California Public Universities and Colleges


California Master Plan of Higher Education

California Master Plan for Higher Education - major features


  • UC was designed for (but not limited to) top 9% of California students
  • CSU was designed for (but not limited to) top 33% of California students
  • California Community Colleges were designed for open access for all students
  • Transfer Path:  For every 2 first-time freshmen spots into UC/CSU, there is 1 space for California Community College transfer students.


University of California

UCs use a "comprehensive" or "holistic" review process through which a variety of factors are considered:grades, course choices, test scores (SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests,
AP, IB), extra-curricular activities, awards, the context of a student's life experiences and situation, opportunities available, and personal insight answers. 
For more details on this, go to How Applications are Reviewed.


California State University

CSUs use an Admissions Index formula based on grades in CSU-approved courses, and SAT or ACT scores.  No additional information is asked for or allowed for in admissions, with exception of Cal Poly SLO which asks 4 straight forward questions on extra-curriculars and leadership.


California Community Colleges