High School Students

  • For more information about CSU, Chico, sign up for a fastPASS account.
  • Many CSU's are impacted. Check the the impaction by campus or major tool and local admission area definitions for more details. See below for Chico impaction information.
  • If you attend a public California high school, review your school’s A-G list for approved courses. If you attend an out-of-state high school, use the A-G requirement list as a guide. Note: BYU online high school has an A-G list. Starting with the 2014-15 school year courses need to be Teacher Led (TL) to be considered.
  • Local area 11 or 12th graders, check out the High School Scholars program to take CSU, Chico courses while in high school.
  • Note: For US citizens (domestic students) attending international high schools or foreign International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, it is recommended to contact us prior to applying. You may not meet requirements and/or may require case-by-case admission guidance.
  • Need help? Email, call, or make an appointment with an Admission Counselor for admission requirements, applying, etc.

You are in 9th Grade

  • Work on college preparatory courses called A-G requirements. English, algebra 1 or geometry, and foreign language should be in your schedule.
  • Begin researching colleges. Use tools on CaliforniaColleges, CSUMentor, College Board and ACT websites.
  • Consider taking the ACT Explore test for ACT preparation.
  • Start exploring scholarships through your college counselor or career center. Attend presentations from college representatives that visit your school.

You are in 10th Grade

  • Continue working on A-G requirements. English, geometry or algebra 2, foreign language, life science or other A-G subjects should be in your schedule.
  • Aim for A’s and B’s in courses. Starting in the summer after 9th grade, any A-G courses in 10th grade will be calculated into your GPA for admission.
  • Take the PSAT or ACT Plan exams to prepare for the SAT or ACT tests.
  • Attend your high school or district’s college night typically held in September-November where college representatives are available.
  • Research colleges and plan visits. CaliforniaColleges, CSUMentor, College Board, ACT are great online tools to narrow down college options.
  • Explore scholarships in your area. Consider joining the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) or the National Honor Society (NHS) if eligible.

You are in 11th Grade

  • Continue your A-G requirements. English, US History, algebra 2 or advanced math, physical science, etc. should be in your schedule. Most A-G courses should be completed by the end of 11th grade.
  • Aim for A’s and B’s. For an admission decision, GPA is based on grades earned in all A-G courses in 10th and 11th. (Summer after 9th thru summer after 11th.) Need to repeat a course? Complete it before you start 12th grade! If summer school is not available, contact us to discuss options.
  • Again, GPA does not include 7th semester. Your GPA is "final" when you apply in the fall. Any courses in progress or planned in 12th grade will not used to improve your GPA for admission purposes.
  • Take an ACT or SAT in the spring. ACT and SAT practice tools are available. Testing early can help gauge competitiveness and allow you to plan for future tests. Take Common Core testing seriously as these results may exempt you from future placements exams at any CSU campus.
  • Attend Chico Preview Day on a Saturday in mid-October. Attend your high school or district’s college night held September-November. Sign up for presentations given by college representatives that visit your school.
  • Identify your top 5 schools and visit, explore and research. Tour during holiday, spring, or summer breaks. Look into major options and interests.
  • Save money for upcoming application fees, testing fees and college application related expenses.
  • Start researching and applying for scholarships through your career center, college counselor, or community groups. Join the California Scholarship Federation (CSF) or the National Honor Society (NHS) if eligible.

You are in 12th Grade

  • Visit Want to Apply? to prepare for the application. Review  other application timeframes and get materials ready (transcripts, test scores, application fees, etc.) Review Already Applied? after submitting your application for what to do next for Admissions at Chico. 
  • Be on track to complete your A-G requirements by graduation. Aim for A’s and B’s in your courses.  If you are offered admission, stay motivated as offers are conditional and dependent on you maintaining your requirements and meeting deadlines. Seen Been Admitted? for more upcoming dates, deadlines and information.
  • If you are struggling in any courses, contact our office ASAP! We may be able to preserve your admission if you act quickly; waiting until the last minute may not leave any options to remain eligible.
  • Since GPA is already determined, (see 11th grade for explanation,) the only way to increase your index is to take or re-take SAT/ACT tests. Consider taking them in October, November and/or December to improve your scores. ACT and SAT practice tools are available. Research shows students typically improve their score(s) on their second attempt. Send all test scores through December after you apply. Test scores are useful to determine placement testing.
  • Attend Chico Preview Day on a Saturday in mid-October. Attend college night in your area held September-November as college reps are available.
  • Apply for CSU, Chico specific scholarships online from January 2-February 15. After you apply for admission, your acknowledgement email will provide  instructions to set up your Portal account. Ask teachers and counselors well in advance for letters of recommendation and help on essay questions. Additionally, explore scholarships through your high school, community, county, state or national programs.
  • If you did not apply during the fall application cycle of your senior year, you will need to pursue other options. This may include: sitting out for an entire year and re-applying, attending a community college until you meet transfer requirements, or attending a school that has later application deadlines. (If you wanted to transfer to Chico, you would still need to meet upper division transfer requirements.)

Understanding Impaction

  • CSU, Chico is impacted to first-time freshmen. There are more qualified CSU eligible students than there is space available. To maintain a high quality education and ensure that students can progress towards graduation, we have elevated standards for students from outside of our local admission area. 
  • The index cutoff is determined by the characteristics of the applicant pool. Applications are rank-ordered by index (GPA and test score calculation) and processed. It takes time to work through thousands of application. Indexes for non-local students will be higher than the 2900 or 694 CSU index minimum.
  • First-time Freshmen: Admission decisions are made October-April* and occur on a rolling basis. Send all test scores (SAT, ACT, EAP, AP, IB, etc.)
  • *Subject to change based on the volume of applications received.

Is Chico State a fit for you?

Finding the right college can be a challenging yet rewarding process. We hope this list helps you see why students choose Chico State!


  • Programs- More than 100 majors, minors, certificates, options or patterns to choose from!
  • Dedicated Faculty- Faculty hold office hours for every course they teach; faculty to student ratio 25:1; Average class size 31; 84% hold Doctorates or Terminal degrees in their field of study.
  • Hands-On Learning- Internships, job opportunities, volunteering, lab environments, real-world connections and projects, opportunities to work closely with faculty doing relevant and applicable research in a variety of fields.


  • Clubs and Organizations- Over 240 student-run groups. Can't find something to get involved in? Create it!
  • Volunteer- Through CAVE students volunteer over 60,000 hours a year through 15 different programs. The highest ranked school for fundraising efforts to St. Jude's Children's Hospital through Up 'Til Dawn. President's Honor Roll award for service for the 5th time in 6 years. 
  • Leadership- AS government, Freshmen Leadership Opportunities, LEADCat, Wildcat Leadership Institute, honor societies and clubs specific to majors, and a wide variety of other opportunities to shine as a leader.
  • Study Abroad- Ranked third in the nation for sending students abroad for a year. Many opportunities to study abroad for a year, a semester, a summer or a few weeks. 
  • Greek life- 14% of students participate in national or local Greek organizations.


  • Natural Beauty- Big Chico Creek runs through campus, designated arboretum (tree museum,) brick buildings and collegiate architecture.
  • Tradition- Opened in 1887, Chico State is the second oldest CSU in the system. Generations of students have followed in relative's footsteps and become one of our 100,000 alumni.
  • Community- located in Northern California, Chico the town has more than 80,000 people. Chico State has a true college-town feel and is adjacent to the downtown area. Many opportunities for students to participate in community events, projects and service learning.
  • Sustainability- Leaders in the CSU for sustainability. LEED Certified buildings, organic dairy farm, local or organic produce and goods sold on campus and in dining facilities, AS recycling diverts tons of trash each year, and a pledge to be zero waste in the near future!


  • Athletics- 13 NCAA Division II teams. High achieving student athletes and athletic programs. Club sports for the more competitive and intramural sports for fun and recreation.
  • WREC- Wildcat Recreation facility opened in 2009 and is included in student tuition fees.
  • Bidwell Park- 3,670 acre municipal park located close to campus for swimming, hiking, biking, walking, or relaxing with friends.
  • Adventure Outings- Student led trips for reduced costs throughout California. Learn how to surf, hike to remote locations, camp, swim, and explore the beautiful environment around us.