List of the most affordable universities in California based on in-state tuition. Looking for a cheap college that will still teach you everything you need to know? Look no further than this list of the cheapest colleges in CA. Tuition at these California schools is much lower than expensive schools like Stanford University or USC. Many of the schools on the list are public, state-run institutions. But just remember: that means that if you're coming to one of these colleges from outside of California, you'll definitely find yourself paying more in tuition. With all the tuition boosts within our education system it's not easy finding the perfect affordable college, but hopefully this list can point you in the right direction. And you'll still get to enjoy that gorgeous California weather, while getting an excellent education!