November College Readiness Tips

1.      End of senior year testing reminders. Remind students to take the tests again. Fall scores rise.

2.      More good news for undocumented students:
  • 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.
  • These students will qualify for state aid for next year.
  • Please check in your state for what other college news there is for these students.

3.  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.

4.  The Cal State applications are due November 30. The EOP application is separate.

Please remind students 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.

5.  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. I have attached my 10 questions for revising their college application essays. Ideally, in at least one essay, students should describe the world they come from and show how they have made a difference in it.

6.  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.

7.   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 has a list of colleges that are friendly to first generation/under-represented students. Many private colleges offer full scholarships to top undocumented students. For a list of these schools, go to

8.  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.

9.  Visit colleges and interview. 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.

10.  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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