Tuesday, April 21, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

College corner: May 1 mash-up — Time for high school seniors to decide about college

By
From page A10 | April 23, 2013 |

For many high school seniors, that life-changing deadline of May 1 is approaching too quickly. This is the day when you need to commit to one and only one college. Sounds fun, right? For some. But for others it can be stressful, confusing and a bit of a let down. In this column, I will explain the various possibilities that students face come May 1 and what should be done about it. My aim is to get you through this deadline and on your way to enjoying what is on the other side.

Rocksteady
Many of you have applied and been accepted to several colleges. Congratulations! Now you can review the financial aid offers (each school’s will be different) and choose the place where you will be happiest in terms of academic, social and emotional “fit”. Hopefully, you have researched and visited these schools and are prepared for this decision.

Sign your Statement of Intent to Register (or Enroll) and pay the deposit. Voila! You are ready to buy the sweatshirt. Two things to keep in mind, though:
1. Please let the other colleges you have chosen not to attend know about your decision as soon as possible. Other students are eager to take those spots.
2. Remember that your acceptance is contingent upon performance. If you change your schedule or get a grade lower than a C, notify the school immediately to see what is required.

A slight deviation from this riff is that students may be accepted, but not until the spring semester or quarter. This is becoming more common according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Students in this situation need to consider whether the downside of getting off-track from their peers is worth getting into their school of choice. Reach out to the school and other students in this situation to learn more about the pros and cons of whether this is right for you.

The waitlist blues
You may have ended up on a waitlist. Roughly one third of colleges maintain waitlists. A majority of these are the highly selective schools since they are competing for students who have many college options. The use of waitlists has grown at the UCs in large part due to the mismatch between the increasing number of applicants and the limited funding for new seats. UC Berkeley and UC Merced are the only campuses without a waitlist policy.

What exactly does being on the waitlist mean? It means that your application was reviewed and rather than being admitted or denied, you have been put on hold. Other applicants were selected over you and you are now in a pool that acts as a safety net for the college. You fill in the gaps if they do not fill their spaces. Is there anything you can do to get off the waitlist? Well, for starters, keep up your academic performance. Then, show your interest by writing to the admissions office about how much you want to attend their school and why it is a good fit. In addition, learn as much as possible about the college’s waitlist practices.

Of course, the main issue regarding waitlists is what the chances are of actually getting admitted from the waitlist. This depends on a variety of factors that are out of your control such as the competitiveness of the applicant pool. It is next to impossible to predict.

If you remain on the waitlist as May 1 approaches, please remember that you still need to commit to attend a college and make a deposit! After May 1, colleges will begin to notify students from the waitlist when a spot becomes available for them. Be ready to act quickly since colleges may require a decision within 24 to 48 hours.

Indie folk
Another growing college admissions trend is the number of American high school graduates who decide to do a “gap year’ before going to college. In other countries (Britain and Australia) gap years are more common. What is a gap year and why consider it? A gap year is when students take a break from the traditional education path to travel, volunteer, study, intern or work. Students often choose this path in order to broaden their perspective, gain self knowledge and/or make money. There are many places online to research and plan gap years. As a starting point, check out www.americangap.org to find accredited gap year programs.

For students on this path, I recommend going through the customary application process, getting accepted and then deferring acceptance for a year. Otherwise it is easy for a gap year to turn into gap years. Most colleges will accept deferral, but not all. Each school is different so check their websites for more information. Here’s an example of how deferral typically works:
1. Student signs Intent to Register by May 1.
2. Before July 1, write a letter requesting a deferral for a year.
3. As long as the college does not rule out deferrals and feels the student has made a legitimate case, deferral will usually be granted.

Alternative
Other students may not have a college they want to attend or were accepted to by May 1. In such situations, the California Community Colleges offer a great alternative — either as a way to transfer to a four-year college or to earn an associates degree. Apply online at http://home.cccapply.org/. The application is simple — there is no transcript, test scores or essay required.

Just be prepared to hit the ground running if transfer is the goal. A very helpful website for planning how course credits from one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another is http://www.assist.org/.

Another option is to get a job or enroll in a vocational school. A good resource for learning about vocational schools is http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0241-choosing-vocational-school.

Lastly, there is always the option to check the results of the NACAC space availability survey due to be released online May 3 at http://www.nacacnet.org/research/research-data/SpaceSurvey/Pages/SpaceSurveyResults.aspx. These results show which colleges still have space and therefore are still accepting applications for fall 2103.

Facing the music
Well, with this information about what is on the horizon come May 1, I hope you high school seniors find the right path for you. Just remember no matter which road you take, enjoy the ride.

— Jennifer Borenstein is an independent college adviser in Davis and owner of The Right College For You. Her column is published on the last Tuesday of the month. She lives in Davis with her husband and two daughters. Reach her at [email protected], or visit www.therightcollegeforyou.org.

Comments

comments

Jennifer Borenstein

.

News

 
Woodland murder suspect claims history of abuse

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Public forum will explore community choice energy options

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Log cabin home is labor of love

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

The camp around the corner: Day camp benefits kids and families

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Ready to give a resident camp a try? Tips to ease the homesick blues

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Vote with your dollars at Davis Food Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
UCD study: Colorblind bilingual programs can perpetuate bias

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Davis Kids Klub offers a true summer camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Immigrant teens share their dreams at YIIN dinner

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Buddhist groups host SanghaFest on Saturday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

AAUW hosts Yamada speech on Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8Comments are off for this post

Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Online courses a cure-all? UCD study says think again

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

Show tunes take center stage at sing-along

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Alternatives to violence explored

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Paws for Thought: Hero dogs go above and beyond

By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Rotary Club hosts whisky tasting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Spend a morning with the mayor

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Celebrate Mexican culture at I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Achievement gap to be addressed at symposium

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Suicide awareness walk set April 25 at UC Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Tour de Cluck tickets on sale now

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Patwin is ‘Where The Wild Things Walk’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Forum

Gratitude all around for the Breakfast for Heroes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Broad new vaccination law is a must

By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

Seniors, you CAN get there from here

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Hey, do you want that glaucoma fixed?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5Comments are off for this post

.

Sports

DHS thunders past the Herd

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Wong leads UCD charge in Big West women’s golf tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD boxing club making a name on the national scene

By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS girls basketball pioneer Iten dies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils edge closer to Delta League soccer title

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
.

Features

.

Arts

Rockabilly music will fill the park Wednesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
One-man show ‘Buyer and Cellar’ brings non-stop laughter

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Hear Wealth of Nations at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Frozen’ Mini-Musicals to be presented

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Baldini to conduct Camellia Symphony

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
DMTC sets auditions for ‘Evita’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Stories told at Third Space

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
UCD assistant professor to give lecture at de Young Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Robert Leigh Cordrey

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Alice Catherine Micheltorena

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7