Golden West College


Golden West College (GWC) is a medium-sized community college located in beautiful Huntington Beach, California that offers students a wonderful alternative to immediately entering a traditional four-year university after high school. Some experts believe that students who pursue an associate’s degree at a two-year or other short-term community school have a better success rate than students who jump straight into a four-year program after graduation. Two-year colleges give students a chance to adjust to college life and the rigors of college-level coursework.

Information Summary

Ranks 209th in California and 2403rd overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 58.1
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $3,095
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 28 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 72% / 49%
Enrollment Total (all students) 11,621


GWC boasts a top-tier faculty, a gorgeous location, and an outstanding academic curriculum that will help students jump-start their post-secondary education while simultaneously providing them with real-world assistance in developing productive study habits and time-management skills.

Because the college offers only two-year programs of study, the highest degree that can be achieved at this institution is an associate’s degree. After students complete this degree, the admissions department will assist students in transferring their credits to a four-year institution. The over fourteen thousand students are mostly local Californians transitioning from high school to a university.

The associate’s degrees offered at Golden West College range from automotive studies, math and sciences, to English arts and legal arts. The fine arts are also featured at Golden West College where students can receive an associate’s degree in art, dance, theater and music. Many students opt to take a large portion of their college courses online. The school’s website has extensive tutorials and explanations which detail the benefits of online courses as well as appropriate class techniques to ensure a student’s success through online study.

Most Popular Fields of Study


College Building :: Golden West College


Application is open to anyone at least 18 years old who has completed high school or passed a high school equivalency test such as the GED. High school students who have completed the tenth grade and received written permission from both a parent and a high school principal or administrator can also begin taking college-level courses while still enrolled in high school. Most students who apply are accepted.

Prospective students can complete an online application, submit a traditional paper application by mail, or visit the admissions office to fill out an application in person. The online application is, by far, the easiest method to apply

After a student is admitted, he or she must take several assessments before registering for classes to ensure placement in the appropriate courses.

Financial Aid

The college’s primary mission is to provide affordable post-secondary education and vocational training to students who would be otherwise unable to attend a college or vocational school. As such, Golden West has one of the most efficient and helpful financial aid staffs in the state of California. Students who need financial aid because of economic disadvantage or hardship will find ample solutions in the financial aid office.

To apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligible students may qualify for federal as well as state grants and loans, private loans, and scholarships.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 5937th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.

Local Community

Huntington Beach, California is only about half an hour south of bustling downtown Los Angeles. Students who attend are guaranteed a semester of sunshine, surfing, sightseeing and superb night life. The city of Huntington Beach is famous for its nearly nine mile coast and excellent surfing conditions year round. Huntington Beach is the largest beach town in all of Orange County. With a large central park, an equestrian center, a monumental library with over five hundred thousand books, several live theaters, movie theaters, concert venues, and shopping. Students will never be starved for entertainment.

With easy access to Los Angeles, students are also exposed to the whirlwind experience of glamorous Hollywood. Students can take in the incredible shopping, dining, and entertainment possibilities that Los Angeles offers its visitors. The community atmosphere means students will always have a travel partner when they get the itch to visit the big city.


The gorgeous beaches, exciting night life, and adventure-promising surf of Huntington Beach attract thousands of visitors each year. The school benefits from this picturesque location and also boasts a phenomenal educational experience that has attracted several notable individuals who are now alumni, including:

  • Michelle Pfeiffer, actress
  • Vivica A. Fox, actress
  • Tito Ortiz, professional fighter
  • James McDonald, MLB pitcher

Additional School Information

Many students who attend do not intend to secure a bachelor’s degree or other upper-level degree at a four-year institution. These students are taking advantage of GWC’s vocational programs. The vocational programs at this institution are designed to be both cost-efficient and highly effective for training students in a variety of crucial skills that will assist them in securing work after graduation.

The vocational programs may or may not result in the achievement of an associate’s degree. For example, the Criminal Justice Training Center prepares students for entry into a police academy or other public service institution. Here, students will take courses specifically designed to give them a leg up toward a career in public service or criminal justice. This program does not result in an associate’s degree. Instead, it allows a student to enter directly into a fulfilling career. The vocational training program courses serve many career paths including automotive maintenance, business management, cosmetology, florist management, computer and engineering, and much more.

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