If you carefully read your acceptance letter, you might notice some language along the lines of "....conditionally admitted". Many students skip right over this part and jump online to post the good news. While you should take some time to celebrate, keep in mind that schools can rescind an offer of admission. Should you worry if your A in AP English Comp. switched to a B? Not really, but if any of your classes drop to a failing grade, or there is a significant overall decline, this is something that can lead to some raised eyebrows and the potential removal of an offer. Other issues may include changing your schedule of classes or behavioral infractions. While there is pressure to have the discipline questions removed from the Common Application, they still remain and mid-year or optional reports can include revisions to the counselors initial recommendation. Don't let "senioritis" take hold and keep up the good work!
Application season is in full swing and students are beginning to review transcripts only to find they are missing required coursework. To avoid any pitfalls along the way, please review the attached document which reviews the requirements of the UC and CSU systems in regards to A-G coursework.
I've written about test optional practices before, but grade optional is something that is pretty out of the ordinary when it comes to college admissions. However, if you have some blemishes on your record and are looking for more options, consider Goucher College. Goucher has a GVA- Goucher Video Application that allows applicants to submit a two minute video, two pieces of high school work and a brief application in lieu of test scores and grades. This option creates a great way for students to reflect themselves in a different light than is available through the traditional admissions process. To learn more about Goucher and the GVA, click here.
Now that we are in April, students should be well aware as to their admission status as acceptance/denial letters and emails should have been received by now. Unfortunately, for some, this means spending time on the dreaded waitlist. For the purposes of this post, I would like to focus on the UC waitlist, which could be the case for those who applied to any of the UCs with the exception of UC Merced. All of the other UC undergraduate campuses (UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz) will be offering students a place on the waitlist this year. According to the UC, students should follow the guidelines listed below:
They might receive waitlist offers from more than one campus. Students can be on more than one waitlist, but they will only be allowed to accept one offer of admission.
Once offered a spot on a waitlist, students must opt in by the stated deadline. Instructions for doing so will be included with the waitlist notification.
Even if they accept a waitlist offer at a UC campus, students should submit a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) to ensure they have a place to attend in the fall. If they later accept an offer of admission from a UC campus where they have been waitlisted, they will forfeit their deposit at the first campus and must submit an additional SIR and enrollment deposit to the “new” campus.
Most campuses will not have financial aid award packages available when a waitlist offer is made. However, financial aid awards will be made available in accordance with campus policies and procedures provided that the applicant has submitted the FASFA or California Dream Act application by the deadline.
SIRs of waitlisted students will be considered on time for purposes of housing and orientation, provided they are submitted by the deadline stated in the offer of admission.
California resident applicants who are guaranteed admission through ELC or the statewide admission index, and don’t receive an admission offer from any campus to which they applied, will be in the referral pool even if they are on the waitlist at another campus.
In short, make sure you submit your intention to the UC you desire to remain on the waitlist. In the end, make sure you still submit a deposit to a University you like, as you never know if the waitlist will come through. However, you must realize that you will lose you deposit if you are accepted off the waitlist and decide to enroll. Good luck and if you are still trying to make your final decision, feel free to get in touch.
The internet has provided applicants with many tools they can use to assist them during the admissions process. However, for many the process can still remain a mystery. Some hire the help of a college admissions consultant such as myself, while others hope to find guidance from the college admissions counselor at their school (if their school is still lucky to have one). Luckily, there is also another option to help supplement the process, such as the admissions blog created by Tufts University that provides insight into the whole process. This week, the blog, tackles the issue of Junior Scheduling. Take some time out of your day to visit this and other admissions blogs and you will gain some of the insight that college admissions counselors rely on to help them in the application and selection process.
If you applied to one or more UC campuses and are waiting on word from the admissions office, there is more you can do while you wait. First of all, did you send out all of your scores? Scores should be sent ASAP, and they should also be self-reported through the My UC Application portal. Remember that for the UC system, scores need only be sent to a single campus. (For the CSU system, you can sent your SAT scores to all campuses by using the CSU Mentor code- 3594).
Beyond test scores, you can also update your academic record if a you change schools, add or drop a course, or fail to earn a C or better in a course after submitting the application. Your communication should include the reason for the update and your name, ID number and signature. Information can be sent to the UC Application center.
Finally, this is the time to work on your financial aid applications. For UC specific information regarding financial aid, click here.
Even though the applications are completed for the UC campuses, support from a private college counselor can help to ensure that all items are complete. For those in South Pasadena, the San Gabriel Valley, the Greater Los Angeles area or beyond, contact The Right Fit College for any help you may need in the college admissions process.
The admissions officers from these five institutions are teaming up this summer to visit the Southern California area and speak with potential students and families. They will host six events in the area between June 2nd and June 6th. For more information and to register, click here.
As admissions officers begin to learn more about their applicants through the computer, it is important that applicants present themselves in the best light possible. A few simple hints:
1) Google yourself. While this may seem like a vain pursuit, you need to see what is out there. If you don't like what you see, you need to create some positive search results. Writing an article for an online paper, having something written about you or posting to a blog with your name can all help. Make sure that what is reflected in these new results is applicable to who you are. For example, if you are passionate about the environment, post to a conservation blog or an article that references this subject.
2) Fix your image. To create a positive image and share the other side of who you are, swap out some of the snapshots of in front of cool cars with the time you spent travelling abroad or volunteering with local schools. These images can leave a lasting impression on admissions officers.
3) Be professional. We all want to switch into informal language when using online communications. Make sure you always capitalize and punctuate as appropriate and sign each email with a formal name. Another easy step is to develop a email address that isn't partyguy2012. A simple firstname.lastname@example.org should suffice.
Now that you have done most of the hard work, there are few things that remain to complete the UC Application Process. The UC System recently distributed a bulletin to school counselors that addresses these issues.
1. Print a copy of your application.
2. Send your score reports. Freshman applicants should send their scores by the end of December.
3. Update your application as necessary. You can log-in to your account and update addresses, SAT Scores and more.
4. Wait. Admissions decisions should be made in March. In many cases you will need to log-in to your accounts to verify admission.
While I have never been a big fan of SAT Subject Tests or SAT IIs, the testing world has become increasingly more complicated as schools begin to shy away from such tests. For example, there was a time when the SAT II subject tests were required of UC applicants, but that era has passed. While many students and parents breathed a collective sigh of relief, in my estimation this has only complicated the process as many campuses and majors now "recommend" a Subject Test. To make things "easier", the UC System has a published list of recommended tests that you can find here. Failure to take a test can mean a lack of opportunity for applicants so make sure you review all admission requirements or work with a college admission counselor for more help. From my meetings with UC Admissions officers, I have gathered that while not taking an SAT Subject Test will not exclude you from admissions, they can definitely help you in the long run. Plan ahead and include these tests in your testing plan so that you do not limit your options in the future.