often making these colleges as affordable as (and sometime more) public colleges.

Private colleges have simplified the application process by using the Common Application.  See the list of private schools (+ app deadlines and fees) that use the Common Application.

Don't forget that the website also includes all private schools in California (in addition to CSUs, UCs and community colleges).

Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU)

Did you know that you can apply to 67 HBCUs with one application?  Just complete the HBCU Common App and $20 will cover your application fee for all 67 schools.  That's less than $1 per school!  Admissions requirements for HBCUs tend to be more lenient than UC/CSUs without sacrificing quality of education.


Out of State Colleges

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) Reduced Tuition Program

Students who are residents of WICHE states (California included) are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state.

  • WICHE members include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the US Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States.
  • The WUE reduced tuition rate is not automatically awarded to all eligible candidates. Many institutions limit the number of new WUE awards each academic year, so apply early!
  • See list of participating WUE schools (TIP: Use the "School Search" link below to search by major and state.)

Private & Independent Colleges Graphic

Who to Contact

college fly ins

Did you know that many colleges, mostly outside of California, will fly in students for free and often provide a place to stay during your visit just so that you will consider their college?  Most of these colleges are particularly looking for students who can bring more diversity to their school  Check out the list of 2019 College Fly-In Programs for Underrepresented Students.