Costa Mesa, CA

Newport Beach, California skyline shot with ocean in the frame near Costa Mesa, CA

Like a lot of Southern California, Costa Mesa was a small town about 50 years ago. After being a farming town of about 16,000 in the 1950s, it’s now home to Orange County’s two largest skyscrapers, a population of nearly 115,000, and an NFL football team (Los Angeles Chargers). 

As the football team’s moniker would suggest, Costa Mesa is pretty close to LA, and you can get there by public transportation, a perk for many college students who go to school here. Newport Beach is a 5-minute drive. 

Here is a look at the rest of the college landscape. 

Universities in Costa Mesa – 4-Year Colleges and Online

The city has a high cost of living, and this probably attributes to the lower number of colleges for the size. 4-year college options in Costa Mesa include Pacific College (not to be confused with the University of the Pacific in Central CA) and Vanguard University of Southern California. 

Community Colleges in Costa Mesa

There are also two primary options for a community college in the city of Costa Mesa. Coast Community College is located right next to a large park and has transportation to the beach, and Orange Coast College is just a mile south. 

Get to Know Costa Mesa

Overview of Newport Beach with palms trees near Costa Mesa, CA

Like a lot of Southern California cities, Costa Mesa flows right into the next city and most people from out of town don’t really know where one ends and one begins. For Costa Mesa, this means driving a few miles and being in Newport Beach, one of the cleanest and most sprawling beaches in the Los Angeles Area. Costa Mesa is home to a couple of large parks where students like to hang out when the beach gets a little too crowded, and nightlife options are pretty decent, though the beach cities do have a little more to offer and are a cheap Uber away.

Scroll to Top