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The Power of Partnership, Innovation and Learning

College Planning Guide

Ukiah High School Counseling

College Planning Handbook - Class of 2018

 

Evan Englar eenglar@uusd.net 
Shawn Garrity sgarrity@uusd.net
Angelina Gutierrez agutierrez@uusd.net
Ana Jacinto-Cawthon ajacinto@uusd.net 
Maricela Zamora mzamora@uusd.net

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

(clicking any link will take you to the corresponding section)

  1. FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A COLLEGE
  2. VISITING COLLEGE CAMPUSES
  3. COLLEGE FAIRS
  4. MAJORS
  5. TESTING
  6. FINANCIAL AID
  7. GRANTS
  8. CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT
  9. LOANS
  10. FILING THE FAFSA FORM
  11. DEFINITION OF NEED
  12. SCHOLARSHIPS
  13. AVERAGE COLLEGE COSTS IN CALIFORNIA
  14. FINANCIAL AID CHECKLIST
  15. GENERAL COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PROCESS
  16. REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSIONS
  17. TYPES OF ADMISSION
  18. WHEN TO APPLY
  19. HOW TO COMPLETE A COLLEGE APPLICATION
  20. SENIOR YEAR COURSES AND GRADES
  21. COMMUNITY COLLEGES
  22. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
  23. VOCATIONAL - TECHNICAL
  24. TRANSFER PROGRAM
  25. GUARANTEED ADMISSION PROGRAMS
  26. COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHECKLIST
  27. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
  28. “A-G” COURSES OFFERED AT UKIAH HIGH
  29. EXAM AND GPA REQUIREMENTS
  30. BLUE AND GOLD SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY PLAN
  31. HOUSING
  32. UC CAMPUS LOCATIONS AND INFORMATION
  33. CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY
  34. IMPACTED PROGRAMS
  35. MAP OF CSU CAMPUSES
  36. UC/CSU GPA CALCULATION
  37. PRIVATE COLLEGES
  38. GATHERING INFORMATION ABOUT PRIVATE COLLEGES
  39. HOW DO PRIVATE COLLEGES MAKE ADMISSION DECISIONS
  40. PERSONAL INTERVIEW
  41. HOUSING
  42. COSTS/FINANCIAL AID
  43. CHECKLIST FOR SENIORS APPLYING TO PRIVATE COLLEGES
  44. COLLEGE ESSAY/PERSONAL STATEMENT
  45. COUNSELOR RECOMMENDATION LETTERS
  46. SECONDARY SCHOOL REPORT
  47. TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRIVATE COLLEGES
  48. GAP YEAR
  49. THE APPEAL PROCESS
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A COLLEGE

 

Academics

  • The academic atmosphere and variety of courses studied should be considered when choosing a school. Making sure that school has your defined major is very important.

Atmosphere/Campus Culture

  • Colleges, just like any group of people working and living together, create their own atmosphere. Each college has a particular atmosphere or environment that affects the performance and satisfaction of each student there.

Cost

  • Obviously, a major factor to be considered is the cost of attending a college. The total cost for a year, as computed by the college financial aid office, includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Total costs range from $2,000 for a community college to $50,000 for a private school.
  • A good plan would be to choose several colleges, including one you can afford and several for which you need aid. Although financial aid may seem uncertain at times, limiting prospective colleges on a cost basis alone may exclude some excellent colleges from your list.

Housing and Student Services

  • Colleges range in the type of housing they provide and the quality. Some require that you live on campus as a freshman. Some schools have a very comprehensive student service center that offers a wide variety of additional assistance to its student body.

Location

  • There are many reasons why the location of the college may be important to you. You should consider the expense of travel, the need for independence versus the desire to stay near your family and the effects of living in a particular climate. When considering the location of a college, think about the campus setting.
  • The physical environment of the college you go to may be important to you. Is the college in a large city, a “college town,” or a rural area?

Size

  • Colleges range in size from 150 to 50,000 students. Small schools offer you more personal involvement, a community atmosphere, and small classes (from 5 to 50 students). Large schools tend to be more impersonal, allow you to be more anonymous, and offer class sizes of anywhere from 20 to 1000+ students. Size does make a difference.

Questions To Help You Evaluate Your College Preferences

  • What degree of academic challenge is best for you?
  • Why do you want an education? Why are you going to college?
  • How do you want to grow and change in the next few years? What kind of environment would stimulate or inhibit the growth you would like to see?
  • What interests do you want to pursue in college?
  • How would you enjoy living in a different part of the country?
  • What kinds of surroundings are essential to your wellbeing?
  • How would you feel about going to a college where the other students are quite different from you?
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VISITING COLLEGE CAMPUSES

 

Whenever returning, high school graduates are asked, "What one thing most helped you in deciding where to go to college?" they always give the same response: "Visiting the campuses.” All of them emphasize the importance of visiting the Admissions Office, taking a campus tour, and talking to both college officials and students in attendance. Why visit a campus?

  • No one should make a decision as important as where to attend college on the basis of pictures in a pretty booklet or someone else’s opinion.
  • Pictures always show the most beautiful spots on a campus. The job of a college representative is to sell a college, not criticize it. Only you can really decide which campuses “feel right” and “fit” you best, and will provide you with maximum opportunities for both personal and intellectual growth. Visit local colleges first Do not overlook the local colleges. Start with them to get experience in handling a college visit. Our local area provides you with the opportunity to see all four kinds of college campuses:

UC

UC Davis / UC Berkeley

CSU

Sonoma State / Humboldt State

PRIVATE

Stanford / Dominican / St. Mary's

COMMUNITY

Mendocino College / Santa Rosa Junior College

BUS./TECHNICAL

U.T.I. / Empire College

ART/DESIGN/CULINARY

Art Institutes / FIDM - San Francisco / Culinary Institute of America - St. Helena

 

→Can’t visit a college? Check online to see if they offer an online virtual tour or campus video! Plan your trips

  • Select several (six or seven) campuses you are thinking about attending. Diversify your college list – small and large campuses; public and private; non-selective and selective. Remember that you are just looking at colleges and that private colleges provide more financial aid, in general, than public colleges and universities provide.
  • Vacation - when you and your family are on a small trip, try and stop by a local college for a couple hours and check it out.
  • Contact the Admissions Offices, ask about tours, and set up specific times when you can talk to an Admissions Officer. If you know what your major will be, try to get an appointment with the Department Chair or someone in the Department Office. If you have the time, make plans to stay overnight in a campus dorm.
  • Check to see of the campus offers a shadow day or open house event.
  • Some campuses have visitation days scheduled. Contact individual campuses or check their web page. The guided campus tour is the ideal time to ask questions of your student guide to get a student perspective on the college environment. Review the questions below and select 5-7 that are most important to you.

Questions you should ask on a tour

  1. How hard do you have to work to be successful?
  2. Do professors teach most courses, or do graduate students do much of the teaching?
  3. What is the attitude of most professors toward students? Are they friendly? Accessible?
  4. Some colleges are doing a lot these days in the area of career counseling. How does this college stack up?
  5. Is there a Career Planning and Placement Center on campus? How many graduates does it help place?
  6. Does the school have adequate computer facilities?
  7. What percentage of graduates goes on to professional or graduate schools?
  8. What do students do on the weekends? Do many of them go home? Is the campus empty?
  9. What is the situation with regard to drinking and drugs?
  10. Are there good places to eat, aside from the official dining halls?
  11. How important are fraternities and sororities in campus life?
  12. For non-urban schools, ask about what the surrounding community is like.
  13. How are relations between residents and students?
  14. What's the transportation like between campus and town? This question is particularly important at colleges where freshmen are not permitted to have cars on campus.
  15. For urban schools, how safe is the neighborhood?
  16. What kinds of help are available such as academic, personal, or psychological help? How are personal problems handled?
  17. Always ask what students like most about the college. What they dislike most? Also ask, “What's wrong with this place?” as well as, “What's the greatest thing about this college?”
  18. Finally, what is the general attitude toward students by the college admissions officers, registrar, dorm managers, assistant deans, and academic advisers? Be sure to ask your guide what is true of this college.
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COLLEGE FAIRS

 

College fairs are another opportunity for students to learn more information about colleges. Mendocino College and Humboldt State have a college fair in the fall. Sonoma State has a large college fair in the spring, usually during the month of May. Windsor High School hosts a big college fair in September. Fairs can be overwhelming so prepare ahead of time by thinking of questions to ask the representatives. Here are five good questions to ask:

 

Question 1: How would you describe the student body’s personality? Each college campus has a personality, revealed through its student body. Of course, not everyone on campus has exactly the same personality, but a student body tends to value certain qualities. For example, some campuses are politically liberal; some are conservative. A student body might especially value the arts, or athletics or community service. This question helps you determine if you might fit in well among your potential classmates.

 

Question 2: How is this school distinctive? Each school has a unique story. In fact, most schools have many unique stories. Maybe you’ll learn about a newly developed internship program; maybe you’ll hear about an unusual curriculum or a special program for freshmen. Because college administrators can’t include every extraordinary opportunity in publications or on Web sites, this question is one of the best ways to learn about them. (Hint: If the counselor mentions a program or opportunity that interests you, make a note to follow up with an e-mail or a phone call to get more information.)

 

Question 3: How many students transfer to another school during or after their first year? This question offers a glimpse of how satisfied current students are. You obviously want to attend a school where your peers are generally happy. Sometimes a high transfer rate indicates that students aren’t finding what they thought they’d find at the school; sometimes a high transfer rate is related to a change in curriculum or financial aid. If the transfer rate is high, ask why and listen carefully to the response.

 

Question 4: How would you describe students’ relationships with professors? The counselor might tell you about opportunities for students to collaborate with professors on research. Or maybe she’ll mention that professors give out their home phone numbers so students can reach them outside of class and office hours. You’ll have a general idea about how accessible the professors are—an important part of your college experience.

 

Question 5: How do you award scholarships and financial aid? Colleges and universities have widely different policies about scholarships. Some schools require separate applications for scholarships; some simply award scholarships based on information in a student’s application. A university might offer scholarships for specific academic programs or for artistic or athletic talent. You need to know not only how to apply for these awards, but also which qualities the scholarship committees weigh most heavily. You also need to know how a college awards financial aid, which is based on your family’s need. Often, colleges and universities require you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). But a college might have an institutional form you must complete as well.

 

MAJORS

 

Majors indicate interests. Use online resources like www.cacareerzone.org to do an interest inventory that compares your interests with interests of individuals in a variety of occupations. From these interests, a major interest can be selected. There is no best major. Select a major that interests you and a major that will encourage you to finish your degree; additionally, select a degree that leads to a job that you think will be a satisfying job. Other interest websites that might be helpful include:

Undeclared: Still unsure of your major?? An undeclared major provides students 2 years to decide what they want to major in. Usually students focus on their general education requirements to explore options during this time. Most undeclared students have to declare a major by their junior year.

 

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TESTING

 

OUR CEEB CODE AT UHS IS: 053580

WHICH COLLEGE ADMISSION TEST SHOULD I TAKE? ACT or SAT?

Reasoning

  • Most universities and private colleges require either the ACT (American College Test) or the SAT Reasoning Test. Because research indicates that many students perform quite differently when they take both the ACT and SAT Reasoning Test, it may benefit you to take both tests. The option is yours, to take one or both, as colleges typically utilize the higher of the two scores for admission and scholarship purposes.
  • Remember, there is never a penalty for taking a test early or taking one over, so do what best prepares you to take hold of your future. It is important to remember that an entrance test score is only one piece of information a college looks at when considering your application-your grade point average, number and content of college preparatory courses completed, school and community activities, and any work experience (if applicable) will also be considered.
  • Community Colleges do not require either the ACT or SAT for admissions. You may be required to take placement tests before you register for your classes.

SAT Reasoning (Scholastic Assessment Test) - The SAT Reasoning Test is a college admissions test comprised of a Evidence Based Reading & Writing, Math and Essay section. Students may register online. The test is administered at various sites off campus several times during the year and must be taken by December of senior year. Several CSU’s will not accept scores after the November test date. For early decision/early action applications, tests must be completed by October of your senior year. www.sat.org/register

ACT  (American College Test) - The ACT is a college admissions test that tests English, mathematics, natural sciences, and social studies. Most colleges will accept either the ACT or SAT and will accept the test with the highest score. Typically, college applicants must complete tests by December of senior year. www.actstudent.org/start

SAT Subject Tests - SAT subject tests are recommended for admission in addition to the SAT or ACT by many private universities and the University of California system. The student selects subject areas to be tested. For private schools, please check each schools website to find out if they require subject tests. Also, no matter public or private, check the schools major recommendations. Some majors recommend a subject test that relates to their major. It could help with your admission. www.sat.org/register

AP - Advanced Placement - AP tests are placement tests taken after completing a college level course while in high school. Universities grant either advanced placement and/or credit with qualifying score. Tests are administered in May to students completing appropriate courses. www.sat.org

EAP- Early Assessment Program - The Early Assessment Program was established to provide opportunities for students to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics in their junior year of high school, and to facilitate opportunities for them to improve their skills during their senior year. The test is administered on the State exam their junior year. They will be scored as Ready, Conditional or Not Ready in Math and English. With a score of Ready, the student will not be required to take an assessment exam upon entering the CSU or select Community Colleges. See your counselor to find out what you should do with a score of Conditional or Not Ready. www.calstate.edu/eap

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language - TOFEL is a college admission/placement test to evaluate English proficiency of students whose native language is not English. It does not replace the SAT or ACT. Take it in the spring of junior year or fall of senior year if it is required. The cost is $110.00. 

 

FINANCIAL AID**

 

**Please make sure we have your Social Security Number in our computer system by fall of your senior year. If you do, we will be able to electronically file your Cal Grant application for you. Without it, you will be required to file an application on your own.

 

Financial aid is available to help meet college expenses including tuition, fees, books, food, housing, and transportation. It is important for all students who plan on post-secondary education (community college, four-year college, or vocational school) to explore financial aid options. You must apply for financial aid by filing a FAFSA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is used by post-secondary institutions to determine your eligibility for financial aid and by the state and federal government for grants. This is the primary financial aid application for both public and private universities and may qualify you for the various types of aid listed below.

 

Private Universities may require forms in addition to the FAFSA including the CSS Profile application.

 

Financial aid is available in several different forms. Gift aid includes grants and scholarships that do not have to be repaid. Self-help aid includes Federal Work-Study programs as well as loans that must be repaid.

 

GRANTS

 

CAL Grants - Cal Grants are awarded to students who will be attending California community colleges, four year colleges, or vocational schools. To qualify for a Cal Grant, a student must be a citizen of the United States, a permanent resident or an eligible non-citizen. Students selected for Cal Grants must meet the scholastic criterion (GPA earned in 10th and 11th grades) and meet the demonstrated family financial need criterion.

 

Federal Pell Grant Pell Grants -These are awards to help undergraduates who demonstrate financial need pay for their education after high school. For many students, these grants provide a foundation of financial aid, to which aid from other federal and non-Federal sources may be added. To apply for a Pell Grant, you simply check "yes" to the appropriate question on your FAFSA. Your financial information is then automatically forwarded to the Pell Grant Program and the institutions that you list in the spaces provided on the form. The college financial aid office determines the size of the award.

 

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) - SEOG are awarded to undergraduate students having the greatest financial need. Priority is given to Pell Grant recipients. As with other grants, it does not have to be paid back.

 

CALIFORNIA DREAM ACT

UNDOCUMENTED STUDENT FINANCIAL AID

 

The California Dream Act - There are 3 California laws that make the dream of going to college possible for AB 540 students (Dreamers/Undocumented Students). The California Dream Act offers AB540 students the opportunity to apply for and receive several types of financial aid such as: Board of Governors Fee Waivers, State financial aid like Cal Grants and Chafee Grants, Assistance from EOPS, CARE and Cal works, and Privately-Funded Scholarships. Students can access the Financial Aid Dream Act application at: http://www.csac.ca.gov/dream_act.asp .

 

Submit the Financial Aid Dream Act application as soon as possible, on or after October 1st –March 2nd.

 

For privately-funded scholarships, visit the Scholarship Department at each campus of interest or meet with your counselor for additional resources and lists of scholarships for AB540 students.

 

In order to qualify for AB 540 a student must:

  • Have attended a high school in California for 3 years or more.
  • Have graduated from a California high school or received their equivalent GED.
  • File an affidavit with the public state college or university stating that he or she will file an application to obtain legal permanent residency as soon as he or she is eligible.
LOANS

 

Federal Perkins Loan Program - The Perkins Loan is a fixed low-interest loan to help you pay for your education after high school. These loans are made through a school's financial aid office. Preference is given to students with exceptional need. Repayment begins after graduation (or ending college) and continues for 10 years.

 

Federal Stafford Loan - A Stafford Loan is a variable-interest loan, capped at 8.25%, made to you by a lender such as bank, credit union, or savings and loan association to help you pay for your education after high school. Loans are available in both subsidized and unsubsidized arrangements. The college will determine whether you are eligible for a Pell Grant before you can receive a Stafford loan. You can get a Stafford loan application from any college.

 

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loans) - PLUS loans are for parent borrowers and are not need based. PLUS loans provide additional funds for educational purposes. They are variable interest rates, capped at 9%. PLUS loans are made by a bank, credit union, or savings and loan association through a process similar to Stafford loans. Parents may borrow up to the cost of attendance. Repayment begins 60 days after final disbursement.

 

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FILING THE FAFSA FORM

 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) ** - is required by both public and private Universities and colleges before scholarships and / or financial aid is awarded. → Students will file this application during their senior year. For more information about the FAFSA and instructions, click here: FAFSA

FAFSA Forecaster - This is a financial aid estimator that you can use before officially applying for financial aid during your senior year.  

 

**The FAFSA is a free application. If you are on a site that is requiring a fee, redirect your browser to www.fafsa.gov. Do NOT use www (dot) fafsa (dot) com

  • The priority filing window for California is October 1 - March 2, 2017. Some private and out of state college have an earlier, priority deadline. Check individual college websites.
  • In order to file the FAFSA, both students and parents must have a pin number to use as your signature. Pin numbers must be requested on the federal student aid website at www.pin.ed.gov and take up to 5 business days to process.
  • Within four weeks of filing by mail and a few days after filing online, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor. The SAR will list the student’s expected family contribution, or EFC. The SAR will also be sent to the colleges you indicated on the FAFSA.
  • A standard formula is used to calculate the EFC, based on the information the student provides on the FAFSA.
  • The colleges will use the EFC to determine if you will be offered grants, loans, and/or work-study program.
  • The earlier you file a FAFSA, the more likely you are to hear from the Commission early. Since most colleges have a May 1 deadline for intention to register, it is to your advantage to know as soon as possible about financial aid so that you can make an informed decision regarding which college you will attend.
DEFINITION OF NEED

 

Simply defined, financial need is the difference between what it will cost a student to attend a college and the amount the family can contribute toward the student’s education as determined by the financial aid office. The important point to remember is that financial need will usually increase as college costs increase. The family’s income, assets, debts, family size, how many children they have in college and extenuating circumstances are all taken into consideration in determining financial need. Parents with special or unusual circumstances may wish to discuss their situation with the financial aid officer at the colleges their son/daughter is interested in attending.

 

SCHOLARSHIPS

 

Scholarships are financial aid based on a variety of criteria. The planned area of study in college, academic excellence, ethnicity, and special activities in high school are some of the criteria that might qualify for scholarships. Additionally, parents’ employers, professional associations, or labor unions may sponsor scholarships. Fastweb.com and Scholarships.com are very comprehensive, free scholarship search services for students. In addition, check the scholarship board in the A-Building weekly for current information on scholarships.

 

The 3 Groups of Scholarships:

  • Local - These include our local community members, businesses and organizations that have scholarships available to our local students only. Each scholarship has a specific set of requirements and steps to follow.
  • Campus - Each college campus has their own specific scholarships available to students that are going to their college. Each campus has their own process for applying for these scholarships so make sure you are doing research to find out about this process. 
  • National - National scholarships are offered to anyone that meets the qualifications, no matter where you live or what college you are going to. These are usually the largest amounts of money, but also the most competitive because you are competing against people across the globe. Fastweb.com and Scholarships.com are also example of ways to receive national scholarships.

 

Private Colleges - Private colleges often require additional financial aid forms. Contact each college where you apply to find the forms required and deadlines for submitting all financial forms. The College Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid Profile is frequently required - http://profileonline.collegeboard.com

 

Per Year ESTIMATED California College Costs

Revised 02/2016

  

2015 – 2016

Community College

CSU

UC

Private/Independent

Registration Fees / Tuition*

$1,234 - $1,500

$6,274 - $9,000

$12,440 - $15,703

$30,741 - $48,690

Books and Supplies

$1,860

$1,860

$1,860

$1,860

Room and Board

$4,000 - $11,970

$9,108 - $16,745

$12,071-15,700

$7,800-14,150

On Campus Housing

Transportation

$1,486

$1,486

$1,486

$1,486

Personal Expenses

$1,392

$1,392

$1,392

$1,392

Total Expenses

$10,373- $18,208

$20,120 - $30,483

$29,049 - $36,141

$43,009- $67,578

*Registration fees and tuition are based on Full-time enrollment. Fees and tuition are subject to change without advance notice.

 

FINANCIAL AID CHECKLIST

 

If you think you need aid to continue your education, your chances of getting it are best if you apply in the right way at the right time. (Helpful tip: Create an email address you will only use for college services. Filing your FAFSA, college applications etc. That way you know anything in that email inbox or SPAM folder is important and you won’t miss anything. (example - johnsmithcollege@yahoo.com)

 

Ask for information

Look up financial aid opportunities and application procedures online for each college on your list. Generally, the financial aid office at your college is the best source of financial aid available. For help, you may visit your counselor. Begin the research process in the fall.

 

File all required financial aid forms

The form currently used is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) of the College Scholarship Service. You can obtain this form online at www.fafsa.gov. The form should not be filed until after October 1 of your senior year. Be sure to attend the financial aid workshop at Ukiah High in September, 2016 for information on how to fill out the FAFSA.

Some colleges require additional financial aid forms. Complete the forms as early as possible and return them to the college by their specified deadline.

 

File completed FAFSA after October 1, 2016 and by March 2, 2017

(Many private schools have an earlier deadline of Feb. 1st)

  • Apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov at least four weeks before the earliest financial aid deadline set by the colleges or state scholarship or grant programs to which you are applying (but not before January 1). Carefully follow the instructions for filling out the form. Make sure that your answers are complete and correct.
  • DO NOT WAIT for current income taxes to be filed. Meet the priority deadline using estimated figures from the previous year if you must to be considered for all financial aid programs. You may change figures on the SAR (see below) to more accurately reflect your financial status.
  • On the FAFSA, you may list a limited number of colleges to receive your financial information. If you are applying to more than the FAFSA allows, you must file the initial FAFSA listing only some of your colleges. Once you receive the SAR (see next bullet), change the colleges listed to the remaining colleges on your list (almost as if you are making a correction). Repeat this process until all colleges have received your information to be considered for financial aid. 

Review your SAR (Student Aid Report)

Make sure this isn’t in your SPAM folder. Once you file your FAFSA, you will receive an electronic copy of your Student Aid Report. This is a summary of the financial information you reported and includes your Expected Family Contribution or EFC. Colleges you list on your FAFSA will also receive a copy of your SAR and will use the information, including your EFC, to determine a financial award package. It is extremely important that information reported be accurate. Review your SAR carefully and file any necessary changes or corrections immediately.

 

Research Scholarships

In additional to the FAFSA and other financial aid applications, there are many scholarships available to help students pay for college. Research scholarships in the College and Career Center and online to find those you may qualify for. In addition, research the colleges you apply to for scholarships and follow the application procedures.

 

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GENERAL COLLEGE ADMISSION PROCESS

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSIONS

 

Since admissions policies vary, you must check with each college to make sure you meet all requirements. A combination of the following factors is required for admission consideration:

  • Entrance Tests (SAT or ACT)
  • Grade Point Average (GPA) (weighted or unweighted depending on the university)
  • Completion of specific college preparatory courses may be required at some institutions
  • Letters of recommendation (optional at some institutions, required at others)
  • Personal interview may be required by some institutions
  • Samples of previous work; e.g., portfolios or tapes may be required for students interested in art, music, or dance, where performance skill may be a criteria for admission
  • Personal Statement or Essay
TYPES OF ADMISSION

 

Standard Admission - Application and supporting documents must be submitted by a set date in the senior year. The dates vary from November 30 through March 15. The college then takes action on all the applications and notifies all students of its decision at the same time.

 

Early Decision - This program is for students who select a particular college as a definite first choice. The application, as well as all supporting documents, must be submitted early, usually in November. The college will then take action and notify you, usually in December, whether you have been accepted or deferred to the standard admission review period. If accepted, you are under contract to attend that institution and must withdraw all other applications. Students who need financial aid should give careful consideration to applying for Early Decisions because financial aid might be affected. Typically, you may only apply to one university using the early decision application.

 

Early Action/Single Choice Early Action/Restrictive Early Action - This program is similar to Early Decision but you do not have to commit yourself until the reply date in May. The ‘single-choice’ or ‘restrictive’ early action programs stipulate that you may only apply to one college through early action. You may continue to apply to other colleges through regular admission process and wait until all offers arrive before sending in your intent to enroll in May. Also, with early action, the college can refuse admissions as well as defer or accept. Check with individual schools for their policy.

 

Rolling Admission - The many state universities and some private schools that use this program act on your application as soon as the file is complete. They notify you of the admissions decision within weeks of receiving the complete application. Schools with a rolling admissions system continue to accept students until they reach capacity enrollment.

 

WHEN TO APPLY
  • Most application deadlines will be in the first semester of your senior year in high school. The University of California accepts applications only in the month of November, with the online application opening on August 1st. The California State University application will be available for students to submit online during the months of October and November. Most other institutions recommend that you file your application during the months between November and January for admission in September of the following year.
  • Plan to take any required tests by December of your senior year. Some colleges require the earlier test dates. Check your individual college websites for deadlines.
  • Familiarize yourself with the application deadlines for each institution so that test scores and transcripts can be secured and sent before stated deadlines.
  • File early for financial aid, well in advance of stated deadlines.
  • File your admission application early, especially if you know that the major of your choice has few openings.
HOW TO COMPLETE A COLLEGE APPLICATION

 

Before you start filling out college applications, you should have:

  • Visited the campuses of as many as possible of the colleges you're considering.
  • Narrowed your list of schools to which you are going to apply to six to eight. The cost to apply to each college averages around $50-$70 each, so narrowing the number of colleges to those you are really interested in attending is cost effective and saves you unneeded work. (Some college may offer an application fee waiver based on financial need)
  • Copy the application for practice and as a work copy. Read the application directions carefully before you begin to fill it out.
  • Make sure your SAT and ACT scores are sent by the testing company to each college where you apply. If you are uncertain, check with the college board (SAT) or (ACT) to verify your requests.
  • Contact teachers/counselors at least THREE weeks in advance to ensure that letters of recommendation will be submitted before stated deadlines.
  • Speak With your counselor about the Secondary School Report at least THREE weeks before the required deadline if your college requires a Secondary School Report or Counselor Recommendation.
  • Protect yourself - For online applications, print a copy of the application as well as the submission verification with date and time.
SENIOR YEAR COURSES AND GRADES

 

When filling out your applications you will report senior year courses in progress. List both Ukiah High School and any planned community college classes. If you drop a class or earn a “D” or ”F” grade during your senior year, you must report this in writing to all colleges that you have applied to immediately. Also, keep in mind that when you are admitted, the admission is typically PROVISIONAL.

 

If your senior year grades are unacceptable to the colleges you were admitted to or you change classes, YOUR ADMISSION CAN BE REVOKED BY THE SCHOOL.

 

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

 

A good choice if....

  • You wish for an excellent value in education. The community college offers quality education at a low cost.
  • You plan to complete a four-year college program (Bachelor's Degree) by spending your first two years at a community college and then transferring to a four-year college/university as a junior.
  • You wish to attend college for one or two years to learn job skills and receive training necessary to enter the job market.
  • You are not sure of the major your wish to pursue and want to explore various subject areas.
  • You wish to begin your college career while remaining in your home community.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS
 
Minimum requirement is any one of the following:
  • High school diploma or 18 years of age
  • Successful completion of the California High School Proficiency Examination, or General Educational Development Examination (GED) with an overall average of 55 and no score below 50.
Application
  • Applications are available online at each community college website or at www.cccco.edu There is no application fee. You should research local community college programs to find the best fit.
  • Placement Tests - English, math, and sometimes science placement tests are required and administered free of charge by the community college of your choice. Check the placement test schedule online.
Expenses
  • Basic fee of approximately $40 includes health, student activities, and campus center use fee. Students paid $46 per unit in 2015-2016
  • Costs of books and supplies vary depending upon unit load and specific class and program requirements. Some community colleges charge a parking fee.
 
VOCATIONAL - TECHNICAL

 

Career programs, also referred to as vocational, occupational, or technical programs, prepare students with entry-level and upgraded job skills, and training necessary for employment. Programs range in length from one semester to two years. Units earned may be applied toward the Associate Degree. Students who successfully complete these programs will be awarded a certificate of achievement. The community colleges in the area offer different career programs, so consult the brochures in the College/Career Center or the Guidance offices for the different programs.

 

TRANSFER PROGRAM
  • All community colleges offer a full range of academic courses that enable a student to prepare for a transfer to a four-year college or university. If you are a "transfer" student and plan carefully, you may enter the four-year university as a junior after two years of community college work.
  • Your community college counselor will help you organize a program that will be acceptable by the four- year college, so that you will not lose any credits when you transfer. Request a transfer planning appointment with a counselor after successful completion of your first year of study.
  • Use www.assist.org to help you select the proper courses at the community college that will meet the specific GED (General Education) requirements for your major at the university to which you plan to transfer.
GUARANTEED ADMISSION PROGRAMS

 

Guaranteed Admission is more commonly referred to as a Transfer Admission Agreement or Transfer Admission Guarantee program. A TAA/TAG is a contractual agreement between you, the community college you attend, and a four-year college or university. Students who meet and maintain stated admission and major requirements may apply for admission using a guaranteed admission program. If they qualify, they may be guaranteed a transfer spot to a specific four-year college or university after successful completion of their second year at the community college. Students planning to apply using a TAA/TAG should meet with a counselor or academic advisor as early as possible to develop an education plan and select appropriate coursework.

 

For more information regarding TAA/TAG programs, you may research either on the community college websites or the four-year university you are planning to transfer to.

 

COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHECKLIST

 

If you are planning to transfer to a four-year university or college, you should be sure to discuss your plans with your community college counselor. Before you enter community college, you are strongly encouraged to sign up for a summer orientation class. This checklist is designed to help seniors realize what must be done in order to apply for admission to a California Community College.

January - April

  • Apply early for registration priority. Community colleges prefer online applications. See your counselor for help. Click here for the website for California Community Colleges
  • Applications for some special programs are needed before April so check the college catalog for detailed information.
  • Check the college catalog for any placement examinations in English or Math. **At Mendocino College, if you took Algebra II in high school and passed with a C or higher, you are not required to take the Math Assessment. Also, check your EAP test scores, these may also allow you to skip the Assessment testing at the Community College.
  • Attend a new student and parent orientation at your community college in May. Events announced in the UHS school bulletin and online. We may do this on campus during STAR testing your senior year for your convenience. Check with your counselor.
  • Be sure to sign up for a summer college orientation class as instructed in the application materials. Some colleges have scheduled special new high school student orientations in May.
  • Ask the High School Registrar to mail your final transcript to the college.
  • You will be given a date to register for classes. 
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

 

Subject Requirements

The University of California selects applicants from the top twelve percent of California's high school graduates. Admission is based on the student’s grade point average in a specific sequence of high school courses called the “a-g” subjects, his/her score on the ACT or SAT Reasoning, and his/her score on two Subject Exams.

 

The “a-g GPA” is based on work in the specified courses completed in the 10, 11, and 12 grades. Only subjects with a C grade or better can be counted as successful completion, however, a ‘D’ grade is still counted in your GPA calculation unless you repeat the course. See your counselor if you earn a “D” in a required course before you make-up that course.

 

Application Window for UC’s:

AUGUST 1st - NOVEMBER 30th - A student is required to complete 15 “a-g” subjects as described below. At least 11 of the required units must be completed by the end of the junior year of high school.

  1. Social Studies: Two years required. One year of U. S. History or one semester of U. S. History and one semester of Civics or American Government. In addition, applicants are required to take one year of World History, Cultures and Geography.
  2. English: Four years of college preparatory English required. Only two semesters of English taken in the 9th grade can be used to meet this requirement.
  3. Mathematics: Three years required; four recommended. Algebra, Geometry, and advanced Algebra are required. Math courses taken in the 7th and 8th grades may be used to fulfill part of this requirement if the high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.
  4. Laboratory Science: Two years required, three recommended. Applicants are required to complete two years of laboratory science, such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
  5. Language other than English: 2 years required in the same language, 3 years recommended. Courses in language other than English taken in the seventh and eighth grades may be used to fulfill part of this requirement if the high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.
  6. Visual & Performing Arts: One year required in visual & performing arts (art, music, drama.) g. College Prep Elective: One year required. Must be chosen from the following areas: History, English, advanced Mathematics, Laboratory Science, Foreign Language, Social Science, and Visual and Performing Arts.
“A - G” COURSES OFFERED AT UKIAH HIGH SCHOOL

 

The following website will assist you in finding “a – g” courses offered at Ukiah High School that meet requirements for admission to the University of California. www.ucop.edu/doorways Click on the first link un “A-G Course Lists” Type “Ukiah High School” in the search box Click on the Ukiah high School Link that says “View Course List” to view the list of approved a-g courses offered at our school.

 

EXAM AND GPA REQUIREMENTS
  • SAT or ACT (will accept the higher of the two exams if you take both)
  • The UC’s have a scholarship requirement that is a combination of your GPA in the “a –g” courses and a total test score that you must earn to be eligible for UC admission.
  • Minimum GPA required is 3.0
  • See page 21 for Eligibility Calculation Sheet Eligibility Index Calculation equals: The University uses your highest SAT or ACT score from a single sitting. The total of all two exam components (Expository Reading and Writing + Math) equals your test score total. The Essay is scored separately (Subject tests are no longer required)
  • If your GPA is below a 3.0 in the required “a-g” subjects, you are not UC eligible.
  • The UC system assigns extra points to certified honors level and AP courses taken in grades 10 and 11 (A = 5 points; B = 4; C = 3). ‘D’ grades in honors or AP courses do not earn an extra grade point. All courses must be college prep courses in the “a-g” subjects. Some UC campuses have a limit on the number extra points that will be counted in determining GPA.
SENIOR YEAR COURSES AND GRADES
When filling out the UC application you will report all senior courses in progress. If you drop a class or earn a “D” or ”F” grade during your senior year, you must report this in writing to all colleges that you have applied to immediately. Also, keep in mind that when you are admitted, you are expected to maintain the same grades you earned at the time you applied. For UC’s if your unweighted GPA falls below a 3.0 in your senior year, YOU MAY BE UNADMITTED.
 
BLUE & GOLD SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY PLAN

 

UC's Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will ensure that you will not have to pay UC’s system-wide tuition and fees out of your own pocket if you are a California resident whose total family income is less than $80,000 a year and you qualify for financial aid. You must file a FAFSA to be eligible.

 

HOUSING
  • The University has a variety of on-campus housing options for undergraduates, including housing for student families. There is great demand for student housing at all campuses, so you should investigate other housing options such as off-campus residence halls, privately owned apartments and houses for rent in the community. Some fraternities and sororities provide housing for members, but are not usually available to freshmen and other new students.
  • If you have the opportunity to live in a residence hall, it will be an important part of your experience at the University. The residence hall is not only a place to eat and sleep, it is a home-away-from-home where you will learn a lot about yourself and others. Each housing complex is a unique community where living is challenging, fun, and educational. Professional staff and student resident advisors are available to help you adjust to life on campus.
  • All campuses guarantee on-campus housing to new freshmen that meet all application and contract deadlines and campus-specific requirements. Housing is in short supply at some campuses, but most reserve a certain percentage of space for new students. Some campuses use a random drawing to assign space; others do it on a first-come, first-served basis as applications are received. You usually must submit your housing application before you know whether you have been accepted.
 
UC CAMPUS LOCATIONS AND INFORMATION

 

There are ten campuses of the University of California including:

  • Berkeley
  • Davis
  • Irvine
  • Los Angeles
  • Merced
  • Riverside
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco Medical Center**
  • Santa Barbara
  • and Santa Cruz
**UC San Francisco is a graduate school only. It does not offer undergraduate programs.
 

Internet addresses for the ten campuses are listed below. A full range of student support services is provided at each campus.

For more detailed information about the University of California, refer to the UC website at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions

 

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY

 

THE APPLICATION WINDOW FOR CSUs IS OCTOBER 1st - NOVEMBER 30th

 

SUBJECT REQUIREMENTS - The California State University (CSU) selects applicants from the upper one-third of California's high school graduates. To qualify for regular admission as a first-time freshman you must:

(a.) Graduate from high school and

(b.) Earn a C or better in each of the college preparatory subject requirements, and

(c.) Qualify on the eligibility index

 

Fifteen courses are required in the subject areas as listed below. All courses must have a grade of a C or better. See your counselor if you earn a “D” in a required course before you make-up that course.

  • English - 4 courses
  • Mathematics - 3 courses (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II)
  • Science with Laboratory - 2 courses (1 biological and 1 physical)
  • Modern Language - 2 courses (must be in the same language)
  • World History - 1 course
  • S. History - 1 course (1 year U.S. History or U.S. History and U.S. Government)
  • Visual and Performing Arts - 1 course
  • Approved Electives - 1 course Students with competency in a language other than English may qualify for a waiver.

Consult with your school counselor or any CSU campus admissions office for further information. Courses used to meet subject requirements for CSU admission must be on the approved “Courses to Meet Requirements for Admission to the University of California” (“a – g” Course List.)

 

For information about all campuses and registration: www.csumentor.edu

  • Important Note: Students who complete these requirements with a 3.0 G.P.A or higher are guaranteed admission to your local CSU Campus (At UHS we are lucky to have two campuses consider us their local students, Sonoma State and Humboldt State) It’s a guarantee folks.

 

IMPACTED PROGRAMS

 

In the California State Universities (CSU), an undergraduate program or campus can be designated as impacted when the number of applications received in the first month of the filing period is expected to be larger than the number of spaces available. In addition, several majors are impacted across the system. Impacted programs or campuses are authorized to use supplementary admission criteria in screening applicants for admission. Consideration for admission to any impacted program is contingent on first meeting the regular admission requirements for the CSU. Students interested in impacted programs or impacted campuses must apply for admission during the month of October or November.

 

CSU CAMPUS APPLICATION, INFORMATION, AND RESOURCES

Check out the website for the entire California State University: www.calstate.edu

CSU Planning and Application www.csumentor.edu

CSU Impacted Programs (updated 2012 -2013): http://www.calstate.edu/sas/impactioninfo.shtml

 

MAP OF CSU CAMPUSES/ELIGIBILITY INDEX TABLE
 
California Eligibility Index Table
3.0 and above qualifies with any score
GPA ACT Score SAT Reasoning Score
2.99 10 510
2.95 11 540
2.90 12 580
2.85 13 620
2.80 14 660
2.75 15 700
2.70 16 740
2.65 17 780
2.60 18 820
2.55 19 860
2.50 20 900
2.45 21 940
2.40 22 980
2.35 23 1020
2.30 24 1060
2.25 25 1100
2.20 26 1140
2.15 27 1180
2.10 28 1220
2.05 29 1260
2.00 30 1300
Below 2.0 does not qualify
 

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UC/CSU GPA CALCULATION

 

There are many different ways to calculate grade point average. For example, the GPA for UC eligibility is the average of grades earned in the required “a-g'׳' subjects completed in grades IQ- 12 with extra points for up to four units of UC-certified honors coursework.

The UC campuses use a variety of other GPAs in the admission process - all including grades earned in ׳a-g” subjects completed in grades 10 and 11, some capped at 4.00, some uncapped, some with a limit on the number of extra points allowed for UC-certified honors, and some with no limit on honors points. Grades earned in the ninth grade are not used in these GPAs.

The same standards are used for ail students within the applicant pool at each campus.

  1. In column 1, fill In the number of semesters In which you earned the grade listed, Use college prep courses only In grades 10 and 11 (listed on transcript with a (P) In front of the course.) CHECK THE “A- G־ LIST IF UNSURE ("a-g" summer school courses count, Including the summer between 9tt and 1 grade and the summer after 11“1; 5 credits earned counts as 1 semester, 10 credits counts as 2 semesters)
  2. In column 2, multiply the number of semesters by the points per grade. (for example: A. 5 semesters x 4=20)
  3. Total both columns in the total lines
  4. Fill In the number of semesters of honors (H)/'AP level courses in grades 10 and 11 only.
  5. Copy the total listed in "total column 2"
  6. Total lines "column 1" and "column 2" for FINAL TOTAL
  7. Divide FINAL TOTAL by Total Column 1 and carry two decimal place
(1) Column 1 - Grade   (2) Column 2 - Weight  
A   x4  
B   x3  
C   x2  
D   x1  
F   x0  
(3) Total Column 1   Total Column 2  
       
 (4) (H)/AP total semesters        
 (5) Total column 2      
 (6) Final Total - (4) + (5)      
 (7) Final Total / Total Column 1      

    

The University of California will weight a maximum of eight honors/AP semesters when calculating the eligibility GPA. Competitive GPA's are calculated by some UC campuses and may include all honors/AP semester points.

 

PRIVATE COLLEGES

 

There are hundreds of private colleges and universities with a wide range of characteristics that make them attractive to students.

In searching for a private college, you should first decide on the college characteristics that are important to you and then begin seeing which colleges have these characteristics.

 

***See your counselor since we have visited many of these campuses and can offer some unique insight into them and what they are looking for.***

 

GATHERING INFORMATION ABOUT PRIVATE COLLEGES
  • Please speak with your counselor to find out if any of these colleges will be sending a representative to visit Ukiah high School. Students are encouraged to be aware of these college representatives for this is a valuable way to learn about these colleges and make a connection to the representative present.
  • College fairs in the area have representatives from many private colleges in attendance. Mendocino College and Humboldt State have a college fair in the fall. Sonoma State has a large college fair in the spring, usually during the month of May. Windsor High School has one in September.
  • Visit campuses to talk with admissions officers and college students to gain more information.
  • Visit the web sites for colleges. Many provide valuable information.
  • Talk with your Guidance Counselor.
  • Write for information from individual colleges.
  • Log on to www.aiccumentor.edu for more information about California private colleges and universities.
  • Use online tools (College Board, California Colleges.edu, Princeton Review) to research and compare colleges.
  • Talk to former Ukiahi students or friends that are attending college for the inside scoop. 
HOW DO PRIVATE COLLEGES MAKE ADMISSIONS DECISIONS?
  • Private colleges vary in terms of selectivity with some having highly selective admissions and others having relatively open admissions program. The key factors involved in admissions decisions are:
  • High School Courses: A strong, four-year program of college preparatory courses is recommended.
  • Grades: Colleges look carefully at the grades in academic subjects.
  • College Entrance Exams: The SAT, ACT and SAT Subject tests are used by many private colleges.
  • Letters of Recommendation - Most private colleges require letters of recommendation from teachers and other persons who know you well.
  • Other Factors - Leadership, athletics, music, art, drama, journalism, yearbook, alumni family, and community activities may also be used in making admissions decisions. The quality of the involvement is often more important than the number of activities.
PERSONAL INTERVIEW

 

A few highly selective colleges have a personal interview as part of their selection process. Realizing that many students live far away, the colleges often provide an applicant the opportunity to talk with an alumni interviewer who lives in the local community. If your college requires an interview, a college representative will contact you.

 

HOUSING

 

Some colleges provide housing for all new students, while other colleges have limited housing arrangements. You should read the information from your college carefully, so you will know about the housing opportunities at your campus and what procedure to follow in order to apply for Freshman Housing.

 

COSTS/FINANCIAL AID

 

Private colleges are more expensive than public colleges because the student pays the cost of tuition rather than being supported by public tax dollars. You should consider the cost carefully and apply for financial aid if there is a need in your family. If you are applying for financial aid from the private colleges there are additional steps that are necessary. Be sure to meet all deadlines. Contact the private college about the specific forms they require as well as their deadline for financial aid forms. They may require their own form as well as the following two:

  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the Federal Government’s form that is required by all colleges and universities. See page 11 for more information about the FAFSA. The application period for the FAFSA is between October 1 and March 2 of your senior year. www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • College Scholarship Service (CSS) Financial Aid Profile is frequently required. You can register on line or obtain an application for registering in the College/Career Center. It takes approximately six weeks from registering from the CSS Financial Aid Profile to getting the information to the colleges, so plan ahead. CSS profile can be found on www.collegeboard.com

**Please exercise caution when researching tuition at private schools. Much of the information you will read from them indicates that they offer a lot of financial aid to help with their higher cost of tuition. While this is true, it does not always paint the clearest picture. For example, most Private Colleges consider Loans as financial aid and they use loans as a way for students to pay their tuition. While loans are technically considered financial aid, most students are not planning on assuming loans and don’t consider them financial aid.

 

CHECKLIST FOR SENIORS APPLYING TO PRIVATE COLLEGES

 

This checklist is designed to help seniors realize what must be done in order to apply for admission to a private college or university.

Consider carefully what you are looking for in a college because private colleges vary considerably in terms of size, location, selectivity, cost, majors and housing arrangements.

  • ___Almost all colleges now have an online application. Create an account with the online application system. Remember to use an appropriate email address to correspond with colleges. Many colleges now accept the Common Online Application at www.commonapp.org. We strongly encourage you to use the Common App when possible. Other websites are used as well such as www.sendedu.com and more.
  • ___Begin your college essay early. A good essay requires editing and multiple revisions.
  • ___Submit your application prior to deadline; print or save the verification page.
  • ___Be sure that your college test scores from SAT and ACT are sent directly to your college by the testing company.
  • ___Most private colleges require letters of recommendation, so talk with teachers or counselors about writing a recommendation for you. Ask teachers or counselors at least 3-4 weeks in advance if they will write you a letter. Even though you may be applying to multiple colleges, you only need 2-3 recommenders.
  • ___Private colleges often require a form called “Secondary School Report or Counselor Recommendation.” When you sign up be sure to include your counselor on your Common App account. This process allows your counselor on your online profile so we can attach the “Secondary School Report” to your applications easily. Please notify your counselor three weeks before they are due by the private colleges. Refer to page 31 for details on this process and deadlines when information is due to counselor.
  • ___Check on costs of attending college, for you may want to apply for financial aid. Review financial aid deadlines carefully.
  • ___If you are applying for financial aid, contact the private college about the specific forms they require as well as their deadline for financial aid forms. Most require to be completed by February 1st. You may have to fill out the CSS Profile on the College board website.
  • ___Check on housing arrangements. Some colleges provide housing for all students while others have limited housing. Get your housing application in early.
  • ___You should hear from your college about admissions no later than mid-April.
  • ___You must let the college know by May 1st if you plan to attend.
  • ___Be sure to write a thank-you note and share your plans with anyone who helped you in this process, or wrote a recommendation for you.
  • ___Don’t forget to send your final transcript (from high school and community college if applicable) to the college you are attending. You can arrange this with our registrar in office A-6

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COLLEGE ESSAY / PERSONAL STATEMENT

 

PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
 
Ask yourself "how important is the essay for me?"
The importance of this varies depending on 3 things:
  1. Selectivity - The more selective the college, the more important the personal statement.
  2. How competitive are you for the college? The less competitive you are, the more important the personal statement.
  3. How much weight will the essay carry? It will be very important if you do not have an interview and/or letters of recommendations.
BASIC APPROACH
Step outside yourself and be reflective.
You should:
  • Be thoughtful and insightful.
  • Show your creative intelligence at work.
  • Show yourself as a person who is more than statistics (you have given statistical information in application).
  • Think carefully about how and why you have chosen to spend your time.
  • Be authentic so that you distinguish yourself from the other applicants.
  • Use this as an opportunity to explain gaps & or dips in your performance; however, do not say things like the teacher was unreasonable or didn't like me.
IMPORTANT QUALITIES TO DEMONSTRATE
You will not have all of these qualities, but try to demonstrate those that you do have.
  • Curiosity
  • Self discipline
  • Tenacity
  • Motivation
  • Complex nature
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Commitment to others
HELPFUL ADVICE
 
Advice from an admissions person who reads thousands of personal statements a year:
  • Write to actual prompt and read instructions.
  • Don't force one essay to fit all essays.
  • Write your own essay and write in your own voice.
  • Cast a cold eye on college essay books.
  • Don't mistake an accomplishment list with an essay.
  • Read aloud to people you trust to critique it. Ask which parts sound or don't sound like you.
  • Do not try to be wildly creative or funny. This is very risky and must be funny to the adult who is reading it. (Remember, your essay is one of thousands being read by that person.)
  • Avoid trite sentiments -- do not write a trite essay.
    • Examples of trite statements: "I want to leave this world a better place", "After watching my (person I knew) die of (fill in illness), I decided I wanted to be doctor", "Through sports I have learned the value of commitment."
  • Do not manufacture hardship. You can, however, talk about opportunities.
  • Don't be cute with fonts, emojis and formats. Your goal should be to make your essay as readable as possible.
  • If using an essay for more than one application, be very thorough with search and replace.
  • Visit the UC Personal Statement tutorial online at www.ucgateways.org & click on apply to college, then on UC Personal Statement.
  • Proofread and edit -- There are no reasons for errors!!! 
COUNSELOR RECOMMENDATION LETTERS

 

Many private and some out of state public colleges require students to submit recommendation letters with their application. There are two main types of recommendation letters. One is the teacher recommendation and it is up to you to select teachers to complete this form. The other is called the Secondary School Report and this form must be completed by your Guidance Counselor. In addition, private colleges may require a mid-year report. Follow these guidelines when requesting letters of recommendation.

 

SECONDARY SCHOOL REPORT**

 

**PLEASE NOTE: When we submit our “Secondary School Report”, we will be attaching a current transcript and letter of recommendation to it.**

 

Colleges usually want a report from a school official. This report is often called Secondary School Recommendation Form. Your Guidance Counselor will write your recommendation, so they will need information from you. We require that you complete the “Questions to Consider for Letters of Recommendation”. 

 

In addition, most private colleges require a Mid-Year Report or mid-year transcript so that they can see your first semester grades.

 

You are responsible for submitting your application online and ensuring that all components arrive at the college admissions office including official test scores, letters of recommendation, and transcripts.

  • Questions to Consider for Letters of Recommendation - The information you supply will provide some of the information needed to write a letter of recommendation for you. Once complete, please email your counselor a copy and provide a hard copy to them as well.
  • Resume - If you already have a resume, we would like a copy to help us highlight your strengths and accomplishments in your letter of recommendation.
  • Colleges and Deadlines - Either through email or in a folder with your other documents please provide us with a list of your colleges and their deadlines so your letters and transcripts are sent on time.
  • Transcripts - We will be attaching a transcript to the “Secondary School Report”. If you require a transcript in hard copy to be sent, please go to the registrar in office A Building
  • Mid-Year Reports - On your online profile make sure you indicate which colleges require a mid- year report or transcript.
TEACHER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PRIVATE COLLEGES

 

Most private and some out of state public colleges require one or two teacher recommendations in addition to the Counselor Recommendation. The following notes should help in that process. Do not send teacher recommendation letters to the UC or CSU colleges; they are not required and will be thrown away.

  • Choose TWO TEACHERS in core subject areas who know you well and ask them if they will write your letter of recommendation. Do not ask different teachers for different colleges.
  • These two teachers will write a letter of recommendation that will be used for every college to which you apply that requires a letter.
  • Once your teachers agree to write your letters, give the teachers 3-4 weeks’ notice before the application deadline to write the recommendation.
  • Ask teachers what they would like from you to make the process easier. Many teachers have their own questionnaire they want filled out. Most teachers will use the “Questions to Consider for Letters of Recommendation” Form.
  • Don’t forget to thank your recommenders.
  • Does the thought of taking a year off before starting college sound like a desirable and welcome choice for you? After thirteen years of school, you may need a break from your studies. What would you do? What do you like to do? What do you enjoy? Here are some suggestions:
  • Community Service
  • Volunteer Work
  • Foreign Exchange Program
  • Travel
  • Work
  • Internship
  • Postgraduate year
  • Explore career interests
 
GAP YEAR

 

If you decide to take a “gap year” before starting college, it is best to apply to college during your senior year of high school. After you receive an acceptance to the college, you can request to have the acceptance deferred for one year, if allowed. Some public colleges, such at the University of California campuses, will ask you to reapply. It is much easier to get letters of recommendation from teachers while you are a student at the high school. It is much more difficult to apply to college if you are in another country. However, with the Internet, it is easier to do now.

 

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
You may be tired of school You may decide not to further your education
You may want to do something to enhance your college application If you are in another country, it may be more difficult to apply to college
You will appreciate education more if you take a break You will not have the support of your Guidance Counselor to help you through the college process
  Your teachers may forget who you are for letters of recommendation

  

Websites

  • gapyear.com - Information on various programs around the world.
  • leapnow.org - Lifelong Education Alternatives & Programs.

Books

Foreign Exchange Programs

 

THE APPEAL PROCESS
 
MYTHS
  • If I tell the college how much I really want to go there, they’ll change their mind.
  • They must have made a mistake because I’m great!
  • Most people that appeal to a college get accepted.
FACTS
  • College admission is becoming increasingly more competitive, even to colleges not traditionally considered “competitive”.
  • Colleges have fine-tuned their application evaluation process and are confident in their system and evaluators.
  • College admission is unpredictable to all competitive universities.
  • If you apply to colleges with a 45% or lower acceptance rate, you can expect to receive some “we’re sorry” letters.
  • Less than 1% of appeal letters are granted.
THE PROCESS FOR APPEAL AT THE CSU OR UC SYSTEM
  • Receive decision from college.
  • Take time to grieve, be upset and cry if you need.
  • Talk to adult advisors about your frustration – Guidance Counselors, College and Career Advisor, Teachers.
  • DO NOT write a rash appeal letter. Think about all of your options and then if you feel you need to appeal, write a letter (if you are angry when you are writing, it will show).
  • Have one or two people read your appeal letter for feedback.
  • Some UC Colleges have an Appeal Cover sheet that you must complete.
  • Ask one teacher for a recommendation letter (academic teachers, school principal, a respected community member that is an alumnus of the college)
  • Complete a transcript request form with the school registrar.
  • Mail appeal letter, cover sheet (if required), transcript, and recommendation letter together.
  • DO NOT THROW AWAY OTHER OFFERS – FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE COLLEGE YOU WILL ATTEND IF YOUR APPEAL IS DENIED. MEET ALL COLLEGE DEADLINES.
  • The appeal process can take several months. Be patient.