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San Diego State University

Compact for Success

Apply to College in 6 Steps

Welcome, CFS high school seniors! You are about to enter the college application cycle. You may begin applying as early as October 1 of your senior year.

  • Note: If you will be applying to SDSU or another university in the CSU system, visit CSUMentor for additional help. (CSUMentor helps students plan for college, choose the right CSU campus, plan finances, and apply for admission.)

Follow this roadmap of steps to complete your application to college:

Application Cycle at a Glance

What to doWhen to do it (senior year)
 Senior review Meet with your counselor to review your transcript and GPA, review college selections and entrance requirements, start planning for financial aid and scholarships, and finish community service requirement.
SAT Reasoning/ACT: Attempt exam more than onceFirst attempt must be by November of your senior year in high school. You can log onto the websites to register and retake both the SAT and ACT.

Apply to college (online): 


  • SDSU/CSU: Apply Oct. 1 – Nov. 30 
  • UC: Apply Nov. 1-30
  • Other: Check with college

Also consider applying for EOP (called EOPS in the community college system). Apply for on-campus housing when you submit your college application (or earlier, if possible).

FAFSA: Application for financial aidOctober 1 - March 2 of your senior year. Attend your school's financial aid night in January.
EPT and ELM (CSU entrance exams)For SDSU: Must be taken by Febrary of your senior year (check SDSU Test Office website for test dates).
Receive SDSU Admit letterIf admitted to SDSU, you will receive your admit letter in March of your senior year from the Office of Admissions.
Declare intent to enroll (include transcript and deposit)No later than May 1 of your senior year (firm deadline). Also explore housing options, if you have not already done so.