Freshman Students

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Be College Ready and Save Time & Money on Remediation

It’s important to know the difference between being “College Ready” vs. meeting just the minimum eligibility requirements for admission to Sacramento State.

Did you realize that there is a difference? There is, and it’s a BIG difference in what it will cost you in time and money!

Being “College Ready”, as we like to say, means that you are ready to transition to college, and excel academically towards earning your degree by staying focused on finishing in four years.  Going beyond the minimum standards before you arrive will also boost your confidence in knowing you will be successful while you’re here.

So how can you be sure you’re “College Ready”?

  • Look at the results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test you took in your Junior year to see if your results say “Standard Exceeded”
  • Take your SAT and score at least 550 on English and 570 on math (if you took your SAT before March 2016: 500 English/550 math)
  • Take your ACT and score at least 22 on English and 23 on math

For more information on what you can do now to improve your college readiness and eventual success at Sacramento State, visit the “College Ready” page.

The new SAT and Eligibility:

In March 2016, the College Board began administering a redesigned SAT. It's expected that a significant number of applicants may have both old and new test scores.

The CSU will accept the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and the Mathematics section scores of the new SAT to determine the applicant's CSU minimum eligibility index. The SAT eligibility index formula will remain the same: SAT (scores in math and EBRW) + (800 x high school grade point average).

The following compares the eligibility index for the two SAT versions:

Test Version

California Resident

Minimum Eligibility Index

Non-California Resident

Minimum Eligibility Index

New SAT (March 2016) 2950 3570
SAT (prior to March 2016) 2900 3502

It is important to note

  • Sacramento State will accept both old and new SAT scores from students currently in grades 9 - 12 (graduating in 2020 or prior). Any student graduating after 2020 will be required to take the new SAT.
  • Sacramento State will "superscore" with like tests only. If an applicant has taken both the new and old SAT, the total scores that is most advantageous to the applicant will be used.
  • The essay is still not required nor is it recommended for applicants.

Eligibility Requirements

You will qualify for regular admission as a First-Time Freshman if you:

  1. Are a high school graduate
  2. Have a qualifiable Eligibility Index
  3. Complete the fifteen-unit comprehensive “a-g” course pattern of college preparatory subject requirements with grades of C or better.

High School Graduate

For more information on the high school graduation requirement, click here.

Eligibility Index

The eligibility index is the combination of your high school grade point average and your test score on either the SAT or ACT:

  • SAT before March 2016 (scores in mathematics and critical reading) + (800 x high school grade point average)
  • SAT after March 2016 (scores in mathematics and EBRW) + (800 x high school grade point average)
  • 10 x ACT composite score (without the writing score) + (200 x high school grade point average)

Select from below the Eligibility Index Chart that applies to you:

California residents within our local admission area must have a minimum index of 2900 using SAT scores taken before March 2016 or 2950 using SAT scores taken after March 2016 or 694 using ACT scores. Eligibility for California residents outside our local admission area will be determined by the characteristics of the applicant pool after all applications are collected. Non-California residents must have a minimum index of 3502 using SAT scores taken before March 2016 or 3570 using SAT scores taken after March 2016 or 842 using ACT scores..  


Your grade point average is based on grades earned during 10th through 12th grades of college prep courses. You may receive bonus points for each C or better in approved honors or AP courses.


Up to eight semesters of honors courses taken in the last two years of high school can be accepted. Each unit of A in an honors course will receive a total of 5 points; B, 4 points; and C, 3 points.

When and How To Apply

Apply online at during the priority application filing period: 

Fall Semester: October 1 - December 15

Need assistance completing the Cal State Apply application? 

Check out the Freshman Coursework Entry Guide

Have an unofficial copy of your high school transcript handy when you complete your application for admission. Your admission decision will be based on self-reported information entered on the application - Accuracy is critical!

Application Fee Waiver Appeal  

The deadline to submit an Application Fee Waiver Appeal for Fall 2019 is Dec. 7, 2018. 

If you would like your application for admission to be considered for the upcoming Fall 2019 semester, you must be sure to pay and submit your Cal State Apply application to our campus by the December 15, 2018 deadline.

Do you need help completing the questions on the application related to the Application Fee Waiver? Check out the Application Fee Waiver Checklist for assistance!

Subject Requirements AKA “A-G” Guidelines

All admission requirements must be met by the end of Spring for Fall admission. Summer classes may not be used to complete admission for Fall.

The CSU requires First-Time Freshman applicants to complete with a grade of C or better the following comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling 15 units. A "unit" is one year of study in high school.

Subject Requirements

Area  Subject Units Details
A History/Social Science 2 years Must include one year of U.S. History and Government
B English 4 years
C Mathematics* 3 years (Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II - Intermediate Algebra)
D Laboratory Science* 2 years (One Biological, one Physical; both must have a lab)
E Language other than English* 2 years Subject to waiver; must demonstrate competence
F Visual Performing Arts 1 year Must be a year-long VPA course in a single area
G College Prep Elective 1 year Selected from the above areas or other approved "a-g" courses

* Additional units recommended

For a list of your school's approved A-G courses visit:

For complete details on subject requirements visit: Cal State Apply

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Did you know that you might be eligible for financial aid to help pay for college? Start the process by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting October 1 through March 2 the year before you plan to attend college.

Be sure to indicate school code 001150 for Sacramento State on your application.  

Visit to find out how to fill out the FAFSA and create your FSA ID, what information is needed for the FAFSA, what the deadlines are, and what happens after the FAFSA.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Fall 2019 Admission

October 1 - November 30 Priority dates to submit application for admission
October 1 - March 2 Apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA) using school code 001150
December 2 Last opportunity to take the SAT test
December 9 Last opportunity to take the ACT test
January 24 Deadline to submit SAT or ACT scores
March 1 - 31 Begin checking your My Sac State for your admission decision. Admission decisions will be released throughout the month of March.

Failure to adhere to any of the above deadlines will result in your application for admission being removed from consideration.

Tips from Sac State Counselors

  • Take SAT and or ACT no later than December of your senior year.
  • Set up your CSU Mentor account early at Cal State Apply
    • Explore all 23 CSU campuses
  • Be sure to contact your Sacramento State Regional Representative
    • Regional Representatives will visit designated high schools. It is important to attend a session if one is held at your campus.
  • Take a campus tour
  • Complete the High School Planner
  • Get accurate GPA calculations (grades 10-12)
  • Applying for Financial Aid? Be sure to report the correct social security number on your application for admission so the Financial Aid Office can download your FAFSA with no delays! 

Additional Admissions Programs at Sacramento State

Information on Campus and Program Impaction

If you intend to major in one of our Designated Impacted Programs, please check with that program for supplemental criteria, application instructions, and important deadlines:

Learn more about Impaction by visiting our Impaction page.

Pre-Major vs. Expressed Interest - what does this mean for you?

  • Pre-Major – A designation for undergraduate students pursuing a non-impacted major. These students may declare or be assigned major status upon admission to the university or by the department/program of their intended major after completing specified pre-requisites as defined by their academic department/program.
  • Expressed Interest – A designation for undergraduate students interested in pursuing an impacted major but who may not declare or be assigned by the department/program of their intended major upon admission to the university. These students must successfully complete any specified pre-requisites and a supplemental admissions process in order to be formally admitted to the major/program.

Visit the Office of Academic Affairs Policy Definition page here

Apply to become a Hornet for Fall 2019
October 1 - December 15, 2018