UCs and Cal States are accepting students now. You must fulfill all requirements so you can attend in the fall.
1. Save all emails and set up accounts. Each campus will send you an email after you apply. In this email, the campus will explain how to set up a campus account. Most will notify you of key deadlines and ACCEPTANCES via this method. So do NOT delete these emails. Keep track of passwords and pins and usernames.
2. Complete all financial aid and scholarship forms. Make sure you meet all deadlines and get in all tax documents. The UCs have a Blue and Gold Plan that helps students whose families make less than $80K attend. Please be willing to consider loans. Financial aid plans come with or soon after your acceptance. Read the offers carefully and make sure you send your FAFSA and Cal Grant papers to the college you decide to accept.
3. Take placement tests.
UC: UC bound students must take a free writing placements test unless you are exempt. See below for Writing Test Exemptions. Once accepted, you will the test in May at a location near you. If you opt not to take the class, then your campus will place you in a remedial class that will not count towards graduation. http://www.ucop.edu/elwr/index.html
CSU: CSU bound students must take placements tests to determine your reading and math levels. If you DO NOT TAKE them or are NOT EXEMPT, you CANNOT enroll in the fall. Take them beginning in January at any CSU campus near you. That CSU will send your scores to the CSU you decide to attend. PLEASE TAKE THESE TESTS SERIOUSLY AS THEY DETERMINE HOW LONG YOU WILL BE IN COLLEGE.
Register.: You must register for the tests http://www.ets.org/csu/test_administration/dates/
Pay: You will have to pay $18 per test and pay on the day of the test. http://www.ets.org/csu/test_administration/registration/
Prepare: Take these tests as seriously as you can as they will determine whether you have to take several math and reading remedial courses and risk losing your place if you don’t pass them within in a year.
See below for ways to be exempt.
4. Deciding Which Campus to Accept
Each Cal State or UC campus releases acceptances individually. UC campuses release freshmen decisions between March 1-30. Cal States can notify you anytime between now and April. You do not need to accept until May 1, so evaluate each acceptance. Each campus will have open houses for accepted students, so you should try to attend one. Bring your family if you can. If not, see if the campus will bus or fly you to visit.
Look at the financial aid offers. See what kinds of support programs the campuses offers. Determine if you need to appeal a financial aid offer. You will not get a great offer unless your financial aid materials are submitted.
5. Support Programs. You will learn about what programs are offering you support. If you receive EOP, sign up right away. If a campus offers you to attend a summer bridge program, ACCEPT IT. These spots fill quickly.
6. Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). You must submit your SIR, you acceptance, to ONE campus by May 1. You can submit online or via hard mail. Read the campus’s requirements. Both the Cal States and UCs now have a $100 deposit that must go with the SIR. Cal States won’t waive the fee; you can ask a UC to do so. That $100 goes towards your costs, but you won’t get it back if you opt not to attend that campus.
7. Housing Deposits. If you plan on living on campus, you need to submit forms to live on campus. The earlier you submit for certain Cal States, like San Francisco State and San Diego State the better. Your housing application must be submitted with a deposit. This deposit can come from your financial aid offer. Again these deposits are non-refundable.
Seriously consider living on campus. Your out-of-pocket costs most likely will not go up because your financial aid package will increase if you choose to live on campus.
8. Orientation. All of the campuses have orientations. Some campus orientations are mandatory and enable you to register for classes. Others are voluntary. Make sure to follow the directions for orientation as you will learn invaluable information about financial aid, enrollment, health care, academic requirements, and other services on your campus. You may have to pay for orientation. See if you can get a waiver. If you can’t, you must pay.
9. Final transcripts. You need to make sure all of your final transcripts are submitted to the campus you opt to attend by July 15. If you receive any Ds or Fs senior year in your A-G classes, you will lose your spot. Significant decreases in grades senior year can lead to your losing your spot. Lying on your self-reported transcripts will result in losing your spot. So keep your grades up!!!
Exemptions from UC and Cal State Placement Tests
CSU Placement Test Reading Exemptions:
A score of “Exempt” or “Ready for college-level English courses” on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP) taken along with the English Language Arts California Standard Test in grade 11
A score of 500 or above on the critical reading section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test
A score of 22 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) English Test
A score of 3 or above on either the Language and Composition or Composition and Literature examination of the College Board Scholastic Advanced Placement Program
Completion and transfer to CSU of the credits for a college course that satisfies the CSU General Education requirement in English Composition, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better
CSU Math Placement Test exemptions:
A score of “Exempt” or “Ready for college-level Mathematics courses” on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP), taken in grade 11 in conjuction with the California Standards Test in Summative High School Mathematics or Algebra II
A score of “Conditionally ready for college-level Mathematics courses” or “Conditional” on the CSU Early Assessment Program (EAP), taken in grade 11 along with the California Standards Test in Summative High School Mathematics or Algebra II, provided successful completion of a CSU-approved 12th grade math course that requires Algebra II as a prerequisite
A score of 550 or above on the mathematics section of the College Board SAT Reasoning Test
A score of 550 or above on a College Board SAT Subject Test in Mathematics (level 1 or level 2)
A score of 23 or above on the American College Testing (ACT) Mathematics Test
A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Calculus AB or Calculus BC exam
A score of 3 or above on the College Board Advanced Placement Statistics examination
Completion and transfer to CSU of a college course that satisfies the requirement in Quantitative Reasoning, provided such a course was completed with a grade of C or better
UC Writing Test Exemptions
- 30 or better on the ACT Combined English/Writing test; or
- 680 or better on the College Board SAT Reasoning Test, Writing section; or
- 3 or above on either Advanced Placement Examination in English; or
- 5 or above on an International Baccalaureate High Level English A exam
- 6 or above on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level English A exam