For Freshmen

How to Apply
Are you ready to apply to Cal Lutheran? Then we're ready to meet you!

Please follow the steps below to submit your Common Application. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us at (805) 493-3135 or


  1. Create Your Account
    Begin by creating an account on The Common Application website if you haven't already done so. After registering you will need to add California Lutheran University to your list of colleges from within the College Search tab.

  2. Complete Your Application & Essay
    Complete The Common Application and personal essay by the appropriate deadline. Please keep in mind all application documents must be submitted by the application deadline (including Official Test Scores, Official Transcripts, Letter of Recommendation and Personal Statement).
  3. Request Recommendation
    Request a letter of recommendation from one your teachers through the Recommender Section of the Common Application. You will need your recommender's email address for this section. We suggest that you begin the process early to give them plenty of time to respond before the deadline.
  4. Submit Application Fee
    All applicants must submit a non-refundable $25 application fee or submit a fee waiver. If the fee will present a financial hardship for you and your family, you may be eligible for a waiver of the application fee. Ask your guidance counselor to submit a Fee Waiver Request (we accept the NACAC and College Board Fee Waiver request forms).
  5. Request Test Scores
    Arrange to have official SAT or ACT test results sent to Cal Lutheran before the deadline. International students must submit proof of English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS or PTE).
    • SAT code: 4088
    • ACT code: 0183
  6. Transcripts
    Official high school transcripts must be sent to us directly from schools you have attended. Your high school counselor may submit these via online services such as Docufide, Naviance, and The Common Application, or mail in a physical copy to the Office of Undergraduate Admission.
  7. Final Review
    Double check your work and review thoroughly to ensure you have recorded your information accurately. Once your application has been submitted, you cannot go back in and edit it.

Getting Help

For technical or logistical difficulties while completing the online application, please refer to The Common Application Help Center.

If you have questions about the content of our application and are unable to find answers within this guide, please call us at (805) 493-3135 during our regular office hours, or email us at at any time.


Additional Information

Other Application Forms

Application for Readmission
If you are returning to Cal Lutheran after an absence of two or more consecutive semesters.

International Transfer Students

International Transfer Student Process
If you are an international student transferring from a U.S. or International college or university.

California Lutheran University recognizes and values diversity in our campus community and is dedicated to providing equal access and opportunities to qualified applicants regardless of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. Moreover, Cal Lutheran is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with various disabilities. Any applicant in need of assistance is encouraged to contact the admission office where they will be provided with reasonable services in a manner that promotes respect and self-advocacy.

Admission Requirements

You're looking for the right fit, and we're looking for dedication and passion.

Our admission staff carefully reviews each application to make sure applicants are a good match for Cal Lutheran. Decisions are largely based on high school GPA in a college-prep curriculum, standardized test scores, a personal recommendation, and a personal statement presenting your ability to effectively form and articulate thoughts in writing.


We accept both the SAT and the ACT. If you submit more than one SAT score, we use the highest individual verbal score and the highest individual math score from all tests in our evaluations.

Similarly, we use the highest subject scores from all submitted ACT score reports. Cal Lutheran also grants college credit for Advanced Placement test scores.

Minimum Required High School Coursework

  • English: 4 years
  • Math: 3 years (including Algebra II), 4 years preferred
  • Foreign Language: at least 2 years of the same language
  • Social Studies: 2 years
  • Lab Science: 2 years required, 3 years highly recommended

Other Factors

In addition to the measure of achievement and aptitude as indicated by transcripts and test scores, there are other factors which are considered in the admission process:

  • Teacher recommendations
  • Excellence in co-curricular activities
  • Maturity
  • Initiative
  • Seriousness of purpose as evidenced through work, travel experiences, and/or contributions to home, and school and community.

We are looking for students who are balanced in their pursuits, who have been successful in those pursuits, and who have proven that they are ready for the rigors of the four-year college level.

Dates & Deadlines
Date Deadline

October 1, 2016

First day to file the FAFSA. If you're applying for financial aid at Cal Lutheran, this is the only form we require in order to award need-based aid.

November 1, 2016

Early Action Admission Deadline for Fall 2017 and Presidential Scholarship consideration

Deadline for applicants for the Spring 2017 Semester

January 1, 2017

Regular Decision Application Deadline for Fall 2017

January 15, 2017

Early Action Notification Mailed

Late January 2017

Financial aid awards start going out to admitted students that applied by the Early Action deadline and filed the FAFSA. 

March 1, 2017

Priority FAFSA deadline

March 2, 2017

Cal Grant deadline for California residents; Be sure to file the FAFSA and the GPA Verification Form

April 1, 2017

Regular Decision Notification Mailed

Financial aid awards start going out to all admitted students who filed the FAFSA.

May 1, 2017

National Reply Date: all freshman applicants admitted for Fall 2017 should pay the $450 enrollment deposit to reserve their spot in the class. Students planning to live on campus should submit the housing application and deposit as soon as possible to guarantee their first choice residence hall.


If I apply early for your school, am I applying early for all schools?
No, you have the ability to submit your application to individual schools with the Common Application.

Can I send additional information to be reviewed with my application, example: resume, additional letters of recommendation, list of activities not on app?
Yes, you may submit additional information if you prefer; however it is not required. Please contact your admission counselor directly to submit additional documentation. Find your counselor.

Do I need to have everything in by November 1 for early action? I am taking the SATs in November.
Yes, all application materials must be received or postmarked by November 1st to meet our Early Action deadline. This includes, The Common Application, Essay, Letter of Recommendation, Official High School Transcripts, Official SAT or ACT scores. Check application dates and deadlines.

How do I put that I am a select scholar?
Select "I'm a Select Scholar" on the Member Questions section of your Common Application

How do I send updated SAT/ACT scores once I submit?
Contact College Board or ACT to have your official scores sent to Cal Lutheran. Our school codes are:

  • SAT code: 4088
  • ACT code: 0183

I have submitted my Common Application but I don't see that Cal Lutheran has downloaded it, does that mean you don't have it?
No, just because we have not downloaded it, does not mean that it was not submitted to Cal Lutheran. During high volume periods, it takes time to process application materials. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions regarding your application status.