Applying to Cal State Universities: Everything You Need to Know

Applying to Cal State Universities: Everything You Need to Know

Application season is here again! Below are several Cal State Apply updates as well as some helpful reminders to assist students.

The priority application period for the Fall 2021 semester opens October 1, 2022, and closes November 30, 2022. We encourage you to apply early.

Validation is Here! Students are highly encouraged to find their high school, so they do not need to manually enter their high school coursework, complete a-g matching, and ensure validation is properly applied. Students can now search for their high school using the CEEB code.

Cal State Apply Submission Review! The application has been updated with a Submission Review page. The page provides key academic and application information that students may need to review. Please review this information carefully and correct any issues prior to submission.

SAT and ACT Test Scores

  • The CSU has temporarily suspended the use of SAT and ACT test scores for admission purposes. To find more information on the admission requirements for Fall 2022 please visit the First-time Freshman Guidance.
  • If SAT and ACT test scores are submitted, the CSU will use scores for placement in English and mathematics courses. Please visit the CSU Student Success site for additional information on placement. If a student has not taken a test, they can opt-out of the Standardized Tests section of Cal State Apply.

Cal State Apply Helpful Links

All Cal State Apply resources have been updated and posted to the Counselor Resource site under First-time Freshman Section. Here are some helpful ones, visit this site for more. There are a lot of resources available for counselors, but some are quite helpful for students. 

CSU Video and Campus Virtual Tour Links

For a new CSU overview video and virtual tours of all 23 campuses go here.  

Reminders & Clarifications

College-Dual Enrollment Coursework – If you have taken college classes while in high school on your own or through a formal dual enrollment program, you should specify on the application that you are a graduating high school senior with college credit. Any college courses taken that will appear on a college transcript should be reported on the College Coursework page. For more information please see the College-Dual Enrollment Coursework Guidance.

Help students not miss the deadline to apply for the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP). Some but not all campuses have a deadline of November 30, 2022, for EOP applicants. Even if you have submitted their application to the CSU, you can still go back into Cal State Apply to indicate you are interested in applying for EOP if you haven’t missed the campus’s deadline. To check the deadline for the campus(es), go to EOP Admission by Term (also available as a PDF). Also, at least one of the recommendations must be from someone who knows your academic history, such as a teacher or counselor. The other recommendation can be from an individual who can comment about your potential to succeed in college but cannot be the student or a family member.

DACA, undocumented or AB540 students should enter “None” as their citizenship status. Under “Residency,” they should select “California” as their state of residency if they consider California their home.

There have been changes in impaction on both campuses and degree programs for the 2022-23 academic year. Impaction means that there are more qualified applicants for a program or campus than can be accommodated. For the most current information, visit the Impaction center on

This resource was compiled with information from the CSU Office of the Chancellor

How To Set A Budget That Works For You

How To Set A Budget That Works For You

One of the exciting yet scary things about starting college is that you begin your adulting phase! Having an accurate and realistic budget can help you pay off your necessities while ensuring you have wiggle room to treat yourself! While budgeting can sometimes be daunting, it is essential as we are now responsible for managing our own money.

Here we will break down how to set a budget that works for you into five phases:

Phase one: Find out what your monthly income is

Your monthly income can come from a regular paycheck, allowance, and side gigs. If you receive a steady paycheck, make sure you are calculating your after-tax income rather than your gross income (before taxes). If you are self-employed or have side gigs, subtract anything that reduces that income, such as business expenses and take in consideration irregular income. 

Phase two: Tracking and categorizing expenses

Once you know your monthly income, it is time to figure out your expenses. You can look at your credit card and bank statements to see how you’re spending your money. While doing this, categorize your expenses to determine which are fixed (e.g., rent) and which vary (e.g., groceries, shopping) 

Phase three: Setting realistic goals

Before creating a budgeting plan, you need to list short-term and long-term financial goals. Short-term goals should take one to three years to achieve, while long-term goals may take decades. We understand that a decade sounds like a long time, but Diamonds by Rihanna was released a decade ago… 

Now that we got that out of the way, short-term goals can be setting up an emergency fund or saving up for a vacation after the school year, while long-term goals could be saving up for retirement. Your financial plans do not need to be official, but knowing them can help motivate you to stick to your budget!  

Phase four: Choosing a budgeting plan

There are many budgeting plans, but the most beginner-friendly program is the 50/30/20 rule. The 50/30/20 rule allows you to divide expenses into three categories by percentages. You spend 50% of your after-tax income on your necessities (e.g., rent, minimum payments), no more than 30% on wants (e.g., takeout), and at least 20% on savings (e.g., emergency fund). Check out the 50/30/20 calculator by Nerdwallet to get started. Remember that wants and needs vary by individual, someone’s daily coffee may be a want while another person may see it as a need. 

Phase five: Adjust and review your budget 

Congrats! You have set a budget. If you go over your budget, it happens! A budget is meant to be flexible because these scenarios do happen. Adjust your budget to ensure your necessities are taken care of first to get back on track. You may need to change your budget, but it should return to normal.


Nerd Wallet


First Gen Grad Guide

First Gen Grad Guide

Print out this checklist when you’re ready to start prepping for graduation! 

Chapter 1: Graduation Check-In 

Prior to starting the academic year, you should have met with your advisor to set up your last semester schedule to keep you on track with graduation. Make sure to visit them one last time to confirm whether all your GE and major requirements will be met by the end of your last semester.

Check-in with your advisor one last time to:

⃞ Ensure all academic requirements and commitments have been met. 

⃞ If you plan to pursue grad school, try setting up a one/three/five year plan to help you stay accountable with your academic goals!


Check-in with your school

⃞ Confirm that you’ve filled out all the required graduation forms correctly (make sure they print your name exactly as you want it to appear on your diploma, and register to participate in the ceremony).

⃞ Purchase all the necessary graduation materials such as…

    • Cap & gown
    • Diploma frame 
    • Graduation picture package 
    • Graduation tickets


Check-in with your family: 

⃞ If your family is traveling from out of town, make sure you communicate with them to set up the right housing arrangements during graduation weekend.

⃞ If needed, book their airbnb/hotel and try putting together a light itinerary for their stay. You’ll be busy preparing for graduation so having them explore campus can be a fun distraction for those times you’re not with them during their visit.


Check-in with your landlord:  

⃞ If you’re moving out after graduation, make sure you let your landlord know about your plans. Set up a move out date and discuss any next steps you need to take before moving

⃞ Get your security deposit back if no damages were made to your living space 

⃞ Keep your roommates in the loop of things and plan any relevant move-out plans with them as well 


Chapter 2: Saying Your Goodbyes 

With graduation season comes a lot of goodbyes… Make sure you make time to thank those who helped you with this achievement!

Reach out to your professors: 

Go visit office hours one last time. Thank them for making a contribution during your time in college and ask to stay connected! They can serve as a potential letter of recommendation for future opportunities. 

Check-in with your current professors about any missing or make-up assignments you should turn in to ensure you end the school year with good grades. 


Reach out to your mentors: 

Stay connected with your mentors/managers. If you have a good relationship with them, they can offer a great letter of recommendation

If possible, drop off a thank you letter in-person for a more thoughtful gesture.

Put in your two-week notices at your current job/internship.

Check-in with your team if there are any last projects you should wrap up to prepare for a smooth transition out of your position.


Lastly, reach out to your friends and celebrate!

⃞ If you have friends who are also graduating, don’t forget to give them their flowers too. Try giving them a thoughtful gift letting them know that you’re proud of their accomplishments as well.

If you have friends that will be moving far, communicate with them about your friendship and ask how they’d want you to show up for them now that you won’t be at the same campus and vice versa.


Chapter 3: Setting your Boundaries

With your family:

Staying on track with your career goals will be time consuming. If you’re moving back home and have additional responsibilities with your family, talking to them about your schedule and capacity can help avoid burnout! 

⃞  Find a time to have a conversation with your family about boundaries and how they can best support you during this new transition

With your friends:

Post-grad will be a new experience for you and your friend group. Celebrate the good moments together but maintain a welcoming space of vulnerability and support as you navigate this new chapter together.

Post-grad can get a bit lonely so stay in touch.

Share your goals and hold each other accountable. There’s so much to look forward to together.

With your-self:

With your well-earned college degree comes new independence. It’s important to hold yourself accountable and set realistic goals during these next few months

Follow a schedule that allows you to prioritize both your career goals and self care

If you dive straight into a full-time job, set at least one hour out of your day to focus on career related tasks outside of your current job. 


Chapter 4: Getting excited about your career choice

Securing A Steady Source Of Income 

Keeping up with this fast-paced job market:

Keep your LinkedIn up to date. LinkedIn and other similar platforms can serve as an extended resume. Attach your LinkedIn profile to your email signature to help catch a prospective employer’s eye.

If you’re using multiple online networking platforms (LinkedIn, Indeed, Handshake, etc), download the app on your phone and keep your notifications on to ensure you don’t miss the perfect job opportunity for you!

Setting A Budget For Your Goals and Lifestyle

Understand where your money comes from and where it’s going 

If you took out any student loans, it’s time to start thinking about repaying those loans back… While money can be worrisome during this new chapter of your life, it doesn’t have to be! Explore your repayment plan options and keep an eye out for student loan scholarships.

Once you secure a source of income, start thinking about how much will be going into your savings account and what will be used for bills and other expenses.

Making A Bucket List And Avoiding Burnout:

Always leave some space for a little fun in your life (you deserve it):

You’re going to be working a lot to achieve those amazing career goals. But be careful to avoid burnout! Having a list of fun to-do’s can help introduce a balanced and enjoyable lifestyle.

Coming from a first-gen and low-income family often comes with guilt. Remind yourself that you’re allowed to enjoy things. It’s ok to invest in things that make you happy. Your budget should always allow some space for this.



North Region Scholarships

North Region Scholarships

We’re excited to share these upcoming scholarships with students residing in the North region of CA! Whether you’re ready to start the application process today or not, the Let’s Go team advises that you save these opportunities and get connected with the organizations who allocate these funds to further support your education. 


As always, good luck with the process! If you have any questions or would like to access additional scholarship opportunities, follow us on Instagram @gotocollegeca


Dare To Dream Scholarship


Each year the Dare-to-Dream Scholarship Program provides higher education funding opportunities for a number of current or former foster high school graduates and GED recipients in VOA’s service areas. Scholarships are given to former foster youth who are motivated to attend college in order to build emotional, financial and social security.



  • Current or former foster youth living or have lived in Northern California
  • Be a 2023 graduating high school student or has already earned a high school diploma or GED
  • Accepted or expects to be accepted to an accredited 4-year college/university, community college or vocational program
  • Current GPA of 2.0 or higher


April 14, 2023


Chicana Latina Foundation Scholarship


Each year, CLF selects 40-45 students to be part of the Leadership & Scholarship Program. As a recipient, awardees will participate in a year long program in the following ways: 


  • Awardees will attend all Leadership Institute sessions in August 2023 and February 2024
  • Awardees will receive a scholarship of $1,500, which is split into two payments.
  • Awardees will be invited to attend the Annual Award Dinner in January 2024.
  • Awardees will act as CLF Ambassador for 10 hours during the 2024 Application cycle by completing outreach on their campuses



  • Self-identify as a Chicana and/or Latina
  • Be enrolled in an accredited college, university, or community college in one of the following California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, San Francisco, Sonoma, or Yolo
  • Commit to attending the CLF Leadership Institute Sessions & CLF Annual Awards Dinner
  • Commit to volunteering 10 hours as a CLF ambassador before March 2024

Amount Awarded




March 31, 2023

10,000 Degrees Scholarship

10,000 Degrees proudly provides scholarships to students with significant financial need who exhibit a strong desire to go to college and accomplish their educational goals. Scholarship recipients will receive one-to-one support from trained Fellows who provide the student with ongoing mentorship both on campus and off during their entire college journey. After a student graduates, they will also have access to Career and Alumni Success services, and will be invited to stay connected to 10,000 Degrees through their Alumni LinkedIn group and Young Professionals and Alumni Council networking group! 


  • Must demonstrate financial need in pursuit of your first associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, teaching credential, or certification for a technical program
  • Must be enrolled in 12 academic units or more
  • Must be a student in the Bay Area: Marin, Sonoma, San Francisco, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Napa, and Lake counties.
  • Must have completed either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act Application

Amount Awarded




Rolling-basis until all funds are distributed


Don & Roy Splawn Scholarship

The Don and Roy Splawn Charitable Foundation West Scholarship Grant Program is open to financially disadvantaged students who wish to further their pursuit of post secondary education; whether it be of an academic or vocational nature.


  • Must be a High School Senior
  • CA resident
  • Must demonstrate financial need
  • Must have a 2.6 GPA and above
  • Must engage in paid or unpaid Community Service Extracurricular Activities

Amount Awarded

$200 – $2,000



April 9, 2023


March Scholarships

March Scholarships

We can’t believe we’re already halfway through the month of February! It’s never too early to get started on scholarship applications, that is why our team has put together yet another list of scholarships for you to take advantage of.

Again, if you’re new to the scholarship writing process, don’t worry we got you. The team over at Immigrants Rising created this Scholarship Essay Worksheet to help make the writing process easier for you. We hope this resource will help, be the first to access additional tips and tricks and college resources by following us on Instagram @gotocollegeca  


Matsuo Bridge Company, Ltd. of Japan Scholarship


  1. Applicant must be a minimum of eighteen years of age.
  2. Applicant must have a high school diploma.
  3. Applicant must have a 3.0 overall G.P.A.
  4. Student must be enrolled full or part time in an accredited college or university in the United States.
  5. Applicant must submit all application information.


The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to an individual interested in pursuing a career in civil engineering, welding engineering, or welding engineering technology.

Amount Awarded



March 1, 2023


Horatio Alger Scholarship


  1. Be enrolled full time as a high school junior in the United States
  2. Demonstrate critical financial need ($55,000 or lower adjusted gross family income is required)
  3. Be involved in co-curricular and community service activities
  4. Maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0; and
  5. Be a United States citizen


This opportunity assists high school students who have faced and overcome great obstacles in their young lives. National Scholars receive an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., during the spring of their senior year to participate in the National Scholars Conference.

Amount Awarded



March 15, 2023


Dr. Horace Jackson Legacy Scholarship

*Riverside/San Bernardino Area students only 


  1. Graduating senior from John W. North HS with a minimum 2.7 G.P.A.
  2. Show proof of full-time enrollment in a 2-year college and proof of full-time registration in classes at the start of each semester
  3. Completed FAFSA form
  4. Exhibit involvement in community and/or school activities, which may include participation in an Academy program at North High


This scholarship provides financial assistance in the form of scholarships to graduating high school students from John W. North who demonstrate a desire to continue learning and a deep commitment toward a better, more inclusive world.

Amount Awarded



March 31, 2023


David and Mary Hjorth Family Endowment Fund Scholarship

*Riverside/San Bernardino Area students only. To access the scholarship application and scholarship criteria, scroll to the designated scholarship and click [+] to learn more. 


  1. Minimum 3.5 G.P.A.
  2. Minimum 30 credits of honors/AP level coursework, 20 of which must be in Junior and/or Senior year and completed by the first semester of senior year.
  3. Minimum of 50 hours Community Service


This scholarship offers one-time scholarships awarded to four students, who are graduating seniors of Upland High School and will be attending an accredited four-year college or university.

Amount Awarded



March 31, 2023