December 2015 College Readiness Tips

Happy holidays. December goes by so quickly, so please help kids with their college and scholarship applications. There is still so much we can do to help these amazing kids. Here are ten college access tips to get you through the rest of 2015.

  1. More applications. You have survived many public application deadlines, but there are numerous private college and scholarship deadlines coming up. Please encourage your students to apply for these. Private colleges are desperate for interested under-represented minority and first generation students. I recommend students apply to 4 to 8 other colleges. Students with lower test scores should add some test optional colleges. Fair Test lists over 900 colleges with test optional possibilities.  
  2. Essays. Kids need to keep writing powerful college and scholarship application essays. Remind them, they can use essays more than once. They can keep on revising and adapting for other schools and write powerful supplemental essays targeted to specific colleges. application essay
  3. Recommendations. Please, please write as many great, specific letters as you can. Students needs these letters and often ask you rather late. But they need these to get into college and EOP and to receive scholarships. For schools with overwhelmed counselors, others can write counselor letters.
  4. Free applications. Did you know that there are multiple ways for students to apply for free to private and many public colleges? Use all measures possible, including calling and ask colleges to waive fees if applicants run out of waivers.
  5. Educational Opportunity Programs. Please assist and encourage students to complete their EOP applications and applications for other support programs at college. Each college, including CSU, has a separate deadline. Call colleges to see if deadlines have been extended. The deadlines for 2016-2017 are included in this letter.
  6. Scholarships. Scholarships. Scholarships. There are multiple ways for first generation and under-represented students to pay for college. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund lists many scholarships. Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.03.14 AMrams.aspx. Many colleges have specific scholarships. Encourage students to find national, state, local, and college specific scholarships. USC for example has the USC Norman Topping Fund that provides scholarships. It is due February 16. College Greenlight lists most major scholarships.
  7. Alumni. Remember, your alumni are coming back in town for the holidays and eager to help. Ask them to wear their college sweatshirts and to be able to describe how they manage their workloads, social lives, and more.
  8. Preparing for financial aid. Please get families and students ready to complete financial aid forms. FAFSA is now making it easier than ever to apply with its new Prior, Prior policy. Families can apply now.prior prior
  9. Test scores. Students need to send their test scores directly from testing websites. Make sure they send them as soon as they can. If they can’t afford to do this, you can contact a college and see if you can fax the scores to the college for the students. Remember, the UCs and Cal States allow scores to be sent only once. Cal States: CSU Mentor for SATs and ACT Score Manager for the ACT.
  10. Enjoy your holidays. Please help students with any last minute college application questions. Perhaps hold an application party during the break. Seniors shouldn’t wait to the last minute, but they do, so anything we can do to help them apply the more karma points we earn.

Again, you are the best at what you do. Your students are so lucky. Enjoy this time of year!!! Let me know if I can help in any way.

2015-2016 CSU EOP Deadlines

Channel Islands. January 31, 2016 (completed file deadline).

Chico. November 30, 2015 for student applications. January 31 for recommendations.

Dominguez Hills. Application: November 30, 2015. Letters: February 16, 2016.

East Bay. February 1, 2016 (Priority deadline)

Fullerton. Rolling.

Humboldt. Freshman priority: November 30, 2015. Transfer: March 1, 2016.

Long Beach. January 15, 2016.

Los Angeles. November 30, 2015 for application. March 2 for supporting paperwork.

Maritime. None

Monterey Bay. Priority. November 30. 2015. Final deadline. January 15, 2015 (including all paperwork).

Northridge. Priority. November 30, 2015. Final January 15, 2016.

Pomona. February 1, 2016.

San Bernardino. Rolling. Highly encourages. November 30.

San Diego. December 15, 2015.

San Francisco. March 31, 2016.

San Jose. December 15, 2015.

San Luis Obispo. January 15, 2016.

Sacramento. November 30 for EOP application. Letters of Recommendation by January 21, 2016.

Sonoma. March 2, 2016.

Stanislaus. November 30 for student application. EOP recommendations due February 13, 2016.


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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