Planning For College

Students at Salesian College Preparatory are counseled to enroll in the appropriate courses required for college admission in various subject areas starting in the 9th grade (see "How to Find Information on Colleges").

Our two Guidance Counselors meet several times a year with each student to review grades, course schedules, career areas of interest, possible college choices, and standardized test scores. Students are advised about course selection of Honors or Advanced Placement courses based on review of test scores, grades and college plans.   Guidance counselors review PSAT test results with both sophomore and junior classes annually, as well as individually with each student. This allows for review of various college systems and requirements, as well as the opportunity to remind students about the importance of individual meetings about options for the college admissions process.

Additionally, the Guidance Department schedules several parent/student College Nights to review the college admissions process, as well as the financial aid application (FAFSA) for senior students/parents. Our Director of Guidance conducts a college application workshop, as well as college essay preparation support for all seniors.  Most importantly, our college guidance counselors respect the worth and dignity of each student. They encourage each young scholar to strive to reach his/her potential. Our counselors work cooperatively with students and their parents to support academic and emotional growth.

Contact the Director of Guidance  for any additional questions.

Advanced Placement and Honors Courses

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program at Salesian College Preparatory offers a university level curriculum for high school students which has been designed by the College Board.  An AP course at Salesian assesses students based on national college level standards. It is expected that college level texts, projects, and assignments will appropriately challenge students intellectually, as well as prepare them to successfully pass AP exams administered in May.  Students who sign up for AP courses should be highly motivated as they need to make the AP course and exam a priority. To that end, students are expected to take the exam in each AP course they enroll in. Each AP class has a test fee that must be paid in November prior to the administration of the exams the following May.  AP exam fees are not included in tuition and must be paid separately by each student. The Director of Guidance will communicate to all students the AP test fee annually, as well as coordinate the payment schedule. 

Students should carefully consider the level of difficulty that an AP or Honors course could present and plan their schedule accordingly. The Honors Curriculum at Salesian is designed to prepare students for various Advanced Placement Courses in 11th and 12th grade.  Our Honors Courses are designed to cultivate critical thinking and refine analytical skills, as well as promote content mastery of college level material.  Enrollment is limited in AP and Honors courses based on space availability. An application is necessary for all Honors and AP courses which outlines pre-requisites as well as assesses student interest in the course/subject matter. Final selection is made by the department in which the course is offered and may be based on a number of criteria, such as GPA, specific grades in prerequisite courses and/or evidence of proficiency. Students are welcome to appeal placement decisions in AP or Honors courses directly to the Assistant Principal and/or the respective Department Chair.  

How to Find Information on Colleges (Naviance)

  • Visit college websites for admission requirements, facilities and specific academic programs

  • Use Naviance (each Salesian student has access) and search college sites, career planning information, and admission requirements for various universities

    *Naviance Connection is a web-based college and career planning service designed for students and their families to provide useful information for college and career decisions. Salesian counselors are able to track and assess data about each student’s coursework and college and career plans.
  • Visit as many college campuses as possible.  Sign up for Salesian’s college tours organized by the Guidance Department to visit local universities (i.e., St. Mary’s, Dominican, SFSU, Sac State, UC Davis or UCB). Visiting a college really helps you see if a certain university will be the right fit for you.

  • Attend as many college representative meetings at lunch in the Guidance Center as possible.  Ask questions to these college admissions reps about colleges you are interested in.

  • Attend the East Bay College Fair (St. Mary’s College, Moraga) in the spring of your junior year.

  • Talk with former Salesian students who are attending colleges you are interested in

  • Make an appointment with the Director of Guidance to talk about college choices

CLICK HERE to view the High School Course Requirements Chart.

How do Colleges Make Admission Decisions

  • GPA, especially in college preparatory courses
  • College Entrance Exam scores from SAT or ACT tests

  • High School courses selected - Colleges are expecting that students take a rigorous college prep program of classes that are academically challenging, such as AP and Honors level courses

  • Other factors:  Co-curricular activities, community service, special talents, application essay or response to writing prompts, and letters of recommendation

  • CSU and UC Admission policies are detailed above (High School Course Requirements Chart) as well as general information about private schools.  Consult private school websites for additional admission requirements.

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.  First-time freshman applicants are required to have completed the courses in each subject area in the table (linked below) 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

CLICK HERE for a comparison of Minimum Eligibility Requirements for Freshmen for the CSU and UC.

CSU System Eligibility Index

CLICK HERE for the CSU System Eligibility Index

University of California

To be eligible for admission to any of the University of California schools, students must meet the subject, scholarship and examination requirements.  Being eligible does not guarantee admission to a particular UC campus. Admission decisions are comprehensive as they take into account many factors such as GPA, SAT scores, co-curricular activities, application essays, etc., beyond solely minimum eligibility.

The Subject Requirement

To meet this requirement, students must select the appropriate “a-g” required courses.  Refer to the Salesian College Preparatory Course Catalog for the list of UC/CSU approved courses meeting those requirements.  A student must take 15 year-long high school courses to minimally fulfill the subject requirement, and at least 11 of those 15 courses must be completed before the senior year.

The Scholarship Requirement

The Scholarship requirement defines the GPA which students must attain in the “a-g” subjects. 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 will 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 and GPAs: 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. You cannot use more than 4 honors points for 10th grade courses. Only certified honors courses on the Salesian “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.

The Examination Requirement

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 must take either the SAT or the ACT, but are encouraged to take both. If the ACT is taken, it must include the optional writing section. The Evidenced Based Reading/Writing, Mathematics and Essay 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 UCs. 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. Some other highly selective colleges require SAT Subject Tests. Students interested in these types of schools should take the SAT Subject Tests at appropriate times to be eligible for admission.

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 the University of California website.

California Community Colleges

Community Colleges could be a good choice for a student if:

  • You want to complete a four year college program, but finances preclude you from moving away from home during the first two years, or you want to save money to lower student loan amounts by completing your first two years in the CA Community College System

  • You wanted to attend a four year college, but your grades in high school did not qualify you for admission to your first choice four year university

  • You want to begin your college career while remaining close to your home community for the first two years

  • You may want to pursue a certificate or vocational training program instead of securing a four year degree

Concurrent Enrollment at Community College and High School

Salesian students can easily enroll in Contra Costa College (located five minutes from campus) at any time as long as they are in the 11th or 12th grade.  The Director of Guidance or the Principal can sign the concurrent enrollment form to allow a student to take a specific elective course that they are interested in that is not offered at Salesian.  This program allows high school students to earn college credits when they are in high school. Students are encouraged to sign up for enrichment courses at CCC during the summer or during their winter intersession to receive early college credit.

National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA)

College Freshman Eligibility Requirement for Division 1 or 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 (, 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 Director of Guidance if you have questions.

In addition to completing the NCAA Eligibility Center registration online, students must request that a transcript is sent to the NCAA. Students must also request that their SAT or ACT scores are sent to the Eligibility Center. 

ivision 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

  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 in the Salesian Course Catalog must be designated as NCAA approved for eligibility.

  1. The student’s GPA in the core academic courses is combined with their SAT or ACT score to determine if they meet the minimum NCAA requirements. 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 website at

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​4. 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. Division 2 Requirements: Please see the NCAA website at for details.

Director of Guidance
Jack Stevens
or (510) 234-4433 ext. 1403