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50 best colleges on the West Coast

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    50 best colleges on the West Coast

    Choosing a college can be an incredibly daunting task. With over 5,300 colleges and universities in the United States, narrowing down the field can seem impossible. Niche, an authoritative higher education information website, releases an annual ranking of the best colleges in America, designed to help prospective students and their parents find the perfect school.

    Based on Niche's 2019 Best Colleges in America list (updated August 2018), Stacker has a roundup of the top 50 schools on the West Coast. These institutions in Oregon, Washington, and California are ranked based on a rigorous analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education; categories examined include academics, admissions, financial costs, student life, and other factors.

    Whether you dream of spending the next four years lolling on a Southern California beach, spending weekends in trendy Seattle, or exploring nature around Portland, this list will provide a wealth of options. You can pick your best fit based on categories like location, net price, and median earnings range. College search: handled.

    ALSO: 50 best colleges on the East Coast

  • TOLocal // Wikimedia Commons
    2/ TOLocal // Wikimedia Commons

    #50. California Lutheran University

    Location: Thousand Oaks, CA
    Acceptance rate: 64%
    Net price: $29,038
    SAT range: 993–1200
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,800
    Overall rank: #371

  • Stanbridge University is located in Irvine, CA. // Branden Pinney // Wikimedia Commons
    3/ Stanbridge University is located in Irvine, CA. // Branden Pinney // Wikimedia Commons

    #49. Stanbridge University

    Location: Irvine, CA
    Acceptance rate: 60%
    Net price: $25,027
    SAT range: Data not available
    Median earnings six years after graduation: Data not available
    Overall rank: #366

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    #48. University of California - Riverside

    Location: Riverside, CA
    Acceptance rate: 66%
    Net price: $12,841
    SAT range: 940–1190
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $47,300
    Overall rank: #362

  • Founder's Hall // Wikimedia Commons
    5/ Founder's Hall // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. University of La Verne

    Location: La Verne, CA
    Acceptance rate: 48%
    Net price: $22,284
    SAT range: 930–1130
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,900
    Overall rank: #360

  • Jon Coyne // Flickr
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    #46. Azusa Pacific University

    Location: Azusa, CA
    Acceptance rate: 61%
    Net price: $28,506
    SAT range: 900–1130
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $50,500
    Overall rank: #339

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    #45. Westmont College

    Location: Santa Barbara, CA
    Acceptance rate: 81%
    Net price: $34,974
    SAT range: 1060–1280
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,200
    Overall rank: #330

  • M.O. Stevens // Wikimedia Commons
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    #44. Willamette University

    Location: Salem, OR
    Acceptance rate: 78%
    Net price: $32,628
    SAT range: 1100–1330
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,100
    Overall rank: #314

  • Calvin Marquess // Wikimedia Commons
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    #43. Seattle University

    Location: Seattle, WA
    Acceptance rate: 74%
    Net price: $35,627
    SAT range: 1070–1290
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,500
    Overall rank: #312

  • Ben Cody // Wikimedia Commons
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    #42. Pacific Lutheran University

    Location: Tacoma, WA
    Acceptance rate: 77%
    Net price: $25,219
    SAT range: 980–1230
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $47,700
    Overall rank: #306

  • Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons
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    #41. University of Puget Sound

    Location: Tacoma, WA
    Acceptance rate: 79%
    Net price: $40,416
    SAT range: 1110–1330
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,000
    Overall rank: #303

  • Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons
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    #40. Seattle Pacific University

    Location: Seattle, WA
    Acceptance rate: 87%
    Net price: $29,174
    SAT range: 990–1230
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $47,200
    Overall rank: #298

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    #39. Whitworth University

    Location: Spokane, WA
    Acceptance rate: 89%
    Net price: $27,826
    SAT range: 1000–1260
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $41,000
    Overall rank: #287

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    #38. University of California - Santa Cruz

    Location: Santa Cruz, CA
    Acceptance rate: 58%
    Net price: $16,261
    SAT range: 1060–1290
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,700
    Overall rank: #281

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    #37. DigiPen Institute of Technology

    Location: Redmond, WA
    Acceptance rate: 53%
    Net price: $33,076
    SAT range: 1090–1340
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $81,300
    Overall rank: #271

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    #36. University of the Pacific

    Location: Stockton, CA
    Acceptance rate: 66%
    Net price: $33,794
    SAT range: 1030–1300
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $69,300
    Overall rank: #267

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    #35. Biola University

    Location: La Mirada, CA
    Acceptance rate: 65%
    Net price: $32,273
    SAT range: 950–1220
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,100
    Overall rank: #263

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    #34. University of San Francisco

    Location: San Francisco, CA
    Acceptance rate: 71%
    Net price: $35,054
    SAT range: 1030–1250
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,900
    Overall rank: #260

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    #33. San Diego State University

    Location: San Diego, CA
    Acceptance rate: 35%
    Net price: $14,344
    SAT range: 1000–1220
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,300
    Overall rank: #259

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    #32. California State University - Long Beach

    Location: Long Beach, CA
    Acceptance rate: 32%
    Net price: $9,867
    SAT range: 930–1160
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $47,100
    Overall rank: #249

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    #31. Oregon State University

    Location: Corvallis, OR
    Acceptance rate: 77%
    Net price: $19,484
    SAT range: 990–1240
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $46,900
    Overall rank: #241

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    #30. Gonzaga University

    Location: Spokane, WA
    Acceptance rate: 67%
    Net price: $33,586
    SAT range: 1110–1300
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,100
    Overall rank: #223

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    #29. Point Loma Nazarene University

    Location: San Diego, CA
    Acceptance rate: 69%
    Net price: $29,954
    SAT range: 1030–1240
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,100
    Overall rank: #211

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    #28. University of Oregon

    Location: Eugene, OR
    Acceptance rate: 78%
    Net price: $15,355
    SAT range: 980–1220
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,200
    Overall rank: #199

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    #27. Lewis & Clark College

    Location: Portland, OR
    Acceptance rate: 55%
    Net price: $35,849
    SAT range: 1190–1370
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $43,600
    Overall rank: #187

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    #26. Chapman University

    Location: Orange, CA
    Acceptance rate: 54%
    Net price: $40,709
    SAT range: 1110–1300
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $51,900
    Overall rank: #184

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    #25. Washington State University

    Location: Pullman, WA
    Acceptance rate: 72%
    Net price: $17,815
    SAT range: 930–1165
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $48,600
    Overall rank: #151

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    #24. University of San Diego

    Location: San Diego, CA
    Acceptance rate: 51%
    Net price: $38,596
    SAT range: 1100–1310
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $59,300
    Overall rank: #149

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    #23. University of Portland

    Location: Portland, OR
    Acceptance rate: 61%
    Net price: $31,736
    SAT range: 1080–1300
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,600
    Overall rank: #146

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    #22. Pepperdine University

    Location: Malibu, CA
    Acceptance rate: 37%
    Net price: $39,637
    SAT range: 1110–1330
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,100
    Overall rank: #143

  • hakkun // Wikimedia Commons
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    #21. California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

    Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
    Acceptance rate: 29%
    Net price: $18,530
    SAT range: 1150–1360
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $63,100
    Overall rank: #125

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    #20. Loyola Marymount University

    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Acceptance rate: 54%
    Net price: $40,946
    SAT range: 1120–1330
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,800
    Overall rank: #124

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    #19. University of California - San Diego

    Location: La Jolla, CA
    Acceptance rate: 36%
    Net price: $14,770
    SAT range: 1170–1450
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,600
    Overall rank: #122

  • Jeffrey Beall // Flickr
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    #18. Occidental College

    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Acceptance rate: 46%
    Net price: $31,990
    SAT range: 1200–1420
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,700
    Overall rank: #120

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    #17. University of California - Irvine

    Location: Irvine, CA
    Acceptance rate: 41%
    Net price: $13,780
    SAT range: 1060–1330
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $55,100
    Overall rank: #118

  • Bev Sykes // Flickr
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    #16. University of California - Davis

    Location: Davis, CA
    Acceptance rate: 42%
    Net price: $16,039
    SAT range: 1050–1330
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,300
    Overall rank: #110

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    #15. Scripps College

    Location: Claremont, CA
    Acceptance rate: 30%
    Net price: $37,860
    SAT range: 1290–1440
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $49,700
    Overall rank: #101

  • Joe Shlabotnik // Flickr
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    #14. Whitman College

    Location: Walla Walla, WA
    Acceptance rate: 51%
    Net price: $34,272
    SAT range: 1200–1420
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $46,600
    Overall rank: #100

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    #13. Reed College

    Location: Portland, OR
    Acceptance rate: 31%
    Net price: $27,805
    SAT range: 1280–1480
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $37,900
    Overall rank: #97

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    #12. Santa Clara University

    Location: Santa Clara, CA
    Acceptance rate: 48%
    Net price: $37,657
    SAT range: 1200–1400
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $69,600
    Overall rank: #96

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    #11. Pitzer College

    Location: Claremont, CA
    Acceptance rate: 14%
    Net price: $25,521
    SAT range: 1300–1450
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $47,100
    Overall rank: #93

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    #10. University of California - Santa Barbara

    Location: Santa Barbara, CA
    Acceptance rate: 36%
    Net price: $15,149
    SAT range: 1120–1390
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $52,500
    Overall rank: #86

  • Wonderlane // Flickr
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    #9. University of Washington

    Location: Seattle, WA
    Acceptance rate: 45%
    Net price: $10,068
    SAT range: 1120–1370
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $54,800
    Overall rank: #74

  • Imagine // Wikimedia Commons
    44/ Imagine // Wikimedia Commons

    #8. Harvey Mudd College

    Location: Claremont, CA
    Acceptance rate: 13%
    Net price: $35,460
    SAT range: 1420–1580
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $74,200
    Overall rank: #61

  • Craig Stanfill // Flickr
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    #7. Claremont McKenna College

    Location: Claremont, CA
    Acceptance rate: 9%
    Net price: $30,527
    SAT range: 1320–1490
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $75,000
    Overall rank: #41

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    #6. University of California - Berkeley

    Location: Berkeley, CA
    Acceptance rate: 17%
    Net price: $17,160
    SAT range: 1270–1540
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $61,800
    Overall rank: #37

  • Prayitno // Flickr
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    #5. University of California - Los Angeles

    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Acceptance rate: 18%
    Net price: $14,236
    SAT range: 1160–1470
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $58,700
    Overall rank: #29

  • Ken Lund // Flickr
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    #4. University of Southern California

    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Acceptance rate: 17%
    Net price: $32,932
    SAT range: 1280–1500
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $70,400
    Overall rank: #20

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    #3. Pomona College

    Location: Claremont, CA
    Acceptance rate: 9%
    Net price: $18,140
    SAT range: 1340–1540
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $56,600
    Overall rank: #16

  • Kevin Stanchfield // Flickr
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    #2. California Institute of Technology

    Location: Pasadena, CA
    Acceptance rate: 8%
    Net price: $26,839
    SAT range: 1510–1600
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $74,200
    Overall rank: #10

  • Simaah // Pixabay
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    #1. Stanford University

    Location: Stanford, CA
    Acceptance rate: 5%
    Net price: $16,695
    SAT range: 1380–1580
    Median earnings six years after graduation: $85,700
    Overall rank: #2
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