It is essential to think about post high school plans before completing high school. These plans may include higher education (attending a college or university), attending a vocational program or occupational center, or employment.
There are 4 systems of higher education in California. These include community colleges, California State University (CSU), University of California (UC), and private colleges/universities.
Community colleges offer degree and certificate programs in various majors and career technical education (CTE) fields. These colleges also offer opportunities to transfer to a four-year college or university upon completion of a pattern of specific coursework.
LA Community College District (LACCD)
Information about the 9 community colleges in Los Angeles Community College District. Complete a free admissions application online.
LA College Promise — Free College for up to 2 years!
The Los Angeles College Promise (LACP) serves first-time, full-time college students with a comprehensive strategy designed to support students to complete a higher education degree and/or a workforce certificate. The program helps students “start right” on their way to “ending right” with a degree, university transfer, or workforce certificate in a timely, efficient manner. It is a partnership between Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), City of Los Angeles, LA Chamber of Commerce, UNITE LA and private philanthropy.
Important aspects of the Promise are waived tuition for the first two years of college, priority enrollment, additional financial support, and a dedicated support team providing a wide array of academic and student support services.
Visit the LA College Promise website to learn more!
The following are Community Colleges in the Los Angeles area that aren’t in the LA Community College District. Click on each college to learn more about programs offered at each campus and how to apply. These colleges will also have their own Promise Grant Program.
- Pasadena City College
- Glendale Community College
- College of the Canyons
- Moorpark College
- Santa Monica College
- El Camino College
Online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another.
Find a Program at a California Community College
Search for programs available at community colleges in California
California State University
There are 23 CSU campuses in California. CSU schools are 4-year universities that offer degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. They have programs offering professional degrees in areas such as education and engineering.
Learn more about CSU — its 23 campuses, degree programs available, admission requirements (including transfer options), and how to apply.
View current CSU Freshman Admission Requirements.
Currently CSU does not require SAT/ACT scores for Freshman Admission. Students will be eligible for admission by earning a 2.50 or greater “a-g” GPA. Students earning a GPA between 2.00 and 2.49 may be evaluated for admission based upon supplemental factors such as number of courses exceeding minimum “a-g” requirements, household income, extracurricular involvement, and other available information that would inform the campus admission decision. Each CSU campus will determine the supplemental factors used with GPA to determine eligibility in these cases and communicate these criteria publicly for prospective students.
University of California
There are 9 undergraduate UC campuses and 1 graduate campus. UC schools offer degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels
Learn more about UC — its 9 campuses, degree programs available, admission requirements (including transfer options), how to apply, and Comprehensive Review
View current UC Freshman Admission Requirements.
Currently UC does not require SAT/ACT scores for Freshman Admission. Freshman applicants have the option to submit SAT/ACT scores with their application. Applicants will not be penalized in the admission review process if they don’t submit SAT/ACT scores.
UC/CSU Minimum A-G Requirements
A. 2 Years of Social Studies
B. 4 Years of English
C. 3 Years of Math (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
D. 2 Years of Science
E. 2 Years of the same Language Other than English (LOTE)
F. 1 Year of Visual/Performing Art (in the same discipline — Visual, Dance, Music, Theatre)
G. 1 Year Academic Elective
View the UC-CSU Comparison of Minimum Freshman Admission Requirements.
Private Colleges and Universities
The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) provides a list of private colleges and universities throughout California. Admission requirements vary between schools, so it is important to go to each website directly to learn information about the school.
*** It is important to check the school’s accreditation and for profit/non-profit status before committing to any school or program. Students should always, if at all possible, attend a NON-Profit, WASC (or regionally) Accredited college/university. When in doubt, check the AICCU website.
Out-of-State Colleges and Universities
There are several opportunities for higher education beyond California! Visit the college’s website directly to learn more about degree programs and other opportunities available to students.
There are financial aid and scholarship opportunities available at out-of-state college and universities. There are often scholarship opportunities specifically for California students.
The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), is a regional tuition-reciprocity agreement that enables students from US Western states to enroll in more than 150 participating two and four-year public institutions at reduced tuition.