The following pages contain information on each test, practice questions, and other resources:
- Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) for 11th Graders: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/
- California Physical Fitness Test (PFT) for 9th Graders: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/pf/
- 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:
6 Composition Books
4 Packs Lined Paper
1-1 1/2 inch binder
1 12 tab divider set
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
Student Policy Manual (English)
Student Policy Manual (Spanish)
Other Policies and Forms
FERPA is a Federal law that is administered by the Family Policy Compliance Office (Office) in the U.S. Department of Education (Department). 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99. FERPA applies to educational agencies and institutions (e.g., schools) that receive funding under any program administered by the Department. Private and parochial schools at the elementary and secondary levels generally do not receive such funding and are, therefore, not subject to FERPA.