High school students must meet the following requirements to earn a diploma and graduate:
- Complete all course requirements and have the minimum number of credit units, including 160 Core Academic Courses (UC/CSU A-G courses) and 80 Green Dot electives for a total of at least 240 credit units:
Subject Credit Units A History/Social Science 30 B English 40 C Mathematics 30 D Science 20 E Language Other Than English 20 F Visual and Performing Arts 10 G College Prep Elective 10 - Green Dot Electives 80
- All students must pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) to graduate. Students first take the test in the 10th grade and have chances to retake the test in the 11th and 12th grades. More information is available on the California Department of Education website.
- Every student must show proof that he or she completed 3 university applications. Students must bring proof of acceptance or denial. Incomplete applications will not be accepted! Acceptable forms for proof of application include: college correspondence via letter, e-mail, or online printout indicating acceptance or denial of admissions.
- Students must complete 40 community service hours before graduation. These hours are to be turned into advisory teachers before the end of the school year.
- Students must serve all detentions and suspensions and clear all other disciplinary obligations.
- Students/parents must pay all financial debts owed to the school.
Students will be recognized as Distinguished Graduates if they meet the following additional requirements:
- Fulfill the recommended A-G requirements, which require the following additional credit units:
C Mathematics 10 D Science 10 E Language Other Than English 10
- Complete an additional 20 community service hours before graduation.
- Complete at least one UC/CSU transferrable cource with a "C" or above grade, or earn a passing grade (3 or above) on at least one Advanced Placement (AP) Exam.
- Finish high school with a weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The following pages contain information on each test, practice questions, and other resources:
- STAR tests, including the California Standards Test (CST): http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/sr/
- California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE): http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/hs/
- California English Language Development Test (CELDT): http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/el/
- SAT, PSAT, and AP: http://www.collegeboard.com/
- ACT: http://www.act.org/aap/
The College Application Process
1. Plan for college beginning in 9th grade
The University of Southern California's "Preparing for College Guide" offers detailed descriptions of what students need to do at each grade level to be a competitive applicant. The CSU Planning Guide offers similar recommendations.
2. Check admission requirements
The California State University requirements and the University of California A-G requirements should guide the courses that you take in high school. Green Dot high schools use the A-G requirements as graduation requirements, so most students on track to graduate will complete the required coursework.
3. Develop a list of colleges to apply to
Helpful resources to guide your college search include:
- CaliforniaColleges.edu is the state's official website that provides information about higher education in California for students and parents.
- CSU Mentor is designed to help students and their families learn about the California State University (CSU) system and has information on planning for college, applying to college, and financial aid.
- CAcolleges.org is a search enginge for colleges in California.
- U.S. News College Rankings provides a list of the top colleges.
- The Princeton Review is a search engine that allows you to set the parameter (your interests, majors, public or private school, size, etc.) and then gives you a list of schools that fit your profile.
- My College Options is a search engine that matches your interests with colleges that fit those interests.
- CampusTours.com provides prospective students with a virutal tour of hundreds of college campuses. It is a great way to get a feel for the campus that might be too far away for a weekend drive.
- Black Excel has college information for African American students.
- Art Institutes International is an association of some of the top private Art schools in the country, with links to all of them.
- Colleges That Change Lives is a non-profit that helps students expand their college search process beyond ratings and rankings.
- Landmark College is designed to help those with ADHD and learning disabilities get their associate's degree and gain the tools to advance their education to a four-year school.
4. Complete your college application
After you have decided where you want to apply, you need to complete the applications:
Green Dot Public Schools has chosen Parchment for all transcript requests
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To order your transcript, click the big ORDER YOUR TRANSCRIPT banner below. The first thing you’ll do is create an account, then you’ll place your order, and then you can track your order 24/7.
Visit parchment.com/studentkit to access the Parchment Student Tool Kit Containing:
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Colleges and universities prefer to receive transcripts electronically through Parchment!
Don't let the high cost of college discourage you or your child. Numerous sources of financial aid can help you afford even the most expensive schools. In fact, nearly half of all college students receive some financial aid. The key is to start saving and researching now. Consider the types of college your child might attend (public, private, urban, rural), the requirements of your potential major (books, supplies), and living costs (housing, transportation, food). Estimate your child's financial needs, and begin saving money each month. Many banks offer special college savings accounts.
You and your child can apply for several types of aid from federal and state agencies, private foundations, and colleges.
Federal Student Aid, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation and should be the first stop for students seeking financial aid. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), students are considered for federal student aid. Many other financial aid programs require that students first fill out the FAFSA (including Cal Grants). To fill out the FAFSA, you will also need to complete the application for a Federal Student Aid PIN.
The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) is the principal state agency responsible for administering financial aid programs for students attending California colleges and universities. Students can apply for the Cal Grant program and several other financial aid programs through the CSAC website.
Undocumented students who are eligible for AB 540 are now eligible to receive financial aid from the State of California. To apply for California State aid, AB 540 students must complete the California Dream Act Application and the Cal Grant GPA Verification process. More information on AB540. Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) also provides college information and scholarships for undocumented students.
LA Cash for College provides free assistance to Los Angeles students and familes applying for federal and state financial aid. Visit their website to find out more about the workshops and other services they offer.
Many colleges and universities also provide financial aid to their students. You should ask each college on your list what their financial aid policies are and what it takes to apply for financial aid. Many colleges will require that you fill out the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE before applying for financial aid.
Scholarships are awarded to students based on several criteria. Your child can receive a scholarship for academics, athletics, community service, and many other endeavors. FastWeb.com is a great Web site to search for scholarship opportunities. Your child can fill out an online profile and the website will match their profile with potential scholarships. The Minority Scholarship Search allows students to search for scholarships that are open to students of their race. Other organizations that offer college scholarships include:
- Sallie Mae Scholarship Search - Searchable database of more than 3 million scholarships
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund - Largest scholarship program for Latino students in the nation
- United Negro College Fund - Administers a range of scholarship programs for African-American students
- Boston University Trustee Scholarship Competition - Full tuition scholarships to Boston University for high-performing students
- Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation - Scholarship program sponsored by Coca-Cola
- Dell Scholars Program - Scholarship program sponsored by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
- Gates Millennium Scholars - Scholarship program for minority students sponsored by the Gates Foundation
- Jackie Robinson Foundation - Scholarships and mentoring for minority students provided in memory of Jackie Robinson
- "Make The U (Haz La U)" Scholarship Program - Scholarships for Latino students sponsored by Colgate
- MALDEF Scholarship Resources - Information on scholarships collected by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
- SALEF Scholarship - Scholarships for Latino students sponsored by the Salvadoran-American Leadership and Education Fund
- Univision "es el momento" Scholarship - Scholarships for Latino students sponsored by Univision