College & Career Center » College & University Options, Planning and Testing

College & University Options, Planning and Testing

On this page, you will find information on the following topics:
  • College and University Options
    • California Community Colleges
    • CSU - California State University
    • UC - University of California
    • HBCU - Historically Black Colleges & Universities
    • LGBTQ Safe Schools
    • Private & Out-of-State Colleges
    • Students with Learning Disabilities - College & Career Support
    • NCAA Student Athlete Steps
  • College Planning
    • Calculating your Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • Common & Universal College Applications - Information and Support
  • College Testing Requirements
    • General Requirements
    • Revised due to COVID-19 (please note these requirements are subject to change by the post secondary school systems)
    • SAT/ACT Fee Waiver Information
  • College Application Options - Early Decision, Early Action, Rolling Admissions, Regular Decision & Other
 
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY OPTIONS
 
Image of California Community Colleges Logo CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES
 
Many students attend a 2-year community college to earn an Associate Degree, for technical training, or prior to transferring to a 4-year college for their Junior and Senior year (having already completed the general ed requirements at community college). There may be significant financial savings, and many colleges actively desire transfer students as they have proven they are able and willing to complete college level classes. 
 
General Requirements:  High School transcript and placement tests will determine appropriate level of classes (any AP, SAT or ACT results may give credit.)
Revised Requirements due to COVID-19:  At this time, we are not aware of any revised testing requirements for admission to a California Community College. For the most current information, please visit the Admissions website, at: home.cccapply.org/en/colleges/requirements.
 
For more information about applying to a California Community College, please visit: home.cccapply.org/en/.
 
 
Image of California State University Logo  CSU - CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY
 
CSUs are high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education options.  With 23 campuses, almost 427,000 students, and 44,000 faculty and staff, they are the largest, the most diverse, and one of the most affordable university systems in the country.  Create an online account and then begin completing the application.  Even though students have only one CSU Mentor account, students must start a "new application" for each of the CSU campuses they wish to apply.  
 
General Application Requirements:  SAT or ACT is accepted.  No essays or SAT subject tests are required.
Revised Requirements due to COVID-19:  SAT/ACT temporarily suspended for the 2021-2022 academic year - please see summary at the end of this page.
 
For more information about applying to a California State University, please visit: www2.calstate.edu/apply.
 
 
Image of University of California Logo  UC - UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
 
UC’s ten campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco (post grad only), Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara provide exciting environments that foster world-class educational and research opportunities, and generate a wide range of benefits and services that touch the lives of Californians every day.
 
General Application Requirements:  Essays and SAT or ACT is accepted.  No SAT subject tests are required.
Revised Requirements due to COVID-19:  SAT/ACT Suspended until 2024 - please see summary chart at the end of this page.
 
For more information about applying to a University of California school, please visit: admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/.
 
 
Image of HBCUs  HBCU - HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES
 

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) are schools that were founded on the belief that every individual deserves access to a college or higher education in the early 1800s.

Over 100 public and private schools have earned the HBCU designation from The US Department of Education. Today HBCUs serve students of all races. HBCUs also offer many scholarship opportunities. Learn more on our Scholarships webpage at: delmar.cuhsd.org/apps/pages/scholarshipsandfinancialaid.

To explore HBCUs by State, please visit: hbculifestyle.com/list-of-hbcu-schools/.

Image of lgbtq flag  LGBTQ - SAFE SCHOOLS
 

Students have many options of nationwide LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities that build future leaders, among safer and inclusive campuses and communities.  Although the rights and acceptance of the LGBTQ community has shown progress, discrimination and intolerance still exists. Thankfully, several rights organizations have stepped forward to help LGBTQ students feel encouraged to embrace who they are and pursue their dreams including going to college. There are also many scholarships available for LGBTQ Students - review your options on our Scholarships webpage, at: delmar.cuhsd.org/apps/pages/financialaidandscholarships.

Learn more about LGBTQ Safe School options by reviewing the following resources:

LGBTQ Student Guide: www.bestcolleges.com/resources/lgbtq-student-guide/

Building Campus Pride: www.campuspride.org/

Safezones in Colleges: www.bestcolleges.com/blog/importance-of-safezones-in-college/

LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges by State: www.bestcolleges.com/features/top-lgbtq-friendly-colleges-by-state/

Top LGBTQ Colleges: www.bestcolleges.com/features/best-colleges-for-lgbt-students/

 
Image of us map PRIVATE & OUT-OF-STATE COLLEGES
 
Most colleges now prefer (or require) students to apply electronically. Many of these colleges use either the Common Application or Universal College Application. Check to see if a college accepts one of these applications before completing the university-specific application. Always ensure you complete these applications having first registered them on Naviance. To access Del Mar's Naviance webpage, visit: student.naviance.com/delmar.
 
You are able to apply to multiple colleges at once - instead of creating an individual application to each college - with the Common and Universal College Application forms. Note: more information on these applications and links to websites offering assistance are included in a separate section on this webpage.
 
Application Requirements & Notes:  Most require ACT or SAT (some colleges do not). Many require SAT subject tests. Make sure you know if a university requires a "supplement," which is generally listed on the application's website.
 
 
Image of accessibility icon STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES - COLLEGE & CAREER SUPPORT
 

There are many great ways for students with learning disabilities to achieve a successful college education. Use the links below to learn about career/employment opportunities and college/university options.

 

Image of accessibility icon NCAA STUDENT ATHLETE STEPS
 

Register with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Clearinghouse if you are interested in intercollegiate sports at the Division I or II level. Visit the NCAA website to register online, at: www.ncaa.org/student-athletes/future/how-register. Arrange for a transcript to be sent to the Clearinghouse at the end of junior year. Arrange with the testing agency (College Board or ACT) to send your SAT or ACT scores directly to the NCAA Clearinghouse.

 
COLLEGE PLANNING - GPA & COMMON/UNIVERSAL APPLICATIONS
 
CALCULATING YOUR GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA)

Your GPA will be submitted on college and university applications. If you need help understanding how to average your grade point average (GPA), start by viewing the helpful video below. Following the video are additional resources that can help you calculate your GPA.

 

(the video is also accessible at: youtu.be/l6C2o0m0M8A)
 
General GPA Calculator
 
A general high school GPA calculator may be accessed at: gpacalculator.io/high-school-gpa-calculator/
 
UC & CSU GPA Calculators

Other Colleges' GPA Calculators

 

Many private and out-of-state public colleges consider your GPA from ninth grade on. To review GPA requirements for admission to a specific college or university, please visit the college’s admissions website, review the catalog, or read the college’s handbook as a reference.


Weighted GPA

 

In college admission there is no standard “weighted GPA”. Each institution establishes its own criteria for determining how many extra points may be given for which classes on an applicant’s transcript. View each individual college's guidelines on its admissions website.

 
COMMON & UNIVERSAL APPLICATIONS - INFORMATION & SUPPORT
 
Many USA and international colleges and universities require use of the Common or Universal College Applications. In some cases, these applications may be used to apply to more than one Private and/or Out-of-State school. Below are websites offering application information and support.
 
Common Application
 
Universal College Application
For more information or if you have any questions about completing the Common or Universal Applications, feel free to contact Mrs. Knight in the College and Career Center at cknight@cuhsd.org.
 
COLLEGE TESTING REQUIREMENTS - GENERAL & REVISED DUE TO COVID-19
 
GENERAL TESTING INFORMATION/REQUIREMENTS
 
Many four-year colleges and universities require SAT or ACT tests (some colleges do not). Many schools also require SAT subject tests. Make sure you know if a university requires a "supplement," which is generally listed on the application's website. 
 
Because high school grading systems (and GPAs) can vary by school, a standardized test can provide a more objective metric for consideration. Including scores from the SAT or ACT exam in your student application can help show schools of interest that you are academically prepared for college-level work.
 
REVISED TESTING REQUIREMENTS DUE TO COVID-19
 
Below are revised requirements for UC and CSU schools.
 
UC - University of California
 
The UC System has suspended its SAT/ACT requirements until 2024 - please see the timeline below on the future of standardized testing. Additional information on the UC's new guidelines for all California freshman applicants until 2024, may be found at: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/press-room/university-california-board-regents-approves-changes-standardized-testing-requirement.

Entering Class

Plan

What this means

Campuses may use test scores for:

2021-2022 (current 10th and 11th graders)

Test-Optional

  • All students have the option of submitting ACT/SAT scores.
  • Students will not be penalized in the admissions review process for not submitting ACT/SAT scores.
  • Students will no longer be required to submit the SAT Essay/ACT Writing Test.
  • Admissions
  • Scholarships
  • Post-enrollment course placement
  • Statewide eligibility for admissions guarantee

2023-2024

(current 8th and 9th graders

Test-Blind

  • All California public and independent high school students have the option to submit ACT/SAT scores, but those scores may not be used in making admissions decisions.
  • Academic Senate to work with University administration on appropriate approach for nonresident students.
  • Scholarships
  • Post-enrollment course placement
  • Statewide eligibility for admissions guarantee

2025-beyond

(current 7th graders)

* If there is a new test by fall 2025



  • All California high school students will submit scores from new test
  • New test made available to private/independent and out-of-state schools.
  • Nonresidents and international students submit test scores from the new test or will follow the appropriate approach as determined by the University.
  • Admissions
  • Scholarships
  • Post-enrollment course placement
  • Statewide eligibility for admissions guarantee
 

* If no new test is ready by fall 2025

  • UC will eliminate altogether its standardized testing requirement for California freshman admissions.
  • Academic Senate to work with University administration on appropriate approach for nonresident students.
  • To be determined
 
CSU - California State University
 
The CSU has temporarily relaxed some undergraduate admissions standards for both newly admitted students and prospective students to account for changes in grading and administration of standardized tests. 
 
SAT/ACT FEE WAIVER INFORMATION
 

SAT:

Students, if you're eligible for a fee waiver, you can take the SAT or SAT Subject Tests for free and get other benefits to apply to college. To learn more, please read the College Board webpage, by clicking on this link.

ACT:

Fee waivers cover only the basic registration fee and late fee for your test option on a national test date, including up to four college choices (if you provide valid codes when you register). You cannot request a fee waiver directly from ACT; you must contact your high school counselor.  To learn more, please click on this link.
 
 
EARLY DECISION, EARLY ACTION, ROLLING ADMISSIONS & OTHER APPLICATION OPTIONS
 
In the section below you can learn more about application options that include:
  • Restrictive - Early Decision I & II
  • Non-Restrictive - Early Decision I & II, Rolling Admissions, Regular Decision
  • Restrictive

Early Decision I (EDI): Early Decision plans require careful consideration, because they are binding. When you choose this option, you are telling a school that they are your top choice. If accepted, you will attend, if financial considerations make it possible. You can only make one school this choice.

Many schools that offer ED I will allow you to apply Rolling or Early Action elsewhere, as long as you do not make a commitment to attend another school.

If accepted as ED I and after reviewing your financial aid award, you must immediately withdraw applications you have submitted to other schools or you must forfeit your ED I admission. 

Please remember the world of college admissions is “small". Admissions Reps know each other. In fact, selective liberal arts colleges routinely share lists of admitted ED I students with each other. Students, who do not withdraw soon after ED I, risk being rescinded. In fact, the ED I agreement form for Common App (and some other institutions) includes a note beneath the student signature line saying, the student agrees - if admitted - that the institution can share the student's name and the ED I agreement with other institutions. Early Decision is an agreement in which a student gives up their right to compete fairly at other schools in order to gain a perceived benefit of leverage at a particular institution. If a student signs the agreement, they also agree to be checked up on to make sure they are living up to their end of the agreement.

Chances of receiving non-need-based aid decreases during ED I because the school doesn’t need to use award money to entice the student. Learn more about need-based versus non-need-based aid, at: studentloanhero.com/featured/need-based-financial-aid-vs-non-need-based-aid/.

If finances are a big factor in your college choice, you should think seriously about applying as ED I. If need-based aid is required, you should fill out a preliminary form (a pre-FAFSA or other form) found on the college’s website. You should also consult the college’s website for its NetAid calculator. Some colleges provide an estimated financial award when admitted in mid-December; others wait until March when all financial aid applications are processed. But, when applying ED I, there will be no opportunity to receive or compare aid packages from other colleges; so, either you’ll accept that college’s financial offer or forfeit your admission if you can’t afford it.

Early Decision II (EDII): When you apply ED II you are also bound to attend the college if accepted. The difference between ED I and ED II is the due date is much closer to (and sometimes the same as) regular decision.

This gives more time to prepare your application, but still let the school know they are your first choice. This is great if you do not get into your first choice or are waiting for first semester grades or test results to strengthen your application.

Restrictive Early Action or Single Choice Early Action – Through using this choice, you imply this school is the top choice, but you are not bound to attend. You can still (and should) apply to other schools Regular Decision and Rolling. You then have until May 1st to make a final decision.

  • Non-Restrictive

Early Action I & Early Action II: This is a way to apply early, and hear early, without legally binding yourself to a school. You can apply to as many Early Action schools as you like. Early Action I deadlines are in early November for notification in December. For Early Action II, due dates are late December with notification in February to late March.

Rolling Admissions: Colleges with rolling admissions usually respond within 6 weeks of a completed application. As soon as they receive an application for a student they believe to be a match for their campus, they will offer admission. You should apply as early as possible to a school that offers rolling admission to ensure greater chance of admission.

Regular Decision: Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time. Non-binding commitment.