Photo courtesy of Erwin Technical Center
1. East San Gabriel Regional Occupational Program
East San Gabriel in West Covina, Calif., claims the No. 1 spot on our list because 100 percent of first-time full-time students receive financial aid, the average student receives a grant package topping $3,500, and at 87 percent, the graduation rate for full-time students is more than four times the national average.
East San Gabriel also has an 80 percent to 90 percent job placement rate, in part because internships or practical experience are required for all students, and many of the school's programs are designed to emulate small businesses, says Superintendent Laurel Adler. For example, East San Gabriel's microcomputer repair and maintenance program operates a computer repair shop that serves the local community.
If running your own company is the ultimate goal, this is the place to be. In addition to teaching the basics of starting a company, the school's small-business management program also helps students get off the ground.
"Once they get that degree, the school ... will actually pay for the student's business license and assist them in getting started," says Adler. "In other words, get their cards printed, help them set up their website and literally pay for the business license."