With roughly 35,000 undergrads, California State University, Northridge is known for being a rather large but fairly diverse community situated in the heart of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. Northridge’s acceptance rate is around 88%, and once students are on campus, they have options: The university offers majors in roughly 70 disciplines, including Chicano and Chicana studies, real estate and accountancy.

When not in class, students can take advantage of the Oasis Wellness Center, which offers nap pods, massages, yoga classes and more. They can also do homework in the Oviatt Library, which has been featured in Star Trek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica.

Like much of the California State University system, the Northridge campus stands out for successfully serving a large number of lower-income students, with 62% of full-time, first-time undergrad students receiving federal Pell Grants. CSUN's graduation rate is 12% higher than expected based on the academic and economic backgrounds of the students enrolled. Sports aren't really a huge part of campus life and CSUN dropped its football program due to budget cuts, but the university is one of about 50 schools in the nation with a Division I beach volleyball program. Prominent graduates from the university include singer-songwriter Paula Abdul, actress Eva Longoria and singer Andy Grammer.