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How To Apply

Application Requirements

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Your application to the 2019 Pre-College Program must include the following:

All applications submitted after May 1 must be paid in full at the time of application. Please contact the Pre-College Program Manager to inquire about studio and housing availability.

The following students have additional application requirements:

  • Scholarship applicants
  1. All required materials for application to the program including 2019 Pre-College application and application fee.
  2. A portfolio consisting of five to eight pieces of your artwork. Applicants may submit their portfolio for review online using SlideRoom ($10 fee) or by mail sending a CD-ROM or flash drive to the Pre-College Office: 5212 Broadway, Oakland CA 94618.
    Please label each piece with your full name, media, dimensions, and year completed. Due to the possibility of lost, stolen, or damaged artwork, the college cannot accept delivery of original pieces of art.
    If you submit photographs, please indicate whether they were printed commercially or by you.
  3. A half-page essay describing your artistic interests and goals, and the reasons for your interest in attending CCA’s Pre-College Program.

Additional Items for need-based applications:

  1. A copy of your family’s 2017 US federal income-tax return. Your family should also document any child support received (or paid) and any other money received that is not reported on the tax return.
  2. A written statement by a parent/guardian, high school counselor, or art teacher describing why you need financial assistance to attend the program.
  • International applicants
  1. If you are applying from a country where English is not the primary language, you must submit a letter from a school counselor or English teacher that describes your skills in listening to, speaking, reading, and writing English.

Eligible students will have completed their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school by summer 2019. Students must be at least 15 by June 2019, and no older than 18.

Online Application

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All Pre-College applications are submitted online, using CCA’s online application. The online application will open on January 9, 2019.

Please apply using an email address that you check regularly, as all communication from the program, including studio placements, scholarship decisions, and registration confirmation, will be sent via email.

You will receive a confirmation email once your application has been received and processed.

Transcripts

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Transcripts can be uploaded onto your online application, or sent directly from your high school to the CCA Pre-College Office.

Grades from fall 2018 must be included.

All transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation of the original. Home-schooled applicants should submit detailed syllabi of courses (equivalent to grades 9–12) and details of curriculum you are pursuing through any public or private agency (including community college transcripts, if applicable).

Studio Selection

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Completed applications are processed and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. An application will not be reviewed until all materials—including transcripts, fees, and scholarship materials, if applicable—are received. Within two weeks of receiving your completed program application, we will email you an admission notification including studio and housing placement.

Early application is recommended. Because space in each studio is limited, we cannot guarantee placement in your first choice. In the event that your first choice is full, you will be waitlisted and placed in the next available studio selection.

You will be notified immediately if space becomes available in a studio for which you are waitlisted.

Important Dates & Deadlines

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Wednesday , January 9

CCA begins accepting Pre-College applications

Program applications are accepted on a rolling basis. You will be notified of studio placement and housing within two weeks of receiving your completed application.

Friday, March 15

Scholarship application deadline

All need-based and merit scholarship applications must be postmarked on or before March 15 . Scholarship applications postmarked after this date will not be eligible for scholarship consideration .

Friday, March 22

Scholarship notification

Scholarship applicants who meet the March 15 deadline will be notified of awards via email by March 22 .

Friday, April 5

Deposit deadline

A nonrefundable $200 tuition deposit and $100 housing deposit (for students interested in on-campus housing) is required to confirm your Pre-College enrollment. Deposits are applied to total tuition and housing costs, and are due postmarked by April 5 or two weeks after your admission notification, whichever is later. Instructions on how to pay your deposits will be included in your admission notification email.

Wednesday , May 1

Balance and enrollment documents due

The tuition and housing balance, all enrollment documents, required signatures, and proof of health insurance are due by May 1 or two weeks after your acceptance date, whichever is later.

After May 1, any application submitted must include tuition, fees, and housing payments (if applicable) paid in full.

You may pay by check (payable to California College of the Arts), Visa, American Express, Discover or MasterCard. Failure to pay your tuition and fees in full by the deadline could lead to forfeiture of your studio selection and housing reservation.

A late fee of $100 will be charged if the balance is not received by the deadline.

Scholarships

Need-Based Scholarships

Tuition scholarship assistance is available to those with documented financial need. We do our very best to distribute our scholarship money so that as many applicants as possible are able to attend CCA Pre-College. Need-based awards can range from $500 to $2,800.

Award amounts are based on a student's academic achievement, demonstrated artistic promise, financial need and scholarship essays. Need-based scholarships are for US citizens only.

Students who submit all required scholarship application materials for a need-based scholarship by March 15 are automatically considered for a merit scholarship.

Merit Scholarships

CCA offers a limited number of highly competitive merit scholarships in amounts ranging from $500 - $2,000. Awards are based on a student's creative ability (as demonstrated by their portfolio), academic achievement (GPA), and scholarship essay.

Marcella Cleese Scholarship

In addition to over $100,000 in scholarships awarded by the college, at least one annual full-tuition scholarship is awarded in memory of Marcella Cleese through a generous endowment created by her friends.

Applying for Scholarships

All of the following items must be postmarked by March 15 for scholarship consideration.

For both need-based and merit applications:

  • All required materials for application to the program including 2019 Pre-College application and application fee.
  • A half-page essay describing your artistic interests and goals, and the reasons for your interest in attending CCA’s Pre-College Program.
  • A portfolio consisting of five to eight pieces of your artwork. Applicants may submit their portfolio for review online using SlideRoom ($10 fee) or by mail sending a flash drive to the Pre-College Office: 5212 Broadway, Oakland CA 94618.
  • Please label each piece with your full name, media, dimensions, and year completed. Due to the possibility of lost, stolen, or damaged artwork, the college cannot accept delivery of original pieces of art.
  • If you submit photographs, please indicate whether they were printed commercially or by you.

Video submissions are accepted for Film applicants only.

Creative Writing applicants should submit two to five pages of writing samples. To upload with your online application, you must save your writing samples as PDFs.

Additional Items for need-based applications:

  • A copy of your family’s 2017 US federal income-tax return. Your family should also document any child support received (or paid) and any other money received that is not reported on the tax return.

On an individual basis, where necessary, CCA may request further financial documentation. You will not be considered for scholarships if you do not include the 2017 US tax return.

  • A written statement by a parent/guardian, high school counselor, or art teacher describing why you need financial assistance to attend the program.

See FAQ for answers to commonly asked scholarship questions.

International Students

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International students are welcome to attend CCA’s Pre-College Program. Previous students have come from many countries including Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, and Thailand. Pre-College is a wonderful way to pursue your artwork while experiencing American culture and college life.

Student Visa

If you are not a US citizen or legal permanent resident, you are considered an international student and must obtain an F-1 student visa to participate in the Pre-College program.

You may not attend the program with a tourist visa (B1/B2) or visa waiver (ESTA) because while participating in the Pre-College program you will be studying full-time.

In order for international students to make travel and visa arrangements, they will be notified of admission and housing decisions two weeks after all required application materials are received.

Student Visa & I-20 Process

  • Apply to CCA's Pre-College program and be accepted for admission. Once you have been admitted, return your Intent to Enroll confirmation and pay your tuition and housing deposits.
  • Once CCA receives your Intent to Enroll and deposit payments, we will email you the I-20 Request Form.
  • Complete the I-20 Request Form and mail it to the Pre-College program coordinator, along with bank documents that show that you have sufficient funds to support your education at CCA and a copy of the biographical page of your passport.
  • After the above materials have been received, reviewed, and approved, the CCA I-20 will be created. We will send the I-20 to the address provided on the I-20 Request Form.
  • Once you receive your I-20, pay the SEVIS I-901 fee (instructions will be included with your I-20) and make a visa appointment at the US Consulate closest to where you live.
  • You will then take your CCA I-20, the I-901 fee receipt, the original bank statement(s), and your CCA letter of acceptance to your visa interview to obtain an F-1 student visa for entry into the United States.

English Language Proficiency

International students must have strong English language skills as the program is conducted in English only.

If you are applying from a country where English is not the primary language, you must submit a letter from a school counselor or English teacher that describes your skills in listening, speaking, reading, and writing English

If you have completed the TOEFL, TOEIC, or IELTS, those scores should be submitted with the letter.