Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

College corner: Time for the college application season rally cry

JenniferBorensteinW

Everywhere I go these days, I see acute signs of “application-itis.” You may have noticed the symptoms in many high school seniors and their families … that fatigued, overwhelmed look of heightened stress that students — and parents — suffer while in the midst of the college application process. There’s a common panic in their voices. Their main concern? How to survive this college application season and make sure they get into a college they want to attend.

I admit it can be a worrisome condition, but as is the case with many unpleasant situations, a healthy dose of useful information and some perseverance is key.

To stave off application-itis, students need to know the requirements and deadlines for the colleges to which they are applying; then, just get those applications done!

I say “students” because it is crucial that high school seniors take ownership of their application process, and not rely on Mom and Dad. Not only is this the best way to ensure an outcome that is a good fit, but it’s good practice for how to be a successful college freshman.

So, high school seniors, here’s the rally cry … Muscle through this application season and achieve your college goals! Parents of high school seniors, here’s your rally cry … Let your children lead the way through this process.
————
Now that we’re all ready, here are some timelines and tips to guide you.

Meet the four main types of college applications

First, it’s important to be familiar with the four main types of applications you might face this season.

* California community colleges: Grades and test scores do not determine eligibility; no essay is required. Apply online to most campuses at www.cccapply.org. There is no application fee.

* California State University: There is essentially one application to fill out online at www.csumentor.edu; once there, check off all campuses to which you want to apply. Input classes taken and test scores; there is no essay or letters of recommendation. Application fee is $55 per campus.

* The University of California: This is a comprehensive application. Fill it out online at www.universityofcalifornia.edu and indicate each campus to which you want to apply. List classes taken, test scores, activities and awards. Two SAT subject tests are “recommended,” which means take them if possible. The two short essays have a combined 1,000-word maximum. Application fee is $70 per campus.

Private and out-of-state schools: Many of these schools (about 400) use the Common Application at www.commonapp.org. It requires the same details as the UC’s application, along with two letters of recommendation and a different essay. Most schools have “supplemental forms” that must be completed as well. Application fees vary by schools.

Deadlines vary. (See box). Fee waivers for application costs are available to students who qualify.

————

Tips to survive “Application-itis” 

Now that you have a sense of what’s expected for the different types of applications, here are some tips to help you be more effective:

* Set up a college email account. Check often so you don’t miss deadlines. Colleges do not look favorably on students who miss deadlines.

* Create accounts at online application sites. Start early. Have on hand a copy of high school transcripts, test score results, social security numbers (as appropriate) and a figure for family income.

* Make sure to enter everything correctly! Have someone else double-check before submitting it. Mistakes can cause disqualification or admissions offers being rescinded. Once you hit submit, you cannot change a thing.

* Submit early! Do not take the chance that the system could have problems and you are unable to submit on time.

* Check schools’ websites to make sure your choice for a major isn’t impacted. Engineering often is impacted.

* For UC essays, answer the questions and get to the point. Tell them details and facts about yourself that aren’t in the rest of your application. Here’s a good overview of what to do: http://admissions.sa.ucsb.edu/Pdf/PersonalStatement.pdf. Use the “Additional Comments Box” on the UC application if you need to explain an extenuating circumstance such as a not-so-stellar grade.

* For common application essays, make sure your unique voice shows through; it should not come across as a résumé. Use specific examples and descriptive words. Get the attention of the admissions officer who may have read 50 essays that day. A helpful book for essay writing is “Do-It Write,” by G. Gary Ripple.

* For letters of recommendation, ask teachers from core subjects … the more recent the teacher the better.

* Always keep a hard copy of everything you submit.

* Be honest. Do the application yourself; colleges can detect adult involvement.

————

Stay strong and enjoy applying yourself during this application season. Take heart and remember there is a college out there for everyone! Good luck to all.

— 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 jenniferborenstein@therightcollegeforyou.org, or visit www.therightcollegeforyou.org.

Application deadlines

California community colleges: Check individual schools for exact dates. Usually apply February of senior year
CSUs: Due Oct. 1 through Nov. 30
UCs: Due Oct. 1 through Nov. 30
Private schools and out-of-state colleges: Depends, but most are due by mid-January

Jennifer Borenstein

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    4-H members get ready for Spring Show

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

     
    Will city move forward on public power review?

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Obama to Russia: More sanctions are ‘teed up’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    2 pursuits, 2 arrests keep Woodland officers busy

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
     
    Youth sports in focus on radio program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Rummage sale will benefit preschool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Concert benefits South Korea exchange

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Conference puts focus on Arab studies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis honors ‘green’ citizens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Water rate assistance bill advances

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Program explores STEM careers for girls

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

     
    Embroiderers plan a hands-on project

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Hotel/conference center info meeting set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    MOMS Club plans open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Cycle de Mayo benefits Center for Families

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    Author to read ‘The Cat Who Chose to Dream’

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Things are turning sour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    The high cost of employment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    High-five to Union Bank

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Broken sprinklers waste water

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Three more administrators?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Neustadt has experience for the job

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Here’s a plan to save big on employee costs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

     
    Davis is fair, thoughtful

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Ortiz is the right choice for Yolo

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    DHS tracksters sweep another DVC meet

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Another DVC blowout for DHS girls soccer

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Young reinvents his game to help Aggies improve on the diamond

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS boys shuffle the deck to beat Cards

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS/Franklin II is a close loss for Devil softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Baseball roundup: Giants slam Rockies in the 11th

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    UCD roundup: Aggies lose a softball game at Pacific

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Jahn jumps to Sacramento Republic FC

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Congressional art competition open to high school students

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Emerson, Da Vinci to present ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Winters Plein Air Festival begins Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Bach Soloists wrap up season on April 28

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, April 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6