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The Top 5 Colleges Near Ridgecrest, California

The Top 5 Colleges Near Ridgecrest, California

In the heart of California, our guide will take you through the top colleges near Ridgecrest. Team


1 min read

September 21, 2023

Nestled in the heart of the Mojave Desert, Ridgecrest is known for its proximity to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Yet, students looking to further their education near Ridgecrest have a handful of reputable options within a reasonable distance. While Ridgecrest itself does not house any major universities, several respected institutions lie within a couple of hours' drive. Here are the five best colleges within proximity to Ridgecrest, California:

California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB):

Location: Bakersfield, CA

Distance from Ridgecrest: Approximately 110 miles

CSUB offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs, from business to natural sciences. With a commitment to fostering a diverse learning environment, the university serves over 11,000 students, many of whom are first-generation college attendees. Its smaller class sizes allow for more personalized instruction, and its location in Bakersfield makes it a feasible option for Ridgecrest residents considering a commute or a manageable relocation.

Antelope Valley College (AVC):

Location: Lancaster, CA

Distance from Ridgecrest: Approximately 90 miles

As one of California's community colleges, AVC offers a variety of associate degree programs and certificates. They have strong vocational training programs and partnerships with four-year universities to facilitate transfers. For students looking for an affordable first step in their higher education journey, AVC stands as a solid choice.

Cerro Coso Community College:

Location: Ridgecrest, CA

Distance from Ridgecrest: Located within the town

Conveniently situated in Ridgecrest, Cerro Coso offers various programs catering to both traditional students and adult learners. While primarily a two-year institution, it provides valuable education opportunities, especially for those who wish to start their post-secondary education close to home. With online courses and a commitment to flexible learning, Cerro Coso is ideal for those balancing work, family, and studies.

California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB):

Location: San Bernardino, CA

Distance from Ridgecrest: Approximately 150 miles

A bit further afield, CSUSB is known for its robust business, health, and social sciences programs. With state-of-the-art facilities and a commitment to research, it offers students an immersive and comprehensive academic experience. Its Palm Desert campus is also slightly closer to Ridgecrest, providing another option for prospective students.

University of California, Riverside (UCR):

Location: Riverside, CA

Distance from Ridgecrest: Approximately 170 miles

Part of the prestigious University of California system, UCR offers a world-class education. It boasts rigorous academic programs, active student life, and renowned faculty. While it's the furthest from Ridgecrest on this list, its reputation and the quality of education may make the distance worthwhile for some students.

Ridgecrest's location in the Mojave Desert might give the impression of isolation, but when it comes to higher education, residents have a number of reputable options at their fingertips. Whether one is seeking a two-year degree, vocational training, or a comprehensive four-year program, the institutions surrounding Ridgecrest offer a spectrum of opportunities to meet diverse educational goals. As always, prospective students should visit campuses, explore programs, and assess what best suits their career and personal aspirations.

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