UC Acceptance, Financial Aid, and Summer Bridge Tips

UC Acceptance, Financial Aid, and Summer Bridge Tips

1. DO NOT miss 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
  • April 1-July 1   Accept or apply for Summer Bridge/Transition Programs. Programs differ by campus
  • May 1-orientation. Take placement tests. If you don’t meet academic minimums, 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:

  • Keep your senior year grades at a 3.0 with no grade lower than a C. Do not let senioritis take over.
  • Send in your final, official transcripts and any AP or other standardized test scores by July 15.
  • Take all required placement tests during orientation programs.
  • Notify the UC you’re accepting of any major changes, including
  1. If you dropped any courses which were listed on your application
  2. If you changed any courses which were listed on your application.
  3. If you received any D or F grades, or if your senior year unweighted GPA will fall below 3.00.
  4. 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 you 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 below for more tips. Each campus will give you a financial aid award. See whether it makes sense and matches with your Estimated Family Contribution and student loan requirements. Contact the financial aid office with questions. You may need to apply for special consideration if you cannot afford family contributions or your loan requirements. Some campuses give more scholarships than others. While the UCs have the Blue and Gold Plan that provides full aid for students whose families make less than $80K, they leave lots of money to loans. If loans make you nervous, then find ways to get extra scholarships this year and in future years.

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. Please consider the highest level UC possible.

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.

8. WAITLISTS: If you are waitlisted to another UC campus, you MUST accept another campus. You can accept more than one waitlist. Only if you get off the waitlist, can you accept your new campus and then remove yourself from your original campus. We are sorry but you will lose your first deposit.

Freshman applicants:

  • Waitlist offers will be made by the end of March.
  • The waitlist opt-in deadline is April 15 (for all participating campuses).
  • Waitlist notification status will be made no later than June 1.


  • Waitlist offers will be made by the end of April.
  • The waitlist opt-in deadline is May 15 (for the participating campuses: Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego)
  • Waitlist notification status will be made no later than July 1.

9. Participate in EOP and/or other support programs for low-income and under-represented students. See in your acceptance letter, 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 below.

10.  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.

11.  Follow through on everything you can.

  • Applying for and attending free campus visits for diverse students.
  • Filling out your HOUSING application. They are usually due by June 1. Get your application 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, which then issues 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 freshman year. Get used to college.
  • Getting academic and other help if you need it early in the year.

UC Financial Aid Packages: Making Sense of Them

  1. Between the date of your acceptance and early April, each campus will release its financial aid package to you. These packages may differ, so check and compare each. You will only get your package if all of your FAFSA and Cal Grant materials are submitted and correct.
  2. Find your campus login information. Save this information somewhere where you always find it.
  3. Log in and find your financial aid award. It’s listed on the college’s admissions website.
  4. Read all the core information. What is your aid package? Print this out. It includes
    1. Grants and scholarships –you never pay these back. These are gifts.
      1. UC Campus Specific Scholarships
      2. Federal Grants-Pell Grants
      3. State Grants– Cal Grants
      4. Private scholarships from the campuses-You may get extra free money from specific campus scholarships.
      5. Loans-Money you borrow and pay back.
        1. Perkins-Federal. Very low interest
        2. Subsidized-Interest deferred throughout college. Start paying back six months after   graduation. Have 10 years to pay back
        3. Unsubsidized-Interest is added on throughout college. Start paying back six months after graduation.  Have 10 years to pay back.
        4. Family contribution (EFC)-This is your parent contribution. This comes through loans or cash
      6. Your contribution-via work study on campus or summer or year long jobs you get on  your own.
        1. Show the package to your parents or family. Let them get used to it. Show them how little they will have to pay. They can pay this amount in installments. The deposit will count.
        2. If the package doesn’t make sense, then call the financial aid office at the campus. You may have to ask for special consideration if your family cannot meet required contribution.
        3. Loans are okay. They are payable over 10 years, and you only start paying them back after you graduate.
        4. For AB540 Students. You qualify for Cal Grants, and many UCs provide additional grants to cover your living expenses. You also qualify for instate tuition if you have lived here for three years. You also qualify for private scholarships. Each UC campus now has policies for how students can apply the private scholarships. Contact the financial aid office for any special scholarships programs they may have for you. Apply for external scholarships.
        5. Everyone: Look for scholarships now or next year to cover any left over expenses. Go to your financial aid office and ask about scholarships you can apply that are campus specific.
          1. Maldef has a great list for Mexican and other Latino students. It includes scholarships for AB540 students http://www.maldef.org/assets/pdf/1415_MALDEF_Scholarship.pdf
          2. SALEF has a scholarship for Salvadoran and other Latino students.  A current scholarship for students in the health fields is due April 31. http://www.salef.org/ – !__programs
          3. Latino College Dollars also has a great list. http://www.latinocollegedollars.org/
          4. Congresswomen Roybal-Allard keeps a comprehensive guide of scholarships. http://roybal-allard.house.gov/uploadedfiles/scholarships_student_resource_guide_2013.pd

2015 EOP contacts, Admitted Student Links, and Summer Bridge Links.

The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) is designed for students with exceptional academic ability and promise despite a low-income or educationally disadvantaged background. EOP is open to students who meet the University’s regular admission requirements. All the programs are free. Each UC campus has a summer bridge or transition program for underrepresented students.


Current applicants:


Scholarship Info:


Offers Summer Bridge. Mandatory for some students.


Deadline for Summer Bridge: Check website when you get admitted

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
110 Sproul Hall #5800
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-5800
(510) 642-3-0998

Cristóbal Olivares
Student Life Advising Services/Educational Opportunity Program
119 Cesar Chavez Student Center #4210
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-2444
E-mail: sbridge@berkeley.edu


Admitted Student Info:


Offers Summer Transition Program: STEP. You will find out about program my admissions site.


2205 Dutton Hall
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-2013


Admitted Students: http://www.admissions.uci.edu/

Transition Program. Freshman Summer Bridge. You must apply


Deadline for Freshmen: June 1; Transfers: June 2


Student Support Services
2100 Student Services II
(Building 105 on the Campus Map)
Irvine, CA 92697-5400
Phone (949) 824-6234


Admitted Students:


Offers Summer Transition Programs:

Seven Week AAP’s Freshman/Transfer Summer Program (F/TSP)  


Academic Advancement Program
1232 Campbell Hall, Box 951541, University of California
Los Angeles, CA 90095 (310) 206-1551




Admitted Students: http://admissions.ucmerced.edu/admitted

Contact School for Information about Summer Bridge as more than half of campus is first generation.

Office of Admissions
5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343
(209) 228-4682


Offers Summer Bridge


Summer Bridge
Summer Bridge Program
156 Surge Building


Tel: (951) 827-3282
Fax: (951) 827-4543
E-mail: summerbridge@ucr.edu


Offers OASIS-Summer Bridge and other academic and transition support programs



Contact Us

OASIS Transition Programs
Phone (858) 534-2801
Fax (858) 534-0679

Mailing address:
9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0045
La Jolla, CA 92093-0045



Admitted Students:


Housing and resident services


Offers Summer Bridge-STEP-Apply Starting April May 1. Deadline: July 1!!!


Educational Opportunity Program
Student Resource Building, Second Floor
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7170
(805) 893-4758


For admitted EOP students:


Student initiated orientation programs for different cultural groups:

Able to apply after students accept with their SIR

Contact: EOP about summer programs

Educational Opportunity Programs
121 Academic Resources Center (ARCenter)
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Phone: 1(831) 459-2296
Fax: 1(831) 459-3047Office of Admissions
150 Hahn Student Services
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
(831) 459-2374