Welcome back from spring break. I know how busy you are, but we have so much to do before the school year ends.April is a busy month for seniors as they decide where to attend and for other students as they get ready for testing and other core college readiness efforts. In this newsletter, we provide April college readiness tips for freshmen through juniors and general tips for current seniors.
Remember, we are here to help you anytime.
1. Attend College Readiness Conferences. There are organizations in every state that have spring and summer workshops and conferences. In California, WACAC is May 20-22. It also has the IDEA conference, which addresses college access and success for under-represented students, is May 20. http://wacac.org/Resources/Documents/Conference/12-133%20WACAC%202013_FPP.pdf There are always scholarships available.
2. Summer Plans. Your students need to be busy this summer.
- There are many summer programs that recruit at-risk students. Most deadlines have passed but there are still many accepting applications. Please start collecting programs for next year. Some programs are due the end of April.
- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is holding free workshops around the country. The spring and summer schedule is here. http://www.hsf.net/workshops.aspx. Many workshops are in April. They also have Hispanic Youth Institutes that run several days. Their apps are also up. http://symposiums.hispanicyouth.org/. The LA workshop is June 18-20.
- Seniors-who got into top colleges should consider applying to USC’s amazing free college bridge program for all kids (Not USC only—all kids going to top four year colleges. The application is due April 26, 2013. http://www.uscrossier.org/pullias/research/projects/summertime/
- Push your students to consider going away to a program.
- If not, encourage them to volunteer, get an internship, or do something else significant this summer. Colleges want under-represented students to be active during their summers.
- There is no one comprehensive list. But here is a site that lists some programs.i. https://www.teenlife.com/ ii. http://www.usummer.com/
3. Standardized Test Readiness.
These tests make or break your students’ access to top colleges. With the tough competition for at-risk students, our students need to take the tests as prepared as possible. We need to push kids to see the importance of these tests.
- Many schools help connect kids with free or reduced test prep programs. Some bring providers in. Others link kids to programs in their communities. Programs exist. But help is not available for all.
- College Spring is a new service that provides links to free online services and free in –person programs. http://collegespring.org
- Varsity Tutors, a private tutoring company, just released free practice tests for the SAT, ACT, and AP tests along with questions of the day and free flashcards. http://www.varsitytutors.com/practice-tests
4. Standardized Testing Schedule Planning.
- Please encourage your students to take the SAT twice, the ACT twice, and SAT Subject Tests twice.
- Low-income students receive fee waivers to do so. Your counselor or administrator needs to order fee waivers. Make sure your counselor calls early to arrange for these waivers as they do not arrive quickly. Privileged kids take the tests several times.
- We recommend students take the ACT in April or June and then September or October
- We recommend students take the SAT in May or June and October or December.
- We recommend students take SAT Subject Tests in May or June and November as foreign languages offer their listening tests only in November.
- i. SAT FEE WAIVERS-http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/waivers/guidelines/sat
- ii. ACT FEE WAIVERS-http://www.act.org/aap/pdf/feewaiver.pdf
5. Standardized Testing Sign-Ups. The registration deadlines coming up are
- Standby only for April 13 ACT
- April 5 for May 4 SAT/Subject Tests
- May 3 for June 8 ACT
- May 7 for June 1 SAT/Subject Tests
6. College fairs and visits. Try to get a bus to take your kids to the free NACAC College Fairs.
- April 25 the date for the Greater Los Angeles fair. 9am-12 noon and 6pm -9 p.m.
- Check the dates for fairs in your area. http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/SpringNCF/Pages/default.aspx
- Have kids register so they can bring the bar code so colleges can immediately place them on their mailing lists.
- Give them a treasure hunt sheet to help them find colleges within their academic and interests range
- Take them to see colleges before they close in May or June. Contact the admissions office and arrange a special tour. Colleges used to provide busses. They rarely do anymore.
7. Seniors. No…we have not forgotten them.
- We are providing our tips for seniors who were admitted to four year universities, especially Cal States and UCs about what to do.
- For your top seniors, please help them find a summer bridge program. USC has Summertime for LAUSD seniors accepted to top four year colleges. http://www.usc.edu/dept/chepa/SummerTIME/student.php
- Please, please encourage them to fight financial packages that are top heavy in loans.
- Your students can still apply for scholarships. Help them find ones from their state representatives, city council people, school districts, and more.
- We are also providing a list of the UCS and their summer bridge programs.
i. Berkeley. http://summerbridge.berkeley.edu/index.php Deadline to apply: May 1.
ii. Merced. http://summerbridge.ucmerced.edu/program-overview/2013-brochure-and-application Deadline to apply: May 3.
iii. Santa Barbara. http://eop.sa.ucsb.edu/Home/STEP.aspx. Deadline to apply: June 1.
iv. Irvine. http://www.due.uci.edu/sss/bridge.html. Deadline to apply: June 3.
vi. Riverside. Not yet available. http://summerbridge.ucr.edu/
viii. UCLA. Summer program not yet available. Engineering & Diversity summer program. http://www.ceed.ucla.edu/programs/undergrad/bridge
- Make sure your school has submitted all necessary paperwork to colleges. For example, June is the deadline for schools to submit their ELC list for the UCS. Each public university system sends out newsletters and holds conferences. To sign up for the UC listserv, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Subscribe CAB-L” in the body of the email. You can do this for the Cal States and for other universities in your state.
- Help your students finalize summer and fall plans to focus on leadership and initiative. Encourage them to be busy this summer. Colleges want active and engaged students. Students should spend-at least 20 to 30 hours per week taking classes, working, volunteering, doing internships, and more. They should also take leadership roles this fall in and out of school and really push the initiative factor.
- Encourage students to make a resume. It should focus on leadership and initiative. Categories: Education, Activities, Work, Service, and more. Tips–Always start with most recent and work your way to the past. Use power verbs to begin each entry.
- Remind students to do all they can to prepare for fall standardized tests. There are three ACT and three SAT dates you can take this fall. Did you know there is Score Choice—so students take the tests as many times as possible and send out only scores they want? Did you know students can take the SAT twice? The ACT twice? SAT Subject Tests-3 per day-twice? Help them find free online prep programs. https://www.number2.com/. Encourage them to find free programs in their communities. They can buy an practice book for less than $20. NOTE: Make sure your counselors have enough waivers ordered for the fall and that students can access them for September and October registration deadlines.
- Help students develop a college list that matches their talents. They should have a range of schools that match their interests and abilities. Naviance is a great online system to help students. The Fiske Guide is great as is Unigo.com to help students learn about colleges. The College Access and Opportunity Guide is great for first generation and under-represented students. http://www.csopportunity.org/whatwedo/guidebook.aspx. Reminder: Students can apply to four Cal States (not undocumented kids), four UCs, and unlimited private colleges for free if they qualify for free or reduced lunch.
- Help students see colleges in action. Help them book fall trips and arrange interviews either here or there. They can plan to meet with professors, students, and other campus representatives that interest you. See if they can stay in a dorm and eat in the cafeteria. Many colleges fly under-represented students for free. Application deadlines start now and run through mid-fall. Email Dr. Joseph for the current list. We are updating it now for the 2012-2013 year. Students can also visit colleges virtually via e-campus tours (http://www.ecampustours.com/) and YOUniversity (http://www.youniversitytv.com/).
- Encourage your students to start writing their major essays their college applications. Tufts (http://admissions.tufts.edu/apply/essay-questions/past-essays/). Connecticut College (http://www.conncoll.edu/admission/essays-that-worked.htm), and Johns Hopkins (http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/essays.html) share essays that real admitted students wrote. Students should only write stories that are unique and interesting to read. They should plan to use essays more than once. Their essays should always be as specific and powerful as possible.
- Help them begin completing applications now and during the summer. CSU mentor (http://www.csumentor.edu/Planning/) allows kids to enter their grades and courses at any time in high school and that transfers to their application this fall. They can start working on the Common Application (http://commonapp.org) on August 1 when it goes online (USC is now on it).
- Insist students save all application, standardized test, financial aid, and scholarships passwords on their computers and phones. Even be willing to store them for them as kids lose these and they need them for every part of the application, financial aid, and enrollment process.
- Research major scholarships that are due. Posse is due in late June. Questbridge and other are due in the fall. Be willing to write powerful letters of recommendation early for these scholarships.
- Encourage undocumented students. Remind them that the full Dream Act goes into effect for CA students graduating in 2013. They can qualify for Cal Grants and must submit a Dream Act financial aid application next spring. But in the meantime, they can research other colleges that are friendly to undocumented students. Email Dr. Joseph for that list.
1. Help students with their state university applications. In California, the Cal State and UC applications came online October 1. Both must be submitted by November 30. The Cal States can be submitted October 1-November 30, while the UCs can be submitted November 1-30. Both applications have students self-report their course and grades, so they need access to their transcripts. Please help them with their application completion. Other public university systems are all online. Help students!!!
2. Encourage seniors to apply for EOP and other support programs. These programs provided amazing support for low-income students throughout the admissions, college readiness, and college survival process. The Cal States have a separate EOP application with several short responses and two required recommendations. As space is limited, have students apply as early as possible. http://www.csumentor.edu/AdmissionApp/eop_apply.asp
On the UC application, students just have to check that they want to be considered for EOP.
3. Inform students about college application fee waivers. Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch qualify for fee waivers for most college applications. The Cal States and UCs allow students to apply to four of their campuses for free. Private colleges accept NACAC or College Board fee waivers or will waive fees if counselors, teachers, or students request them for students. http://professionals.collegeboard.com/guidance/applications/fee-waivers
Undocumented students qualify for fee waivers for most colleges, except for the Cal States and public colleges in Arizona and some southern states.
4. Hold college application and college essay workshops before, during, and after school. Your students need help with their essays. These essays make them pop for college admissions officers who are desperate for your students. Make the essays requirements for English or hold workshops after school. Help them read great samples and see ways to use their essays more than once. They need to tell unique stories that grab reads from the first sentence. See our ten tips that we have attached with this email. Read the article about our approach in the New York Times. http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/nacac-essa/
5. Remind seniors of upcoming standardized tests. Yes, students can still take the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests. They can qualify for two fee waivers per test. Encourage them to keep trying as their scores usually go up.
SAT/SAT Subject Tests (http://sat.collegeboard.org/register/sat-dates)
- Nov 5 (Oct 9 registration). Listening part of foreign language tests offered.
- Dec 3 (Nov 8 registration)
- Jan 28 (Dec 30 registration)
ACT Tests (http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html)
- Oct 22 (Late and walk in registration)
- Dec 10 (Nov 4 registration)
6. Help students learn more about colleges by attending college and non-profit events in your area. Colleges are in your area in October. Find out where they are or take your students to a college fair. If your high school doesn’t have a college night, perhaps you can crash one at a local public high school in your area. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is holding free Steps for Success on Saturdays this fall in key states. http://www.hsf.net/workshops.aspx
7. Continue to encourage students to research colleges online. Colleges want your students. But students need to apply to match colleges. The Center for Student Opportunity (CSO) has a great guide that features colleges that welcome diverse students and free resources. http://www.csopportunity.org. You University offers great video tours of colleges. http://www.youniversitytv.com/ Take advantage of College Week Live. This free website offers amazing webinars and workshops for students applying to college. http://www.collegeweeklive.com/
8. Write great letters of recommendation. Please write recommendations that make your students pop. Follow our Into-Through-Beyond approach so that you can help colleges see why these students belong on their campuses. Give details about their academic performance if you’re a teacher. Highlight their leadership and initiative if you’re a counselor. If you can’t remember or just don’t know them, have them submit detailed brag sheets. These letters can make or break an admissions or scholarship decision for a first gen student. PLEASE WRITE YOUR LETTERS ONLINE!!!
9. Connect with current college students. Keep ongoing contact with your graduates. Ask these students to write tips for your students and post them around the classroom and college center.
10. A PLEA…Help homesick college freshmen. We send out students away, and in October they begin to get very homesick. Their parents often can’t visit them, and they are beginning to struggle, at times, with their workload. So please keep in touch with freshmen. Send them care packages. Or just FB message or text them. They need your ongoing support.Tweet
Fee Waivers for Transfer Applicants:
- Each public college system does fee waivers differently.
- In California, students who are low-income can receive apply for fee waivers directly on their applications. Fill in the family’s financial information where requested. Then on the submission page, request a fee waiver.
- If you qualify, you can apply to four Cal States and four UCs for free.
- AB540 students can use the waivers for the UCs but not for the Cal States.
- Students in community college EOPS programs automatically qualify. Other students most likely will qualify if they would have qualified as high school seniors.
- Each private college does fee waivers differently for transfer applicants. Your immigration status does not matter for most private college fee waivers. NACAC and College Board fee waivers do not work for transfer students.
- On the payment page of the Common Application or the school’s individual application, select Other Fee Waiver.
- Then follow these one of the three steps below in the order presented:
- submit a letter from your transfer/college advisor, or representative from a social service or community agency, stating that the fee would cause financial hardship to each campus. Contact each campus to see whether to submit this letter vie email or regular snail mail letter; or
- request a fee waiver by contacting the admissions office of each college to which you are applying to request a fee waiver form; or if all else fails,
- speak with an admissions officer at each college to explain your situation.
Introduction: Here are 15 tips for completing the UC’s newly revamped application system. Remember, while the UC application opened on October 1, you cannot submit your application until November 1-30.
But remember-this is a tough year for University of California (UC) admissions. More students than ever are applying, the November 30 application deadline for freshmen and transfers is fixed, and you need to make sure your application is correct and complete.
You only need to complete and submit one application for the 10 campus UC system. Unlike the CSU system, you get to submit your application to all the campuses you select at once. You also pay one total application fee (by number of campuses) to a centralized payment system.
Please let us know if you need help convincing your family of the value of letting you attend a UC, even one a few hours away from home.
1. Have a working email address: Create an email address if you don’t have one. Gmail and hotmail are free and easy to use. Your high school may provide you with an email as well. YOU MUST CHECK YOUR EMAIL OFTEN. The UC campuses will only communicate with you via email. Please save your user name and password.
2. Investigate how the UCs evaluate applications. The UCs look at several factors when evaluating applications: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/how-applications-reviewed/index.html Also see how each campus admits students: The UC campuses use different methods of reading and evaluating applications. Check the right side of this site to see how the UC campuses you are applying to evaluate applications. http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/california-residents/index.html
3. Collect high school and college transcripts: Get a copy of your high school and/or college transcripts. Make sure all your transcripts are correct as you need these transcripts to complete the UC application. Remember, the UCs use your self-reported grades to make admissions decisions.
4. Determine your UC eligibility- a. California (CA) residents-
Those applying as freshmen qualify for UC admissions if you will have completed your A-G courses with at least a 3.0 GPA (3.4 for non-residents) and no grade lower than a C- by the end of 12th grade. You must also take the required tests (see below in number 5). Here is a way to check your eligibility:
There are state-wide (top 12.5%), local (top 4% of a school), examination, and admissions by exception ways to qualify. Check to see if you qualify… http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/california-residents/index.html
Transfers need to check the academic requirements for transferring by checking whether you have 60 semester or 90 quarter transferrable units. You need to have completed the majority of the IGETC and major requirements for your campus.
b. Non CA residents
Out of state, international and home-schooled students must provide other materials. http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/other-applicants/index.htmlhttp://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/other-applicants/index.html
5. Make sure to have taken the required tests: The UCs require current 12th graders to take the SAT or ACT w/writing AND two SAT Subject Tests. The UCS will accept December test scores. They count your highest overall test date score.
6. Send your test scores to UC campuses. Send your SAT, SAT Subject Test, and ACT scores to only one UC campus. Then the UCs will send your scores to the other UC campuses to which you apply for free. Remember, the UCs only use your highest overall one-day test score.
7. Send other test scores: If you have taken AP tests, you must send your test scores to the UC campuses to which you apply. Contact the College Board to do this. http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/exgrd_rep.html. You must also sent IB, TOEFL, or IELTS scores.
8. Collect required and optional identification numbers. If you were designated eligible in the local context after 11th grade, include the 12-digit identification number that was included in your notification letter from UC. This is called your ELC ID number. Optional: Each K-12 student in California public schools is assigned an ID number. If it’s not printed on your transcript, ask your counselor or registrar.
9. Gather family personal and financial information: You will need your family’s educational backgrounds and income for the past two years if you want a fee waiver for the UC applications and want to be considered for each campus’ great support programs for low-income students.
10. Determine residency status: You need to know your residency status. Ask your parents or family members. You do not need a SSN number but you need to know how long you have been in the California as the UC system calculates your tuition based on how long you have lived and attended school in California. Remember, AB 540 student can get admitted to the UC system but you cannot qualify for formal financial aid.
11. Prepare to check interest in scholarships. The UC application allows you to select 16 scholarships to be considered for without completing any additional paperwork. Go through each category and apply for as many as 16 scholarships that fit your qualifications and background.
12. Collect information on all of your activities, jobs, honors, specialized programs, and non-A-G courses. The UCs look for special talents, achievements, and awards in particular fields-in and out school and academic and non-academic. The application provides room for 5 examples within each of the following six categories:
- Coursework Other Than A-G
- Educational Preparation Programs
- Volunteer & Community Service
- Work Experience
- Awards & Honors
- Extracurricular Activities
You need to provide the hours per week and weeks per year and provide short descriptions of each activity. Focus on your leadership and initiative. Prepare to enter 160 character or less descriptions for each item you list. Remember that working for your family, including childcare counts.
13. Draft the two mandated UC essays: The UCs require you to write two essays (totaling no more than exactly 1000 words) that you paste into the application. It only gives you 30 minutes on the actual pages so prepare your essays in advance. You can write the essays now and make sure you reveal unique information and qualities about you that are not evident elsewhere in your application. Be brave and describe who are really are as this is the only way the UCs can learn about your life and the powerful ways you will enrich their campuses. Some tips: http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/personal-statement/index.html
- Here are the UC prompts: “Respond to both prompts, using a maximum of 1,000 words total. You may allocate the word count as you wish. If you choose to respond to one prompt at greater length, we suggest your shorter answer be no less than 250 words.”
- You can no longer go over the 1000 word limit.
- Prompt #1 (freshman applicants): Describe the world you come from — for example, your family, community or school — and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.
- Prompt #1 (transfer applicants): What is your intended major? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had in the field — such as volunteer work, internships and employment, participation in student organizations and activities — and what you have gained from your involvement.
- Prompt #2 (all applicants): Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are
- Additional information. If you wish, you may use this space to tell us anything else you want us to know about you that you have not had the opportunity to describe elsewhere in the application (no more than 550 words)
14. Pay for applications via fee waivers, credit cards, or check and apply for specialized program for low-income students. Provide household size and income for 2009 and 2010: To qualify for application fee waivers and to be considered to special programs for low-income students, you need to provide your family’s household size and income for the past two years. You can get fee waivers for four UC campuses if you qualify. Additional campuses are $60 a piece.
15. Research Blue and Gold Plan: Most low-income students than ever are attending a UC campus because the UCs have the Blue and Gold Plan.. If your family makes less than $70,000 per year, you may qualify for the UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity, which covers the majority of your tuitions, fees, and living expenses. http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/paying-for-uc/financial-aid/grants/blue-gold/index.htmlTweet