April 2013 College Readiness Tips

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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/
  4. Push your students to consider going away to a program.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. College Spring is a new service that provides links to free online services and free in –person programs. http://collegespring.org
  3. 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.

  1. Please encourage your students to take the SAT twice, the ACT twice, and SAT Subject Tests twice.
  2. 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.
  3. We recommend students take the ACT in April or June and then September or October
  4. We recommend students take the SAT in May or June and October or December.
  5. We recommend students take SAT Subject Tests in May or June and November as foreign languages offer their listening tests only in November. 

5. Standardized Testing Sign-Ups. The registration deadlines coming up are

  1. Standby only for April 13 ACT
  2. April 5 for May 4 SAT/Subject Tests
  3. May 3 for June 8 ACT
  4. 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.

  1. April 25 the date for the Greater Los Angeles fair. 9am-12 noon and 6pm -9 p.m.
  2. Check the dates for fairs in your area. http://www.nacacnet.org/college-fairs/SpringNCF/Pages/default.aspx
  3. Have kids register so they can bring the bar code so colleges can immediately place them on their mailing lists.
  4. Give them a treasure hunt sheet to help them find colleges within their academic and interests range
  5. 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.

  1. We are providing our tips for seniors who were admitted to four year universities, especially Cal States and UCs about what to do.
  2. 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
  3. Please, please encourage them to fight financial packages that are top heavy in loans.
  4. Your students can still apply for scholarships. Help them find ones from their state representatives, city council people, school districts, and more.
  5. 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.

v.     UCSD. http://students.ucsd.edu/academics/_organizations/oasis/transition-programs/summer-bridge/dates-info.html.  Deadline: 6/19.

vi.     Riverside. Not yet available. http://summerbridge.ucr.edu/

vii.     Santa Cruz. Not yet available. http://eop.ucsc.edu/content/bridge. Also has an engineering bridge program. http://mep.soe.ucsc.edu/home

viii.     UCLA. Summer program not yet available. Engineering & Diversity summer program. http://www.ceed.ucla.edu/programs/undergrad/bridge



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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