268 SCHOOLS in CALIFORNIA
Hands down, no state has a higher proportion of elite colleges and universities than California. In a much shorter period of time, California has built up its own Ivy League, a class that includes globally-influential public universities like UCLA and UC Berkeley, prestigious private research institutions like Stanford and Caltech, and world-class liberal arts colleges and universities like the Claremont Colleges. Unlike the traditional New England Ivy League, however, California’s Ivy League features year-round sunshine and virtually no winter – a serious selling point for students around the world.
California is a large state – the third largest in land mass – and it contains multitudes, both in terms of geography and in its people. The highest population of any state lives in California, in a landscape ranging from deserts to snowy mountains, wet forests, and southern California’s famous mild, sunny weather. California may well be the most diverse state as well, from its earliest Native American inhabitants, the Hispanic heritage of the Spanish settlers, Asian and Pacific Islanders from across the Pacific Ocean, and European-American and African-American pioneers brought by the promise of gold, fertile land, and the chance to make their way in freedom.
California delivered. From the avocados, oranges, and wine of the state’s fertile valleys, to the technologically fertile Silicon Valley, birthplace of the modern world, California has shaped the American lifestyle for generations. America’s dreams and entertainment have centered around California in the same way, including not only Hollywood movies, but the music industry, television, and the earliest days of the internet. Preparing students for their places in this multi-faceted, complex environment – government and business, entertainment and agriculture, education and entrepreneurship – is the role of California’s best colleges and universities.