M-A Career Center


M-A, 1955

WELCOME to the M-A Career Center's Web site. I hope you'll find this site useful, fun, and easy to use! If you have any questions about or suggestions for the Web site, don't hesitate to contact me (see the "Ask Alice" section for quick contact).

Remember, there is no substitute for coming in to the Career Center (B-15) for the absolute latest information. Scholarship and college visit information changes almost daily; the best-informed students are those who visit the Career Center frequently!

NAVIANCE! All M-A students should become well acquainted with Naviance, our web-based counseling tool, and use it to stay up to date about colleges, careers, and more. If you have never logged onto Naviance, ask me (or your Guidance Counselor) for your access code. If you have signed onto Naviance before, even once, you will enter as a returning user, with your e-mail address serving as your user name and the password you created. If you no longer remember your password, let me know. The web address is: www.connection.naviance.com/mahs. Create your profile and résumé, take the personality survey, do a little college and career research...enjoy Naviance!

CEEB Code: 050170

What's New

  • Seniors: You can find a copy of an important form on your Naviance page: the Recommendation Request Packet (which you need to fill out for your teachers and counselor in order to obtain letters of recommendation for private colleges and/or scholarships). You will find it in the Document Library, on the right side of the page.

College Visits

The following is a list of colleges that have visited the Career Center in the past couple of years. Dates of planned visits for this year are included. Each college's name is a link to that college's web site. Interested juniors and seniors should see Ms. Kleeman several days before the announced visit to learn visit times and to obtain a pass to attend.

College Date of Visit Come to this visit if . . .
Academy of Art University    
Agnes Scott College    
American University October 13, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for an educational experience that takes you beyond the classroom and campus to the outstanding opportunities in Washington, DC, and around the world.
American University of Paris   Come to this visit if you want to study in Paris, France, at the oldest American collegeof liberal arts and sciences in Europe.
Amherst College October 21, 2014  
Arizona State U. October 10, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a college that provides excellence in academics, outstanding student life and school spirit, and opportunities for meaningful campus involvement.
Austin College    
Babson College October 8, 2014  
Bard College October 22, 2014 Come to this visit if you love to read and write, are interested in many things, have a creative streak, and desire a community of students who want to make a difference in the world.
Bard College at Simon's Rock    
Barnard College October 21, 2014 Come to this visit if you are a young woman who hopes to challenge and exhilarate yourself within the unparalleled resources of Barnard College and New York City!
Bates College    
Baylor October 27, 2014  
Beloit College    
Bennington College   Come to this visit if you are a creative, independent thinker interested in exploring your interests with an unusual amount of academic freedom and faculty mentorship, and want the opportunity to complete professional internships each winter.
Bentley College    
Berkeley (UC)    
Binghamton U.   Come to this visit if you are looking for a top public research university with a small liberal arts college feel on a beautiful 900-acre campus in upstate New York with over 130 majors and programs and students from over 100 countries and all 50 states, considered a #1 best value in the nation and a premier public university in the Northeast.
Biola October 17, 2014  
Boston College   Come to this visit if you are seeking a rigorous academic challenge in a supportive, spirited environment.
Boston University October 9, 2014 Come to this visit if you want the opportunity to study at a world-class university in the heart of America's Largest College Town.
Bowdoin September 24, 2014 Come to this visit if you are passionate about learning, excited to take risks, and an independent thinker.
Bradley U.    
Brandeis September 17, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a small liberal arts university that emphasizes undergraduate research and has a strong tradition of student activism and social justice.
Brown University September 22, 2014 Come to this visit if you are excited about learning, exploring, and challenging yourself; you are a highly motivated student; and you have always wanted to see the leaves turn colors in the fall.
Bryant University   Come to this visit if you are looking for a Rhode Island school that integrates your curriculum with a strong, well known business and liberal arts program.
Bryn Mawr College    
Bucknell September 30, 2014 Come to this visit if you are seeking a liberal arts college with the combination of a small-college community where you can make an impact; a larger, active, and spirited student body; accessible professors; and a focus on undergraduate education.
California Baptist University September 17, 2014 Come to this visit if you’re interested in a quality Christian education in Southern California.
California Culinary Academy    
California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech)   Come to this visit if you crave intellectual and scientific rigor that will challenge you beyond your wildest imagination and yearn for direct contact with world-famous, award-winning scientists and researchers.
California Institute of The Arts (CalArts)) November 6, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for individual attention and expert training in art, dance, film, music, or theater at one of the premiere performing and visual arts institutes in the country.
California Lutheran University October 14, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for a school that challenges and encourages you, supports your quest for individuality and a quality education where you will become a capable leader for our global society—a world citizen.
Cal Maritime    
Carroll College   Come to this visit if you are interested in being part of an active and engaged community at a small liberal arts college nestled in the Rocky Mountains.
CSU East Bay (formerly Hayward) November 17, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in going to a public university with an innovative first-year experience program centered on different areas of interest (Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts); it’s a gorgeous campus nestled in the East Bay hills!
CSU Sacramento    
Cañada College October 24, 2014  
Carleton College October 14, 2014  
Carnegie Mellon University September 10, 2014  
Case Western Reserve U. October 7, 2014 Come to this visit if you enjoy thinking beyond the possible in an urban oasis.
Centre College   Come to this visit if you’re interested in a liberal arts college (one of the colleges featured in the Colleges That Change Lives book!) with a southern/Midwestern feel where students are strongly engaged in both the classroom and the life of the college community, where you will receive personal attention from your professors in small classes, and where you are promised the opportunity to join 85% of your classmates in a study-abroad experience.
Chapman September 10, 2014  
Chico State (CSU Chico)    
Claremont McKenna October 9, 2014 Come to this visit if you are confused about whether to attend a large university or a small college—since CMC (with about 1,100 students) has the best of both worlds as a small college that’s part of the much larger group known as the Claremont Colleges (5,000 undergrads).
Clark University   Come to this visit if you have an open mind.
Colby September 23, 2014 Come to this visit if you want a winter coat in your wardrobe, and if you want to go to a small college in Maine with smart, fun students from everywhere who have great relationships with their professors. See you there!!!
Colgate University September 8, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for a nationally ranked, highly selective, residential, liberal arts college situated on a rolling 515-acre campus in central New York State, where you will learn alongside other motivated students with diverse backgrounds, interests and talents.
College of Charleston October 13, 2014  
College of the Art Institute of Chicago    
College of Wooster    
Colorado College September 22, 2014 Come to this visit if you eat your vegetables one at a time!
Colorado State University   Come to this visit if you believe in experiencing what you learn—in the classroom, in the lab, even in the mountains—and not simply taking a bubble test.
Columbia University    
Concordia University   Come to this visit if you are interested in being challenged in an academic, social, and spiritual way….and still being a bit goofy.
Connecticut College October 8, 2014 Come to this visit if you ‘re interested in a small, liberal arts college right on Long Island Sound that combines inside- and outside-the-classroom experience, offers interdisciplinary learning experience, and provides a haven for student activism.
Cornell University    
CSU East Bay    
Dartmouth College October 27, 2014 Come to this visit if you believe that a college education should be about adventures such as doing field work in Zimbabwe, if you think that professors should know their students well enough to know their favorite order at the local coffee shop, if you agree that being challenged is a good thing, and if you read Dr. Seuss as a child (he went to Dartmouth!).
Davidson College   Come to this visit if you think college should be both fun and challenging, if you’re interested in a friendly college community set in the sunny Southeast, and if you want to be surrounded by intelligent and engaged students from all over the world.
Davis (UC)    
DePaul University   Come to this visit if you want to attend a school in Chicago with a campus feel but also the benefits of an exciting city; hundreds of internship, research, and extracurricular opportunities; and a great study-abroad program—plus small class sizes.
DePauw University October 16, 2014  
Denison University November 6, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to be successful, make lots of money, and have the time of your life learning about yourself and the world around you!
Dickinson College October 1, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in the distinctive Dickinson experience of active learning and citizen-leadership, with an innovative curriculum that crosses boundaries between academic disciplines and engages the wider world.
Dominican University of California September 30, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in experiencing a beautiful, wooded campus, friendly staff and students, and a supportive environment in a university that embodies the Dominican educational ideals: love of truth, beauty and the life of the mind, as well as a deep respect for the dignity and worth of the individual.
Drew University    
Drexel University October 16, 2014  
Duke University    
Eckerd College November 12, 2014  
Elon University October 7, 2014  
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University October 23, 2014  
Emerson College   Come to this visit if you are interested a career in communication, visual media arts, and performing arts in the greatest college city in America.
Emory University October 10, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a school with a highly respected liberal arts education; the resources and opportunities of a major research university; an ideal campus location; a residential, active campus with a large, exctiing metropolitan area at its doorstep.
Eugene Lang College   Come to this visit if you're interested in an exceptional undergraduate experience: small, seminar-style classes, a faculty of scholars, writers, and artists, and the world-class resources of New York City.
Evergreen State College September 26, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a college for students who are curious about real life.
FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merch.) October 29, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a creative career in the applied arts, fashion design, graphic design, business or entertainment industries, and if you wish to study in a dynamic WASC- & NASAD-accredited environment in southern or northern California.
Foothill College    
Fort Lewis College   Come to this visit if you are interested in a public liberal arts education studying business, chemistry, biology, anthropology, or teacher education, in beautiful Durango, Colorado—a mountain setting that is home to world-class hiking, mountain biking, climbing, rafting, & skiing/snowboarding.
Franklin & Marshall    
Franklin College: Switzerland October 27, 2014 Come to this visit if you want face- to-face international learning,an American and Swiss-accredited degree, and four years spent with Switzerland as your home base with the rest of Europe only a train ticket away.
George Washington University   Come to this visit if you seek a college experience in the nation’s capital that allows you to break down the boundaries between academia and the real world.
Georgetown University    
Georgia Tech    
Gonzaga October 8, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for a college experience steeped in tradition, with a focus on ethics, leadership, and the development of the whole person. Gonzaga offers students the opportunity to focus on their chosen area of study while being well grounded in the liberal arts.
Gordon College   Come to this visit if you are a highly motivated student seeking a distinctive education at a Christian college of the arts and sciences located in historic New England.
Goucher College October 23, 2014  
Grand Canyon University    
Hamilton College    
Hampshire College October 10, 2014 Come to this visit if you are an intellectual risk-taker who is interested in learning about one of the most academically challenging, innovative, and resourceful liberal arts colleges in the nation: NO LETTER GRADES, NO TESTS, NO PRE-DESIGNED MAJORS, NO FOOTBALL.
Harvard University   Come to this visit if you are interested in being fascinated both in and out of the classroom.
Harvey Mudd   Come to this visit if you love math and science, mixed with humanities.
Haverford October 16, 2014 Come to this visit if you’re looking for an honor code and a strong sense of community in a liberal arts college that’s near a major city.
Hawaii Pacific    
Hendrix October 3, 2014 Come to this visit if you are a student who wants to explore your own unique passions and interests while in a community of free-spirited, quirky individuals. Hendrix is widely known for the Odyssey Program, an engaged learning initiative that allows students to pursue their passions both in the classroom and out. Come ready to think outside the book; you’ll have to at Hendrix; a sense of adventure is a must.
High Point U. October 1, 2014  
Hofstra   Come to this visit if you are looking for a progressive, exciting campus experience where more than one presidential debate has been held, 145 majors and 175 student-run organizations are available, a new School of Medicine and a new School of Engineering were recently developed—located in a suburban setting just 40 minutes away from New York City.
Holy Names University   Come to this visit if you are looking for a small and diverse liberal arts education that empowers students for leadership and service.
Hope College    
Humboldt State    
Indiana University September 25, 2014  
Ithaca College   Come to this visit if you are interested in a first-rate education on a first-name basis; Ithaca's right size and blend of liberal arts and professional programs provide the opportunities of large universities in a supportive and personal private college environment.
Jacobs University Bremen (Germany)    
Johns Hopkins U. September 10, 2014 Come to this visit if you're an involved intellectual; from the classroom to the playing field, from the studio to the auditorium, Hopkins seeks self-perceptive, passionate individuals. You know your ABCs...now learn your JHUs!
Juniata College September 11, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for a challenging, collaborative learning environment complete with a tight-knit community, great traditions, and the flexibility to design your own program of study.
Kalamazoo College October 22, 2014 Come to this college visit if you are intellectually curious, open-minded and interested in learning how we can help you to become at home in the world.
Kenyon College October 29, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in fostering strong relationships with others, enjoy absolutely gorgeous surroundings, thrive in a strong community, love learning and being surrounded by classmates and professors who are passionate about what they do, in and out of the classroom.
Knox College October 14, 2014 Come to this college visit if you want to learn by doing.
Lafayette College    
Lawrence U.    
Lewis & Clark College October 13, 2014 Come to this visit if you seek an international liberal arts college dedicated to teaching, scholarship and research, and to preparing students for effective participation in public/private life, with a rigorous curriculum that hones students’ analytical and communication skills while emphasizing cross-cultural learning and an informed respect for the environment.
Linfield College October 21, 2014  
Loyola Marymount October 24, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to figure out how to give back to the world around you by exploring and developing your own strengths and talents; and if you want to live and learn on a beautiful campus with a strong sense of community near the vibrant city of LA, where service opportunities, internships and great surfing are all at your doorstep.
Loyola University of Chicago    
Loyola University of New Orleans   Come to this visit if you want a small liberal arts university in an artistic and exciting city with outstanding music programs (including Music Business), and strong majors in business, communications, sciences, politics, and English.
Macalester College October 20, 2014  
Manhattanville College    
Marquette University    
Maryland Institute College of Art    
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) September 23, 2014  
Marymount College   Come to this visit if you want to learn about a private college right on the coast that now offers both bachelor's (four-year) and associate's (two-year) degrees, but that has traditionally specialized in a two-year program that enables students to transfer to their top-choice colleges.
McGill University October 21, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to learn more about the benefits (academic and economic!) of an education at a top-notch Canadian university.
Menlo College October 1, 2014  
Messiah College    
Miami U. of Ohio September 9, 2014 Come to this visit if you're looking for a true college town setting in the Midwest with emphasis on majors such as business, fine arts, and engineering.
Middlebury College    
Mills College September 30, 2014 Come to this visit if you are a passionate and curious woman who wants to be surrounded by intelligent peers, dedicated professors, and beautiful greenery.
Milwaukee School of Engineering   Come to this visit if you are a passionate and curious woman who wants to be surrounded by intelligent peers, dedicated professors, and beautiful greenery.
Minerva Institute for Research & Scholarship September 30, 2014 Come to this visit if you are a born explorer who wants to solve complex global problems by living and learning in San Francisco, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, New York and more during your four years of college (learn more about the world's first truly global liberal arts program: http://goo.gl/ZylwJa)..
Mount Holyoke College   Come to this visit if you are a bright and independent young woman looking for an academically rigorous college experience in a beautiful New England setting.
Mount St. Mary’s October 9, 2014 Come to this visit if you are a young woman who wants to go to a college where you don't have any barriers, can be independent and free thinking, and are determined to follow your dreams.
New York University (NYU) September 16, 2014 Come to this visit if you’re looking for an exciting urban college experience at a large, diverse research university in the heart of New York City.
Northeastern University September 26, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a university in the heart of Boston that integrates challenging academics with a cooperative education program where students alternate their classroom studies with professional work experience throughout their academic program.
Northwestern University October 21, 2014  
Northern Arizona University November 3, 2014 (date chg.)  
Norwich University   Come to this visit if you want to learn more about America’s oldest private military college and the birthplace of ROTC. The presenter will talk in general about ROTC opportunities at colleges that offer the program, not just Norwich.
Notre Dame de Namur   Come to this visit if you want to continue your education in a very supportive environment where you will reach your full potential.
Oberlin   Come to this visit if you are an individual who cares about making a difference and wants to be a part of a community that embraces diversity, challenges the intellect, and celebrates the arts, music and sciences.
Occidental October 23, 2014  
Ohio State U. October 16, 2014  
Ohio Wesleyan October 31, 2014  
Olin College of Engineering   Come to this visit if you want to learn about a small, highly competitive engineering college that pays half tuition for four years for every admitted student.
Oregon State   Come to this visit if you want your choice of over 200 undegraduate academic programs as well as an Honors College, tremendous opportunities for student involvement, PAC-10 athletic programs, and amazing school spirit.
Pace University October 13, 2014  
Pacific Northwest College of Art September 15, 2014  
Pacific University    
Pepperdine   Come to this visit if you want to learn in a diverse environment, live in a beautiful location, and travel throughout the world.
Pitzer College October 9, 2014 Come to this visit if you are an independent and self-directed student who is looking for a small, residential liberal arts college.
Point Loma Nazarene    
Polytechnic Institute of NYU   Come to this visit if you want to: engineer a cure, feed the world, change the code, grow new energy, build a solution, and decode the universe while living in the city that never sleeps!
Pomona College September 24, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for the best small liberal arts college in the West.
Portland State University   Come to this visit if you are looking for a vibrant and urban institution, where our goal is to enhance your knowledge of the global society we live in, sustainability and the ability to think creatively in a hands-on environment.
Prescott College   Come to this visit if you possess a lively intellect, a passion for social justice and the environment, a keen and fearless sense of adventure, a quirky and eclectic mind, and the desire to be given the green light at every turn; Prescott is a highly original and evolving experiment in rejecting hierarchical thinking for collaboration and teamwork as the cornerstone of learning.
Princeton University   Come to this visit if you are looking for a fun, full college experience and a top-notch liberal arts education at an undergraduate-focused university!
Purdue University September 4, 2014  
Quinnipiac University    
Randolph-Macon College    
Reed College   Come to this visit if you are an independent thinker who loves learning for its own sake.
Regis College   Come to this visit if you see social justice as an action, not just a topic for class.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute September 17, 2014  
Rider University   Come to this visit if you want to attend one university with two campuses in ideal locations for those who want to experience life on the East Coast and enjoy the New York/Philadelphia metropolitan area.
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)    
Rice University   Come to this visit if you think for yourself, and if you’re looking for a small school with big resources in a big city!
Roger Williams University    
Rutgers University October 20, 2014  
Saint Andrew's September 15, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for an adventure: an international experience at a world-renowned Scottish university with 600 years of history!
Saint Edward's    
Saint John's College   Come to this visit if you would like to become the newest members in a conversation that started thousands of years ago and has continued through the centuries to the present and into the future; students who love to think, love to learn, and have academic courage work through, discuss and learn from the seminal works of western civilization.
St. Lawrence University October 20, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a liberal arts education that has diverse opportunities to connect classroom theory to hands-on, real-world experience through internships, international study and community projects; enthusiasm and energy permeate all aspects of life at St. Lawrence University, students here are “doers,” actively involved in academic, extracurricular, and athletic endeavors – come talk to us about the opportunities waiting for you!
Saint Mary’s October 7, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to learn about the premier liberal arts, Catholic and Lasallian Institution in the Bay Area, if you want to be challenged and engaged in intellectual conversation and faculty interaction in a cooperative and supportive environment.
Saint Olaf    
San Diego State U.    
San Francisco State University October 3, 2014  
San Jose State University    
Santa Barbara (UC) October 29, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to ride the wave of excellence.
Santa Clara University October 1, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to hear three great reasons to stay in the Bay Area for college.
Santa Cruz (UC) September 25, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in academic excellence with a personal touch in a beautiful environment.
Sarah Lawrence College September 26, 2014 Come to this visit if you’re looking for a college where your love of writing will be encouraged and strengthened, where you will follow your areas of academic curiosity in a system of seminars and conferences with your professors.
Scripps College September 22, 2014 Come to this visit if you are a young woman who is multi-interested and multi-talented.
Seattle Pacific University    
Seattle University October 24, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in integrating academic excellence with social awareness in the heart of the city.
Seton Hall University   Come to this visit if you are interested in a college 14 miles from New York that offers the opportunities and resources of a large university with the attention of a small college.
Sierra Nevada College   Come to this visit if you are looking for a very small private liberal arts education in beautiful Lake Tahoe, where you can pursue your liberal arts education, explore the diversity of Mother Nature, and enjoy the finest ski resorts in the world.
Skidmore College September 24, 2014 Come to this visit if you believe that creative thought matters.
Smith College    
Soka University   Come to this visit if you want to change the world.
Southern Methodist University October 7, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a hybrid of great academics, student involvement and Division I sports, all in the heart of the exciting city of Dallas, Texas.
Southern Oregon University November 13, 2014  
Stevens Institute of Technology November 5, 2014  
Stonehill College October 22, 2014 Come to this visit if you're dying to hear about a college near but not in Boston, a huge campus of 380 acres surrounding 2400 students, small enough that you're somebody, large enough that you'll get a strong academic foundation—that's Stonehill, a Holy Cross college like Notre Dame.
Stony Brook University    
Suffolk University September 15, 2014  
Swarthmore College October 27, 2014  
Syracuse University October 24, 2014  
Texas Christian U.    
Trinity U. (TX) September 25, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to learn more about a university (located in the culturally rich city of San Antonio, TX) known for its stimulating, resourceful, and collaborative environment in the classroom, on campus, and around the world.
Tufts October 8, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for a college whose mission is to educate leaders for a global community, and is accomplishing that goal minutes away from Boston.
Tulane October 13, 2014  
Union College   Come to this visit if you want to learn more about the East Coast's best kept secret—a small school that makes a big impression—liberal arts and engineering on a friendly, historic campus that allows you to try new things, take risks and discover yourself.
University of Alabama   Come to visit this visit if you want to attend one of the Top 50 public universities in the country and enjoy a beautiful campus, great people, lots of activities, and great sports (Roll Tide!).
University of Arizona October 22, 2014 Come to this visit if you are ready to explore and experience life as a Wildcat!
University of British Columbia September 15, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to explore the possibility of receiving a U.S.-recognized degree in beautiful Canada, at an extremely reasonable cost.
University of Calgary    
University of Chicago October 17, 2014  
University of Colorado October 8, 2014 Come to this visit if you want a high-quality education close to eleven ski and snowboard resorts.
University of Connecticut October 9, 2014  
University of Delaware    
University of Denver October 16, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to challenge yourself with 5,000 other undergraduates in an environment that focuses on internationalization,wellness, and technology in both urban and mountain settings.
University of Hawaii October 16, 2014  
University of Idaho September 17, 2014  
University of Illinois October 30, 2014  
University of Kansas October 31, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for a top-ranked national public research university that offers the ultimate college experience at a supreme value with generous out-of-state scholarships.
University of LaVerne October 3, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to continue your education in an environment as diverse as the one you're used to, with the same type of friendly faces and open minded people that make places like Menlo-Atherton and the University of La Verne unique.
University of Limerick   Ever thought of going to school in Ireland? Here is your opportunity to learn more.
University of Massachusetts Amherst October 8, 2014  
University of Massachusetts Lowell   Come to this visit if you are interested in a public university about 45 minutes north of Boston, the smallest of the 4 public schools in Massachusetts with about 9,000 students, with over 120 majors in the College of Engineering, School of Business, College of Science, School of Health & Environment, College of Fine Arts, Humanities, & Social Science—and out-of-state tuition the same as a UC (plus out-of-state scholarships).
University of Michigan    
University of Minnesota October 28, 2014  
University of Montana   Come to this visit if you are interested in learning more about an institution that ranks in the top 10 nationally for combing academic quality and outdoor recreation.
University of New Mexico September 30, 2014
University of North Carolina    
University of Notre Dame October 17, 2014  
University of Oregon September 5, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for the breadth and quality of a national research university at a medium-sized school with small learning communities for freshmen.
University of the Arts September 17, 2014  
University of the Pacific October 20, 2014 Come to this visit if you want to graduate in four years FOR SURE, need to have your Cal Grant matched by your college, and are looking for a wide range of accelerated and pre-professional programs at a traditional, beautiful campus.
University of Pennsylvania   Come to this visit if you want a university that features tradition *and* innovation, intellectual exploration *and* practical application, a strong sense of community *and* a world class city.
University of Portland   Come to this visit if you are looking for great opportunities both inside and outside the classroom at a highly respected Catholic university in one of the greatest cities in the United States.
University of Puget Sound October 13, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for an educational experience truly based in the liberal arts, where students are challenged to develop and express themselves independently as unique thinkers, academics, musicians, athletes, and leaders in the picturesque setting of the Pacific Northwest.
University of Redlands October 14, 2014  
University of Richmond October 16, 2014  
University of Rochester October 3, 2014 Come to this visit if you are as passionate about music as you are about engineering and medicine.
University of San Diego October 22, 2014 Come to this visit if you are the sort of student who likes to get involved in a values-based community, get a world-class education, and live in America's finest city.
University of Saint Andrews September 15, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for an adventure: an international experience at a world-renowned Scottish university with 600 years of history!
University of San Francisco October 22, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in a nurturing, supportive, yet challenging educational community with San Francisco as your backyard playground.
University of South Carolina October 30, 2014  
University of Southern California (USC) October 23, 2014  
University of Southern California School of Theater   Come to this visit if- you are searching for conservatory-style training in theater located in sunny Southern California that blends artistic training with all the academic advantages of a major university.
University of Toronto October 17, 2014  
University of Vermont October 14, 2014 Come to this visit if you'd like to go to college in a open-minded place among picturesque mountains and lakes with the opportunities of a large university and welcoming feel of a smaller school.
University of Virginia    
University of Washington October 13, 2014 Come to this visit if you don’t just want to learn something new, but you want to CREATE something new and you want to live in the city whose residents buy more sunglasses a year than those of any other city.
Ursinus College   Come to this visit if you’re looking for a liberal arts education that provides a rigorous and collaborative curriculum that places an emphasis on student success and achievement.
Vanderbilt University September 8, 2014 Come to this visit if you are intrigued by a residential mid-sized major research university in the Southeast where academic intensity and civility go hand-in-hand.
Vassar College   Come to this visit if you want to learn more about a stunning campus where you can pursue the best foundation for a successful life: an understanding and appreciation of the range of ideas and methods of inquiry and artistic achievements that have shaped the human experience.
Villanova University October 14, 2014 Come to this visit if you seek a college with a strong mix of superior academics, commitment to social justice, and enthusiasm for great athletics.
Wagner College October 13, 2014 Come to this visit if you want a residential college campus in New York City that focuses on a solid foundation in the liberal arts with practical and applied experiences like internships and service learning.
Wake Forest U. October 9, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in learning about liberal arts university that encourages students to pursue their deepest intellectual concerns and that combines expansive resources, advanced technology and an array of co-curricular activities in an intimate environment on a beautiful campus in North Carolina!
Washington & Lee    
Washington University in St. Louis October 1, 2014 Come to this visit if you want a challenging and flexible curriculum in a dynamic and friendly community.
Wellesley College September 16, 2014 Come to this visit if you are interested in learning more about a dynamic and challenging liberal arts college for women located near Boston, Massachusetts.
Wells College    
Wesleyan University September 8, 2014  
Western New England University September 19, 2014 Come to this visit if you are looking for a college located in the crossroads of New England that provides excellence in teaching for all students in a supportive environment where activities—curricular and co-curricular—are viewed as educationally purposeful.
Western Washington University October 30, 2014  
Westmont College October 14, 2014 Come to this visit if you desire an extraordinary college experience near the beaches of Santa Barbara, if you are interested in a Christian liberal arts college, or even if you are not sure if you want a Christian college education.
West Point November 24, 2014  
Wheaton College October 9, 2014 Come to this visit if you aren't afraid to explore colleges that you may not have heard of; and if you are interested in a classical Boston-area liberal arts college with exciting ways of connecting your in-class learning with real-world experience.
Whitman College September 23, 2014 Come to this visit if you are highly motivated, and you seek a rigorous liberal arts and sciences education in a closely knit campus community that prides itself on friendliness and active involvement outside the classroom; it helps if you love to volunteer in the community or play Frisbee golf for fun.
Whittier College October 23, 2014 Come to this visit if you seek an enriching liberal arts/sciences college, an atmosphere conducive to creating resourceful relationships with faculty, an institution committed to excellence in undergraduate education on a diverse campus that seeks to form attitudes appropriate for leading and serving in a global society.
Whitworth College   Come to this visit if you're excited about any of the following words: CHALLENGE. GRACE. TRUTH. FRISBEE. ARTS. SCIENCE. PIRATES. JAZZ. BRICKS. CULTURE. TRAVEL. EXCELLENCE. NORTHWEST.
Willamette University September 10, 2014 Come to this visit if you would like to attend a college whose students are paid to film documentaries, study revolutionary theater in Cuba, and research cancer.
William Jessup University   Come to this visif if you want to learn in an atmosphere that maintains the quality of a large school, but offers the individual attention of a small one, with a Christ-centered curriculum and one of the lowest tuition prices for a private Christian liberal arts university in California.
Williams College   Come to this visit if you want to be part of a small, tight-knit community of active and engaged individuals who are spirited, intelligent, hard-working, down-to-earth, intellectually curious, open-minded, fun-loving and diverse; and if you want a close relationship with your professors, incredible academic resources, a challenging selection of courses and a wonderful college community.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute October 8, 2014 Come to this visit if you’re a tinkerer, if you like robotics, if you like taking apart computers and building things, if you like seeing your learning applied in hands-on projects, if you’re thinking about biotechnology or biomedical engineering!
Xavier University    
Yale University    


Organization Deadline Student Targets Amount Type
Hispanic Heritage Awards 2014/09/15 Seniors (citizens or legal residents) of Hispanic parentage (can be one parent), achievement in a variety of areas: check Web site at http://hhfawards.hispanicheritage.org/2014. 3.0 minimum GPA. Apply online. Must be U.S. citizen or permanent resident. $1,000 State/National
Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship Program 2014/11/?? Must intend to enroll full-time in a four-year college in fall 2015. GPA 3.5 or above in h.s., strong test scores and must test by October 2014 (SAT Critical Reading + Math 1200 or above, ACT 26 or above), unmet financial need. See www.jkcf.org/scholarships. up to $30,000/year State/National
Good Tidings Community Service 2014/11/10 Seniors who have performed community service. “We encourage all to apply, but consideration is given to those of greatest need.” See www.goodtidings.org or application in Career Center.
$5,000 Local


SAT Deadlines
Date Event
9/12/14 Deadline to register for the October 11 SAT.
10/9/14 Deadline to register for the November 8 SAT.
11/6/14 Deadline to register for the December 6 SAT.
12/29/14 Deadline to register for the January 24 SAT.
2/13/15 Deadline to register for the March 14 SAT.
4/6/15 Deadline to register for the May 2 SAT.
5/8/15 Deadline to register for the June 6 SAT.
ACT Deadlines
Date Event
8/8/14 Deadline to register for the September 13 ACT.
9/19/14 Deadline to register for the October 25 ACT.
11/7/14 Deadline to register for the December 13 ACT.
1/9/15 Deadline to register for the February 7 ACT.
3/13/15 Deadline to register for the April 18 ACT.
5/8/15 Deadline to register for the June 13 ACT.
School Deadlines
Date Event
9/23/14 Deadline to turn in Recommendation Request Packet to your Guidance Advisor (so s/he can write your School Report, or counselor recommendation) if you are applying EARLY ACTION or EARLY DECISION to private colleges (deadlines 12/15 or earlier)
11/3/14 Deadline to turn in Recommendation Request Packet to your Guidance Advisor (so s/he can write your School Report, or counselor recommendation) if you are applying to private colleges (deadlines 12/16 or later)
3/2/15 Deadline to submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to qualify for a Cal Grant (free money from the state of California). Check with your colleges: some have earlier financial aid deadlines!

Special Events




FINANCIAL AID NIGHT (seniors and their parents), January 7, 2015, 7:00 p.m., PAC Cafeteria (in English), Career Center (in Spanish); more info to follow.

SOPHOMORE PARENT COLLEGE INFORMATION NIGHT: Tuesday, January 13, 7:00 p.m., PAC Cafeteria, parents of SOPHOMORES only, no students

COMMUNITY COLLEGE NIGHT: February 5, 2015, 6:00 p.m., PAC Cafeteria, details to follow!


Summer Programs

Program Description
Acting Abroad Month-long acting conservatory program at a chateau in Normany, France.
ASA Academic Study Associates Pre-college programs at Tufts, Columbia, U Mass Amherst, Princeton, UC-Berkeley, Oxford, Cambridge; study abroad and language immersion programs in Spain, France, Italy, Costa Rica; College admission prep programs at Columbia, Tufts, and Berkeley.
Barnard Pre-College Summer in New York Program (for Young Men and Women) Five weeks of college life in New York City.
Berkeley Pre-Collegiate Program 100 specially selected college courses with college credit available. Includes orientation, campus tour, and seminar on writing college applications. Entering juniors.
Boston College Summer Experience Program Six-week program with college courses for college credit.
Boston University High School Honors Program and Summer Challenge Program For high school students entering their senior year; college courses in a variety of academic areas.
California College of the Arts Pre-College Summer Courses on architecture, ceramics, community arts (NEW!), creative writing, drawing, painting, sculpture, fashion design, film/video, graphic design, jewelry making, metal arts, industrial design, printmaking, photography.
California Dept. of Transportation Summer Engineering Institute For incoming high school juniors and seniors interested in engineering and technology.
Carleton Liberal Arts Experience Academic exploration for African-American high school sophomores or students interested in African-American culture.
Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Experience Six-week academic residential programs in art, design, architecture, drama, and music, located in Pittsburg, PA. Special program in gaming (National High School Game Academy.)
Choate Rosemary Hall Summer Programs Academic summer program in New England. Programs in wide variety of academic areas. Middle school and high school
Columbia University Summer High School Programs in New York and Barcelona Pre-college courses for grades 9-12
Constitutional Rights Foundation Summer Law Institute Week-long program for students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade who are interested in learning more about the Amerian legal system. Live on the UCLA campus, attend law-related classes, engage in discussions held by university professors.
Cosmos: California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science Academic four-week residential program for talented and motivated students completing grades 8-12. Addresses topics not traditionally taught in high schools (astronomy, computer science, wetlands ecology, ocean science, robotics, neuroscience, cognitive science, game theory, volcanology, more).
Earlham College Explore-a-College Two-week program for students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grades to develop college-level skills in art, ceramics, methalsmithing, photography, college vocabulary, literature, philosophy and film, writing for college, Spanish, Japanese, oceans and ice, human behavior, peace studies,
Experiment in International Living: World Learning Summer cross-cultural education programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Latin America.
Georgetown University Summer Programs for High School Students Summer college for high school juniors, college prep courses, gateway to business, and international relations program.
Global Works Service, adventure, language programs in Colorado, Pacific Northwest, New Zealand/Fiji, Ireland, Yucatan Peninsula, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Spain, Ecuador, Bolivia/Peru, and France.
Innerspark Located at the California Institute for Arts in in Valencia. It provides programs in animation, visual arts, dance, music, film, theater, creative writing. February deadline to enroll.
Julian Krinsky Academic Enrichment Camp at Haverford College, PA One-, two-, and three-week sessions for entering grades 9-12. Courses offerred in art, business, cookinhg, drama, music and Princeton SAT Review.. There is also the discovery track program which offers exposure to four of 28 different courses. There are entertainment, athletic and fun activities as well.
Julian Krinsky Model UN Four-wek session located at University of Pennsylvania.
Junior Statesman Summer School Georgetown, Princeton, Northwestern, Stanford, and Yale campuses host sessions for outstanding high school students to learn more about government. Requires nomination.
Landmark Volunteers Summer service opportunities throughout the U.S. for students aged 14 1/2 up. Two-week programs. Primarily manual labor!
Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy Four-week intensive immersion programs in Spanish, French, Arabic, and Chinese. Held this year on the campus of Menlo College.
New York Film Academy Intensive four- and six-week filmmaking, animation, screenwriting, and acting workshops students aged 16 to 18.
Northwestern U. School of Music Preview of collegiate-level music study and music as a career.
Northwestern University College Preparation Program, Evanston Ill. Intensive training in expository writing, plus Northwestern courses, and fun activities.
Otis Summer of Art Four-week programs in animation, architecture/landscape/interiors, digitasl media, digital photography, fashion design, graphic design, illustration, life drawing, painting, traditional black and white photography.
Oxbridge Academic Programs Summer academic programs in Oxford, Cambridge, Barcelona, and Paris- for students completing 8-9 and 10-11.
Sail Caribbean Programs in sailing, scuba, water sports, leadership, marine biology, cultural immersion, and service learning.
Sarah Lawrence College Programs for High School Students Writing, Film, Visual Arts, and Music programs in New York.
Scottish Studies & Creative Writing Programs Program conducted at St. Andrews University for students to learn about Scottish history, literature, culture, archaeology, art, and music.
Smith Summer Science and Engineering Programs “Nurturing the scientist within the girl,” a four-week residential program for exceptional young women with strong interests in science, engineering, and medicine.
Stanford University Summer College for High School Students
Eight-week program for “exceptional” high school students who will be seniors (program accepts a few incoming juniors).
Summer Discovery Pre-college enrichment for high school students offered at UCLA, UC San Diego, U.C. Santa Barbara, U. of Michigan, Georgetown, Northeastern U., Spain, Florence, Cambridge. College credit, enrichment, SAT prep, community service, ESL, driver ed, tennis, golf, sports, rec. www.summerfun.com
Summer Study Programs -Penn State, University of Colorado or The Sorbonne Pre-college enrichment, variety of sessions including SAT prep, community service, weekend travel.
UC Berkeley Academic Talent Development Program Six weeks of courses to prepare students(grades 7-11) for college-caliber classes; acceleration or enrichment.
University of Colorado (Boulder) Summer Study hree-week and five-week programs; students can earn college credits. Camping trip, classes, trips.
University of Miami Summer Scholar Program Eight areas of study (broadcast journalism, engineering, filmmaking, forensic investigation, international relations, health and medicine, marine science, sports management, multimedia design, and writing) for high school sophomores and juniors (taught by college faculty).
University of Michigan Math & Science Scholars Summer Program Math and science offerings including Roller Coaster Physics; Codes, Ciphers, and Secret Messages; The Physics of Magic and the Magic of Physics; Explorations of a Field Biologist, etc.
University of Notre Dame Summer Experience Pre-College Program Academic opportunities for students between junior and senior year of high school: acting, business/entrepreneurship, China, Dante, film, life sciences, policy debate, pre-law, psychology, theology, voice
US Naval Academy- Summer Seminar for rising HS seniors Introduction to the US Naval Academy including academics, physical training and midshipman life.
USC Summer Seminars for High School Students Sample college life and earn three units of college credit; seminars in art in the context of performance, and science in the context of contemporary problem solving. Topics this year include Introduction to Photography as an Art Form, News: The Basics and the Future, and Introduction to Video Game Design.
Visions Service Adventures Service work, cultural and language immersion, exploration and adventure. Small groups visit host communities. For ages 14-18.
West Point Summer Leaders Seminar An opportunity for juniors to experience cadet life at West Point.
World Horizons A community service program that helps inhabitants of third-world villages. May involve construction, literacy, tutoring, or senior citizens.
Young Eight String Seminar Two weeks of chamber music and performance opportunities at Seattle University w/ resident string octet The Young Eight. For high school and college students who play violin, viola, and cello.
Young Scholars Program Researach opportunities for academically talented sophomores and juniors in biological and natural sciences.


Parents' Role In The College Search, Selection, And Application Process

What role should parents play as their students launch into the college search, selection, and application process? Certainly the answer to this question will differ in every family, and will depend on long-established family dynamics and traditions. But ideally, each family will find a happy medium somewhere between the unfortunate extremes of parents procuring and filling out their students' applications and parents ignoring the process altogether. The student should certainly feel that he or she owns the process, from start to finish. Seniors in high school are quite capable of assuming responsibility for this important phase of their lives, and there is no aspect of the process that is not do-able by a competent senior (with the possible exception of writing the checks . . .). Colleges expect students, not parents, to take the lead role. The ideas below are suggestions that work in many families:

  • Parent help should ideally be offered on the student's terms: if asked, the student will let her parents know what kind of assistance will be appreciated and which areas she would rather tackle on her own. Once an agreement has been made, it should be respected (though it could, of course, be revisited at any time during the process).
  • Certainly students should be responsible for procuring their own applications and test-registration forms. Those that are not available at school in the Career Center can be sent for easily, either by phone, mail, Internet.
  • A parent's pen should never meet paper on the college and scholarship applications. This is absolutely the student's responsibility, from start to finish.
  • Deadlines as well should-ideally-be the student's responsibility, not the parents'. Since this is frequently an issue in families, it makes sense to set up a system at the very beginning of the senior year: a calendar with deadlines clearly marked, an agreement of what sort of reminders would be welcome, etc. Students who have traditionally relied on parents to remind them of deadlines need to understand that they and only they will suffer the consequences of missed deadlines. Why should a student bother to remember SAT registration deadlines if his parents will pay late fees for him? Make it clear from the start that the student is responsible for all deadlines.
  • Parents can offer assistance in a variety of areas where it will be welcome and appropriate. Accompanying the student on college visits is a perfect example. This kind of trip can be a great family experience. Once at the college, however, parents must remember to let the student ask most of the questions, to expect the student to spend a night in the dorms while parents stay elsewhere, to listen first to the student's impressions of each campus before offering their own, etc. Another appropriate form of parent assistance is proofreading and offering opinions (IF ASKED!) on college and scholarship applications. But it is the student's voice that must come through on essays and personal statements, not the parents'! Parent assistance will also be welcome in paying college-application fees and other expenses, though certainly many families work out a way for students to share this responsibility as well.
  • Students and parents will need to collaborate on financial aid applications; often this is the first time that information about family finances is discussed and shared. The FAFSA (universal financial-aid application) requires information about student income and assets as well as parent income and assets. Neither the student nor the parents are capable of completing this application alone, and it must be signed by all. Furthermore, the financial aid offices of many universities prefer to (or insist on) communicating directly with the student, once the student has been admitted. This can be quite a shock in families where parents have concerned themselves with finances and students have been kept in the dark. Clearly at this stage students are becoming adults, and colleges expect them to shoulder financial-aid responsibilities.
  • Decision making is perhaps the toughest area for parent/student collaboration. Where to apply, what topics to address in application essays, whom to ask for recommendations, what to wear to interviews, and ultimately which college to attend are a few of the potential areas of discussion within families. Again, the decisions must come from the students. Parent input will be accepted and perhaps even welcomed if it is offered in a non-judgmental, open-minded way that acknowledges that the student is the final authority. Often, in cases of family disagreements, a third party respected by both student and parents can be helpful; this might be a family friend, teacher, college advisor, or counselor.

What if a student seems to be avoiding the responsibilities of preparing to go to college? This is a good time for a family to question whether the goals set for the student are the student's own or the those of the parents. Students who habitually resist taking initiative and responsibility for this process may simply not be ready, may need an alternative (a couple of years at community college, for example, rather than immediate attendance at a four-year school), may be resisting plans that have been superimposed by parents with their own agendas. A student who fails to follow through may be trying to convey a message; it would be terrific if this message could be conveyed in thoughtful and patient family conversations rather than horn-locking episodes. Perhaps some assumptions have been made for years that need to be questioned.

The college-application process is not an easy one for families, but it can be a truly exciting and collaborative time, if parents and students discuss their respective roles ahead of time and agree on what will work. It's all part of the letting-go process, and it's all new. But what a perfect time for the student to test those wings that will need to be fly-ready by the college freshman year!


The College Visit

You don't necessarily have to spend a lot of money and travel across the country to learn from college visits. Here are some tips to make your visits both near and far more productive.

Visiting college campuses is a terrific way to learn more about what you do or do not want in a college. Starting as early as freshman year, setting foot on a variety of college campuses will help you with the decision you will make in spring of your senior year. Does this mean that you and your family need to spend thousands of dollars flying around the U.S. visiting colleges? Absolutely not! Any college campus you set foot on will help you learn a tremendous amount about what is important to you. Start by making informal visits to nearby campuses. Here are some observations you might make, and what you might learn from them:

  • "Hey, we've been here all day and we've seen the same people over and over again." (This college might be too small for me. OR: This will be a cozy, intimate environment where I won't be overwhelmed or have a hard time meeting people.)
  • "We've been walking for hours, and we haven't crossed the whole campus yet. Plus the city bus runs on a busy street right down the middle of campus!"(I'm more comfortable on a small, self-contained campus. OR: I'll never exhaust the resources of this place—plus non-campus opportunities are really close by.)
  • "Look at that-a professor sitting out on the grass with two or three students, talking about a book!" (I might find the individual and personal attention that I want at a school like this.)
  • "Red-brick buildings arranged in a square, ivy-covered walls, a quad with grass in the middle where kids are throwing a frisbee—this is the way I always imagined college!" (I love a traditional campus feeling. OR: I would prefer to be somewhere that feels more like the "real" world.)
  • "What is wrong with this picture? Everybody looks the same!" (I have become accustomed to diversity in my high school-and it is a high priority for me at the college I will attend. OR: I always hoped college would provide me the opportunity to be with people who are all more like me.)
  • "It's Saturday, and no one is here. I don't see a single student on campus."(I think I want to avoid a commuter-type campus where people take off on the weekends.)

Get the idea? Visits to college campuses—any college campuses—can help you to zero in on what is important to you.

As a junior or senior, if you have the opportunity to visit colleges that are high on your list, be sure to make good use of your time there.

  • Call ahead and make arrangements with the Admission Office; schedule an interview if possible. (Some interviews are "evaluative," and will have an impact on admission; other interviews are merely "informative," meant to acquaint you with the college and answer your questions. ASK whether your interview will be evaluative or informative.) Be sure to visit the Admission Office when you arrive. Ask questions!
  • Spend the night on campus in a dorm if at all possible. This can often be arranged through the Admission Office. Eat dorm food; would you be able to survive? Ask in your high school Career Center for a list of students who went to your school and are attending the colleges you will be visiting; these students will probably be enthusiastic about sharing their experiences with you.
  • Visit classes, preferably in the disciplines that you are interested in studying. Again, this can often be arranged through Admission Offices. There are often opportunities to meet with professors or students in the departments that interest you.
  • If you're an athlete, try to meet with a coach and learn about opportunities in your sport. Musicians, artists, actors, or students with any other "specialty" can sometimes arrange to meet with professors or other key players on campus.
  • Take a formal campus tour-but try, if you can, to have a more informal, less "programmed" tour with a student who is not on the Admission Office "payroll"!
  • Check out the libraries—you'll be spending a tremendous amount of time there!
  • Read bulletin boards, especially those in campus centers such as Student Unions. What's going on around the campus? How are students spending their free time?
  • Familiarize yourself with the surrounding area—you won't be on campus all the time!
  • Take notes. You'll be surprised, when you get back home, how your visit becomes a blur: which was the school that had those great computer labs? Where did we see that incredible education library? Which school was it that offered varsity badminton?
The College Selection Process

Here are some of the factors you should consider in order to find a college that is a good match for you.

YES, YOU CAN! That is the correct answer to your question, "Will I be able to go to college?" If going to college is important to you, there will be a way to do it, and there are many resources available to help you learn how to prepare yourself for, select, and gain admission to college. The college application and selection process does not need to be stressful or pressured; it can be an interesting and fulfilling process of self-discovery that will take you closer to your ultimate goal: a meaningful and satisfying career.

Use the resources of the Career Center, the Internet, local libraries, and all of the people you know to help you zero in on a list of appropriate colleges. Books, college catalogs, college videos, college selection software, Internet home pages, and Web sites all are available to students. Visits to local colleges can help you identify what is important to you. Talks with current college students, recent graduates, and adults in careers that interest you can make a difference too.

It is easy to get swept up in selecting colleges based on prestige, name recognition, hearsay and stereotypes, peer and parent pressure--but the decision about where to go after high school is too important to be made in this way. College is an exciting step toward greater independence and a satisfying life--one that only you will be living. While you will receive guidance and information from many sources, your final choice should be one you are comfortable with and one that is realistic and appropriate for your needs and interests.

Some of the factors you will want to consider when selecting a college include:

  • Location (distance from home, climate, urban/rural, etc.)
  • Two-year or four-year school; types of degrees granted
  • Affiliation (public, private, religious)
  • Size of student body
  • Diversity of student body
  • Faculty-to-student ratio, class size
  • Calendar (quarters? semesters? trimesters? 4-1-4? block?)
  • Cost
  • Availability of financial aid
  • Selectivity (how hard is it to get in?)
  • Admission requirements (testing, GPA, high school coursework)
  • Majors available
  • Housing availability
  • Retention rate (number of students who return after freshman year)
  • Graduation rate
  • Number of students who continue for graduate study
  • Availability of opportunities for internships, service learning, study abroad, etc.
  • Extracurricular activities available, including athletics, music, art, etc.
  • Character of surrounding community
  • Other factors that are important to you

And then of course, all of the above considerations may fly right out the window when a college just "feels right"--that gut-level reaction some people have when they walk onto a certain campus. You may hear people talk about "the perfect match." While it is true that finding a college that is a good fit for you is important, it is also true that most students who head off with an open mind and a great attitude would thrive in a variety of college atmospheres. Much of the stress students feel about selecting a college would vanish if we all kept that in mind!

Students sometimes see roadblocks that appear to stand between them and a college education: their academic record in high school, their family's financial situation, their citizenship status, their family's plans and goals for them, etc. Though these factors may have an influence on where a student is able to attend college and how long it may take to complete a college education, none of these factors needs to stand between you and a college education if college is what you want.

There are so many paths to a fulfilling future! Remember that every college offers many valuable opportunities. Choose one that's right for you.


Glossary of College Terms

A comprehensive list of commonly used college/financial aid vocabulary.

Term Definition
AA Associate of Arts. A two-year degree offered by community colleges (and some four-year colleges).
ACT American College Test. A college-admission exam generally accepted as an alternative to the SAT.
A-G Pattern The high-school coursework required by the University of California for students to be eligible for admission. See www.universityofcalifornia.edu.
AP Advanced Placement. College-level courses taken in high school. College credit may be awarded by some colleges to students who have taken these courses and passed the exams offered at the end of the course with a specific score.
BA or BS Also called a bachelor's degree; Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, the degree awarded by four-year colleges/universities.
BA or BS Also called a bachelor's degree; Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, the degree awarded by four-year colleges/universities.
CSS Profile See Profile.
CSU California State University. The 23 public state campuses, such as San Jose State, San Francisco State, etc.

Deferral of admission: This is a possible response to a student who has applied early action or early decision to a college. Deferral in this case means the student has not been admitted or rejected, but rather a decision has been "deferred" and the student will be considered with the rest of the applicant pool-those who did not apply early.

Deferral of attendance The process by which a student postpones attendance at a college after having been accepted. Many private colleges will allow a student to defer for one year after being accepted. At public universities, students generally cannot defer, and must re-apply if they wish to take a year off after high school.
Degree The title given to a college graduate after completion of a program. An undergraduate degree is conferred after four years of college; a graduate degree is conferred after studies beyond college.
Early programs Early action and early decision are two programs used by some private colleges to notify applicants of their acceptance or rejection during the first semester of senior year rather than in March or April. Early action means the student applies early, receives notification early, but may apply to other colleges and make a selection after hearing from all schools. Early action is non-binding; a student accepted early action is not bound (committed) to attend that school. Single-Choice Early Action is another form of early action, also non-binding; students who apply to single-choice early action colleges may only make one early application. Early decision means the student applies early, receives notification early, and is committed to attend the college if accepted. A student accepted early decision must withdraw all other applications. Early programs are for students who are absolutely certain of their first-choice school; in general, they must have completed their testing by spring of their junior year.
EOP (Equal Opportunity Program) or EOPS A program that helps educationally or economically disadvantaged students with admission, financial aid, and academic support at college.
Expected Family Contribution A dollar figure derived by a formula based on information about the family's income and assets provided on the FAFSA. The EFC amount will be reported to the applicant on the SAR (Student Aid Report).
FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the financial aid application filed by all students who want financial aid, no matter what type of college they will be attending. It must be filed between January 1 and March 2 if the student hopes to qualify for state as well as federal aid. It is available in the Career Center in December.
Fees The term used by the California community colleges, the California State University, and the University of California, for the money paid for classes (known as tuition at other colleges).
Fee waiver A form available to students from low-income families; this form can be sent with college testing or admission applications instead of the fees usually charged for these services.
Financial aid Money to help students pay for their education; can be in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, or work-study.
Financial need In financial aid language, need is the difference between the actual cost of a student's education and what the student and his/her family can be expected to contribute (based on the FAFSA formula that computes Expected Family Contribution).
General Education (Gen Ed) or Breadth Requirements Required courses from different disciplines (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, fine arts, math, etc.) required for most college degrees.
GPA Grade Point Average. Though GPA is reported on high school transcripts, often colleges compute their own version of the GPA, counting only certain courses or "weighting" the GPA by adding extra points for honors courses.
Grants Money given as financial aid that does not have to be paid back.
Impacted A major, a college campus, or a specific program is said to be impacted if there are more applicants for the program than there are spaces available. In these cases, either enrollment may be temporarily closed or special screening processes will be used to select those who can enroll.
Liberal Arts Introduction or exposure to a wide range of subjects or disciplines, including social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and natural sciences.
MA A master's degree (Master of Arts) requiring one or two years after completion of a BA or a BS.
Major The primary area a student chooses to study in college, generally constituting approximately half of the coursework done by that student. (The other half of the coursework is usually a combination of general education requirements and electives.)
Minor A secondary area a student might choose to study in college, with a certain number of courses required in order for the minor to be awarded.
NCAA National Collegiate Athletic Association. An organization that regulates college athletics through its rules on eligibility, recruiting, and financial aid.
Package The financial aid offer made by a college to a student; also called an award letter.
Ph.D. Also called a doctorate degree; the highest graduate degree available; generally takes several years after undergraduate studies and a master's degree have been completed.
Prerequisites Coursework, tests, or grade levels that must be completed before taking a specific course.
Private (or independent) college A college that is not supported by state tax funds.
Profile A financial aid application required by many private colleges. (The Profile never replaces the FAFSA; it is used in addition to the FAFSA by schools that require it.)
PSAT A practice test for the SAT offered in October. Should be taken by all high school juniors, and may be taken by interested sophomores. This is the qualifying test for National Merit Scholarships.

Rescission (or Revocation): The withdrawal of an offer of admission. A college may rescind (or revoke) its offer of admission to a student if that student fails to complete the senior year at the level the college expects based on the application. This may be due to failing senior-year courses, dropping required coursework, disciplinary action, or other causes.

Rolling admission Colleges on this system notify students of their acceptance or rejection on a rolling basis by responding to applications as they are received, rather than waiting for a specific reply date.
SAR Student Aid Report. This form is returned to students who filed the FAFSA, informing them of their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and requesting corrections to the FAFSA or updated information that was not available when the FAFSA was filed.
SAT A college-entrance examination offered by the College Board. This exam measures writing, critical reading, and mathematical skills in a 3-hour, 35-minute test that includes both multiple-choice questions and a writing sample. Required by the UC, CSU, and many private colleges.
SAT Subject Tests Subject tests, up to three of which may be taken on one test day. Hour long multiple-choice tests in specific subject areas. Two SAT Subject Tests are required for the University of California (the two tests may be in any area of the student’s choice, but may not be in the same discipline).
Scholarship A grant (gift) of money that does not need to be paid back. Scholarships may be granted based on merit (talent or ability), financial need, or other criteria.
TOEFL Test of English as a Foreign Language. An English exam for foreign students used for admission or placement in college English classes.
Transcript The official document that reports coursework and grades.
Transfer students Students who have moved from one college to another, generally after the end of sophomore year.
Tuition Fees that are paid for instruction in colleges/universities.
UC University of California. Nine undergraduate campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and San Diego) and one graduate campus (San Francisco) make up the UC system.
Undergraduate A college student who has not yet received a degree
Waiting list Colleges may form a list of students who will be offered admission if accepted students do not completely fill the entering class.
Work-Study A federally funded program that makes part-time jobs available to students with financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
Yield A college's yield is the number or percentage of accepted students who choose to attend. (A college would have a yield of 40% if it offered admission to 1,000 students and 400 chose to attend that college.)
Financial Aid Calendar

A reference list of financial aid dates and deadlines.



•      Check the web sites of all colleges that interest you for information about financial aid and deadlines.  Learn which forms might be required in addition to the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at each college.
•      Many private colleges require an additional financial aid form, the CSS Profile. See https://profileonline.collegeboard.com to learn about which colleges require the CSS Profile. Complete the Profile by the earliest school or program filing date.
•      Obtain a FAFSA PIN (Personal Identification Number) for yourself and for one of your parents at http://www.pin.ed.govLater, when you file the FAFSA electronically, you will use the PIN to create an electronic signature.
•      Begin researching scholarships through the Career Center list, the senior e-mails, and the Internet.  Try a free FastWeb scholarship search on the Internet (www.fastweb.com).
•      Each college's web site will have a "net price calculator" or "net cost calculator" to help your family determine how much that college would cost for YOU.  Use these tools, but remember, your actual financial aid offer may differ from the info on the calculator, based on a variety of factors.
•      The FAFSA site offers the FAFSA4caster, a tool your family can use to gain an idea of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the figure the FAFSA provides to colleges to show how much your family is expected to contribute toward your education in your first year of college.
•      If you do not have a Social Security number, see Ms. Kleeman for special instructions.
•      ASK QUESTIONS IN THE CAREER CENTER!  Be sure you are registered on Naviance!

•      All students who are applying for financial aid, whether for two-year or four-year colleges, will complete a FAFSA. Familiarize yourself with the form (www.fafsa.gov) BUT DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR FAFSA BEFORE JANUARY 1, or it will not be processed!
•      File a GPA Verification Form; it is necessary to submit this information to qualify for financial aid from the state of California.  The District will send this information electronically to the California Student Aid Commission for you; if your family wishes to opt out of this process, please tell me. It is fine if the District files your GPA VF even if you do not apply for financial aid, so there is no real need to opt out.
•      Collect documents you will need in order to complete the FAFSA (Social Security card, income and asset records, etc.).  The FAFSA web site lists the documents you will need.
•      If the colleges you are applying to have their own institutional financial aid forms, be sure you have obtained them and checked deadlines; some deadlines are as early as January 1!
•      Continue researching scholarships.  Continue asking questions!

•     Attend the financial aid evening workshop at school sponsored by the Career Center; there will be one workshop conducted in English and one in Spanish, both on January 8.
•      Complete the FAFSA, reading all instructions CAREFULLY!  You do NOT have to wait until you and your parents have filed your income tax returns; you may use estimates on the FAFSA and then update the information once you have filed your income tax forms.  It is better to file on time with estimates than to file late!
•      Submit your FAFSA electronically (www.fafsa.gov) as soon as possible, but NOT BEFORE JANUARY 1! The priority deadline for California is March 2.  Once submitted, the colleges you have listed and coded will receive your information electronically.  Submit your CSS Profile to colleges that require it by each college's deadline.
•      Alert the Financial Aid Administrators (FAA) at the colleges you hope to attend of any special financial circumstances that will affect your ability to pay for college.  The FAFSA does not allow for reporting of special circumstances; this MUST be done by communicating directly with the FAA at the colleges.

•      Review your Student Aid Report (SAR), which you will access online after filing a FAFSA.  Make corrections, if necessary, to your SAR and resubmit it.  If you had not filed your taxes when you submitted your FAFSA and so you used estimated amounts at that time, you must now correct the SAR to reflect the actual amounts reported when you and/or your parents filed your income taxes.
•      If your SAR or a college to which you've applied notifies you that you have been "selected for verification," you will need to provide more information, such as tax forms.  Check with your colleges to find out what information they will require for this process, and submit that information to them as soon as possible.

•      You will receive financial aid offers (also called "financial aid packages" or "financial aid award letters") from colleges that admit you.  Review these offers carefully.  Ask questions in the Career Center if you don't understand your award letters.
•      The College Board has a useful tool that will allow you to compare financial aid awards from different colleges: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/financial-aid-awards/compare-aid-calculator.
•      Talk to a Financial Aid Administrator at the college of your choice if you have problems.  Be sure to ask for the name of the person you are speaking with so you can talk to the same person each time.
•      Respect the Universal Reply Date, May 1—this is the date by which you must notify four-year colleges that have admitted you whether you plan to attend or not.  Once you have decided which college to attend, review that college's financial aid offer, and accept or decline each item listed on the offer (for example, you may choose to accept grants and loans but to decline work-study).
•      You are required to alert the financial aid office at your college of any money you will receive (scholarships or awards) from private sources or of any changes in your family’s financial situation..


Information about federal financial aid programs: www.fafsa.gov
General information about Cal Grants: http://www.csac.ca.gov/
Follow-up information to application for a Cal Grant:  https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/logon.asp
Information about financial aid in general: http://www.finaid.org/

Career Center
Alice Kleeman, College Advisor
322-5311 x 5141


The College Application Essay

Tips for writing a college essay (personal statement) that will make a difference.

A college application essay (or personal statement) is required by the University of California and by many private schools. Rather than being put off or discouraged by the effort required to compose an essay, you should be thrilled to be offered the opportunity to show an admission committee what is most special about you. Your essay must differentiate you from other applicants who may have similar academic records or activities to yours. Think hard before beginning your essay about the qualities you possess that make you an outstanding applicant; consider both what you would bring to the college (your talents, personal qualities, etc.) and what you can take from the college (your ability to take advantage of the opportunities the college has to offer).

  • Read some effective college essays written by others. The Career Center has examples.
  • When offered a choice of prompts or essay topics, be sure to select the topic that enables you to say the most about yourself and that offers the greatest opportunity to bring in information that will not be found elsewhere in your application (personal or character qualities, cultural or ethnic traditions that have helped to form you, obstacles or challenges you have faced and surmounted, explanations [NOT excuses!] for irregularities in your record, etc.). Once you've selected a topic, stay on the topic-answer the question asked.
  • Start your essay with a "grabber" sentence that will intrigue the reader and draw him/her in to learn more about you. Remember, admission officers read thousands of these essays. Yours must stand out! At the same time, avoid gimmicks-your essay can be original and creative without pushing the limits.
  • Remember the advice you have heard from your English teachers for years: show, don't tell. Which sentence below sounds like a more interesting description of a school project?

    We worked really hard to create an interesting decade project.
    We devoted endless hours to script writing, depleted countless markers and rolls of butcher paper, and made several pilgrimages to thrift stores, where we sought our perfect twenties-style apparel.

  • Both content and style are important. Colleges want to know what you have to say, but they are also interested in your style and in your ability to say it articulately, engagingly, and correctly.
  • Proofread CAREFULLY! If you are using the same essay for more than one college, be absolutely certain that you have changed the name of the college, if it is mentioned.
  • Be sure your essay is perfectly legible-no crossouts, White Out, or inserts.
  • Follow directions! Colleges expect you to adhere to their specific instructions regarding length, headings, and extra pages attached. Ignoring these directions is a real red flag to colleges that you may believe rules don't apply to you.
  • Be sure you express your thoughts in positive terms. Look carefully for telltale negative words or expressions in your essay drafts ("unfair," "bad," "I never could ...," etc.).
  • Don't write lists! Remember that your activities and achievements are detailed in other parts of your college application. The essay should not reiterate them or list what you have done. The essay is your opportunity to show how you have approached your academics and activities: your motivation, your initiative, your style, your spirit, your values, your personality.
  • Be sure someone else reads your essay. You might want to ask one person who doesn't know you very well, and another who does, just to be sure the essay is a clear and complete reflection of who you are. The final copy should then be proofread by someone with strong grammar and spelling skills!

ENJOY writing your college-application essay! The entire process of thinking about it, writing it, and sharing it with others is an opportunity to know and appreciate yourself.

An Overview of the Public and Private College Systems

A chart that spells out some of the similarities and differences between the community colleges, state universities, and private colleges.


Community College

Cañada, College of San Mateo, Skyline, Foothill, DeAnza;

107 in CA


California State University (CSU)

San Jose State, San Francisco State, Hayward State, plus 19 others from Humboldt to San Diego

University of California

Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Diego

Private Colleges

More than 70 in CA

More than 2,000 in US



Two-year schools

•  Career/job entry majors

•      Preparation for transfer to four-year schools

•  AA degrees

•  Vocational certificates

Four-year schools

•  Variety of majors towards BA/BS degrees

•  Pre-professional training

•  Graduate degrees

Four-year schools

•  Variety of majors towards BA/BS degrees

•  Pre-professional training

•  Graduate degrees



Open enrollment (any student may enroll, regardless of GPA)

Basic eligibility based on courses taken, GPA, and SAT scores

(see Guidance Alert)

Impacted (selective) campuses: Many for 2012-13—check www.csumentor.edu or campus web sites

Basic eligibility based on courses taken, GPA, SAT and Subject Test scores (no Subject Test scores required for Class of 2012 on)

Admission based on holistic review of 14 selection factors

Most selective campuses: Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego


Range from highly selective to not very selective, based on transcript (courses chosen and grades in those courses), test scores, teacher and counselor recommendations, essays, extracurricular activities, and other criteria; requirements vary


Testing Required

No testing required for admission; placement testing required before registration

SAT (or ACT) for admission;

placement testing required before registration

SAT (or ACT)

SAT Subject Tests: two required for class of 2011; none required for class of 2012 on, but some majors may request Subject Tests

All testing must be completed by December of senior year


Depends on campus

Letters of Recom-mendation

None required

None required

None required

Depends on campus

many schools require one or two teacher recommendations plus a school counselor recommendation


Application Essays

None required

None required

1,000 words (personal statement, two prompts) required


Depends on campus


Application Deadlines

Usually several weeks before beginning of each new quarter or semester

October 1-November 30 priority filing period; Early Decision Program at Cal Poly, October 31


November 1-30


Depends on campus

Financial Aid

File FAFSA between January 1 and March 2

Federal, state, and institutional aid available

File FAFSA between January 1 and March 2

Federal, state, and institutional aid available

File FAFSA between January 1 and March 2

Federal, state, and institutional aid available

File FAFSA between January 1 and March 2

Federal, state, and institutional aid available

File CSS PROFILE if college requires it

College and Scholarship Interviews

A comprehensive list of helpful hints for the interview process.

An interview is an opportunity! How many other times in your life are you invited to talk about yourself, to share the best of yourself with others? A college or scholarship interview is not to be dreaded or feared, but rather to be enjoyed. After all, who knows and understands the subject of YOU better than YOU? The following common-sense suggestions for successful interviews should help you relax and enjoy the process.

  • Be on time. PLAN and allow time for getting lost, having a flat tire, or whatever other catastrophe might choose to happen on your interview day.
  • Dress appropriately. Most college and scholarship interviews call for attire that is not formal or dressy, but it is a step beyond school attire. No jeans, t-shirts, or sneakers! Don't wear distracting clothing‹low-cut blouses, high-cut skirts, baseball caps, etc. Girls should wear a skirt and blouse or sweater, or nice slacks with a blouse or sweater; guys should wear slacks and a nice sport shirt or dress shirt. In most cases, a coat and tie or a dress is not necessary. Don't chew gum!!
  • Turn off your cell phone, or leave it at home!
  • Make a solid first impression. Offer a firm handshake (to each interviewer, if there is a committee), make good eye contact (and maintain it throughout the interview), and repeat the name of the interviewer if it helps you remember. Smile!!
  • Be prepared with background information. Know about the college or scholarship for which you are being interviewed. Your questions will be more intelligent, and your interviewers will appreciate that you have familiarized yourself with their organization. This is particularly true for scholarship interviews: would you want to sponsor a student who doesn't even know what your organization is or does?
  • Highlight what the interviewer does NOT already know about you. Review your paper application before attending the interview. In many cases, your paper application already includes a list of your activities and experiences. You don't want to list them in an interview; rather, you want to focus on the quality of your participation. Have you participated in a way that differentiates you from the other participants in the same activity? The following qualities can be brought out in an interview but will not necessarily show up on paper:
    • Motivation. WHY do you participate? How did you start and why do you continue? The student who pursues an activity because of a passion for it certainly makes a better impression than one who says, "My dad made me sign up," or "It's a requirement at our school."
    • Commitment. How long have you participated? What sort of time and energy do you put in? Do you do more than is asked? Will you continue the activity? If you have ever passed up a day at the beach with your friends to participate in community service, tell about it in the interview!
    • Passion and spark! Do you just go through the motions of an activity, or do you throw yourself into it with more energy than anyone else? Do you eyes sparkle when you talk about it? Can your enthusiasm be contagious to the people who are interviewing you?
    • Initiative. Have you gone above and beyond the opportunities offered to you to create your own? If you claim to be an artist, for example, did you just take the art classes offered at your school? Or did you go out and take courses at a community college or local art school, or perhaps even create your own? Do you spend free time creating art, and do you share your love for art with others in some form of community service? Tell your interviewers about your initiative.
    • Sense of humor. Can you laugh at yourself? Will others enjoy being around you? Do you have anecdotes about your activities or accomplishments that show you to be someone who, while serious about your endeavors, can also see the lighter side?
    • Ability to work with people. Your own personal capabilities will seem less important to your interviewers if you cannot show that you know how to cooperate, collaborate, and get along with other people‹all kinds of people.
    • Willingness to take responsibility. Be positive about assuming responsibility for yourself, your actions, and your results in every way. If your test scores were low, never say, "My English teacher just couldn't teach." If you didn't get a lot of playing time in basketball, never blame "the coach who just wouldn't give me a chance." On the flip side, don't hesitate to take credit when it is due: "I think my long hours of work on the sets helped make our drama production a real success."
  • Be articulate. Speak clearly‹don't mumble. Avoid "like," "you know," "So I'm all þ so she's all þ" Take time to be thoughtful about your answers. Don't feel that you need a quick, snappy answer to every question. If nothing comes to your mind immediately, it is fine to say, "That's a really good question‹I haven't thought much about that yet but þ"
  • Be generally well informed. Occasionally in interviews you will be asked about a current event, a book you have read recently, a controversial issue, etc. If you're up on the latest, you'll have no trouble with such questions. If you're totally unfamiliar with the topic in question, it is better to be honest than to try to bluff your way through an answer.
  • Sell yourself‹strongly but not obnoxiously. An interview is not the time to be modest! Share your strengths with your interviewers; they will not think you immodest if you do it graciously. If you are really uncomfortable tooting your own horn, you can always say, "My friends think that I am þ" or "My teachers often tell me that I þ" If you are asked about weaknesses, be frank‹but often talking about weaknesses can also lead to descriptions of strengths: "I tend to put things off until the last minute‹but then again, this has really helped me learn to work well under pressure."
  • Conclude graciously. Thank the interviewers for their time, shake hands, and don't try to draw out the interview past the allotted time.
Good luck in your interview!


The PSAT is designed to prepare you to take the SAT. All juniors should take the PSAT, which is offered once a year on a Saturday in October. Taking the PSAT as a junior not only prepares you for the SAT (which you will take in spring of your junior year) but also puts you in the running to qualify for National Merit scholarships. Only a junior-year score can be considered for National Merit. In 2014, M-A will offer the PSAT to all juniors (and sophomores) on the Wednesday national test date, October 15, as part of our College & Career Day.

Be sure to pay close attention to the Score Report you will receive after taking the PSAT; it will not only tell you your score but it will also give you a wealth of excellent information about the areas in which you performed strongly and those in which you need more work. The Score Report is one of the most useful features of the PSAT.

Some sophomores choose to take the PSAT. It is important to recognize that sophomores are not likely to score as well on the test as juniors; they simply have less math and English under their belts if they take the test this early. If you do decide to take the test as a sophomore, it's crucial that you not be discouraged by your test score! It will surely go up when you retake the test junior year. It's also crucial that if you do exceptionally well on the PSAT as a sophomore, you don't decide there's no need to take the test as a junior—you would miss the opportunity to be considered for a National Merit scholarship if you only took the test as a sophomore.

The argument for taking the test as a sophomore is that it provides one more opportunity (off the record, since colleges never see PSAT scores) to practice for the SAT. The arguments against taking the test as a sophomore are that some students become discouraged by their low scores, or—for students who score high—fail to take the test again junior year when they might qualify for National Merit.

It's up to you! But when you do take the PSAT, be sure to make good use of the Score Report you will receive; it's detailed and personalized to help you do better on the SAT.

More information about the PSAT is available at the College Board's website

The SAT is used by many four-year colleges in making admission decisions. To apply to the UC (University of California), CSU (California State University), and many independent (private) colleges, students must report an SAT score. The SAT Subject Tests are used by some colleges as well. The UC no longer requires Subject Tests, but some departments at the UC (most notably engineering) still would like to see Subject Test scores if possible.

Most students take the SAT for the first time in spring of junior year, and then retake the test in fall of senior year to try to improve scores. Most colleges will use your best scores, so there's no risk in taking the test more than once. For the University of California, December of senior year is the last test date from which scores will be considered.

Most students take SAT Subject Tests in the spring after completing the subject area. For example, a student who completes U.S. History in junior year should take the SAT U.S. History Subject Test in May or June of that same year. SAT Subject Tests can be retaken in fall of senior year to try to improve scores

More detailed information about the SAT and SAT Subject Tests will be presented in fall of your junior year in your English class.

Information about the SAT is also available at the College Board's website

You will be asked to self-report your test scores on your college applications, but colleges MUST receive official test scores from the testing agencies themselves. You can write in the relevant college codes when you register for the test (you can send up to four free score reports to colleges each time you register), or you can request that scores be sent later. Check with www.collegeboard.com or www.act.org to learn more about sending scores. Colleges will not receive your official test scores unless you take action to have them sent, so don't miss this important step in the college-application process!

The ACT is another college admission test. The decision whether to take the SAT or the ACT tends to be a regional one; in some parts of the country nearly all students take the ACT, whereas in California nearly all students choose to take the SAT. Colleges will generally accept either an ACT score or an SAT score; check with the colleges that interest you to see if they have a preference. Most use the test scores interchangeably. If a student submits both ACT and SAT scores, colleges will convert the ACT score to an SAT equivalent and use whichever is higher.

The ACT differs from the SAT in a number of ways (for example, the ACT has a science component, while the SAT does not), so it might be to your advantage to take both tests.

More information about the ACT is available at www.act.org.

Many selective colleges hope that students will follow the most rigorous courseload available at their high schools. At Menlo-Atherton, this means challenging yourself with honors (AS) or AP courses.

It is important to recognize, however, that no one expects students to take every AP class available, or to take AP classes in all subject areas. Choose to take AP classes when you are extremely interested in the subject area, if you feel ready to tackle the extra work, OR in cases where a teacher or Guidance Advisor has encouraged you to seek the extra challenge. Choose the regular level of the class if you have little or no interest in the subject area, if you feel that taking the honors-level class will cause you to struggle with your other classes, OR if choosing the tougher course will deprive you of time and energy to pursue extracurricular activities that you love, spend time with your friends and family, and enjoy high school!

If you think this is not a clear answer to the question, you're right! There is no right answer for every student. You will need to find the balance of regular and honors classes that is best for you. It will depend on your personal interests and motivation, the type of colleges to which you will seek admission, the rest of your courseload, the activities you enjoy, and your ability to deal with challenge and even stress.

Talk to your parents, your Guidance Advisor, your teachers, and me as you consider which courses to take at the honors level—but most of all, ask yourself what you can handle and enjoy!

You may have read about the ELC program in the news or heard about it on television. It is a program through which the seniors at the top of the class of each high school in California are considered UC eligible "in the local context," rather than in the statewide context that has traditionally made students UC eligible.

M-A participates in this program by providing the UC with a list of those students near the top of the class who sign a waiver permitting their transcripts to be examined by the UC. The top students as designated by the UC (and the UC has a special way of creating the GPA to make this determination) are then considered to be "eligible in the local context." This means they will be assured a spot at a UC campus, though not necessarily their first-choice campus. In general, this means a spot at UC Merced. While in the past, ELC students were given a code to put on their UC application, now the UC determines which students are ELC after the application has been submitted, based on each student's self-reported grades.

What does this mean to M-A students? Very little! For many years, those in the top ten percent (and even more) of M-A's graduating class are eligible in the statewide context, and have no need to be deemed eligible in the local context. The fact that a student has ELC designation is one of many academic factors taken into consideration. It makes a big difference for students in some very rural (or very urban) schools where the top students in each high school might not necessarily be eligible otherwise. But ELC designation is not very meaningful to M-A students.

If you have further questions about ELC, check the UC Web site

All of M-A's chemistry, physics, and biology classes, including AS and AP, are considered lab sciences by the UC and other colleges. Students who take a freshman science course other than those with a "-P" on the transcript (for college-prep, or "a-g") and then pursue biology, chemistry, and physics (in any order) will have met both the required (two years) and the recommended (three years) UC lab science coursework.


Early Decision (ED) and Early Action (EA) are two different programs offered by many private (independent) colleges. An Early Decision applicant prepares and submits the application early (usually by the end of October or the beginning of November), and is notified of acceptance, denial, or deferral to the regular applicant pool early (usually in December). An Early Decision applicant signs a binding agreement to attend the ED college. This is a very serious contract between student and college, not to be taken lightly. Students who apply ED should be absolutely certain of their choice. They should also be willing to forego the opportunity to compare financial aid offers from other colleges, as they will see only one financial aid offer, that of the ED school. ED applicants should also have strong junior-year transcripts and test scores, as first-semester senior grades (and some first-semester test scores) will not be available to the admissions office evaluating an ED candidate.

Early Action operates similarly to Early Decision in that the student submits the application early and is notified of an admission decision early. However, Early Action is a non-binding program, meaning that EA applicants do not sign an agreement to attend if admitted, and may consider acceptances (and, of course, financial aid offers) from other colleges to which they will apply later. Some colleges have Restricted Early Action or Single-Choice Early Action programs, whereby a student applies early, is notified early, and may apply to other colleges, but may not apply early to any other colleges.

It certainly can appear that way when you examine statistics about percentages of students admitted early compared with percentages of students admitted with the regular applicant pool. However, this does not mean an advantage to the individual applicant in all cases. While some colleges do acknowledge that knowing they are the student's first-choice college leads to an advantage (though sometimes only a slight one), many colleges point to the early applicant pool as a generally stronger pool, with higher grades and test scores and with students who have already determined through a variety of means that they are a good match for the school. Often recruited athletes and legacy students (whose parents went to the college) are in the early pool. So in some cases, early applicants are competing within a much tougher applicant pool.

Be sure to learn, for each college you are considering, whether they have an ED or an EA program, and whether they acknowledge an admission advantage to early applicants. In no case should you apply ED if you would not be thrilled to attend that college. ED and EA are not admission strategies, they are admission options. And if your first-semester grades senior year will make you a stronger applicant, it's best not to apply EA or ED, since colleges will not see first-semester grades if you apply early.

The UC and the CSU do not have ED or EA programs (with the exception of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, a CSU that does have an Early Decision program, though its program is designed slightly differently—check the Cal Poly Web site for details).

Don't write yourself out of the running for financial aid without investigating it a little further! Eligibility for financial aid is determined by many factors, including your parents' income and assets, your income and assets, the number of family members, the age of the older parent, and more. While it's possible that families with very high incomes will qualify for little more than student loans, those loans can be an important part of paying for college, and they are financial aid: The interest rates on these loans are very low, and they don't need to be repaid until the student has completed his/her studies (in college and even beyond, in graduate school). And some students who have thought they would not qualify for aid have, indeed, qualified for grants.

Having applied for financial aid can be important if your family's circumstances change; you may be at a disadvantage at some colleges if you did not apply for aid, and later you need to do so.

For more information on financial aid, go to the LINKS page of this Web site and follow the links listed under Financial Aid.

Students (and parents) are often mystified by the decisions that are made by highly selective colleges (I’ll call them HSCs here). In late winter and spring, as responses begin to arrive in the mail (or, now, on the Internet!), I hear the same questions: “Why did she get in to College X? My grades and test scores were a lot higher and I wasn’t admitted.” “What more could my son possibly have done? He seemed like the ideal applicant!” “What was College Y thinking? Nearly all of our applicants from M-A were denied!” “I know a minority student [substitute “athlete” or “legacy” here!] who was admitted who didn’t have the stats my kid has!”

HSC decisions, painful as they are to students who have been denied, are not nearly as illogical as they seem, and only rarely mystify me. Here’s why:

  • A “rejection” notice by a an HSC is not a personal indictment of the student.Nearly all of those who are not selected at these schools are superb students, highly capable of success in college. Most have top grades, test scores, and résumés. And they’re terrific kids! There simply aren’t enough places to accommodate them, so tough decisions are made. Think of the top 10% of our senior class: all of those students have earned a 4.0 GPA or higher; most have impressive test scores. And yet statistically, if all of them applied to one of the HSCs, as few as 5 to 10 of the 49 would be admitted.
  • Colleges have their own agendas (called “institutional priorities”) over which we have no control and often very little knowledge. The student athlete or musician who might have been admitted two years ago (or even next year!) might not be what College Z is looking for this year! Yes, the student whose family has close ties to the college will often have an advantage; this is another institutional priority for the college. But while a college may have a higher admit rate for students who are “legacies,” or who might add to the campus population’s diversity, or who fill a specific need, we do not see selective colleges admitting unqualified applicants in these categories. The deny rate for these students is still higher than the admit rate!
  • The “perfect” college applicant simply cannot be “created” during the high school years. Students waste energy trying to figure out what will “look good” to an HSC. These efforts are fruitless. The ideal applicant is one who has demonstrated genuine intellectual curiosity and vitality since long before high school (and this does NOT mean good grades—this means a deep love of learning!). S/he is likely to be an avid reader (tackling far more than assigned reading) and an explorer of ideas. S/he is far more likely to have been extraordinarily dedicated to one or maybe two outside interests than to have a long and varied résumé. S/he has made important contributions in the classroom that can be documented by teachers. (And yet even some of these sterling applicants will be denied, simply because there isn’t room for all of them.)
  • The good news is that HSCs that turn down the vast majority of applicants are small in number; most experts cite that number as approximately 50 of the nation’s 3,000-plus colleges. Fortunately, there are hundreds of excellent colleges that will warmly welcome our wonderful M-A students. In my chats with seniors who requested meetings with me, I stressed the need to research and apply to a range of excellent colleges, and not to focus only on those HSCs. (This is true even within the UC system; even excellent students cannot count on admission to UCLA or Berkeley; they must look at some of the other campuses where they will also receive an excellent education.) But once again (the students might say, “for the millionth time”), let me reiterate that SELECTIVITY and QUALITY are not synonymous! The best college match for any student may not be the college with the biggest “name” nor the one that admitted the lowest percentage of applicants. And let’s not forget that our community colleges—with admission open to all students—remain a viable and excellent path toward a college degree.

If you want to explore this topic further, several good books are available on this subject. I like The Gatekeepers by Jacques Steinberg for a frank exposition of institutional priorities, plus Harvard Schmarvard by Jay Mathews, Looking Beyond the Ivy League and Colleges That Change Lives (both by Loren Pope) for good discussions of why students benefit from looking at less selective colleges. There are also some unfortunate books on the market that do imply that students can turn themselves into ideal college applicants (Michele Hernandez’ A is for Admission is a book I deplore on this count). Books like this only feed the destructive frenzy that has our students turning themselves inside out in an effort to become what the colleges ostensibly want.

The framing of this question is one of my pet peeves! It NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER makes sense to ask the question “which looks better?" Students need to stop and think about what would mean something to them. They must ask themselves, do I need the money? Then I should get a job! If I don't need the money, can I get a job that relates to my interests and passions—something more meaningful than working at a fast-food restaurant or retail establishment? Can I find a job where I can demonstrate the kinds of qualities colleges are looking for (commitment, leadership, initiative, spark, etc.)? Is there a community that I genuinely want to serve? Is there an area where I think I can make a difference by volunteering? Have I thought about either a job or service that relates to my areas of interest? College admission officers are quick to spot résumé padding when students participate in either jobs or service that they think will "look good." Students need to consider how they would enjoy spending their time and dedicating their energy—then they should do it, and stick with it! "Looking good" is the last thing on earth I want to see students seeking. (And by the way, if students choose right, and have a quality experience either at work or volunteering, amazing as it may seem, they will automatically "look good" to the colleges of their choice! Amazing!)

Well, I hope you’ll think again! There are occasionally excellent and valid reasons to drop an academic class or to make the change to a less rigorous level of the same subject, and I’ll discuss those rare cases below. But in general, there are far more good reasons to stay right where you are. You need to think really carefully about why you want to drop the class; be honest with yourself, and make a smart decision. I’ll try to give you the colleges’ perspective as well as my own.

The colleges where you’ve applied expect you to complete the year as you started it. They do not want to see you drop any academic classes; in fact, they would rather see you earn a lower-than-hoped-for grade than drop a class. In some cases, dropping a class could make you ineligible for the colleges you’ve applied to; in other cases the decision to drop the class simply makes you less competitive. And you must notify your colleges of your decision to drop a class or make a level change. Failure to do so could cause your admission to that college to be rescinded at the end of the year when your final transcript is sent out to the college you hope to attend.

Often students will tell me they no longer “need” a certain class. While it may be true that the class you started first semester is one that is not required either to meet a high school graduation requirement or a college entrance requirement, that should not lead you to drop the class. First of all, you may jeopardize your college admission. But more importantly, you will inevitably encounter the same subject area later in college; your exposure to this material now (even if you don’t get a top grade) will help you be successful when you meet the material again in college. Believe me, this is true!

The fact that you may be tired of doing the hard work in a certain class, or that it “bores” you, or that you don’t particularly like your teacher, is not reason enough to drop a class. In fact, even if all of the above were true, continuing in the class would be excellent practice for “real life,” in which you won’t always love every minute of what you are required to do. You’ll feel better about yourself if you stick it out until the end of the year.

When is it okay, even necessary, to drop a class or make a level change? If your mental or physical health is truly threatened by continuing in the class, you certainly need to make the change. If you find that you’re not sleeping or that the stress you’re experiencing is having a serious negative impact on the rest of your academic and personal life; if you’ve been advised by a doctor, psychologist, or counselor that you must lighten your courseload; if you are simply unable to continue—you may have a legitimate reason to drop the class. In this case, you must notify the colleges to which you have applied of your action, and you will need to explain your decision. Remember, this is not an appropriate decision if you are merely bored or tired of working hard in the class. The decision to drop a class is a serious one; you’re a full-time student, and going to a full complement of classes is your job!

Before deciding to drop a class, have a frank discussion with your teacher. Consider alternatives, such as taking the class on a credit/no credit basis, going in for extra help before or after school or at lunch, getting a tutor (peer tutors and volunteer tutors are available; there’s no need to hire an expensive tutor!), or working something out with the teacher to help you handle the class more effectively. In general, you will find that teachers are eager to keep you in the class and to help you succeed. Be sure you’ve discussed your options and your decision with your parents and your Guidance Advisor. You may also wish to make a phone call to the Office of Admission of the colleges that interest you most, and ask about the impact of your decision. (If you’re told that it will have no impact, you may want to obtain this response in writing.) You certainly don’t want any surprises at the end of the year when your final transcript is sent to the college you plan to attend.

So unless you have truly difficult extenuating circumstances, I hope you’ll rethink your urge to drop a class, and hang in there! I think you’ll be glad you did.

There's an incredible range in the number of colleges to which students apply. Some students apply to one college: if they want to go to a college where they're certain to be admitted, why apply to more? I've seen students apply to more than 15 colleges—in most cases, such a large number of applications is entirely unnecessary and sometimes even foolish. It means the student is planning to do the bulk of the "homework" on the far end, rather than before applying, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Not only that, but if the student is applying to highly selective colleges, applying to more of them doesn't increase the student's chances of being admitted.

If we count the University of California (UC) as one (since it's only one application no matter how many campuses you choose), I would say a rough average would be six to nine colleges. But sometimes students apply only to the UC, or maybe to the UC and possibly one or two Cal State campuses or one or two private colleges. What makes sense to me is to think of one college you would be excited to attend, and where you are certain to be admitted. (Let's call it "College A.") After that, I would not apply to any college that you would turn down in favor of College A. Doesn't that make sense? But choosing a few "reach" schools, once you have already chosen College A, is a normal thing to do! And of course it also makes sense to consider financial aid in deciding how many college applications to file; if your first-choice college admits you but attending that college will not be financially realistic for you and your family, you will need to have a few "financial-aid backups" (colleges that are affordable or that are certain to offer you enough aid to make them affordable) on your college list as well.

Ask Alice

If your browser doesn't support mailto forms, you don't have browser mail configured, or you have no idea what any of this means, you are always welcome to e-mail me with your questions/comments/concerns at AAKleeman@gmail.com.

En Español


SI, PUEDES: Esa es la respuesta correcta a tu pregunta “¿Podré ir a la universidad?” Si ir a la universidad es importante para tí, hay muchos recursos disponibles para ayudarte a prepararte para elegir y ser admitido a la universidad. El proceso de la aplicación e ingreso a la universidad no debe producir tensión ni presión; puede ser un proceso interesante de descubrimiento propio y con satisfacción que te llevará más cerca a tu meta: a una carrera con sentido y satisfacción.

Usa los recursos del Centro de Carreras, del Internet y de las bibliotecas públicas. También recurre a la gente que conozcas, para que te ayude a seleccionar una lista apropiada de las universidades. Hay libros, catálogos de las universidades, software (programas para las computadoras) para elegir las universidades, las páginas principales del Internet y Web sites que están disponibles para los estudiantes. Las visitas a los colegios y universidades locales te pueden ayudar a identificar que es importante para tí. Habla con los estudiantes universitarios, los recién graduados y los adultos en las carreras que también te interesen; todo eso te podrá ayudar bastante.

Es fácil enredarse en la selección de universidades basado en el prestigio, reconocimiento del nombre, rumores, estereotipos y presión por parte de tus semejantes y padres. Pero la decisión sobre eligir a cuál universidad ingresar después de haber salido de la escuela secundaria es demasiado importante para hacerse de esta manera. La universidad es un paso importante hacia una independencia mayor y una vida con satisfacción-cuál sólo tú vivirás.Mientras que vas a recibir orientación e información de diferentes recursos, tu decisión final debe ser una con la que tú te sientas cómodo y la cual sea realista y apropiada para tus necesidades e intereses.

Algunos de los factores que debes considerar en la selección de una universidad incluyen:

  • Lugar (la distancia de tu casa, el clima, urbano/rural, etc.)
  • Escuela de dos o cuatro años; tipos de licenciaturas otorgadas
  • Afiliación (pública, privada, religiosa)
  • Tamaño estudiantil
  • Diversidad estudiantil
  • Proporción de profesor-a-estudiante, tamaño de clases
  • Calendario (¿cuartos? ¿semestres? ¿trimestres? 4-1-4? ¿block
  • Costo
  • Disponibilidad de ayuda financiera
  • Selección (¿Qué tan difícil es la entrada?)
  • Requisitos de entrada (exámenes, GPA, cursos en la secundaria)
  • Carreras disponibles
  • Disponibilidad de viviendas
  • Ritmo de retención (número de estudiantes que regresan después del primer año)
  • Ritmo de graduación
  • Estudiantes que continúan con sus estudios despues de la graduación
  • Disponibilidad de oportunidades para estudiantes internos, servicios de aprendizaje, estudio en el extranjero
  • Desarrollo del medio ambiente
  • Otros factores que son importantes para tí

Y luego claro que todas las consideraciones de arriba pueden salir volando por la ventana cuando tú simplemente te sientes bien en una universidad, la reacción intinctiva que muchas personas sienten al caminar por un campo universitario. Puedes oír a la gente hablar sobre el “empate perfecto.” Mientras es verdad que encontrar una universidad que sea un buen lugar para tí es importante, también es verdad que la mayoría de los estudiantes, quienes van con la mente abierta y una buena actitud, tendrán éxito en cualquier ambiente universitario. Mucha de la tensión que los estudiantes sienten al elegir una universidad desaparecerá si mantienes todo esto en mente.

Los estudiantes a veces ven obstáculos que aparecen entre ellos y una educación universitaria: sus archivos académicos de la secundaria, la situación económica de su familia, su situación de ciudadanía, los planes y metas de las familias para ellos, etc. Aunque estos factores tienen influencia en cuanto a cuál universidad podrá asistir el estudiante y cuánto tiempo le tomará para completar una educación universitaria, ninguno de estos factores debe ser un obstáculo para tí y tu educación universitaria, si tu meta principal es asitir a la universidad.

¡Hay muchos caminos a un futuro con satisfacción! Recuerda que cada universidad ofrece oportunidades valiosas. Escoge la que la sea apropiada para tí.

¡¡¡SI, PUEDES!!!


Un ensayo de solicitud para la universidad (ó historia personal) es requerido por la Universidad de California y muchas escuelas privadas. En lugar de estar desanimado de componer un ensayo requerido, debes estar muy contento de tener la oportunidad de demostrar al comité de admisiones lo mejor de tí. Tu ensayo debe diferenciarte a tí de los demás solicitantes, quienes podrían quedar en el archivo o quienes tengan actividades similares a las tuyas. Piensa bien antes de comenzar el ensayo sobre las cualidades que posees, las cuáles te hacen un solicitante excepcional; considera ambos; lo que trairía a la universidad (tus talentos, cualidades personales, etc.) y lo que puedes llevarte de la universidad (tu habilidad de aprovechar las opotunidades que la universidad ofrece).

  • Lee ensayos escritos por otras estudiantes. El Centro de Carreras tiene ejemplos.
  • Cuándo te ofrezcan una guía o tema para tu ensayo, asegúrate de elegir un tema que te permita hablarles sobre tí y que te ofrezca la oportunidad de poner la información que no se puede encontrar en la solicitud (cualidades o caraterísticas personales, tradiciones culturales o étnicas que te hayan ayudado a ser la persona que eres, obstáculos o desafíos que has enfretado y sobrepasado, escribe explicaciones [¡NO excusas!] para las irregularidades en tu archivo, etc.). Una vez que hayas elegido un tema, quédate con ese tema y contesta las preguntas que se te hacen.
  • Empieza tu ensayo con un “grabber ”—una oración que intrigue al lector y lo atraiga a saber más sobre de tí. Recuerda, los empleados del departamento de admisiones leén miles de ensayos.¡Tú debes resaltar! Al mismo tiempo evita los trucos. Tu ensayo puede ser original y creativo sin pasarte de límite.
  • Recuerda los consejos de tu maestro de inglés durante los años secundarios: demuestra, no lo digas. ¿Cuál oración de abajo es una descripción más interesante de un proyecto de escuela?
    • Trabajamos árduamente para crear un proyecto de la década interesante.
    • o
    • Dedicamos horas sin fín a la escritura, agotamos un sin fín de marcadores y rollos de papel e hicimos varios viajes a la tienda de segunda mano donde encontramos nuestra vestimenta perfecta de los años veintes
  • Ambos, contenido y estilo, son importantes. En las universidades quieren enterarse de lo que tienes que decir, pero también están interesados en el estilo y la habilidad de espresarte correctamente.
  • Corregir ¡CUIDADOSAMENTE! Si estás usando el mismo ensayo para más de una universidad, asegúrate de cambiar el nombre de la universidad, si es nombrada.
  • Asegúrate de que tu ensayo sea perfectamente legible sin haber borrado nada, usando la solución blanca para borrar White Out o insertar nada escrito.
  • ¡Sigue las instrucciones! Todas las universidades esperan que sigas las instrucciones específicas sobre el tamaño, encabezado y páginas extras incluídas. Ignorar estas instrucciones es un aviso para las universidades que crees que estas reglas no se aplican a tí.
  • Asegúrate de expresar tus pensamientos en términos positivos. Fíjate cuidadosamente en palabras rebeladoras negativas o expresiones en tu ensayo (“injusto”, “malo”, “Nunca pude……”etc.).
  • ¡No escribas listas! Recuerda que tus actividades y tus logros son detallados en otras partes de la solicitud. En tu ensayo no los debes repetir ni hacer lista de lo que has hecho. El ensayo es tu oportunidad para demostrar cómo te has acercado a tus estudios académicos y actividades: tu motivación, tu iniciativa, tu estilo, tu espíritu, tus valores y tu personalidad.
  • Asegúrate de que otra persona lea tu ensayo. Puedes pedirle a alguna persona que te conozca bien y también a otra que no te conoce bien para que estés seguro que tu ensayo es conciso y una completa reflección de tí. La copia final debe de ser corregida por alguien que tenga destrezas fuertes en gramática y ortografía.

¡DISFRUTA escribiendo tu ensayo para la universidad! El proceso de pensar, escribirlo y compartirlo es una oportunidad de conocerte y de apreciarte a tí mismo.


¡Una entrevista es una oportuninad! ¿Cuántas veces en tu vida eres invitado para hablar sobre tí, para compartir lo mejor de tí con otros? A una entrevista para la universidad o para recibir una beca no se le debe tener pavor, en lugar de eso debe de ser agradable. Después de todo ¿Quién sabe mejor del tema de tí, si no tú? Las siguientes sugerencias de sentido común te pueden ayudar a relajar y a disfrutar el proceso de una entrevista exitosa.

  • Llega a tiempo . Planea bien y deja bastante tiempo por si te pierdes, si tienes algún otro contratiempo como una llanta ponchada o cualquier otra catástrofe que te pueda suceder el día de tu entrevista.
  • Vístete apropiadamente. La mayoría de las entrevistas para la universidad y las becas requieren vestirse informal, pero un paso más que vestirse para ir a la escuela. No te pongas jeans, camiseta o tenis. No te pongas ropa que distraiga al entrevistador como blusas con escotes demasiado reveladoras, faldas cortas, o gorras, etc. Las mujeres deben ponerse una falda y blusa o sueter, o un pantalón de vestir con una blusa o suéter. Los hombres se deben poner pantalón de vestir con una camisa apropiada. En muchos casos no es necesario usar saco o corbata. ¡No mastiquen chicle! ¡ Deje su "cell phone" en casa!
  • Haz una buena primera impresión. Ofrece un saludo firme (a cada miembro si hay un comité), haz buen contacto con los ojos del estrevistador (y mantén el contacto durante la entrevista), repite el nombre del entrevistador si eso te ayuda a recordar. ¡Sonríe!
  • Llega preparado con información sobre los antecedentes. Infórmate previamente sobre la universidad o la beca por la cual estás siendo entrevistado. Tus preguntas deben ser lógicas, y los entrevistadores apreciarán que te hayas familiarizado con su organización. Esto es cierto particularmente con las entrevistas para las becas: ¿Patrocinarías algún estudiante que ni siquiera sabe que es o que hace tu organización?
  • Destaca lo que el entrevistador NO sabe sobre tí. Revisa tu solicitud antes de llegar a la entrevista. En muchos casos, tu solicitud ya contiene una lista de tus actividades y experiencias. Si no las quieres repetir en la entrevista, mejor enfócate en las cualidades que tu participación. ¿Alguna vez haz participado en la misma actividad que te haya hecho diferente entre los otros? Las siguientes cualidades pueden ser discutidas en la entrevista pero no necesariamente en la solicitud:
    • Motivación. ¿Por qué quieres participar? ¿Cómo comenzaste y por qué quieres continuar? Un estudiante que se dedica a alguna actividad porque es su pasión segúramente hace una mejor impresión que otro que dice, “Mi papá me hizo participar” o “Es un requisito de la escuela.”
    • Compromiso. ¿Cuánto tiempo has participado? ¿Qué tipo de energía y tiempo has puesto? ¿Haces más de lo que se te pide? ¿Continuarás con la actividad? Si alguna vez has pasado la oportunidad de ir a la playa para participar en un servicio comunitario debes decirlo en la entrevista.
    • Pasión y chispa. ¿Simplemente sigues la rutina de la actividad o pones más esfuerzo y energía que cualquier otra persona? ¿Brillan tus ojos cuando hablas sobre eso? ¿Puede tu entusiasmo ser contagioso para las personas que te están entrevistando?
    • Iniciativa. ¿Has ido más allá de las oportunidades para crear tus propias? ¿Si dices ser artista, simplemente tomaste las clases ofrecidas en la escuela? o ¿Tomaste clases ofrecidas en el colegio comunitario o en la escuela local para arte, o quizás creaste tu propia? ¿Pasas tu tiempo libre creando arte y compartes tu amor por el arte con otros en forma de servicio comunitario?
    • Sentido del humor. ¿Te puedes reír de tí mismo? ¿Disfrutarán otras personas estar cerca de tí? ¿Tienes anécdotas sobre tus actividades o logros que demuestren que mientras eres serio en tus esfuerzos, también puedes ver el lado ligero?
    • Tu habilidad de trabajar con las personas. Tus capacidades personales serán menos importantes para los entrevistadores si no puedes demostrar que sabes cooperar, colaborar y llevarte bien con las personas—todo tipo de personas.
    • Voluntad para tomar responsabilidad. Sé positivo sobre asumir responsabilidad de tí mismo, tus acciones y tus resultados diarios. Si los resultados de un examen fueron bajos, nunca digas, “Mi maestro de inglés no supo enseñar.” Si no jugaste en muchos juegos de básquetbol, no culpes al entrenador que “nunca me dío una oportunidad.” Por otro lado, no vaciles en dar crédito en donde el crédito es merecido: “Yo pienso que las largas horas en el paisaje de la obra de teatro fueron un éxito real.”
  • Sé comunicativo. Habla claramente—no mascullas. Evita palabras como “like,” “you know,” “So I’m all….so she’s all<…” Toma tiempo para pensar en tu respuesta. No sientas que necesitas una respuesta rápida para cada respuesta. Si nada te viene a la mente inmediatamente, está bien decir, “Esa es una buena pregunta—no le había dado mucha importancia pero ahora…”
  • Mantente bien informado. Ocasionalmente en una entrevista te preguntarán sobre los eventos actuales, algún libro que hayas leído recientemente o sobre algunos temas controversiales, etc. Si estás preparado no tendrás problema con este tipo de preguntas. Si no tienes ni idea sobre el tema de la pregunta o el tema es mejor ser honesto que inventar la contestación.

  • Presenta lo mejor de tí—impresionante pero no exagerado. Una entrevista no es tiempo para ser modesto. Comparte tus aptitudes con los entrevistadores; ellos creerán que eres un poco modesto, si lo haces con elegancia. Si te sientes incómodo elogiándote a tí mismo, siempre puedes decir, “Mis amigos piensan que yo…” o “Mis maestros a menudo me dicen que yo…” Si te preguntan sobre tus ineptitudes sé honesto—pero hablar de tus ineptitudes a menudo te lleva a describir tus aptitudes: “Tengo la tendencia de dejar las cosas para el último momento—pero entonces eso me ayudó a aprender a trabajar bien bajo presión."
  • Concluye con elegancia. Dales las gracias a todos los entrevistadores, despídete extendiéndoles la mano y no intentes alargar la entrevista más del tiempo dado.

¡Buena suerte en tu entrevista!


Visitar las universidades es una forma magnífica de saber lo que quieres y lo que no quieres en una universidad. Empezando tan pronto como cuando el noveno año de la secundaria, se recomienda visitar varias universidades. Visitar las universidades te ayudará con la decisión que tendrás que hacer en el otoño de tu cuarto año de secundaria. ¿Quiere decir ésto que tú y la familia tienen que gastar miles de dólares viajando por los Estados Unidos visitando universidades? ¡Absolutamente no! Cualquier universidad que visites te ayudará tremendamente a aprender lo que es importante para tí. Empieza haciendo visitas informales a las universidades más cercanas. Aquí hay algunas observaciones y lo que puedes aprender de ellas:

  • “Oye, hemos estado aquí todo el día y hemos visto a la misma gente una y otra vez.” (Esta universidad puede ser demasiado pequeña para tí. o: Este será un ambiente cómodo e íntimo donde no estaré abrumado o tendré dificultad conociendo a otras personas.)
  • “¡Hemos caminado por horas y aún no hemos visto toda la universidad! ¡Además la transportación pública pasa por el centro de la universidad!" (Estoy más cómodo en una universidad pequeña e independiente. o: Nunca agotarélos recursos de este lugar. Además las oportunidades fuera del campo universitario están cerca.
  • “¡Mira eso—el profesor sentado en el césped platicando con dos o tres estudiantes, hablando sobre un libro!” (A lo mejor podré encontrar la atención individual y personal que busco en una escuela como ésta.)
  • “¡Edificios de ladrillo-rojo organizados en forma de cuadrado, paredes cubiertas con hiedra, un patio con césped en el centro y jóvenes jugando frisbee -esta es la forma en que siempre me imaginé una universidad!" (Me encantan las universidades tradicionales o: Preferiría estar en otro lugar donde sea más como el mundo “real.”)
  • ¿Qué está mal con esta imagen? ¡Todos se ven igual!”   (Me he acostumbrado a la diversidad de mi secundaria y esto es de alta prioridad para mi en la universidad a la cuál voy a asistir. o: Siempre esperé que la universidad me ofreciera la oportunidad de estar con personas que sean más como yo.)
  • “Es sábado y no veo a nadie aquí. No veo a ningún estudiante por el campo.” (Creo que quiero evitar las universidades dónde los estudiantes se van de la universidad los fines de semana.)

Ya tienes la idea? La visita a una universidad—cualquier universidad—puede ayudarte a decidir que es importante para tí.

Como estudiante del onceavo o doceavo año de secundaria, si tienes la oportunidad de visitar las universidades que son primeras en tu lista asegúrate de usar ese tiempo bien.

  • Llama con tiempo para hacer una cita en la oficina de admisiones; haz una cita para una entrevista si es possible. (Algunas entrevistas son evaluativas y tendrán impacto en tu admisión; otras entrevistas son informativas y simplemente te familiarizan con la universidad y contestan tus preguntas. Pregunta si tu entrevista será informativa o evaluativa.) Asegúrate de visitar la oficina de admisiones cuando llegues.¡Haz preguntas!
  • Pasa la noche en la universidad, en un dormitorio de la universidad si es posible. Esto puede ser arreglado por medio de la oficina de admisiones. Come la comida de los dormitorios; ¿Podrás sobrevivir? Pregunta en la oficina de carreras en tu secundaria por una lista de los estudiantes previos que ahora están en las universidades que vas a visitar. Estos estudiantes estarán contentos en compartir sus experiencias contigo.
  • Visita las clases; preferíblemente en las disciplinas en las cuáles estás interesado. Otra vez esto puede ser organizado por medio de la oficina de admisiones. A menudo hay oportunidades para reunirte con profesores y estudiantes de los departamentos que te interesan.
  • Si eres atléta, intenta reunirte con un entrenador y aprende sobre las opotunidades en el deporte. Músicos, artistas, actores o estudiantes en cualquier otra “especialidad” se pueden hacer arreglos para reunirse con un profesor u otra persona en el área artística.
  • Haz una visita formal de la universidad con guía— pero intenta, si se puede, tener una visita más informal, menos programada con un estudiante que no trabaje para la oficina de admisiones.
  • Visita las bibliotecas— pasarás mucho tiempo ahí.
  • Lee el boletín informativo, especialmente los que están en los centros de las universidades tal como en el centro de las reuniones estudiantiles (student union

    ¿Qué está pasando en la universidad? ¿Cómo pasan los estudiantes su tiempo libre?

  • Familiarízate con el medio ambiente del área —no estarás en la universidad todo el tiempo.
  • Toma notas. Te sorprenderá que cuando regreses a casa tu visita a la universidad será solo un recuerdo. ¿Cuál fue la universidad que tenía el laboratorio de computación avanzado? ¿Dónde vimos la mejor biblioteca educativa? ¿Cuál universidad ofrece el deporte de bádminton?


¿Qué papel deben tomar los padres en el lanzamiento de la búsqueda, selección y aplicación a la universidad de sus hijos? Segúramente la respuesta a está prengunta será diferente para cada familia y depende del establecimiento dinámico y sus tradiciones. Pero idealmente, cada familia encontrará un medio feliz entre los extremos: los padres que llenan los formularios para su estudiante y los padres que ignoran el proceso totalmente. El estudiante debe sentirse que es dueño del proceso del principio hasta el final. Los estudiantes en el doceavo año de la secundaria son capaces de asumir la responsabilidad de esta etapa importante en sus vidas. No hay ningún aspecto de este proceso que no pueda ser manejado por un estudiante competente del doceavo grado (con la posible excepción de escribir un cheque…). Las universidades esperan que los estudiantes, no los padres, asuman la responsabilidad de aplicar para la universidad. Las ideas de abajo han funcionado para muchas familias y puede ser que sirvan de ayuda para la tuya:

  • Idealmente, la ayuda de los padres debe ser ofrecida con los términos del estudiante. Si los padres preguntan, los estudiantes les dejarán saber el tipo de ayuda que será apreciada y en cuáles áreas ellos solos se tienen que enfrentar. Una vez que haya un acuerdo, este debe ser respetado (aunque puede ser revisado a cualquier tiempo durante el proceso).
  • Los estudiantes deben ser responsables de conseguir sus propias solicitudes y las formas para exámenes de admisión. Las formas que no sean disponibles por medio del centro de carreras de la escuela pueden ser obtenidas por medio de una llamada telefónica, correo o el Internet.
  • El bolígrafo de un padre nunca debe tocar una solicitud para una universidad o una beca. Llenar estas formas es la responsabilidad absoluta del estudiante del principio hasta el final.
  • Las fechas importantes también son la responsabilidad de los estudiantes no de los padres. Ya que esto es un problema frecuente en muchas familias, hace sentido implementar un sistema al principio del doceavo grado: un calendario con fechas de plazo claramente marcadas, un acuerdo sobre que tipo de recordatorio es bienvenido, etc. Los estudiantes que tradicionalmente han dependido de sus padres para recordarles las fechas importantes deben entender que ellos y solamente ellos sufrirán las consecuencias si pierden alguna fecha importante. Los estudiantes pueden no estar motivados por recordar las fechas importantes para la registración del los exámenes SAT si ellos están seguros de que sus padres les pagarán las multas por las registraciones que lleguen tarde. Los estudiantes deben saber desde el principio que ellos son responsables por todas las fecha importantes.
  • Los padres pueden ayudar en una variedad de áreas donde la ayuda será bienvenida y apreciada. Acompañar a los estudiantes a las visitas de las universidades es un buen ejemplo. Este tipo de viaje puede ser una gran experiencia familiar. Una vez en la universidad, sin embargo, los padres deben recordarse que deben dejar que los estudiantes hagan la mayoría de las preguntas, esperar que el estudiante pase la noche en un dormitorio de la universidad, mientras que ellos se pasen la noche en otro lugar, escuchar al estudiante sobre sus primeras impresiones del la universidad antes de hacer sus propias, etc. Otra forma apropiada de cómo los padres pueden ayudar a sus hijos es corrigiendo y ofreciendo opiniones (SI SE LES PIDE) sobre las solicitudes para la universidad y las becas. Pero es la voz del estudiante cual debe reflejarse en los ensayos e historias personales; no la de los padres. La ayuda de los padres es bienvenida en cuanto a pagar los costos de las solicitudes y otros gastos relacionados, aunque muchas familias encuentran la forma de que los estudiantes compartan también esta responsabilidad.
  • Los estudiantes y los padres deben colaborar en las solicitudes para ayuda financiera. Muchas veces esta es la primera vez que la información financiera de la familia es compartida con los estudiantes. El FAFSA (solicitud universal de ayuda financiera) requiere información sobre el ingreso económico y bienes del estudiante al igual que de los padres. Ni el estudiante ni los padres pueden completar esta solicitud solos y debe ser firmada por todos. Además, muchas de las oficinas financieras de las universidades prefieren (ó insisten en) comunicarse con el estudiante directamente, una vez que el estudiante haya sido aceptado. Esto puede caer de sorpresa a las familias en donde solo los padres han estado encargados de las finanzas. Como estudiantes del doceavo año de secundaria, claramente se están transformanado en adultos y las universidades esperan que ellos compartan la responsabilidad de la ayuda financiera, particularmente con los préstamos estudiantiles.

  • Hacer decisiones probablemente es el área más difícil de la colaboración entre padre/estudiante. Dónde aplicar, qué temas cubrir en los ensayos, a quién pedirle una recomendación, que ponerse para una entrevista, por último a cuál universidad asitir—esas son unas de las áreas de discusión para las familias. Sin embargo, la decisión debe venir del estudiante. Los consejos de los padres serán aceptados—y la mayoría son bienvenidos—si son ofrecidos en una forma no crítica y de mente abierta, reconociendo que el estudiante tiene la autoridad final. En casos de desacuerdos familiares, una tercera persona respetada por ambos, el estudiante y los padres, puede ayudar. Este puede ser un amigo de la familia, un maestro, un consejero de la universidad o un consejero de la secundaria.

¿Qué tal si el estudiante está evitando la responsabilidad de prepararse para ir a la universidad? Este es un buen tiempo para que las familias se pregunten si las metas puestas para el estudiante son del estudiante o de los padres. Los estudiantes que habitualmente resisten tomar la iniciativa y responsabilidad de este proceso simplemente no están listos, pueden necesitar un alternativo (un par de años en el colegio comunitario, por ejemplo, en vez de inmediatamente ir a una universidad de cuatro años), o pueden estar resistiendo los planes que fueron impuestos por padres con sus propios planes. Los estudiantes que no consiguen llevar a cabo este proceso pueden estar dando un mensaje, y sería bueno si este mensaje fuera recibido en forma de conversaciones familiares en lugar de desacuerdos. Si el estudiante no está activamente y positivamente siguiendo el proceso de la solicitud, puede ser que las espectaciones impuestas por los padres necesiten ser revisadas.

El proceso de la solicitud a una universidad puede que no sea fácil para algunas familias. Pero puede ser un tiempo emocionante y colaborativo, si los padres y los estudiantes discuten sus papeles respectivos con tiempo y se ponen de acuerdo en lo que sera más conveniente. Esto es parte del proceso de dejarlos ir y es un nuevo proceso. Pero este es un buen tiempo para que los estudiantes prueben sus alas, las cuáles necesitarán estar listas para que puedan volar el primer año en la universidad.



  • Manda pedir las solicitudes para las universidades independientes/privadas o fuera del estado. El material de solicitudes contiene información sobre la ayuda financiera y las fechas importantes. Infórmate sobre que tipo de formas se necesitan además de FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid, aplicación gratis para ayuda federal estudiantil) para ayuda financiera en cada universidad que te interese.
  • style='font-size:14.0pt;font-family:Times;font-weight:normal'>Algunas universidades privadas requieren formas adicionales para ayuda financiera, el CSS Profile. Puedes obtener la forma CSS Profile del centro de carreras (B-15), si tu universidad la requiere (mira la lista en el centro de carreras). Completa y manda el Profile para la fecha más temprana que tenga la universidad o programa. ¿Preguntas sobre el Profile? Puedes encontrar la información en www.collegeboard.com
  • Empieza buscando becas por medio del centro de carreras, el boletín para los estudiantes del doceavo grado y el Internet. Inicia una búsqueda gratis de becas en el Internet en (www.fastweb.com).


  • Obten una forma FAFSA en el centro de carreras. Se te notificará cuando hayan llegado las formas. CADA ESTUDIANTE QUE ESTE SOLICITANDO PARA RECIBIR AYUDA FINANCIERA DEBE COMPLETAR LA FORMA FAFSA. Familiarízate con la forma, pero ¡NO MANDES TU FORMA FAFSA ANTES DEL 1 DE ENERO, o no será procesada!
  • Obtenuna forma de verificación de tu GPA (promedio de calificaciones) en el centro de carreras.Es necesario completar una de estas formas para calificar para recibir ayuda financiera del Estado de California. Esta es una forma simple que la oficina de consejería someterá con tu GPA oficial para que puedas recibir ayuda financiera.
  • Colecta los documentos necesarios para prepararte para completar la forma FAFSA (tarjeta del seguro social, información de ingreso y bienes, etc.). Refiere a la forma FAFSA para una lista de los documentos que necesitarás.
  • Si la universidad a la cuál estás solicitando tiene sus propias formas institucionales de ayuda financiera, asegúrate de obtener y verificar sus fechas importantes; algunas fechas importantes son tan pronto como el 1 de enero.
  • Continúa buscando becas. Continúa haciendo preguntas.


  • Asiste al taller de ayuda financiera patrocinada por el centro de carreras (habrá uno inglés y otro en español).
  • ¡Completa la forma FAFSA, leyendo todas las instrucciones CUIDADOSAMENTE
  • Haz una fotocopia de la forma FAFSA cuando esté completa para quelas guardes; envíala lo más pronto posible, pero ¡ NO ANTES DEL 1 DE ENERO! La fecha de plazo prioritaria es el 2 de marzo. Una vez sometida la solicitud, las universidades que hayas alistado e identificado (los números de identificación están en el centro de carreras—ten cuidado estos NO son los mismos números de identificación que utilizas para enviar los resultados del examen SAT a las universidades), ellos recibirán tu información electronicamente. Si mandas tu forma por el correo, asegúrate de obtener un certificado de envio de la oficina de correo (esto cuesta 95 centavos y es tu prueba de que enviaste tu forma FAFSA a tiempo). También puedes someter tu forma FAFSA electronicamente en www.fafsa.ed.gov
  • Avisa a los administradores de ayuda financiera (FAA) de las universidades a las cuales esperas asistir de cualquier circunstancia financiera especial que pueda afectar tu habilidad de pagar la universidad. La forma FAFSA no permite reportar circunstancias especiales; esto debe de haberse hecho comunicándose directamente con la oficina (FAA) de la universidad.


  • Asegúrate de haber sometido tu forma de verificación de tu GPA a la oficina de la consejería.
  • Espera por correo un reporte de ayuda estudiantil (SAR), cual recibirás entre cuatro y séis semanas despues de haber enviado tu forma FAFSA.  Haz cualquier corrección necesaria al SAR y somételo. Si no sometiste tus impuestos a tiempo y usaste estimaciones en ese tiempo, debes ahora corregir el SAR para que refleje las cantidades anuales reportadas cuando tú y/o tus padres hicieron sus impuestos.
  • Si tu SAR indica que tú has sido “elegido para verificación,” averigüa con la universidad para saber qué información sera requerida para este proceso, y somete esa información lo más pronto posible.


  • Revisa las cartas de aceptación para ayuda financiera que hayas recibido de las universidades que pusiste en la forma FAFSA (recibirás estas cartas de las universidades que te acepten). Haz preguntas en el centro de carreras si no entiendes las cartas de aceptación.
  • Habla con un administrador de la oficina de ayuda financiera si tienes algunos problemas. Asegúrate de preguntar el nombre de la persona con quién hablaste para así poder hablar con la misma persona otra vez.
  • Respeta la fecha de contestación del 1 de mayo—esta es la fecha que debes notificar a las universidades que te aceptaron si piensas asistir o no. Una vez que hayas decidido a cuál universidad vas a asistir, revisa la oferta de ayuda financiera de esa universidad, acepta o niega cada uno de los artículos enlistados en la oferta (por ejemplo, puedes decidir aceptar los préstamos solamente y rechachar la oferta de trabajar como estudiante).
  • Avisa a la oficina de ayuda financiera de la universidad si vas a recibir fondos de alguna compañia privada (becas o premios).


Información sobre programas federales, FAFSA, etc. 1-800-4FED-AID
FAFSA por el Internet (información general y asistencia técnica) 1-800-801-0576
California Student Aid Commission 1-916-526-7590


Centro de carreras


Alice Kleeman, Especialista de información para las universidades

322-5311 x 5141



AA: Associate of Arts. Un título de dos años ofrecido por los colegios comunitarios (y algunas universidades de cuatro años).


ACT: American College Test (examen para universidades americanas). Un examen para admisión a la universidad generalmente aceptado como alternativa al SAT.


a-g list:  Trabajo requerido en la secundaria para que los estudiantes sean elegibles para la admisión en la Universidad de California. Buscar información en la sección UC del Guidance Alert.


AP: Advanced Placement.  Cursos tomados en la secundaria al nivel de la universidad. Los créditos universitarios pueden ser otorgados por algunas universidades a los estudiantes que hayan tomado estos cursos y también quienes hayan pasado los exámenes al fin del curso con una calificación determinada.


BA o BS:  También llamado Bachillerato; Bachillerato en Arte o Bachillerato en Ciencia, es el título otorgado por las universidades de cuatro años.


CSS Profile: Revisar la sección del Profile.


CSU:  California State University.  Las 23 universidades estatales, tal como San Jose State, San Francisco State, etc.


Deferral of admission  (Aplazamiento de admisión):  Esta es una posible respuesta a un estudiante que solicitó Early Action (acción temprana) o Early Decision (decisión temprana) a la universidad.  Deferral (aplazamiento) en este caso quiere decir que el estudiante no ha sido ni aceptado, ni rechazado; si no que la decisión ha sido aplazada y el estudiante será considerado con el resto de los solicitantes—los cuales no hicieron su solicitud temprano.


Deferral of attendance  (Aplazamiento de asistencia):  Este es el proceso por el cual un estudiante pospone su asistencia una vez que es aceptado.  Muchas universidades privadas permiten que un estudiante aplace su asistencia por un año, después de haber sido aceptado. En las universidades públicas, los estudiantes  deben reaplicar si piensan no ir a la universidad por un año después de la secundaria.


Degree (Licenciatura):  El título otorgado a un graduado de la universidad después de haber completado un programa.  Un  título de undergraduate (para estudiantes no graduados) otorgado después de cuatro años de universidad; una licenciatura de graduado es otorgada después de los estudios de la universidad.


Early Programs (programas tempranos): Early Action (acción temprana) y Early Decision (decisión temprana) son dos programas que usan las universidades privadas para notificar a los solicitantes si han sido aceptados o rechazados. Esto se hace durante el primer semestre en el doceavo año.  Early Action (acción temprana) quiere decir que el estudiante aplicó temprano, recibió notificación temprana pero puede aplicar a otras universidades y puede decidir después de que haya recibido notificación de todas las universidades. Early Action (acción temprana) no es un compromiso; un estudiante aceptado con early action no está comprometido para asistir a esa universidad.  Early Decision (decisión temprana) quiere decir que el estudiante aplicó temprano, recibió notificación temprana y está comprometido para asistir a la universidad si es aceptado. Un estudiante aceptado con early decision debe retirar sus aplicaciónes a otras universidades. Los programas tempranos son para los estudiantes que están absolutamente seguros de su primera elección; en general los estudiantes deben haber cumplido con sus exámenes para la primavera de su onceavo año de secundaria.


EOP (Equal Opportunity Program) o EOPS (Programa de oportunidades de igualdad): Este es un programa de ayuda financiera y apoyo académico que ayuda a los estudiantes de familias en cuales los parentes no asistieron a la universidad o que tienen bajo ingreso.


Expected Family Contribution (Contribución esperada de la familia):  Una cantidad monetaria deribada de una fórmula basada en la información del ingreso y bienes de la familia proporcionada en la forma FAFSA. La cantidad de EFC será reportada al estudiante en el SAR (Student Aid Report, reporte de ayuda estudiantil).


FAFSA (Aplicación gratis para ayuda estudiantil federal): Esta es la aplicación para ayuda financiera que todos los estudiantes tienen que someter si desean recibir ayuda financiera; no importa a qué tipo de universidad van a asistir. Esta forma debe ser sometida entre el 1 de enero y el 2 de marzo si el estudiante espera calificar para recibir ayuda estatal y federal.  La forma está disponible en diciembre en el centro de carreras de la escuela.


Fee Waiver (Renuncia de honorarios):  Una forma disponible para los estudiantes de familias con bajos recursos; esta forma puede ser enviada para pagar los exámenes o las solicitudes de admisión en lugar de los honorarios normalmente cobrados por estos servicios.


Financial aid (Ayuda financiera): El dinero para ayudar a los estudiantes a pagar su educación.  Puede ser en la forma de préstamos, becas o “work study” (estudio y trabajo).


Financial need (Necesidad financiera): En el lenguage de ayuda financiera, necesidad es la diferencia entre el costo actual de la educación del estudiante y lo que el estudiante y su familia pueden contribuir (basado en la fórmula de la forma FAFSA, en donde se calcula la contribución esperada de la familia).


General Education (Educación general) o Breadth Requirements (Requisitos de amplitud):  Cursos requeridos de diferentes disciplinas (Humanidades, Estudios Sociales, Ciencias Naturales, Artes Finas, Matemáticas, etc.) requeridos para la mayoría de las licenciaturas universitarias.


GPA (Grade Point Average) (Calificación promedia de puntos): Aunque el GPA es reportado en las transcripciones de la secundaria, a menudo las universidades procesan su propia versión del GPA, contando solo ciertos cursos o balanceando el GPA añadiéndole puntos extras para los cursos de honores.


Grants (Becas):  Dinero dado como ayuda financiera que no se tiene que pagar.


Impacted (Impactado):  Un campo universitario o un programa específico es impactado si hay más solicitantes para los programas según los espacios disponibles.  En estos casos, la matriculación puede cerrarse temporalmente ó hacen una investigación especial para elegir a los estudiantes que sí pueden matricularse.


Liberal Arts (Artes Liberales): Introducción o exposición a una amplia selección de materias o disciplinas, incluyendo Ciencias Sociales, Humanidades, Artes Finas y Ciencias Naturales.


MA (Master of Arts):  Requiere uno o dos años después de completar la licenciatura BA o BS.

Major (Asignatura):  El área principal que un estudiante escoge para estudiar en la universidad, generalmente constituyendo aproximadamente la mitad de los cursos de trabajo hechos por el estudiante. (La otra mitad de los cursos de trabajo es usualmente una combinación de requisitos de la educación general y clases electivas.)


Minor (Asignatura secundaria): El área secundaria que un estudiante puede escoger para estudiar en la universidad con cierto número de cursos requeridos para que dea otorgada la asignatura.


NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) (Asociación national colegial de atletismo):  Una organización que regula el atletismo en las universidades por medio de la elegibilidad, reclutamiento y ayuda financiera.


Package: (Paquete):  La oferta de ayuda financiera hecha por una universidad a un estudiante; también llamada carta premiada.


Ph.D. (Doctor of philosophy) (Doctorado en Filosofía):  El título más alto otorgado a un graduado; generalmente toma varios años después de los estudios de undergraduate (Posgraduado) y el título Master’s (Magisterio) que completes.


Prerequisites: Trabajo de cursos, exámenes o nivel de grado que deben de ser cumplidos antes de tomar un curso específico.


Private (or independent ) college:  Universidad privada o independiente:  Una universidad que no es apoyada por fondos estatales.


Profile:  Una solicitud de ayuda financiera requerida por muchas universidades privadas. (El Profile nunca reemplaza el FAFSA; es usado en adición al FAFSA por las escuelas que lo requieren.)


PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) (Examen Escolar Preliminario de Aptitud):  Un examen de práctica para el SAT, ofrecido en octubre. Este examen debe ser tomado por todos los estudiantes del onceavo año de secundaria y puede ser tomado por los estudiantes interesados del grado diez.


Recission (or Revocation) Recindir o Revocar:  La retirada de admisión.  Una universidad puede revocar o suspender su oferta de admisión a un estudiante que falle en cumplir el doceavo año al nivel que la universidad espera, baseado en la solicitud. Esto puede ser debido a cursos fracasados en el doceavo año, dejar los cursos requeridos, acción disciplinaria u otras causas.


Rolling admission (Admisión rolante):  Las universidades con este sistema notifican a los estudiantes de su aceptación o rechazo en una forma rolante por medio de responder a las solicitudes en cuanto sean recibidas, en lugar de esperarse hasta una fecha designada para contestar.


SAR (Student Aid Report) (Reporte de ayuda estudiantil): Esta forma es regresada a los estudiantes quienes sometieron la forma FAFSA, informándoles de su contribución esperada familiar (EFC) y pidiendoles las correcciones en la forma FAFSA o poner al día la información que no fue disponible cuando la forma FAFSA fue sometida.


SAT: Un examen escolar evaluativo ofrecido por el College Board. Un examen para admisión a la universidad que mide las habilidades verbales y matemáticas en un examen de 3 horas con preguntas de respuestas múltiples.  Es requerido por UC, CSU y muchas universidades privadas.


SAT Subject Tests: Exámenes en ciertos temas. (Hasta 3 exámenes pueden ser tomados el mismo día.) Un examen de 50 preguntas con respuestas múltiples en el área del tema. Dos exámenes SAT Subject Tests son requeridas por el sistema UC.


Scholarship (Beca): Dinero regalado que no se tiene que pagar. Las becas se pueden otorgar basadas en el mérito, talento o habilidad del estudiante, o en la necesidad financiera u otro criterio.


TOEFL: Examen de inglés como segundo idioma del estudiante: Un examen para estudiantes extranjeros usado para admisión o colocación en las clases de inglés.


Transcript  (Transcripción):  El documento oficial en donde se reportan todas las calificaciones del estudiante y los cursos.


Transfer students:  Estudiantes que cambian de una universidad a otra, generalmente después del segundo año.


Tuition: El costo para tomar las clases en la universidad.


UC (University of California) (Universidad de California): Nueve campos universitarios para estudios de undergraduate (posgraduados) (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz y San Diego) y un campo para graduados (San Francisco) hace el sistema de UC.


Undergraduate: Un estudiante universitario que aún no ha recibido su licenciatura.


Waiting list (Lista de espera): Las universidades pueden hacer una lista de los estudiantes a los que se les ofrecerá admission si los estudiantes aceptados no llenan la clase entera.


Work-study: Un programa federal que hay para los estudiantes que pueden trabajar tiempo parcial o medio tiempo mientras son estudiantes. Hay trabajos disponibles de medio tiempo para los estudiantes con necesidades ecomómicas como determinado por la forma FAFSA.


Yield (Rendimiento):  El rendimiento de una universidad es el número o porcentaje de estudiantes aceptados quienes eligen asistir.  (La universidad tendrá un rendimiento del 40% si se ofrece admisión a 1,000 estudiantes y 400 eligen asistir a esa universidad.)