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
- How to Find Information on Colleges
- How do Colleges Make Admission Decisions
- California State University & University of California Systems
- University of California
- California Community Colleges
- National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA)
- College Guidance Resources
- College Scholarships and Summer Program Resources
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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 (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 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 www.ncaa.org.
Graduate from high school.
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.
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 www.ncaa.org/student-athletes
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 www.ncaa.org/student-athletes for details.
- College Applications
- Timeline for College Admissions
- College Entrance Testing
- Career Exploration
- College Websites
- Letters of Recommendation
- Naviance College Search Program
Please take note that for all college applications:
- UC has a filing period from November 1 until November 30th.
- CSU has a “priority filing period” of October 1 until November 30th.
- Private and out-of-state universities have different deadlines. Check the application carefully and apply on time.
- UC requires personal insight questions. Be sure to have someone else proof read your reponses.
Many private universities require a personal essay and letter of recommendation. Ask a teacher and/or counselor to write a recommendation. Give them at least two weeks notice to complete the letter. Complete a “Senior Questionnaire” to provide the writer more detailed information about you. The Senior Questionnaire is available in the Guidance Office.
Salesian College Preparatory CEEB code: 052-637
- University of California
- California State University
- California State University Mentor Program
- California Private/Independent Colleges
- California Community College Information
- College Community Transfer Agreements
- College Options in California
- Common Application
Timeline for College Admissions
- Begin general research on colleges and universities
- Take PSAT in October
- First college visitation period. During spring break, visit local colleges or take a trip to tour campuses out of town. You can call in advance to schedule a tour.
- Sign up for SAT and/or ACT.
- Take first SAT Reasoning and/or ACT (with optional writing for UC)
- Attend “East Bay College Connection” College Fair
- Second college visitation period
- Request information from colleges for application
- Research scholarship opportunities on-line
- Prepare drafts for college essays/personal statements
- Third college visitation period
- Take SAT Reasoning, ACT (plus writing), and/or SAT Subject Tests
- Write college essay/personal insight question responses
- Begin UC Application www.universityofcalifornia.edu/apply (cannot send in until November)
- Out-of-State Colleges: Visit the college’s website and/or campuses for applications
- Complete the FAFSA on-line at www.fafsa.ed.gov starting Oct. 1st
- CSU’s: Apply on-line at www.calstateapply.edu starting Oct. 1st; due Nov. 30th
- Visit college campuses on October school holiday
- Attend “College Application Workshop for Seniors” at Salesian
- Meet with college reps on campus (announced in Daily Bulletin)
- Begin Early Action Private school applications, most at www.commonapp.org
- Send in UC application on-line starting Nov. 1st; due Nov. 30th
- Attend “Financial Aid for College Night” in November
- Take the SAT Reasoning and/or ACT (plus writing), if necessary
- Colleges will send financial aid packages
- Make final decisions for college attendance. Most colleges will require a decision and deposit by May 1st
Click HERE for printable copy of this information
College Entrance Testing
- The Guidance Department recommends that students take a SAT or ACT test during the spring of their junior year and again in the fall of their senior year. Both tests are acceptable for college admissions.
- Register online at http://www.sat.org/register or http://www.actstudent.org/.
- The school code for Salesian College Preparatory is 052-637.
- Students who are considering applying to a UC are no longer required to take the SAT Subject Tests. Many UC’s will consider the tests “value added” to the application. Visit UC's admissions page to see a comprehensive list of the campus recommendations. If math is chosen, the student must take Math Level 2.
- Students should register early for tests as they will have a better chance of getting their first choice of test center (Salesian College Preparatory is not a test center).
- All testing should be completed no later December of senior year.
- Seniors: Check out “Important Dates” for registration deadlines and testing dates.
- Standardized Testing and Test Prep
- Free Test Prep: http://number2.com/
Students complete a career interest and skills survey with their academic counselor during an individual meeting in the sophomore year. The surveys are saved in the student's Naviance account for future reference. Students can access their Naviance account from home to update their career and college ideas.
Letters of Recommendation
Senior Students: Please complete the Student "Brag" Sheet prior to asking your teacher or counselor for a Letter of Recommendation. If you have a specific form that must be completed, be sure to fill out the top portion entirely and sign your name if required. Your recommendation may not be completed in time if you do not fill out your portion of the form.
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.
- Financial Aid Sources
- Financial Aid Applications
- Financial Aid Websites
- Scholarships and Summer Programs
- Scholarship Tips
Financial Aid Sources for College
National and local scholarships are available to high school seniors each year. Information may be available from various websites.
Every college has a financial aid office which helps students find grants, loans, scholarships and work study programs.
State of California:
The Cal Grant program awards grants that help pay tuition costs for California students going to a California public or independent college.
Request information from the Financial Aid office at the college you will attend about loans that are available to parents and students. Some families take out equity line loans on their homes.
The Pell Grant program provides funds for low-income students to attend college.
Financial Aid Applications
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- All colleges want this form completed as soon as possible after October 1 during the student's senior year.
- The Guidance Department will have copies of the FAFSA worksheet in December.
- FAFSA is required in order to qualify for federal financial aid programs.
- No fee is necessary to complete the form. The FAFSA is a “free” form and can be completed at www.fafsa.ed.gov
California Grant Application and Grade Verification
- If you are going to a California college, you will be considered for Cal Grant if you complete the FAFSA.
- You do not need to complete the GPA Verification Form. The Guidance Department will submit GPA verifications electronically for all Salesian College Preparatory seniors.
Individual College Financial Aid Applications and/or the CSS Profile
- The CSS Profile is needed by some private colleges. There is a fee for this service. Some colleges have their own financial aid application in addition to the CSS Profile.
- Students need to contact individual college financial aid offices for their supplemental applications.
- Check all deadlines carefully to submit your applications on time.
- Usually there is no charge for an individual college’s financial aid application.
Financial Aid Workbook and the Web
- One of the best sources of financial aid information is the “Financial Aid Workbook” published each year by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). This workbook explains how to apply for federal and state financial aid opportunities including grants, loans, and work-study programs. You can receive a copy of this free workbook from the Guidance Center in November or on the CSAC website, www.csac.ca.gov
Financial Aid for College Workshop” offered by Salesian College Preparatory
- A workshop will be held in November. Review the school calendar for exact date.
- Guest speaker will discuss the types of financial aid available and provide tips for completing the FAFSA form.
Financial Aid Websites
www.fastweb.com - Free Scholarship & College Search
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/grants-scholarships - College Board Scholarship Section
www.cappex.com/scholarships - Variety of Scholarships, including Merit Aid
www.csac.ca.gov/ - California Student Aid Commission
www.finaid.org - Financial Aid & Scholarship Information
www.scholarships.com - Free Scholarship Search & Financial Aid Information
www.simpletuition.com/resource - Tuition Aid
www.studentaid.ed.gov - Everything you need to know about Federal Student Aid Programs
www.studentawardsearch.com/scholarships.htm - Student award and search aid
www.fafsa.ed.gov - Free app. For fed student aid
African American Students
Asian American Students
Click HERE for partial list of 2019 Summer Internship/Program opportunities .