Information For

Prospective Students

California State University San Marcos guarantees freshman admission to a foster youth who meets the following criteria:

  • Completed all college preparatory A-G coursework.

  • Meets the minimum CSU eligibility index requirements.

  • Applies to CSUSM between October 1st - November 30th.
  • Has been a dependent of the court in San Diego or Riverside County (foster youth from other counties are encouraged to apply but are not guaranteed admission).
  • Was in foster care on or after their 13th birthday for at least two years OR is participating in extended foster care and under the age of 26.*
  • Applies to ACE Scholars Services by completing the ACE Scholars Services Program Application. Following review of the application, it will be necessary to submit a Verification of Dependency Letter documenting foster care placement.

Transfer applicants please contact ACE Scholars Services at for more information.

Please visit CSU Mentor to learn about CSU admission requirements and to apply for admission to all CSU campuses.

*Exceptions to the eligibility criteria will be reviewed on an individual basis. Complete the ACE Scholars Services Exception Form and submit it to the ACE office to be considered for an exception.  


For information regarding financial aid, scholarships, and grants go to Scholarships & Resources.

Foster Youth: College is for You

This video explores the different resources available to foster youth while attending college and how to apply to college.