2013 November College Readiness Tips

This is prime-time of college application season. Do what you can to support students. Bootcamps are particularly helpful in November as students can complete their state applications before Thanksgiving and hit core merit scholarship deadlines for schools like BU and USC. Let us know how we can help.

1. End of senior year testing reminders.

2. More good news for undocumented students: 

    • The new chancellor of the University of California is committed more than $5 million to scholarships for undocumented students.
    • Remember, undocumented students can now apply to four Cal States for free if they qualify for fee waivers.
    • Undocumented students can now apply for EOP at the Cal States
    • Remind them and their families that they apply separately for financial aid.
    • Many private colleges offer full scholarships to top undocumented students. For a list of these schools, go to http://getmetocollege.org
  1. 3. Application submissions. Try to help students with applications way before Thanksgiving for state colleges with regular admission cycles.
  2. UC submission period. The UC applications can be submitted November 1- November 30. Remind students to apply for EOP. It doesn’t require an extra application. Just a short explain why. Low-income students (including undocumented students) can apply to four UCs at no charge.

The Cal State applications are due November 30. The EOP application is separate. http://www.csumentor.edu/admissionapp/eop_apply.asp Please remind them to provide details in the EOP short answers. Low-income students (including undocumented) can apply for four Cal States for free. Students can send SAT scores to CSU Mentor and ACT scores through ACT Score Manager.

Private colleges. Encourage students to apply to four or five private colleges. Again, these applications are free for low-income students. The Center for Student Opportunity’s I’m First program has a list of colleges that are friendly to first generation/under-represented students. http://www.imfirst.org. The Common Application is the application portal for the large majority of private colleges. Encourage your students to get started now as the application is still very buggy. Follow my blog posts on www.allcollegeessays.org with tips.

4. Essays, essays, essays!!! Tell your students to spend time on their essays. This is the only way they can differentiate themselves in the application process. They need to tell specific stories and make clear their leadership and initiative. Ideally, in at least one essay, students should describe the world they come from and show how they have made a difference in it.

CFC logo HiRes5. Scholarship applications. Many scholarships are due this fall. Please beg your students to apply to as many scholarships as possible. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is a great place to start.  Students can reuse essays that they write for their college applications. http://www.hsf.net/

6. Real and Virtual College Fairs. In November, there are numerous college fairs students can attend in school or community groups or with families. In Los Angeles, the LA Chamber of Commerce hosts the free Cash for College two day extravaganza November 6-7. College Week Live holds an All Access Day virtual college fair with college and individual presentations on November 21. Dr. Joseph is presenting at both. Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 12.17.13 AM


7. Remind kids to keep their grades up. Private colleges see fall grades. The UCs and Cal States don’t see grades until the end of the year, but they take away acceptances from kids whose grades fall and who receive any Ds or Fs.

8. Visit colleges and interview or contact admissions officers. Encourage your students to visit colleges in the area. They can arrange for interviews on many of the campuses. Other private colleges offer interviews in the area for students who apply. So get students ready for these interviews. If they can’t interview or visit, have student contact college reps, professors, and outreach specialists.

9. Alumni visits. Please invite kids who are attending college to come visit your classrooms in November. Many come home for Thanksgiving and come in the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Ask them to describe what makes college so fun.


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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