College Planning

Basic College Information 101

 There are two public university systems in California: the University of California (UC) system and the California State University (CSU) system, as well as a vast California Community College (CCC) system with seven community colleges in San Diego County.  In addition, there are many private universities in California.  As a result, the high school student needs to become aware of which post-secondary institution will best fit their personal, social, and financial needs as well as the student’s short and long term goals early on in their high school years.  To this end, all students should strive to have the most options as possible before graduation, meaning to do the best he/she can in all classes, take any required placement tests/assessments, apply broadly, complete the applicable financial documents, and make the best informed decision after considering all available information.

The most frequent questions regarding these systems are:

  • What is the difference between a UC and a CSU?
  • Where do community colleges fit in?
  • What about private schools?

It can be very confusing trying to make sense of it all when you first start looking at colleges.  Therefore, the following links are provided for the student/parent/guardian to help answer these questions, as well as gain the needed additional information as the student prepares for his/her post-secondary learning experience.


Minimum Admission Requirements

The admission requirements to apply to a university and a community college are different.  The minimum admission requirements for a CSU or UC are:


The admission requirements to apply to a community college are:

  • Be a high school graduate.
  • Or, be at least 18 years of age or older.


California State University (CSU) Links

 Please follow the link to the California State University (CSU) Information Pages:



University of California (UC) Links


Please follow the link to the University of California (UC) Information Pages: