California State University Application Tidbits

Applying to one of the 23 Cal State campuses? Remember to be mindful of a few things. For instance, some campuses may be impacted, including specific majors. As you walk through the application, here are a few tidbits that may help…

Side note: The California State University system is very diverse, with multiple campuses that range in size, fit and overall feeling. I encourage you to explore and think of some core values that are important prior to applying. At the end of the day, applying just because a friend said it was awesome, isn’t necessarily the perfect reason to submit an app. If you can convince someone of the reasons why you are applying then you’re on the right track!

Where to start? CSU Mentor. The Cal State application (and really hub for campus, financial aid and admission information) is available at

When can I apply? Application for Fall 2016 opens October 1st and students may submit by no later than 11:59 p.m. on November 30, 2015. Apply early…there may not be an essay to write, but giving yourself room for speed bumps and checking information is important.

You may submit multiple applications (but must submit each application individually)

When you choose a campus and click to start your application, a page of campus specific information pops up…READ THIS carefully. Some campuses provide specific information about impacted majors or any supplemental materials that may be required.

SAVE OFTEN. This one seems like a no brainer, but it truly is something to remember. On the left hand side of the page you may click “Save this screen”, make sure to click it often.

Skipping to other pages. You may choose to skip to another page if you do not have all of the information you need and want to move forward. Please remember (any unsaved information may be lost, and remember to jump back to the page to complete your application). A green check mark will appear at the end of each category on the left-hand side bar when you have successfully completed a section.

Impacted majors and choosing a major For the campuses that require students to choose a major, pick carefully and be mindful of majors that are completely impacted (which means that not all students who want to major in it can get into the classes they want leading to more years of school to complete the major). Students need to look carefully at the offerings and choose related majors as a second choice in case the first is impacted or closed

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo does not allow a student to apply “undeclared”

Testing The last test date accepted for the SAT is the December 5th exam and the December 12th exam for the ACT. Remember you as a student are responsible for sending test scores to the campuses you apply to. CSU will accept either ACT or SAT and will superscore the Math and Verbal section.

Education Opportunity ProgramSource: Each CSU campus has an EOP for low-income undergraduate students who are California residents or qualify for an AB540 non-resident tuition exemption and are disadvantaged because of their economic and educational backgrounds. Students with a history of low income who need academic and financial assistance may apply for the program. EOP accepts students who do not meet regular admission criteria, as well as those who qualify for regular admission. Be sure to indicate on the undergraduate application for admission if you are applying through EOP and ensure you complete the additional EOP Application Information form along with the two letters of recommendation by the deadline determined by the campus.”

EOP Program continued,

  • Do not miss deadlines or the entire application is rescinded.
  • Students apply for the EOP program after they submit the college application, deadline is January 15, 2016.
  • Will also need letters of recommendation. Talk to your counselor.

Helpful walk-through guide The CSU Mentor site has a helpful tutorial that goes through EACH section. It is user friendly!

Happy applying!

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