Southern California is one of the best communities for economic opportunities, as well as education and overall quality of life. Many from outside of the immediate area who attend a SoCal university end up staying because they fall in love with the local culture, economy and overall lifestyle. Here’s a quick guide for SoCal college students and things to consider when choosing a new community.

Best for Academics

Looking for a robust community known for academia? Look at neighborhoods around campuses such as UCLA, UCSD, and UCI. The University of California System is consistently rated as having some of the best public universities in the country. University of California, Los Angeles, is consistently ranked as a top public university in the US for academic excellence. The campus is surrounded by star-studded communities such as Bel-Aire, Brentwood, Beverly Hills, and Westwood. Likewise, UCSD is a well-known research university, with institutions like the Salk research institute and the Birch Aquarium. Property near the university boasts breathtaking seaside views and communities great for families.

Source: 25 Best Universities in California

Best for Culture

Whether you want to root for the local sports team or experience fine arts, you’re sure to find your niche at one of Southern California’s communities. For athletics, the University of Southern California boasts many notable alumni, including Matt Leinart and Junior Seau, and it once hosted the Olympics. Others, such as Azusa Pacific, Loyola Marymount, and Chapman University, have notable music programs that host student performances and concerts. Beach towns near colleges also boast robust surfing culture, foodie scenes, and craft breweries. With so many resources and scenes at your fingertips, you’ll surely always have something to do.

Source: 11 Celebrities that Attend (Or Have Attended) the University of Southern California

Other Options

With so much going on in SoCal, taking online classes can be an excellent way to enjoy all that the area offers while studying when it’s convenient for you. Make sure your university is accredited as non-accredited for-profit colleges are practically worthless as far as degrees go. Other considerations you’ll want to take into account are proximity to future education, economic opportunities in the surrounding areas, cost of living and the accessibility of public transportation and other public resources. Southern California is one of the best places for young professionals, as jobs typically pay higher than other areas to keep up with the cost of living in the area and to attract and retain talent. Opportunity abounds in various industries such as tech, medical research, bioengineering, engineering, and defense.

Source: Is Independence University a Real School?

Choosing a Southern California college community is a tough but rewarding endeavor. With year-round sun, great weather and proximity to culture and outdoor recreation, everyone is sure to find something to appeal to both professional and personal needs.

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