Janelle pretending to double dutch at the Christian Robinson exhibit at Jack London Square in Oakland, CA.

New Students’ To-Do List

New Students’ To-Do List

“Proper preparation prevents poor performance”

Thank you for considering Laney College as you institution of higher learning. College takes work and preparation! There is so much involved with attending college, even before you start classes. Here’s a helpful lists of tasks that you should complete BEFORE you start in the upcoming semester. If you have questions about these tasks or any other matter, see a Laney Counselor.


  1. Apply online here. You can get help with your application at the Laney Welcome Center, Building A, Room 101. Check frequently for your confirmation with your ID number and password to log in to Passport and the Peralta Student Portal.
  2. We no longer offer assessment tests in the California Community Colleges. Here are the ways to determine which English and Math classes you should start with: Here are your options:
    1. ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Students: Take the ESOL Self-Guided Placement at this website. Then, you can set up an appointment with a Laney Counselor online here or by phone here to discuss the results and get prerequisites cleared to enroll in classes.
    2. ENGLISH and MATH (Option 1) via ZOOM or PHONE: Show your existing college transcripts or assessment scores from a non-Peralta institution and schedule a Laney Counseling appointment.
    3. ENGLISH and MATH (Option 2) via ZOOM or PHONE: Show your High School Transcript or know your high school GPA and high school math and English classes and grades (if you have graduated from high school within 10 years) to the Counseling Department.
    4. ENGLISH and MATH (Option 3) ONLINE FORM: If you know what classes you want to sign up for, and you do not need to meet with a counselor, you can complete the Laney Express Counseling Form online by clicking here and your prerequisites will be cleared within two (2) business days by a counselor. You will be notified via email.
  3. Do the online orientation here to learn more about Laney’s helpful programs and services, degrees, and certificates.
  4. Visit a Laney counselor. Click here to visit the Laney Counseling Department website to schedule an appointment online via Zoom or by phone. Maintaining an ongoing relationship with a community college counselor is the best way to take only the classes you need, get help when you’re struggling, and find ways to access important academic and financial resources.
  5. Enroll in classes. There are two ways to enroll in classes.
    1. Log in to your Campus Solutions Student Center account. Campus Solutions is the website where Laney students can add and drop classes, see updates in their “To-Do List” from Financial Aid, review and accept financial aid awards, check grades, download your unofficial transcript, and make payments. Here are some helpful videos to help you understand your Campus Solutions.
    2. New students: Look for a confirmation email that contains your student identification number and Passport password and follow the instructions to log in to your account.
    3. Returning students (coming back after one year or later): Look for a confirmation email that comes after your reapply. If you cannot find it or did not receive one, visit the Campus Solutions homepage and click “Forgot My Password” on how to obtain your log-in information.
    4. Continuing students: If you cannot log in, click on “Forgot Password” and follow the appropriate prompts.
    5. If you still have trouble logging in, email with your name, ID#, and a brief description of the problem, and someone will respond to your inquiry within 48 hours.
  6. Log into your Student Portal and Set up your Peralta email and Canvas. Don’t miss messages from Laney Financial Aid or your instructors! Click here to access the Peralta Student Portal for your email, Canvas, and your other Microsoft Outlook resources. If you cannot log into your Student Portal, email as soon as possible.
  7. Apply for financial aid by completing a FAFSA or CA Dream Act application. Check your Campus Solutions account and Peralta email frequently for updates and to-dos in order to  complete your application. If you have questions about financial aid, find your Laney Financial Aid Staff Representative by clicking here or emailing
    1. Qualified applicants should apply for Financial Aid by visiting the FAFSA website at
    2. California residents can apply for California Promise Grant (click here) if:
      1. You don’t have your high school diploma
      2. You are an AB540/Dream Act/Undocumented Student. Dream Act students can apply to Cal Grants between October 1st and March 2nd to receive student aid for the following academic year. Apply at
      3. You don’t want to use your Financial Aid grants (there is a 6-year, lifetime limit on Federal Pell Grants, check with Financial Aid in Building A, Room 201 for more information).
    3. Look for messages to your PERALTA email address from Laney Financial Aid Department and BankMobile, to make sure all your financial aid documents are submitted to their department and that your bank account is set up for payment.
  8. If you need accessibility services for a physical, mental or learning difference, make an appointment with a counselor in Laney Student Accessibility Services (SAS formerly DSPS). If possible, obtain a copy of your high school IEP (Individualized Education Program) or other relevant paperwork for your visit. Click here to schedule an online appointment with a Laney SAS counselor or call 510.464.3428.
  9. Purchase your books and supplies. Information on your books and supplies may be found at the Laney Bookstore website here or will be provided by your instructor during the first week of classes. You can also purchase your books and supplies at other vendors online for lower prices.
  10. Join a club, learning community program to have a great college experience, increase your learning potential, make friends, network with peers, faculty and staff, and better prepare for the workforce or transfer to the university. Here are some awesome programs and resources:
    1. Laney Student Accessibility Services (SAS, formerly DSPS)
    2. Equal Opportunity Programs and Services/CARE/CalWORKs/NextUp
    3. Veterans Resource Center
    4. Umoja-Ubaka Learning Community (African American-centered program)
    5. Puente Program at Laney (Chicanx & Latinx-centered program)
    6. Asian Pacific American Student Success (APASS)
    7. Restoring our Communities (ROC Scholars, for formerly incarcerated students)
    8. Latinx Cultural Center
    9. Office of Student Activities (Clubs) and Associated Students of Laney College (Student Government)
  11. Later during the Fall/Spring Semester, schedule a counseling appointment to create a comprehensive Student Education Plan. Ambitious goals need meticulous planning. Meet with your counselor. We recommend scheduling online appointments via Zoom to make the most out of your academic planning appointments with counselors.