10 Tips for Accepting, Paying for, and Preparing to Attend a UC 11

Here is our checklist. Read below for details on each item.

1. Meet All Deadlines!!!

2. Fulfill Academic Must-Dos.

3. Keep in constant communication with college.

4. Convince your parents to let you go.

5. Make sense of your financial aid package.

6.  Visit campuses and talk to students, professors, and teachers.

7. Accept your ONE campus by May 1 and pay a nonrefundable deposit of $100 (online or postmarked).

 8.  Participate in EOP and/or other support programs for low-income and under-represented students.

9. Apply or Accept and then attend summer transition/bridge programs: “I wish I had done this…”

10. Follow through on everything.


1. MEET ALL any deadlines!!!

May 1              Accept Campus and Pay Deposit. Complete Student Intent to Register and Pay Deposit or Arrange EOP Fee Deferral

May 1              Accept Financial Award Package.

May 1-July 1    Mail in all required financial documents. Deadline is set by each campus

May 1-July 1   Accept or apply for Summer Bridge/Transition Programs. Programs differ by campus

May 1-orientation. Take placement tests. UCs offer them at certain schools in your neighborhoods or you take them during orientation.

June 1              Complete Housing Application and Deposit

July 15             Send in official high school transcripts and new test scores

2. Fulfill Academic must dos:

1. Keep your senior year grades at a 3.0 with no grade lower than a C. Do not let senioritis take over.

2. Send in your final, official transcripts and any AP or other standardized test scores by July 15.

3. Take all required placement tests during orientation programs.

4. Notify the UC you’re accepting of any major changes, including

                                                        i.            If you dropped any courses which were listed on your application.

                                                      ii.            If you changed any courses which were listed on your application.

                                                    iii.            If you received any D or F grades, or if your senior year unweighted GPA will fall below 3.00.

                                                     iv.            If you fail to meet the provisions of your admission contract

3. Keep in constant communication

  • Check your personal email regularly. You will get all kinds of notices via email.
  • Set up an account with each campus you are considering. Campuses will communicate with your via this account as well. Now start checking key information, including financial aid packages, admissions to EOP or other programs for first generation and under-represented students, special summer programs, housing, and deposits.

4. Convince your parents it’s okay to let you go.

  • We know that many parents are nervous about letting you go away. They need some convincing that a UC is worth letting you move away. It is if you believe it is. We do. So we have some suggestions but no promises: Print out your financial aid award package.
  • Show your parents how the UC is covering the majority of your expenses. That may reduce one worry.
  • Be strong and confident. We know your families are close. A UC education will make your family even stronger as you will get a powerful education to advance your life and your family’s life.
  • Let another first generation student or parent of one or person at your school or community speak with your parents
  • Let us know how we can help if you can’t seem to make your parents change their minds.

5. Make sense of your financial aid package. See next post for more info. Each campus will give you a financial aid award. See whether it makes sense and matches with your Estimated Family Contribution. Contact the financial aid office with questions. You may need to apply for special consideration if you cannot afford family contributions.

6.  Visit Campuses and Talk to Students, Professors, and Teachers. Each campus offers a visit program for students. You will get many emails and invitations from groups on campus and the admissions office. Go. See if your school can arrange a trip. See who has gone to these campuses. If you don’t know anyone, contact us. We know kids like you at each UC campus. On your visits, spend the night in a dorm, visit classes, talk with professors. You cannot go wrong on any visit.

7.  Accept your one campus by May 1 and pay a nonrefundable deposit of $100 (online or postmarked). You must also accept the financial aid package. Complete the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) form you receive in the mail or go to the admissions website where you can declare your intent to register. Use this form or Web site to indicate whether you accept or decline the admission offer. You are strongly encouraged to wait until you hear from each campus you have applied to before you declare your intent to register. If you receive EOP you may ask for a deferral of the deposit. You must contact the financial aid office to arrange this.

Accept only one campus. You may not transfer your acceptance from one campus to another after you declare your intent to register. If you are waitlisted to another UC campus, you MUST accept another campus. Only if you get off the wait list, can accept your new campus and then remove yourself from your original campus. We are sorry as you will lose your first deposit.

8.  Participate in EOP and/or other support programs for low-income and under-represented students. See if you got accepted to the program at your UC for first generation, low-income, or disabled students. Links to programs at each campus are provided at the end of this list. This acceptance will be on your admissions page or you will receive notice via email or the mail. These programs provide tutoring, guaranteed housing, and access to summer programs to help you transition to college. Links to EOP Programs at each campus are provided in the third post for today. 

9.  Apply or Accept and Then Attend Summer Transition/Bridge Programs. “I wish I had done this is what we hear over and over. Each UC campus has a summer program for first generation and other under-represented students. The programs differ but all prepare you for transitioning to college via college classes, access to mentoring, priority enrollment, orientation, and the chance to meet great kids. You will start college more ready to go, able to set a strong academic schedule, and make good decisions. You also start off with lots of friends. Your financial aid package will usually waive the costs of these programs. You must accept these programs as soon as possible as spaces are limited because of budget cuts. Some require you to apply, while others accept you right away.

10.  Follow through on everything you can.

  • Filling out your HOUSING application. They are usually due by June 1. Get it in as soon as possible and pay that deposit. The later you wait, the less likely you are to get good housing.
  • Accepting your financial aid package. The money goes straight to the college and they issue you checks for any money left over. That money goes towards books and other living expenses.
  • Finding a job on or off campus that does not interfere with your classes.
  • Choosing classes that are balanced and do not push you too far freshmen year. Get used to college.
  • Getting academic and other help if you need it early in the year.

About rjoseph

I am the creator and visionary behind this site. I want to do everything I can to help students consider college as an option, even when they may be the first in their family to go or may not have the funds at hand. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't have the right or the ability to go to college.

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