California contains more than 150 accredited colleges and universities, including more than 30 public institutions belonging to the University of California and California State systems. However, the California school that scored best in this ranking is Mills — a private college based in Oakland. The school’s undergraduate programs are reserved for female students, while graduate programs are coed. Fifty-nine percent of the college’s undergraduate student body identify as students of color and 51% identify as LGBT+. Mills was also the first single-sex institution in the country to allow transgender students.
Established in 1926, the Mills College Children’s School is the oldest on-campus laboratory school on the West Coast. Children of Mills students qualify for priority admission, and students may receive financial assistance to help cover childcare tuition. The school offers classes for infants/toddlers, preschoolers, transitional kindergartens, and elementary school-aged children. Additionally, the Underwood Family Housing facility is reserved for students with kids. The facility includes a communal play area, and it takes less than five minutes to walk from Underwood to the center of campus.
According to PayScale, the cost of living in Oakland exceeds the national average by nearly 50%. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that the unemployment rate in Oakland was less than the national average as of January 2019, which benefits job-seeking students with children.