Private colleges boom as Calif. universities falter

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s public higher education crisis has a flip side: swelling enrollment, expanding faculty, and state-of-the-art construction at the state’s private colleges and universities.

With five years of funding cuts causing stumbles in the state’s public higher education systems, California students are increasingly turning to private institutions, as well as out-of-state schools, to get their degrees.

California independent colleges report big upticks in enrollment of both freshmen and transferring students disillusioned with spiraling tuition for fewer classes at California State University, University of California, and community colleges. Universities in neighboring states also say they’re seeing more interest from California students than ever before.

Independent schools are touting their small classes, course availability and on-time graduation, as well as beefing up financial aid, to lure students.

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