Information

What should you expect for Fall 2020?

Amidst a global pandemic, getting a college degree is possible. Explore this page to find timely information that will help you stay on track to a college degree. Find information on how to apply to college, pay for college, and what to expect of college campuses for the 2020 fall term.

 California’s Public College Fall Plans 2020

Campus fall plans are complex and confusing. Colleges are quickly adapting to rapid changing circumstances. Use our interactive map to find your college and find out what their plans are for Fall 2020.

Click on Map Marker To View College

For a nationwide list of campus fall plans check here: Lists of College’s Fall Plans

Admission Changes

Admission to California’s public colleges has changed slightly. Please constantly check your prospective schools’ website for updated information; this page will be updated as new information is released. Find information below on the current requirements for the 2021-22 academic school year.

What are the admission changes for all three public higher-ed systems (CCC, CSU, UC)?

2020-2021

Admissions to California colleges have changed slightly. Although there may be some variability in acceptable requirement satisfaction, the requirements have largely remained the same for admission into the 2021-22 academic school year. 

Please constantly check your prospective schools’ website for updated information; this page will be updated as new information is released. Scroll/open below for more information on current requirements for the 2021-22 academic school year.

Community Colleges (CCC)

Community colleges have an open-enrollment policy. This means that as long as you meet basic requirements, such as having a high-school diploma or GED, you’re eligible to enroll at the beginning of every semester or quarter term. This has not changed during the COVID-19 crisis. Check out your local community college’s website for detailed admission requirements. 

Because community colleges are flexible with admissions, you may consider attending a community college instead of taking a gap year, or not attending school. Click here to read more about taking a gap-year.

California State Universities (CSUs)

Please note: Even if you meet the requirements to apply to a CSU (as a freshman or transfer student), you are not guaranteed a position at any school. 

Freshmen

To be eligible to apply to a CSU out of high school, you must meet the basic requirements of:

  •  Having a 2.5 overall GPA;
      • However, “credit” and “pass” course grades will not count towards your GPA.
      • Any California high school graduate or resident of California earning a GPA between 2.00 and 2.49 may be evaluated for admission based upon supplemental factors such as number of courses exceeding minimum “a-g” requirements, household income, extracurricular involvement, and other available information that would inform the campus admission decision.
      • Additionally, some competitive colleges and majors may use a higher GPA threshold to consider you for admissions. Check your prospective schools’ websites for more information. 
  • Completing the A-G course requirements;
      • “Credit” and “pass” grades, instead of letter grades, will be accepted to fulfill A-G courses taken during Winter, Spring and Summer of 2020
  • Taking SAT or ACT if your overall GPA is lower than 3.0 (Optional)
    • CSUs will temporarily suspend the use of ACT/SAT exams for the 2021-2022 admissions year. This temporary change of admission eligibility applies only for the fall 2021, winter 2022 and spring 2022 admission cycles.  

After applying, you must wait to be accepted to specific campuses.

Transfers

To be eligible to apply to a CSU from a community college as a transfer student, you must meet the following requirements:

  • have completed a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter units of transferable coursework;
  • have an overall college GPA of at least 2.00;
      • However, “credit” and “pass” course grades will not count towards your GPA.
      • Additionally, some competitive colleges and majors may use a higher GPA threshold to consider you for admissions. Check your prospective schools’ websites for more information. 
  • be in good standing at the last college or university attended;
  • have completed 10 general education courses (30 semester units or 45 quarter units) of basic skills courses, with a grade of C- or better
    • However, “credit” and “pass” grades, instead of letter grades, will be accepted to fulfill these courses taken during Winter, Spring and Summer of 2020

After applying as a transfer student you must wait to be accepted to specific campuses.

Universities of California (UCs)

After applying, you must wait to be admitted to schools. You are not guaranteed admission to a UC school if you meet the requirements. 

Freshmen

To be eligible to apply to a UC out of high school, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete 15 A-G courses;
      • “Credit” and “pass” grades, instead of letter grades, will be accepted to fulfill A-G courses taken during Spring and Summer of 2020.
  • Earn a 3.0 overall GPA; 
      • However, “credit” and “pass” course grades will not count towards your GPA.
  • Take the ACT and/or SAT with writing (Optional)
    • However, UCs are temporarily suspending the standardized test requirement for students applying for fall 2021 freshman admission only. Though the ACT/SAT will not be used for admissions, the UC encourages you still take the exam to fulfill other university requirements, such as Introductory English. 

After applying, you must wait to be admitted to schools. 

Transfers

To be eligible to apply to a UC as a transfer student, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete two transferable courses in English composition; one transferable course in mathematical concepts and quantitative reasoning; four transferable college courses chosen from at least two of the following subject areas: arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and physical and biological sciences
  •  Complete at least 60 semester (90 quarter) units of UC-transferable credit. No more than 14 semester (21 quarter) units of the 60 semester (90 quarter) units may be taken pass/fail or credit/no credit.
      • However, “Credit” and “pass” grades, instead of letter grades, will be accepted to fulfill courses taken ONLY during Spring and Summer of 2020, despite the previous pass/credit unit limitation. In other words, you may exceed how many courses you take for pass/credit than usual, as long as you exceed those limitations during Spring and Summer of 2020. 
  • Earn at least a 2.4 GPA in UC-transferable courses. Some majors require a higher GPA for admission selection.
      • “Credit” and “pass” course grades will not count towards your GPA.
  • Complete the required/recommended courses needed for your intended major with the minimum grades. 

 

Financial Aid

Applying to colleges and universities can be challenging and stressful, but now that you either have been accepted or are enrolled in college there is financial aid to help you pay for college. Financial aid can help you pay for tuition and fees, books, living expenses, and transportation. Find out more about FAFSA, the CA Dream Act, and other financial aid programs.

General Information

Financial aid can help you pay for tuition and fees, books, living expenses, and transportation. Each school has their own cost of attendance and tuition that varies depending on the campus you decide to attend. 

As a college student it is important to apply to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or most commonly known as FAFSA. You need to do this every year you plan to be in college. The application opens up on October 1st 2020, and closes on March 2nd, 20201. In order to be eligible to apply to FAFSA you do have to be a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States with a valid Social Security Number. There are also other requirements in order to be eligible to receive financial aid. 

If you are not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States you are still eligible to apply to receive state financial aid in California, the difference is that you apply through a different application known as the California Dream Act Application which also opens on October 1st and the priority deadline is on March 2nd, 2021.

What kind of financial aid can you receive?

  • Pell Grants – you can receive up to $6,195 from Pell 
  • Work-Study
  • Student Loans (Make sure to explore all financial aid routes before applying)

What kind of state aid can you receive?

  • Cal Grant: it is money that you do not have to pay back and can be used University of California, California State University or California Community College, as well as qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools in California. Remember that in order to obtain a Cal Grant you need to make sure that your Cal Grant Verification form is processed by March 2. 
  • California College Promise Grant: available for students planning to or currently attending a California community college and waives per-unit tuition fees.
  • Middle Class Scholarship: available for CSU and UC undergraduate students whose family incomes and assets are higher.
  • California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth: Available for foster-youth attending a CSU, UC, or CA Community College.
  • CA Dream Act: allows undocumented and nonresident students (U.S. Citizens and eligible non-citizens) who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540) to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants.
  • California DREAM loan: available to undocumented undergraduate and graduate students that are going to either a CSU or UC. Check with your financial aid office. 

After completing either application the school you are attending will provide you with a financial aid package that will let you know how much financial aid you will be awarded and which loans or work study program you are eligible for if needed. Within the financial aid package it will list your options and what awards you’ve received:

  • Campus Scholarships and/or grants
  • Cal Grants
  • Pell Grants 
  • Work Study programs
  • Loans

University of California (UC) Types of Aid

If you’re attending a UC and want more information regarding what other types of grants, scholarships, loans, or work study programs are available to you make sure to check out the following information and links. 

Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan 

The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan helps students to pay UC’s systemwide tuition and fees if they are California residents whose total family income is less than $80,000 a year and qualifies for financial aid. 

Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) Program

The  Middle Class Scholarship is made up of state allocated funds for UC students, and helps cover up to 40% of UC’s systemwide tuition and fees. The maximum scholarship amount depends on your families income of up to $177,000, and household assets of no more than $177,000. The MCS will cover between 10-40 percent of systemwide tuition and fees. 

Loans

Financial aid doesn’t always cover your expenses and you may need to borrow money which is known as loans. If you’re attending a UC and looking into taking out loans make sure to talk with a financial aid advisor from your campus to see what are your best options. 

Work-Study Programs 

Students typically work a part-time job in order to cover their school and personal expenses, and work-study is given as an option for students to be able to make payments towards their tuition. The money you earn through work study does not count as extra income and therefore it does not reduce your financial award packet. Work study is still taxable, so expect to receive a W-2 form from your employer. 

Undocumented Students:

California Dream Loan Program 

If you are an undocumented AB540 student who is attending a UC and did not receive enough financial aid, check out the California Dream Loan Program that is funded by the state and UC in order to help undocumented students pay for school. 

https://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/tuition-financial-aid/types-of-aid/dream-loan-program.html

California Dream Act 

If you are not a U.S citizen or permanent resident, you may still qualify to apply for financial aid through the California Dream Act. If you already applied to the California Dream Act and are attending a UC and have more questions regarding requirements, what’s available to you financially, and what information you need to fill out the California Dream Act application (UC)

California State University (CSU) Types of Aid

If you’re attending a CSU and want more information regarding what other types of grants, scholarships, loans, or work study programs are available to you make sure to check out the following information and links. 

Middle Class Scholarship

The Middle Class Scholarship provides undergraduates with family incomes and assets up to $184,000 per year who may be eligible to apply to the MCS to attend a UC or CSU campus. You may receive the MCS award for up to 4 years depending on education level when awarded. AB 540 students are also eligible to apply to the Middle Class Scholarship. 

State University Grant (SUG)

This provides a need-based grant to help students pay for their CSU Tuition Fee for eligible undergraduates and graduate students who are California residents or are otherwise determined as eligible. 

Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Grant

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Grant provides assistance to economically and educationally disadvantaged students. The recipients must be California residents who were admitted to a CSU campus through the EOP program. 

Scholarships

Students that are eligible may apply for scholarships that are directly administered by a CSU campus. Scholarships are considered free money and are not required to be paid back by the student receiving it. In order to apply, students may need to be required to meet certain academic and enrollment criteria. Students should check their CSU campus website for further information on applying for a campus scholarship. 

Loans

Financial aid doesn’t always cover your expenses and you may need to borrow money which is known as loans. If you’re attending a UC and looking into taking out loans make sure to talk with a financial aid advisor from your campus to see what are your best options. 

Work-Study

The work-study program allows students to earn money to help pay for their school related expenses. It allows students to make payments towards their tuition, if they are given the option. The money you earn through work study does not count as extra income and therefore it does not reduce your financial award packet. Work study is still taxable, so expect to receive a W-2 form from your employer.

California Community College (CCC) Types of Aid

Attending a community college and then transferring to a university, here is some financial information that can help you make financial decisions during your time at community college. 

California College Promise Grant

The California College Promise Grant is for eligible California residents and allows enrollment fees for the first two years to be waived. Make sure to read the qualifications of the program to see if you are eligible for the grant. 

Student Success Completion Grant

The Student Success Completion Grant is a new financial aid program that helps students afford full-time enrollment inorder to help them graduate sooner. The grant is open for incoming and currently enrolled students that are interested in being a full time-student, meaning taking up to 15 plus units per semester. 

Scholarships 

Interested in applying to scholarships in order to help cover your school expenses, ask your school counselor for information about the CCCSE Osher Scholarship process on your campus. 

Loans

It’s important to note that not all community colleges offer student loans, if this is an option that you are interested in, make sure to speak with your financial aid office to see what are some options and if they are necessary. 

Work Study Programs

Similar to the other work study programs, if work study is offered to you through your financial aid package then you’re eligible to work for 10-15 hours a week in order to cover for some expenses. The money you earn through work study does not count as extra income and therefore it does not reduce your financial award packet. Work study is still taxable, so expect to receive a W-2 form from your employer.

Have more questions? Visit this I Can Afford College’s page with Frequently Asked Questions about financial aid.

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FAFSA Applications Are Open. Here's How To Fill It Out This Year https://www.npr.org/2020/10/20/925739424/fafsa-applications-are-open-heres-how-to-fill-it-out-this-year?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

Financial aid can be confusing, which is why we compiled a list using immigrantsrising FAQ sheet about the CA Dream Act! Be sure to apply for financial aid whether that is by filling out the California Dream Act or FAFSA! Do not fill out both.
To check out the full list of quest

California Community Colleges receive $100 million donation to help students facing financial hardships http://edsource.org/?page_id=641811 via @edsource

Tell your State Representatives to take action now to support undocumented students at California's community colleges. #UndocumentedStudentActionWeek https://p2a.co/fMllajN

Serving the largest population of #UndocumentedStudents in the state, californiacommunitycolleges are committed to serving ALL students, regardless of immigration status. Join us for #undocumentedstudentactionweek, October 19-23, 2020, as we advocate and provide support resource

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