Top 15 Military Friendly Colleges in California

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Military Friendly Colleges in California

Funding for Military Friendly Colleges in California

There are many military friendly colleges in California. In 2017, 853 California schools received Post 9/11 GI bill funds for over 77,000 students totaling over $491 million dollars.

In total, there are six active programs offering benefits for veterans’ education. All of these can be used to help fund a college education.

  • Post 9/11 GI Bill
  • All Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program (MGIB-AD)
  • Educational Assistance for Members of the Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR)
  • Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP)
  • Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
  • Post Vietnam Era Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP)

 

The most-used benefit program is the Post 9/11 GI Bill. At California colleges, 86% of the beneficiaries used the Post 9/11 GI Bill to help fund their education.

Military Program# of 2017 veterans eaRNING aid at California colleges
Post 9 / 1174,229
MGIB – AD1,519
MIGB – SR1,757
REAP9
DEA8,555
VEAP0

 

2020 Top 15 Military Friendly Colleges in California

Below you will find the top 15 military friendly colleges in California. They are listed based on the total amount of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits awarded in 2017 and 2018. Most schools take part in the Yellow Ribbon Program. This program is a part of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Under the Yellow Ribbon Program, the colleges and the VA pay the tuition. Mandatory fees not paid for by the GI Bill.

1 National University
11255 North Torrey Pines Road | La Jolla, CA 92037


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $32.06M

The school was founded in 1971 by retired U.S. Navy Captain David Chigos. As San Diego’s largest private nonprofit school, they offer over 100 degree programs and tuition discounts for military personnel and their dependents. A winner of the prestigious Ray Ehrensberger Award for Institutional Excellence in Military Education, The school offers classes online, on campus, and on several military bases.

The Veteran Center supports transition from military life to higher education. There is also a Virtual Veteran Center which is accessible online.

The school is a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program and offers an unlimited number of students per year an unlimited maximum contribution each year, per student.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $8,689

Grad: $7,961

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 2,777
Grad: 1,071

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 81%
Part Time: 74%

2 University of Phoenix – Southern California Main Campus – Ontario 3110 E. Guasti Rd | Ontario, CA 91761


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $20.04M

The school is one of the top military friendly schools in California. There are several physical campuses located in the state but, whether you choose to attend classes entirely online or in-person, the online student portal is an integral part of how you’ll learn. So from submitting papers to reading materials and more, the online classroom is at the core of every course.

The school offers credit for military training. In addition to offering a military tuition rate, UP participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. The school offers unlimited awards for an unlimited number of students.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $8,441
Grad: $9,458

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 5,231
Grad: 884

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 87%
Part Time: 82%

 

3 University of Southern California
University Park | Los Angeles, CA 90089


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $16.13M

The school’s Veterans Resource Center (VRC) enhances the individual and academic success of veterans. The VRC supports the veteran community in higher education, GI Bill benefits, academic success, graduation, well-being, and career development. The center offers opportunities to excel academically with a study space and computer stations.

USC is a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program and offers an unlimited number of undergrad students per year an unlimited school contribution each year on a first-come, first-served basis. USC also offers grad students awards through the program each year and the number of students and the amount of the award varies by the division or school.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $31,595
Grad: $22,057

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 143
Grad: 677

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: N/A

4 Academy of Art University
79 New Montgomery | San Francisco, CA 94105


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $13.86M

AAU is approved for Military Tuition Assistance and Veterans GI Bill® benefits. Their Military Scholarship may be provided to U.S. service members (Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, and Coast Guard) as an opportunity to start preparing for a career in art and design. The School’s Student Veteran Organization helps military members and veterans create a close network with other military affiliated students.

As a part of the Yellow Ribbon Program, school offers an unlimited number of students per year an unlimited school contribution.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $15,975
Grad: $12,273

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 844
Grad: 153

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 94%
Part Time: 65%

5 University of Phoenix – San Diego Campus
9645 Granite Ridge Dr | San Diego, CA, 92123


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $13.64M

The school is one of the top military friendly schools in California. There are several physical campuses located in the state but, whether you choose to attend classes entirely online or in-person, the online student portal is an integral part of how you’ll learn. From submitting papers to reading materials and more, the online classroom is at the core of every course.

The school offers credit for military training. In addition to offering a military tuition rate, UP participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. It offers unlimited awards for an unlimited number of students.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $8,441
Grad: $9,458

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 5,231
Grad: 884

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 87%
Part Time: 82%

6 University of California-Los Angeles
405 Hilgard Ave | Los Angele, CA 90095


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $8.84M

UCLA is part of the ten-campus UC system. UCLA is proud to be in the top 5 schools in U.S. News & World Report for being veteran friendly. Active members of the U.S. Armed forces and veterans have Priority Enrollment through MyUCLA and other programs. UCLA’s Veteran Resource Center (VRC) provides caring and personalized support to UCLA undergrad and grad student veterans.

UCLA is a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program. The number of students and the award varies by Division/School.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $7,659
Grad: $43,649

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 122
Grad: 136

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: 100%

7 University of California-Berkeley
200 California Hall | Berkeley, CA 94720


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $0.74M

The UCB committed to their veteran students’ success. Veterans Benefits provides veterans and their dependents with the information and assistance required to seamlessly receive veterans’ educational benefits while pursuing their academic careers at UC Berkeley. The Cal Veteran Services Center at UC Berkeley expands access and empowers veteran and active duty service member engagement within the school.  

The UCB offers tuition policies specifically for veterans and servicemembers and the school offers credit for military training.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $4,504
Grad: N/A

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 186
Grad: 0

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: N/A

8 California Baptist University
8432 Magnolia Ave | Riverside, CA 92504


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $6.79M

CU’s Veteran Resource Center is designed to be a place student veterans and dependents can obtain administrative support, relax, and study. CBU offers credit for military training and will waive the $45 application fee for veterans.

CBU offers an unlimited number of Yellow Ribbon scholarships for both the undergrad and grad levels, with $10,000 per undergrad student and $3,000 per grad student available, per year.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $19,945

Grad: $12,270

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 322
Grad: 78

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 89%
Part Time: 100%

9 Golden Gate University – San Francisco
536 Mission Street |San Francisco, CA 94105


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $6.19M

GGU’s Student Veterans Services provide resources and referrals so that veterans can successfully navigate academic life. GGU offers tuition policies specifically for Veterans and Servicemembers and offers credit for military training.

The school offers an unlimited number of Yellow Ribbon scholarships up to $42,000 per year, per student.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $13,159
Grad: $13,928

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 281
Grad: 257

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: 80%

10 University of California – San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr | La Jolla, CA 92093


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $5.54M

UCSD is home to more than 1,600 military-connected students. They have many resources and services dedicated to helping students transition from the military to college life, including a Student Veteran Organization (SVO). The retention rate for full-time students receiving military education benefits is 88%. The school has tuition policies specifically for Veterans and Servicemembers. UCSD also offers service members credit for military experience.

UCSD participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program. Each year, the school offers 3 undergrad students a maximum school contribution per year of $4,500 and 4 grad students a maximum school contribution per year of $6,000.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $26,992
Grad: $42,133

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 170
Grad: 75

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 88%
Part Time: N/A

11 San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr | San Diego, CA 92182


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $5.39M

SDSU is committed to supporting military, military veterans, military spouses, and dependent children. The Student Veterans House—the first of its kind in the U.S.—serves as a gathering place for all military-affiliated students and these students are given priority opportunities to live in designated apartments adjacent to the house.

The Military Ally Awareness Program, developed by the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center at SDSU, provides insight into and awareness of the unique cultural and social background of the military community.  The school offers credit for military training and experience.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $4,955
Grad: $7,659

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 900
Grad: 112

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 89%
Part Time: 100%

12 University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St | San Francisco, CA 94117


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $4.64M

University of San Francisco (USF) is a military friendly school. Veteran Enrollment Services supports the university’s mission by providing counseling services and access to financial resources in order to increase opportunities for military and veteran students’ success in reaching their higher education goals.

USF has tuition policies specifically for Veterans and Servicemembers. So therefore, Veterans are eligible for transfer credit for military training.

University of San Francisco participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and offers 112 undergrads up to $5,000 per student. The number of grad students and the awards available for those students varies by division/school.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $19,896
Grad: $17,094

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 126
Grad: 125

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: 100%

13 Pepperdine University
23255 Pacific Coast Hwy | Malibu, CA 90263


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $0.49M

Pepperdine University (PU) has military and veteran support services ranging from benefits-counseling to veterans’ student organizations and also an Ahmanson Veteran Scholarship Initiative grant. The university has several student veterans’ groups, including the Pepperdine Student Veterans Organization (PSVO), Veterans Legal Society, Graziadio Veteran’s Business Society (GVBS), and the Pepperdine Committee on Student Veterans (PCSV).

PU offers credit for military training and experience. The school has tuition policies specifically for Veterans and Servicemembers. The retention rate for students receiving military education benefits is 100% for both full-time students and part-time students.

PU participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program by offering an unlimited number of students an unlimited max contribution per year.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $14,294
Grad: N/A

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 11
Grad: N/A

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 100%
Part Time: 100%

14 Azusa Pacific University
901 E Alosta | Azusa, CA 91702


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $4.15M

Azusa Pacific University (APU) is committed to honoring those who serve the U.S. by making a quality education for military members, veterans, and their families an accessible, affordable reality. Additionally, the Office of Military and Veteran Services (MVS) helps military-connected students to get enrolled at APU and then settled into student life. APU’s Veterans Club provides a support network for veterans and servicemembers transitioning into academic life. The Veterans Den is a central hub where veterans and other military-connected students can come together for study, social engagement, and mutual support. APU offers tuition policies specifically for Veterans and Servicemembers and grants academic credit for learning acquired in the military.

APU participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program by offering an unlimited number of students up to $14,000 per year, per student.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $26,702
Grad: $12,187

# of Students Earning 9/11 GI Bill Benefits

Undergrad: 92
Grad: 78

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 88%
Part Time: 80%

15 California State University – San Marcos
333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd | San Marcos, CA 92096


Total Post 9/11 GI Bill Sum Awarded in 2017: $3.52M

California State University – San Marcos (CSUSM) is home to more than 450 student Veterans. This represents the highest percentage per capita of any California campus. The Veteran Services team is dedicated to ensuring the successful transition of military students into meaningful careers. Additionally, the Vet Net Ally program is a faculty, staff and student awareness program designed to establish a network of visible Allies to provide support, information, and assistance for service members and veterans. The program is a boon for military friendly colleges in California.

Additionally, the Vet Net Ally program is a faculty, staff and student awareness program designed to establish a network of visible Allies to provide support, information, and assistance for service members and veterans. The program is a boon for military friendly colleges in California.

Finally, CSUSM offers tuition policies specifically for Veterans and Servicemembers. The school also provides them grants academic credit for learning acquired in the military.

Average Post 9/11 GI Bill Benefits Awarded

Undergrad: $3,724
Grad: $4,985

# of Students

Undergrad: 1,239
Grad: 207

Retention Rates For Students Who Receive Benefits

Full Time: 85%

Part Time: 100%

This is a private website that is not affiliated with the U.S. government, U.S. Armed Forces or Department of Veteran Affairs. U.S. government agencies have not reviewed this information. This site is not connected with any government agency. If you would like to find more information about benefits offered by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, please visit the official U.S. government web site for veterans’ benefits at http://www.va.gov.

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Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

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