Applying for College: Stepwise List
Applying for College
Step 1: Complete the required college preparatory courses with a C or better.
UC/CSU A-G required courses
- History/Social Science, 2 years required
- English, 4 years required
- Mathematics, 3 years required, 4 years recommended
- Laboratory Science, 2 years required, 3 years recommended
- Language other than English, 2 years required, 3 years recommended
- Visual and Performing Arts, 1 year required
- College Preparatory Elective, 1 year required
If you intend to begin your college experience at a community college, plan to complete the UC/CSU course sequence. Doing this will help you avoid remedial community college courses that do not transfer to four year colleges.
Step 2: Take the appropriate entrance exams.
- All colleges and universities require either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT. The University of California and some very selective independent universities also require two SAT Subject Tests.
- You should begin taking these exams in the spring of your junior year. All testing must be concluded by December of your senior year.
- You can register for these exams online at the following sites:
- Entrance exams are not required for community college.
Step 3: Research colleges to find the best school for you.
- Most colleges maintain websites that provide information for prospective students. These sites are easily accessed with an online search.
- Independent organizations also provide information on schools and programs. Links to a select group of these sites follows:
Looking for Financial Aid? Questions about the process? > Check out this link on College Funding:
Step 4: Apply in the fall of your senior year.
Colleges prefer online applications. Colleges set their own deadlines: Community College Admissions > Typically starts in May to enroll in Fall Term courses (Note: Students must obtain a California Community College [CCC] PIN number before applying to a Community College) CSU Admissions > October o1 to November 30 UC Admissions > November 01 to November 30 Online applications are available at either the college's website or at the following sites:
- California Community Colleges
- CSU Mentor
- University of California
- Common Application for Independent Colleges
Step 5: Receive your letters of admission.
Colleges send out their letters of admission in the spring. May first is the most common deadline for students to accept one of the offers of admission.
All admission decisions are conditional on the successful completion of your senior year. Colleges may rescind admission to students who earn low grades in college preparatory classes during their senior year.
Last Modified on February 7, 2022