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Planning for College

General College Search Information
California State Universities & the University of California System
California Community Colleges
NCAA Eligibility Requirements

Preparation for College

In general, preparation for college includes study in subjects beyond basic requirements for entrance. College curricula build upon previous study in the Natural Sciences, Math, Social Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts, World Languages, and the Humanities. Students should aim to complete 3 to 4 years of World Languages, 4 years of Math and 3 years of Laboratory Science to be competitive for admission to selective colleges.

The Co-Directors of College Counseling begin presenting to sophomores at class meetings is the fall and spring semesters and an introductory workshop in Religion class spring semester. They continue with presentations to juniors at class meetings in fall and spring semesters, Junior Group College Counseling in January, and individual meetings with juniors throughout the spring semester. An optional College Advisory for Juniors consisting of four 7th period weekly sessions is offered in March/April to give interested juniors a head start on preparing for college applications. All seniors are required to take College Advisory for Seniors. This 7th period class meets weekly. The purpose of College Advisory is to provide timely and essential college application information to every senior in small groups on a consistent basis. Seniors can continue to meet individually with their college counselor as needed and requested.

The Co-Directors of College Counseling offer evening presentations for students and parents throughout the year and aimed at certain grade levels or special topics. They are also available for family meetings with students and their parents as requested. Students and parents are always welcome to contact the Co-Directors of College Counseling with questions about the college search, selection, and application process.

There are thousands of private and public colleges and universities around the country with a wide range of characteristics that make them attractive to students. In searching for the right one, schedule a tour at as many different types of colleges as possible in order to get a sense of what you are looking for, and then begin examining the individual campuses and programs.

How to Find Information

  • Read reference books on college selection and admission and visit college information websites. The College Center maintains a lending library of reference materials and listings of useful websites.
  • Contact colleges through the mail or by e-mail to request information.
  • Visit college campuses. Plan a trip to take a tour and talk with students and admissions personnel. Visits are the most important way of learning whether a college is right for you.
  • Attend college representative meetings. Each year colleges send representatives to visit De La Salle to talk with students.
  • Attend the East Bay College Fair Program in the spring.
  • Talk with former De La Salle students who are attending the college in which you are interested.
  • Make an appointment to meet with one of the college counselors.

How Do Colleges Make Decisions?

Colleges vary in terms of selectivity, but the key factors usually involved in admissions decisions are:

  • High School Courses: a rigorous college preparatory program is expected, and students are expected to take as challenging a curriculum as they can handle.
  • GPA, especially grades earned in college preparatory classes.
  • College Entrance Examinations: ACT or SAT Reasoning Test, and in some cases, SAT Subject Tests
  • Other factors: extra curricular activities, community service, special talents, the application essay and letters of recommendation are usually important.
  • CSU and UC admission policies are detailed below. Out-of-state public Universities and private colleges will each have their own admissions policies and criteria.
  • To learn more about admissions requirements for these other types of schools, go to the admissions page of the individual college’s website.

California State University & University of California Systems

Freshman Admission Requirements

To establish eligibility for admission as a first-time freshman, an applicant is required to: (1) be a high school graduate (2) have completed, with grades of “C” or better each semester of every course in the comprehensive pattern of college preparatory subject requirements and (3) have a qualifiable eligibility index. If a student earned a “D” or “F” in any course needed to satisfy the subject requirement, that course must be repeated (or replaced with another qualifying course) and a higher grade earned.

College Preparatory Pattern

First-time freshman applicants are required to have completed the courses in each subject area in the following table with a grade of “C” or better in each course in order to be eligible for admission. Many UC campuses are selective and require students to go beyond minimum eligibility requirements.

CSU-UC Comparison of Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Freshmen

For a comparison of Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Freshmen for the CSU and UC systems, click HERE.

CSU System Eligibility Index

The Eligibility Index is a combination of a student’s grade point average (GPA) in academic coursework during the final three years of high school and a score on either the ACT or the SAT Reasoning Test. Only the sophomore and junior year grades are used to determine initial admission at most CSU Campuses. Calculation of eligibility indices and required minimums for California high school graduates will be determined by the CSU system. The CSU eligibility index is currently being evaluated and updated.

Students with GPAs of 3.00 or above may establish eligibility for admission without submitting test scores. However, applicants are encouraged to take the SAT or ACT since test scores may be included among the supplementary criteria used to determine admission to impacted campuses and programs.

Note: Many CSU’S and impacted programs require a higher minimum for eligibility. For more information on CSU Campuses, go to: www.csumentor.edu.

If a student receives a “D” or “F” semester grade in a course needed to satisfy the “a-g” subject requirements, it must be
repeated with a grade of “C” or higher.

University of California

To be eligible for admission to the University, an applicant must meet the Subject, Scholarship, and Examination Requirements described below. Being eligible does not guarantee admission to any particular UC campus. Admissions decisions are comprehensive, taking into account factors other than minimum eligibility.


To satisfy this requirement, the applicant must complete the high school courses listed with a GPA defined by the Scholarship Requirement below. This sequence of courses is also known as the “a-g” requirements. The UC certified course list is available in the College Center or online: (at www.ucop.edu/doorways) The applicant must take 15 year-long high school courses to fulfill the Subject Requirement, and at least 11 of the 15 courses must be completed before senior year. (A “unit” is equal to an academic year, or two semesters of study.)


The Scholarship requirement defines the GPA which students must attain in the “a-g” subjects described above. If a student’s “a-g” GPA is 3.00 or higher, the student has met the minimum scholarship requirement for consideration for admission to the University, if the student achieves the college entrance test score indicated on the Admissions Index.

The University calculates the “a-g” GPA by assigning point values to the grades students earn, totaling the points, and dividing the total by the number of “a-g” course units. Points are assigned as follows: “A” = 4; “B” = 3; “C” = 2; “D” = 1; and “F” = 0.

Only the grades which students earn in the “a-g” subjects taken in the 10th and 11th grades are used to calculate the GPA. Final grades earned in the “a-g” subjects in the 12th grade are used to confirm that UC eligibility and campus conditions for admission have been fulfilled.

Courses taken in the 9th Grade will not be included in the GPA calculation; however, 9th Grade courses can be used to meet the Subject Requirement if the student earns a grade of “C” or better.

Repeating courses: If a student earned a “D” or “F” in a course needed to satisfy the “a-g” subject requirements, it must be repeated and a higher grade received. Each course in which a grade of “D” or “F” has been received may be repeated only once. Any course in an “a-g” subject completed with at least a grade of “C” may not be repeated; its repetition will be disregarded.

Honors Courses: The University assigns extra points for up to 8 semesters of university-certified Honors level and Advanced Placement courses taken in the last three years of high school: “A” = 5; “B” = 4; and “C” = 3. Grades of “D” earned in honors courses are not assigned extra points. No more than two years of UC certified honors level courses
taken in the 10th grade may be assigned extra points. Only courses starred on the “a-g” Course List are eligible for extra
points. Although not all Honors courses taken are weighted in the UC GPA, they are still considered in the admissions
process, and students are encouraged to challenge themselves to the best of their ability.


To satisfy this admission requirement an applicant must submit scores from standardized tests. Students applying for admission to the fall term must complete tests by December of the senior year in high school, but preferably no later than November. Students involved in fall athletics should consider taking the tests in the spring of their junior year. Students must take either the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT, but are encouraged to take both. If the ACT is taken, it must include the optional writing section, also. The Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing scores on the SAT must be from the same sitting. The ACT composite score is used in addition to the ACT writing score. SAT Subject Tests are not required by UC. However, some academic departments recommend specific Subject Test scores for use in admissions decisions (e.g., Engineering may recommend Math Level 2) and some UC campuses will consider optional SAT Subject scores in the admissions decision. Many other highly selective colleges require SAT Subject Tests. Students interested in these types of schools should take SAT Subject Tests at appropriate times to be eligible for admission.


Two additional pathways for admission to UC are Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC), designed for the top 9% of each graduating class, and Eligibility by Examination alone, requiring certain scores on SAT or ACT tests. For more information about these admission pathways, go to www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions, or contact one of the college counselors. If you have any questions about UC admissions, go to the above website, or contact the college counselors. Specific information about individual UC campuses is available at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions or in the College Center.

UC System Admissions Index:

To find out whether you are UC eligible, calculate your UC GPA and convert your SAT or ACT scores to UC scores, following instructions on this website link:

California Community Colleges

Possibly A Good Choice If:

  • You wish to attend a college for one or two years to receive the training needed to enter a vocation.
  • You wish to begin your college career while remaining in your home community.
  • You plan to complete a four-year college program; however, for financial reasons you plan to remain at home for the first two years.
  • You wanted to attend a four-year college, but your grades and/or subjects you took in high school do not qualify you for admission without further preparation.

Programs Offered:

1. Transfer Students

All community colleges offer a full range of academic courses that enable a student to prepare for a transfer to a four-year college or university. A transfer student who plans carefully can enter a four-year college as a junior after two years of community college work. Students may attend any community college in California and pay the same amount of fees. Some community colleges have residence halls on campus; most have housing offices that help students find off-campus housing if needed.

2. Vocational-Technical

An Associate of Arts (AA) degree is awarded in many two-year, vocational and technical programs. A one-year certificate program is also available in many fields. Courses in these programs offer training in skills qualifying students for employment in semi-professional and technical areas. Students can visit the individual community college campus, go to the college’s website, or go to www.cccco.edu (a website with information on all California community colleges) to learn more about these programs.

3. Concurrent Enrollment

Community colleges provide opportunities for high school students with good academic standing to enroll in day or evening college-level classes. This concurrent enrollment permits students to supplement their high school program or to commence college work in their area of interest while still attending high school. Eligible students may take one or two courses depending on their high school course load and the recommendation of the assistant principal. To be eligible, a student must be concurrently enrolled in either the 11th or 12th Grade of the recommending high school. All high school students who want to take a course at a community college (except Community Service and no-credit programs), must complete a special concurrent enrollment form in addition to the regular application. Student enrollment is subject to approval of the Vice Principal for Curriculum Development and Academic Servcies.

Please note: Because of the CA state budget situation, it is more difficult for high school students to concurrently enroll in community college classes. Being aware of deadlines and planning ahead is essential for successful enrollment. Please talk with one of the college counselors if you have questions about this process.

National Collegiate Athletic Association College Freshman Eligibility Requirement for Division 1 or Division 2

Eligibility for practice and competition in the freshman year at college must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center. This process must be completed on the NCAA Eligibility Center website (www.eligibilitycenter.org), usually in the spring of junior year or early fall of senior year. Without this certification, you will not be eligible to play college sports at the Division 1 or 2 level. See the college counselors if you have questions.

In addition to completing the NCAA Eligibility Center registration online, students must request a transcript to be sent to the NCAA. Students make these requests electronically through Naviance. Students must also order SAT or ACT scores sent to the Eligibility Center. See the college counselors if you have questions about this process.

Division I Requirements: Details regarding these general requirements are contained in a booklet entitled: NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete. This booklet is also available online at: www.eligibilitycenter.org.

  1. Graduate from high school.
  2. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.3 based on a maximum of 4.00 in a successfully completed core curriculum of at least 16 academic core courses including*:
    • 4 years of English
    • 3 years of Mathematics, (Algebra 1 or higher)
    • 2 years of Natural or Physical Science, (including at least one laboratory class)
    • 1 additional year in English, Mathematics, Natural or Physical Science
    • 2 years of Social Studies
    • 4 additional years in above listed courses, or World Language, Philosophy, or Non-doctrinal Religion
    • Remember, all of the above courses must be listed on the DLS core course list (48H form), which has been approved by the NCAA Eligibility Center. Note the NCAA approved courses in this catalog.
  3. The student’s GPA in the core academic courses is combined with his SAT or ACT score to determine if he meets the minimum NCAA requirement. A higher GPA requires a lower SAT or ACT score to meet the requirement and vice-versa. The chart to determine these requirements is on the NCAA Eligibility Center website at www.eligibilitycenter.org or in a booklet available in the College Center.

*Please note: Beginning with the class of 2016, at least 10 of the required 16 courses must be completed before the beginning of senior year, and 7 of those 10 courses must be in English, Math or Science. In addition, any repeats of these 10 core courses must be completed before the beginning of senior year. Finally, a new, more rigorous sliding scale of GPA and SAT or ACT scores will be used to determine eligibility, beginning with the class of 2016. Information about these changes may be found at www.eligibilitycenter.org or in the college center.

Division 2 Requirements: Please see NCAA Eligibility Center website at www.eligibilitycenter.org for details. A minimum SAT score of 820 or ACT sum score of 68, plus a cummulative GPA in 16 core academic courses is required. Beginning with the class of 2018, a minimum GPA of 2.20 in 16 core courses along with a minimum SAT or ACT score which varies, depending on the student's GPA. See the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student Athlete at www.eligibilitycenter.org to view the minimum eligibility chart and to see details of required core courses.

Please see the college counselors for questions about this process.