Application Requirements

While grades and test scores matter, there are many paths to get into college. A student’s life experience, individual journey and struggles, community and volunteer activities, personal statement and evidence of year-to-year grade improvement also factor into many colleges’ acceptance processes. If your grades have not always been that good, don’t let that stop you! Check out Peterson’s Guide for helpful tips regarding the college application process.

California Community College (CCC)

  • No minimum grade point average (GPA) required
  • No testing required for admission
  • No essay required for admission
  • No high school diploma required for admission
    • However, high school diploma (or GED) IS required for federal financial aid
  • Can apply online and most campuses have staff to provide assistance
  • Path to:
    • Career Technical Education (CTE) certificates
    • 2-year associate’s degree
    • 4-year bachelor’s degree (select colleges only)
    • Priority transfer admission to 4-year college or university

Cal State University (CSU)

  • Specific high school courses required (“a-g”)
  • GPAs from all “a-g” courses after 9th grade included in admission calculation
  • Test scores (ACT/SAT) required (unless student has GPA above 3.0 and is California resident)
  • Can apply online—MAKE SURE YOU APPLY FOR EOP WHEN YOU SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION
  • Path to:
    • 4-year bachelor’s degree and/or graduate degrees
    • Priority transfer admission from California Community College

University of California (UC)

  • Specific high school courses required (“a-g”), with 11 of them prior to your senior year
  • GPA of 3.0 or better in “a-g” courses, with no grade lower than a C
  • Test scores, either ACT Plus Writing or SAT Reasoning Test (tests taken no later than December of your senior year for fall admission)
  • SAT Subject Tests not required, but recommended for certain programs
  • Can apply online—important to check steps and deadlines
  • Path to:
    • 4-year bachelor’s degree and/or graduate degrees
    • Priority transfer admission from California Community College