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2021 Top California Women's D1 Basketball Schools

21 Colleges
$39,200 Avg Tuition & Fees*
51% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

With all of the options student athletes have for higher education today, it can be tough to choose which direction to take. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Colleges for Division I Women's Basketball in California ranking.

After analyzing 21 schools in California, we came up with our list of those that offered the best educational experiences for D1 Women's Basketball athletes in California. Our ranking is based on several objective factors, including the school's overall quality and the athletic competitiveness of the school. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another. So, even if a school has a great team, it won't place well if it is also considered a low quality college or university.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as online students or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another. Bookmark it so you can compare any new schools that might interest you.

Top Colleges in California for D1 Women's Basketball athletes in California

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

Stanford University

Stanford, California

Stanford University tops this year’s ranking as the best school for D1 Women’s Basketball athletes in California. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Stanford, California, and it awarded 1,892 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at Stanford made $2,289,210 in revenue. Sports aren’t the only thing that the team excels at - they had a perfect academic progress rate of 1000.

With a freshman retention rate of 98%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Stanford is ranked #2 for overall quality in California.

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#2

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of California - Los Angeles. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Colleges for D1 Women’s Basketball athletes in California list. UCLA is a public institution located in Los Angeles, California. The school has a large population, and it awarded 9,069 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Basketball team at UCLA brought home $1,009,216 in revenue in a single year. The team has a great academic progress rate of 989, signifying that team members care about their grades.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, UCLA also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#3

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, California

You’ll join some of the best athletes around if you attend University of San Francisco. The school came in at #3 in this year’s ranking. University of San Francisco is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in San Francisco, California that handed out 1,634 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Basketball team at USFCA brought home $2,334,119 in revenue in a single year. The team has a great academic progress rate of 991, signifying that team members care about their grades.

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#4

University of California - Davis

Davis, California

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of California - Davis. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Colleges for D1 Women’s Basketball athletes in California list. UC Davis is located in Davis, California and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 8,711 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at UC Davis took home $1,845,740 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 995 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. UC Davis also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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#5

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Out of the 21 schools in California that were part of this year’s ranking, University of California - Berkeley landed the #5 spot on the list. Berkeley, California is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 9,627 students in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at UC Berkeley made $588,318 in revenue. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 983.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UC Berkeley excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#6

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, California

Loyola Marymount University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking, coming in at #6. Loyola Marymount is located in Los Angeles, California and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,674 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at Loyola Marymount took home $2,147,235 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 981, signifying that team members care about their grades.

With a freshman retention rate of 91%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. Loyola Marymount also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#7

University of San Diego

San Diego, California

With a ranking of #7, University of San Diego did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in San Diego, California, and it awarded 1,501 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at USD made $2,034,732 in revenue. Sports aren’t the only thing that the team excels at - they had a perfect academic progress rate of 1000.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 90%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, USD also is in the top 20% of our overall quality ranking.

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#8

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California landed the #8 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. Located in Los Angeles, California, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 5,337 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Basketball team at USC brought home $2,836,460 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 980 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. On top of its placing in this ranking, USC also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#9

Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara University landed the #9 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. Located in Santa Clara, California, the medium-sized private not-for-profit school awarded 1,495 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Basketball team at SCU brought home $2,222,128 in revenue in a single year. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 984.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 94%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, SCU also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#10

University of California - Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California

University of California - Santa Barbara ranked #10 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California list. UCSB is a large public school situated in Santa Barbara, California. It awarded 6,327 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Basketball team at UCSB brought home $1,746,440 in revenue in a single year. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 958.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 93%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UCSB also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#11

University of the Pacific

Stockton, California

University of the Pacific came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. Pacific is located in Stockton, California and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 815 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at Pacific took home $2,198,286 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 987, signifying that team members care about their grades.

On top of its placing in this ranking, Pacific also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#12

California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, California

California State University - Long Beach ranked #12 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California list. Long Beach, California is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 8,950 students in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Basketball team at CSULB brought home $1,576,467 in revenue in a single year.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 88%.

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#13

Pepperdine University

Malibu, California

Pepperdine University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. Pepperdine is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school situated in Malibu, California. It awarded 943 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Basketball team at Pepperdine brought home $2,267,778 in revenue in a single year. With a perfect academic progress rate of 1000, the team is showing that they know how to hit the books, too.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 90%. On top of its placing in this ranking, Pepperdine also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#14

University of California - Riverside

Riverside, California

University of California - Riverside came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. Located in Riverside, California, the large public school awarded 4,649 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at UCR took home $1,818,737 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 953.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

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California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo landed the #15 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is located in San Luis Obispo, California and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 5,185 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo took home $1,663,889 in revenue. The great academic progress rate of 980 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 95%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#16

San Diego State University

San Diego, California

San Diego State University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. SDSU is a public institution located in San Diego, California. The school has a large population, and it awarded 8,159 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at SDSU took home $1,796,883 in revenue. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 991.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 89%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year.

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#17

San Jose State University

San Jose, California

San Jose State University came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. San Jose State is a large public school situated in San Jose, California. It awarded 6,826 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at San Jose State made $1,656,137 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 991, signifying that team members care about their grades.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 87%.

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#18

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, California

University of California - Irvine ranked #18 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California list. UC Irvine is a public institution located in Irvine, California. The school has a large population, and it awarded 8,394 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at UC Irvine took home $1,722,114 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 962.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, UC Irvine is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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With a ranking of #19, California State University - Fresno did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. Fresno State is located in Fresno, California and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 4,921 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at Fresno State took home $2,316,750 in revenue. The team has a great academic progress rate of 983, signifying that team members care about their grades.

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#20

California State University - Sacramento

Sacramento, California

California State University - Sacramento ranked #20 on this year’s Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California list. California State University - Sacramento is a large public school located in Sacramento, California that handed out 7,479 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The D1 Women’s Basketball team at Sac State brought home $1,255,081 in revenue in a single year. The team has a great academic progress rate of 983, signifying that team members care about their grades.

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#21

California State University - Fullerton

Fullerton, California

With a ranking of #21, California State University - Fullerton did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Division I Women’s Basketball in California ranking. Located in Fullerton, California, the large public school handed out 9,996 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the D1 Women’s Basketball team at Cal State Fullerton took home $1,246,774 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 971.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 87%.

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Best Colleges for D1 Women's Basketball in the Far Western US Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 21 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Revenue and expense information comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA) website.
  • The academic progress rate (APR) of each team was made available by the NCAA.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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