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Private/Independent Colleges and Universities

Applying to a Priviate / Independent University

The application process to a private/independent university will vary from school to school.  Unlike UC and CSU, students will have to research and apply to each university separately.  It is best not to wait unit the end of your junior year to start preparation.  The more information you have up front about the particular university you are applying to, the more concise and complete your application process will be.

Private and Independent universities differ from the UC and CSU significantly in their applicaiton process.  Generally speaking, they will have the same subject requirements as the UC and CSU (a-g subject pattern); however, students should check the home website of the university in question to be certain.  Where the UC and CSU systems do not require letters of recommendation, or even transcripts with their applications, private/independent universities will expect the following:

  • Students must download all application materials from the home website of the school they are applying to.
  • Most private/independent out-of-state universities WILL require college essays
  • Most private/independent out-of-state universities WILL require letters of recommendation
  • Most private/independent out-of-state universities WILL require high school transcripts at the time of application. Most will ALSO want mid-year transript updates after the fall semester grades for senior year have been posted.
  • Most private/independent out-of-state universities WILL require information directly from the Guidance Office (Academic Advisor).  These reports may be called secondary school reports; school reports; counselor reports, counselor evaluation, etc.  Students must download these forms from the college website and give them to their Academic Advisor no later than 3 weeks before the deadline!
  • As with the UC and CSU, students must arrange to have their ACT and/or SAT exam scores sent direclty to the university directly from ACT (American College Testing Inc (ACT), or from the College Board (SAT I and SAT II)

Common Application

The common application is a not-for-profit organization that serves students and member institutions (colleges and universities) by providing an admission application - online or in print - which students may submit to any of more than 300 participating colleges and universities.  The common application is used by colleges and universities that use a holistic selection process.  For more information regarding the common application please visit

Early Action vs. Regular Admission

Application deadlines vary from as early as October 1st (for Early Action/Decision programs) to as last as February for some schools.  Most Regular Admissions deadlines will be somewhere between December 1st through January 15th.  Please note that Early Action does not pertain to UC or CSU; please see application filing perriods for UC/CSU under UC / CSU A-G Requirements.

CEEB High School Code


Academic Advisor Private College Evaluation and Letter of Recommendation Packet

This packet is REQUIRED !!!

Students applying to California or out of state private/independent universities may need their Academic Advisor and/or a teacher to complete a letter of recommendation, secondary report and mid-year report  to download the Academic Advisor Private College Evaluation and Letter of Recommendation Packet.

Private/Independent Colleges

Common Application - Private Universities

All California Colleges

College Campus Tours