Update: On November 26, 2018, the California State University announced an extension to the fall 2019 priority application period. The deadline is now Saturday, December 15. This article has been amended to reflect this change. Learn more about the extension.

In 2017, the California State University introduced Cal State Apply, a brand-new way to apply to all 23 campuses. Over the past year we've listened to feedback—both positive and negative—from prospective students, counselors and others.

"We worked with the third-party creator of Cal State Apply to make significant improvements that we believe will make the applicant experience smoother, faster and more intuitive," says April Grommo, Ed.D., director of enrollment management services at the CSU Chancellor's Office in Long Beach.

The Fall 2019 priority application cycle opened on October 1, 2018 and will end on December 15, 2018.

Remember: It's always best to apply early. "Students may need to reach out to a counselor or their parent or guardian for information to complete their application," explains Dr. Grommo. "Doing so early will ensure they get their application in on time and avoid any last-minute issues." 

Applying early is especially important if you want to attend a CSU campus or degree program that is "impacted," meaning it has more qualified applicants than can be accommodated. Impacted campuses cannot accept applications after December 15.

Here are some of the changes you can expect for the application as you prepare to apply to a CSU campus for the Fall 2019 semester:

  • Profile questions have been streamlined, allowing many applicants to complete their application more quickly.
  • If you enter the city where your high school is located, you can more easily choose the name of your school.
  • The process for entering the name of your high school and the courses you completed is simpler.
  • If you've used the CaliforniaColleges.edu planner to enter the name of your high school and high school coursework, you can import that information into Cal State Apply—there's no need to re-enter it.  (CaliforniaColleges.edu is the official high school planner of the CSU.)
  • When entering your high school graduation status, you now have the option to choose "I didn't graduate from high school."
  • After you complete all sections of the application, you can see whether or not you're eligible for a fee waiver.
  • Transfer students can now preview their transferable GPA based on their self-reported course information.
  • ASSIST.org, which allows applicants to see how credits earned at one California college or university can be used when transferring to another school, now includes more courses that transfer to the CSU.

In addition, checks have been added to prevent errors that could delay applying and the application process has been simplified for international students, adds Grommo.

If you encounter technical problems with your application, visit the Cal State Apply Applicant Help Center (which includes a live chat feature) or check out the Cal State Apply FAQ.