Student Resources

College Information

California State University (CSU)

The California State University (CSU) system is made up of 23 campuses across the state of California. The CSU educates 484,000 students every year and has one of the most diverse student bodies in the United States. The California State University promotes student success through opportunity and a high-quality education that prepares students to become leaders in the changing workforce, making the CSU a vital economic engine for California.​ 

BakersfieldChannel IslandsChico
Dominguez HillsEast BayFresno*
Fullerton*HumboldtLong Beach*
Los AngelesMaritime AcademyMonterey Bay
San BernardinoSan Diego*San Francisco
San Jose*San Luis Obisbo*San Marcos

*All undergraduate programs, pre-programs, and undeclared/undecided programs are impacted. Find out whether a program you're interested in is impacted by using CSU impaction database.


University of California (UC)

The University of California (UC) system is made up of 10 campuses throughout California. The UC educates more than 238,000 students each year and is annually voted some of the very best colleges in the nation. UC provides a rich environment for student research. Undergraduate students are engaged in various research activities and their post-graduation aspirations align with pursuing research.

Los AngelesMercedRiverside
San DiegoSan Francisco*Santa Barbara
Santa Cruz

*UCSF offers graduate/professional education only. First-time freshmen will not be eligible to apply.


California Community College (CCC)

The California Community Colleges system consists of 114 colleges, with a large number of additional campus centers and classrooms throughout the state. The colleges are spread over a wide range of geography, from mountains to coasts, and rural regions to big cities. Each college offers a diverse array of educational programs, with specializations that reflect the unique character of the local region.

The following community college campuses are located within the boundaries of the Lawndale and Hawthorne communities: 

LA Southwest College

1600 West Imperial Hwy

Los Angeles, CA 90047

El Camino College

16007 Crenshaw Blvd

Torrance, CA 90506

Compton College

1111 East Artesia Blvd

Compton, CA 90221


Want to see if your college courses will transfer to another campus? 

ASSIST is an online student-transfer information system that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another. ASSIST is the official repository of articulation for California’s public colleges and universities and provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about student transfer in California.

College Entrance Exams

SAT Exam

Sign Up for the SAT (Fee waivers are available at the college and career center of each high school)

The SAT exam includes three (3) different test components and an optional essay. The exam will take a total of 3 hours plus an additional 50 minutes for the essay. The essay portion is optional for CSU but REQUIRED by UC. 

Reading TestWriting and Language TestMath TestEssay
65 Minutes35 Minutes80 Minutes50 Minutes
52 Questions44 Questions58 Questions1 Prompt

Score Structure: 

  • Total Score: 400-1600
  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section: 200-800
  • Math Section: 200-800
  • SAT Essay: Three Scores Ranging From 2-8

Interpret your score!

Prepare for the SAT:

SAT Practice on Khan Academy

Features interactive problems, video lessons, full-length practice tests, personalized study plans and instanct SAT essay feedback.

Daily Practice App

Answer an exclusive, official reading, writing and language, or math question; Provides answer explanations and learn from your mistakes. 

Available SAT Practice Tests on CollegeBoard

Stimulate test day with an official practice test. Then, score your test. The answers come with explanations so you can learn from your mistakes. College Board provides EIGHT full, official practice tests.

SAT Subject Tests

Sign-Up for a SAT Subject Test (Fee waivers are available at the college and career center of each high school.)

Subject Tests test students on their knowledge of subjects on a high school level. The best way to prepare is to take the relevant courses and work hard on them. There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics, and science. See the subjects!

Length of Each TestsTest FormatScore Structure
1 HourMulitple-Choice200-800

Review the SAT Subject Tests | Student Guide [PDF] for more information.

ACT Exam

Sign-Up for the ACT Exam (Fee waivers are available at the college and career center of each high school)

The ACT contains multiple-choice tests in four areas: English, mathematics, reading and science. ACT's writing test is optional and does not affect your composite score however, it is a requirement for UC admission.

English TestMath TestReading TestScience TestWriting (Essay)
45 Mintues60 Minutes35 Minutes35 Minutes40 Minutes
75 Questions60 Questions40 Questions40 Questions1 Prompt

Score Structure:

  • Composite Score and Subject-Area Score Range: 1-36
  • Writing (Essay): 2-12

Understand your ACT scores!

Prepare for the ACT: 

ACT Academy 

ACT Academy™ is a free online learning tool and test practice program designed to help you get the best score possible on the ACT test, and get started on your way to college and career success.

ACT Study Guide [PDF]

Familiarize yourself with the instructions and format, then review, analyze, and answer the questions to see if you’re correct—and why. Includes complete practice tests with scoring keys, and a writing prompt.

ACT Question of the Day (Sign-In Required) 

Free practice questions and answers from past tests, as well as explanations and tips to help you solve each question. You also can sign up to receive a weekly email that provides each week's questions.

Practice for Each Subject

Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid:

  1. Grants financial aid that doesn't have to be repaid (unless, for example, you withdraw from school and owe a refund)
  2. Work Study - a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school
  3. Loans borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest

Overview of Federal Grants:

Grants and scholarships are often called “gift aid” because they are free money—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid. Grants are often need-based, while scholarships are usually merit-based.   

Federal Grant Available

How Much Can You Get?

Factors That Determines How Much You Can Receive

Federal Pell Grant

Up to $6,095 each year

  • Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
  • Cost of Attendance
  • Full-Time or Part-Time Student Status
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)$100-$4,000
  • Overall Financial Need
  • Cost of Attendance
  • The Time You Apply
  • Amount of Other Aid You Received
  • Availability of Funds at Your School

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

Up to $4,000 each year
  • Overall Financial Need
  • Cost of Attendance

Cal Grant Programs

Cal Grants can be used at any University of California, California State University or California Community College, as well as qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools in California.

Cal Grant A

Cal Grant B

Cal Grant C

  • For low to middle income students
  • Minimum of 3.00 GPA
  • May be used for an academic program that is 2-4 years in length
  • Can only be used for tuition and fees
  • If awarded at a California Community College, will be held in reserve up to two years until student transfers to a tuition charging institution
  • For low income studnets
  • Minimum of 2.00 GPA
  • May be used for academmic program that is at least 1 year in length
  • Includes an additional annual Access Award amount (living expenses)
  • Sophomore through Senior years the student will receive tuition and fees plus Access Award at tuition charging institution
  • For low to middle income students
  • No GPA requirement
  • For Occupational or Technical training programs of at least 4 months in length
  • Offers an award amount to assist with tuition and fees, also includes an additional annual book and supplies amount

For Cal Grant Income and Asset Ceilings, visit the California Student Aid Commision Website.

Overview of Work-Study:

Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

  • It provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school.
  • It's available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with financial need.
  • It's avilable to full-time or part-time students.
  • It's administered by schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out if your school paricipates.

Your total work-study award depends on:

  • When you apply,
  • Your level of financial need, and
  • Your school's funding level.

Overview of Loans: 

A loan is money you borrow and must pay back with interest. If you decide to take out a loan, make sure you understand who is making the loan and the terms and conditions of the loan.

Student loans can come from the federal government or from private sources such as a bank or financial institution. Loans made by the federal government, called federal student loans, usually offer borrowers lower interest rates and have more flexible repayment options than loans from banks or other private sources. 

Learn more about the differences between federal and private student loans.

What kinds of federal student loans are available?

Federal Loan Program

Program Details (Subject to Change)

Maximum Annual Award (Subject to Change)

Direct Subsidized Loan

  • For undergraduate students who have financial need
  • For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2019, interest rate is 5.05%
  • You’re not usually charged interest on the loan during certain periods, such as when you’re in school at least half-time
  • The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is the lender; payment is owed to ED
Up to $5,500 depending on grade level and dependency status

Direct Unsubsidized Loan

  • For undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students; financial need is not required
  • For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2019:

-5.04% interest rate for loans made to undergraduate students, and

-6.6% interest rate for loans made to graduate and professional degree students

  • You’re responsible for interest during all periods
  • ED is the lender; payment is owed to ED
Up to $20,500 (less any subsidized amounts received for same period) depending on grade level and dependency status*

Direct PLUS Loan

  • For parents who are borrowing money to pay for their dependent undergraduate child’s education, and for graduate or professional degree students;* financial need is not required
  • For loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2018, and before July 1, 2019, interest rate is 7.6%
  • Borrower must not have adverse credit.
  • ED is the lender; payment is owed to ED
Maximum amount is cost of attendance minus any other financial aid student receives

UBMS Resources - Loan Information:

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