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LGHS Senior Grade Level Book.doc - Los Gatos High School



   And Their Parents

 CLASS OF 2011

   Los Gatos High School
           Fall 2010

    School Code: 051855
A Note to Seniors,
You’ve worked hard for three years; the application date is drawing near;
the big decisions must now be put down on paper. Where do you begin?
Those of you who have been preparing for college since your freshman year
should have many choices when selecting a college that is right for you.
With well over 3,000 colleges and universities in the U.S., there are many
schools that will fit that category. Remember, all but about one hundred
schools accept most of the students who apply. As a matter of fact, in
California alone there are at least 10 to 15 colleges that you would be
comfortable attending – all of which would give you a great education. Pick a
college that matches your interests, willingness to work and commitment to
academics. Be sure to keep your senior grades strong and stay enrolled in
classes that will prepare you for the kind of competition you will face in
college. If you’re not quite eligible for a four-year college directly after
high school, don’t despair. Most colleges and universities are looking for
transfer students who have done well in one or two years (preferably two) at
a community college. A college education is available to every student who
wants one and will do the work to earn it.
                                                        The Senior Year - Class of 2011
                                       A PDF version of the handbook is available at
                                                        (Under guidance and grade level books)
                                                       TABLE OF CONTENTS

COLLEGE PLANNING CALENDAR FOR SENIORS ................................................................... ... 4
     Los Gatos High School Profile ....................................................................................................... 9
     College Admission Tests .............................................................................................................. 12
     Academic Profile ........................................................................................................................... 14
     College Admission Requirements ................................................................................................ 16
     College Acceptance Criteria .......................................................................................................... 16
     Community College Admission Requirements and Programs ...................................................... 17
     Two-Year Colleges Located in California with Residence Facilities .......................................... 19
     CSU/UC Admission Requirements ................................................................................................ 20
     CSU Campuses and Eligibility Index ............................................................................................. 23
     CSU Transcript and Test Score Requirements ............................................................................... 24
     UC Campuses and Eligibility Index ............................................................................................... 25
     Independent (Private) Colleges and Universities ………………………………………………...27
     Examples of Public and Private Colleges that Accept Students with
            Grade Point Averages of 2.0 - 2.99 .................................................................................... 28
     A Sampling of Some Excellent Colleges by Subject...................................................................... 29
     College Tours and Visits ................................................................................................................ 34
     College Comparison Worksheet ..................................................................................................... 36
     Questions You Should Ask on a Tour ............................................................................................ 37
     Acing the College Interview ........................................................................................................... 38

     Something to Think About ............................................................................................................. 40
     College Application Process ........................................................................................................... 41
     College Application Organizer ....................................................................................................... 43
     Frequently Asked Questions About the Application Process ........................................................ 45
     Writing a College Essay ................................................................................................................ 47
     Independent (Private) College Application Process Instructions and Materials ........................... 50
     Scholarship Scams .......................................................................................................................... 54
     Resources Available on the Internet ............................................................................................... 57
     College Placement Tests ................................................................................................................. 58
     Sample of a Second Semester Warning Letter ............................................................................... 59
     Sample of a UC Rejection Letter .................................................................................................... 60
     College and Career Center Ways We Can Help ............................................................................. 61
     Hints and Reminders for the College Application Process ............................................................ 62

         September – June: Study! Colleges want students who demonstrate ability and
     willingness to work throughout their senior year. Maintain the highest grades possible.

14    Senior Parent Information Guidance Meeting 7:00 PM – LGHS Prentiss Brown Theater
14-21 Senior Guidance Unit during social studies class period
15    Private College Information 2:00 PM at Comm. Room
11    ACT test date
10    Registration deadline for October 23 ACT
22    Deadline for private college early action/decision candidates to submit materials to the Guidance
     Office for Secondary School Reports/SSR

During September:

o     Plan college application and testing schedule
o     Sign up in the College & Career Center (CCC) to meet college representatives and
      continue research for possible colleges
o     Compile necessary materials needed by private colleges for early decision and early action
o     Ask teachers to write recommendations, if required
o     If planning to participate in college athletics, register with NCAA,
o     Deadline for private college Early Decision/Early Action candidates to submit Secondary School
      Report forms to the Guidance Office


1    CSU application priority filing period begins
1    CSS Financial Aid Profile registration begins
8    Registration deadline for November 6 SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Test(s)
9    SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject test(s)
6    CSU Application Workshop 7:00 in the LGHS Library
12   UC Application Workshop 7:00 in the LGHS Library
23   ACT Test date
20   “How to Pay for College” workshop – 7:00 LGHS Library
26   Regular Decision SSR Envelope Due to Guidance

During October:

o    Plan to attend UC Application Workshop
o    Compute various GPA’s using up-to-date transcript
o    Reduce preliminary number of colleges to a reasonable number carefully considering GPA and eligibility
o    Begin work on UC/CSU applications
o    Begin or continue first draft of college essays
o    Research scholarships and financial aid in CCC, Guidance Office and on the Internet
     Submit Early Decision/Early Action Applications


1    UC application priority filing period begins
6    SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Test(s)
30   CSU/UC application filing period ends

During November:

o    Research housing for college(s) of your choice
o    Submit CSU/UC applications no later than November 30 (preferably earlier)

     Beginning of private college early decision and early action notification period

Dec. 15 – Jan. 15
       Private Applications due

During December:

o      Submit private college regular decision applications by deadline dates
o      Register for parent and student PIN’s through the FAFSA website
o      Work on college scholarship applications, if applicable

 5     Financial Aid Workshop – 7:00 pm LGHS Library

During January:

o      Prepare applications for community colleges and for business and technical schools
o      Finalize FAFSA forms - send as early as possible, but not before January 2
o      Thank school staff members who helped you in the college application process
o      Work on college scholarship applications, if applicable

During February:

o       Notify colleges in writing if you drop a class
o       Sign-up period for AP Exams (date TBA)
o       Complete and submit all FAFSA forms

1      Beginning of notification period for four-year college and university admissions decisions
1      FAFSA submission deadline

During March:
o Sign up for the UC Analytical Writing Placement Examination if planning to attend a UC, unless exempt
o   Watch for Student Aid Report (SAR) to arrive, giving amount of student aid for which you are eligible
o   Submit applications to community colleges

During April:
o     Communicate continued interest to university if wait-listed
o     Revisit colleges if necessary before making a final decision
o     Complete any required paperwork for selected college
o     Send thank-you notes to writers of Secondary School Reports and Letters of Recommendation
      and tell them of your final decision

1         Postmark deadline to submit “Statement of Intent to Register” (SIR) to the one college you plan
         to attend. Mail in deposit. Sign and return financial award letters. Notify those colleges you will not
4-15     AP Exam Dates

During May:
o    Take UC, CSU or Community College placement exams if required

7-10 Request Guidance Office to send FINAL TRANSCRIPT to certify graduation
11   LGHS GRADUATION – Congratulations!!!

During June:
o    Attend all advising days, open houses, orientation programs, and registration meetings offered by your


                                                              LOS GATOS HIGH SCHOOL
                                                                  Los Gatos-Saratoga Union High School District
                                                                 2008 - 2009 SCHOOL PROFILE
ADMINISTRATION                                                                                                                                         COUNSELORS
Markus Autrey, Principal                                                                                                                    Amy Gutierrez        A–B
Kristina Grasty, Assistant Principal                                                                                                             408-354-2730 ext. 239
Elizabeth Laborde, Assistant Principal                                                                                                
Scott Downs, Assistant Principal                                                                                                                   John Benz       C-G
                                                                                                                                                 408-354-2730 ext. 236
20 High School Court                                                                                                                       
Los Gatos, California 95030                                                                                                                        Louis Rich      H-L
Phone: 408-354-2730
                                                                                                                                                 408-354-2730 ext. 238
FAX: 408-354-3742
Web Address:                                                                                                                   
protocol:                                                                                                    Tamera Parks        M-R
                                                                                                                                                 408-354-2730 ext. 234
Los Gatos High School (LGHS) is a public comprehensive high school on the southern tip of                                                     Kassandra Cochran S-Z
Silicon Valley. The Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District serves a total population of                                                   408-354-2730 ext. 235
58,000 and consists of two comprehensive high schools and a number of alternative programs.                                            
Los Gatos High School is a community school comprised of business and professional, middle                                                  College and Career Center
and upper class families. The current enrollment is approximately 1,765 students. In addition to                                                 Marie Rector
a strong academic program, Los Gatos High School celebrates the nationally recognized                                                            408-354-2730 ext. 258
Wildcat yearbook and El Gato newspaper. Students participate in over 50 academic, athletic                                              
and community service clubs and organizations. Los Gatos High School is accredited by the
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

                                    THE CURRICULUM                                                                                 HONORS
                                     Academic Program                                                                               AND
                                                                                                                         ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES
    Los Gatos High School H
Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus offers academically challenging courses.
Calculusunits are awarded for each semester class. Classes meet five
    Five AB                    AP                                                                              English                             Science
    times per
Calculus BC week, 50 minutes per day. Students may take up to six
                               AP                                                                              English 9 H                     H   Biology            H
                           period available for athletics. Grades and units
    classes with a seventh AP
stics                                                                                                          English 10 H                    H   Biology         AP
    are assigned in January and June. During each 18-week semester,                                            English Language/Composition AP     Chemistry       AP
    students may take a maximum of 35 units.                                                                   English Literature/Composition AP   Physics C: Mech AP
                                                                                                               Social Studies                      World Language
                       GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
                                                                                                 Units         World History                  H    French                  H
   Applied Arts .................................................................................. 5           20th Century World History     H    French Language        AP
   Health/Driver Education ............................................................... 5                   U.S. History                  AP    German                  H
   English ........................................................................................ 40         U.S. Government               AP    German Language        AP
   Social Studies ............................................................................... 35           Comparative Govt/Politics     AP    Italian Language       AP
   Mathematics (including Algebra 1).............................................. 20                          Economics                     H     Japanese                H
   Physical Education ....................................................................... 20               European History              AP    Japanese Language      AP
   Science ........................................................................................ 20                                             Spanish                 H
   Visual/Performing Arts or World Language ................................ 10                                                                    Spanish Language       AP
   Electives (Additional Credits) ...................................................... 65
                                                                                Total Units            220

                                                                                                               Mathematics                         Electives
                                                                                                               Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus     H      Computer Science      AP
                                                                                                               Calculus AB                  AP
                                                                                                               Calculus BC                  AP
                                                                                                               Statistics                   AP     Visual Arts
                                                                                                                                                    Art                   H

                                                                            Applied Arts
                                        2008 - 2009 SCHOOL PROFILE

CUMULATIVE GRADE POINT DISTRIBUTION                                                                  GRADING
               Class of 2009 – Junior Year – 437 Students
                                                                           Weighted four-point system grade point average:
                                                                           A=4           B=3           C=2           D=1           F=0
                                                                              includes all courses in grades 9 – 12, except PE/Sports and
                       0 - 1.99                                                Teacher/Office Assistant (TA/OA)
                                                 4.0 - 4.75
  2.0 - 2.99            5.5%                      17.6%       3.5 - 3.99      one extra point is given for each 9th – 12th grade
   35.2%                 (24)                       (77)       19.2%           Honors/Advanced Placement course with a C or higher grade
    (154)                                                        (84)

                                                                                  Los Gatos High School does not rank students.

3.0 - 3.49

                       SAT REASONING TEST DATA                                                                                        COLLEGE CHOICE
                   PERCENT TESTED/COMPOSITE SCORE                                                                                 BY YEAR OF GRADUATION
                                                        2006                  2007             2008                                              2006                2007               2008
 Verbal/Critical Reading                            76/577                   74/594        77/579            2-Year Colleges                     24%                  25%               26%
 Math                                               76/600                   76/621        77/608            4-Year Colleges                     72%                  72%               71%
 Writing                                            76/578                   74/598        77/580            Total College                       96%                  97%               97%

                             SUBJECT TEST DATA                                                                                       NATIONAL MERIT
                          NUMBER TESTED/MEAN SCORE                                                                                SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
 EXAM SUBJECT                                           2006                 2007          2008                                              2005       2006       2007         2008        2009
        English  Writing                          15/621                                                   Number of Graduates                376      373         378         405          TBD
        English  Literature                       74/599                     98/605      86/596            Number of Semi-Finalists             5        9          10           9           10
        U.S. History                              103/631                    138/611     128/606            Number of Commended                  8       10          28          18            33
        Math Level I                               37/604                     18/598      21/553
        Math Level II                             106/646                    112/660     151/644
        Chemistry                                  42/615                     47/635      50/625                   COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY ATTENDANCE
        Physics                                    22/656                     17/646      17/669                       CLASS OF 2008  405 STUDENTS
        Biology E                                  30/596                     57/619      45/619
        Biology M                                  49/632                     17/639      30/659            University of California (79)                      Out of State – Private (45)
        French                                     12/641                      9/663
                                                                                                             Berkeley - 14                                     Alfred University - 1
        Japanese Listening                          6/718                                   6/577            Davis - 12                                        American University - 4
        Spanish                                    14/599                     13/593       12/576            Irvine - 6                                        Bard College - 1
                                                                                                             Los Angeles - 10                                  Belmont University - 1
                                    ACT                                                                      Riverside -3                                      Birmingham Southern College - 1
                          NUMBER TESTED/MEAN SCORE                                                           San Diego - 7                                     Boston University - 1
                                                                                                             Santa Barbara - 11                                Brigham Young University - 2
 EXAM SUBJECT                                           2006                 2007              2008          Santa Cruz – 16                                   Brown University - 2
                                                                                                                                                               Cornish College of the Arts - 2
                                                                                                            California State University (81)
        English                                    36/24.8                   79/25.2     214/25.1                                                              Dickinson College - 1
        Math                                       36/26.1                   79/26.3     214/27.4                                                              Florida Atlantic University - 1
                                                                                                             Cal Poly Pomona - 1
        Reading                                    36/24.9                   79/25.2     214/25.7                                                              Gonzaga University - 1
                                                                                                             Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - 20
                                                                                                                                                               Harvard University - 2
        Science                                    36/24.4                   79/24.8     214/25.0            Chico - 15
                                                                                                                                                               Lewis and Clark College - 3
        Composite                                  36/25.2                   79/25.6     214/25.9            Humboldt - 1
                                                                                                                                                               Maryland Institute College of Art - 1
                                                                                                             Long Beach - 5
                                                                                                                                                               Massachusetts Institute of Tech - 1
                                                                                                             Monterey Bay - 3
                                                                                                                                                               Mt. Holyoke College - 1
                                       ADVANCED PLACEMENT                                                    Sacramento - 1
                                                                                                                                                               New York University - 2
                                                                                                             San Diego - 8
                                                               851                             860                                                             Northeastern University - 1
 900                                                                                                         San Francisco - 9
                                                                                                                                                               Olin College of Engineering - 1
                                                                 851                            860

                                                                                                             San Jose - 15
                                                                       708                            726                                                      Reed College- 1
                                                                                                             Sonoma - 3
                            676                                        708
                                                                                                                                                               Rensselaer Polytechnic - 1
                                                                                                                                                               Rhode Island School of Design - 1
                                       576                                                                  California – Private (46)
                                       576                                                                                                                     Richmond University of London - 1
                                                                                                                                                               Simon Fraser University - 2
                                                                                                             Academy of Art University - 4
 500         383                                 378 384                             405 391                                                                   Southern Methodist University - 1
                                                                                      405                    Brooks Institute of Photography - 1
                   313                            378 384                                391
                                                                                                                                                               University of Chicago - 1
 400                                                                                                         Cal Lutheran - 1
                    313                                                                                                                                        University of Glasgow, Scotland - 1
                                                                                                             Cal Tech - 1
 300                                                                                                                                                           University of Puget Sound – 1
                                                                                                             Chapman University - 1
                                                                                                                                                               Wagner College - 1
 200                                                                                                         Cogswell Polytechnic - 1
                                                                                                                                                               Washington University, St. Louis - 1
                                                                                                             Concordia University - 1
 100                                                                                                                                                           Willamette University - 2
                                                                                                             Loyola Marymount University - 4
                                                                                                                                                               Yale - 1
       0                  2006                            2007                              2008
                                                                                                             Otis College of Design - 1
                      2006                                2007                             2008              Pepperdine University - 1
                                                                                                                                                               Out of State – Public (37)
           Number of Graduates                                                                               Santa Clara University - 13
                                                                                                             Scripps College - 1
           Number of Students Taking AP Exams (includes some juniors)                                                                                          Arizona State University - 4
                                                                                                             St. Mary’s College of California - 2
                                                                                                                                                               Clemson University - 1
           Number of Exams Taken                                                                             Stanford University - 4
                                                                                                                                                               Colorado State University - 2
                                                                                                             University of the Pacific - 2
           Number of Qualifying Scores (3, 4 or 5 score)                                                                                                       Florida State University - 1
                                                                                                             University of Redlands - 1
                                                                                                                                                               Michigan State University - 1
                                                                                                             University of San Diego - 2
                                                                                                                                                               Oregon State University - 2
                                                                                                             University of San Francisco - 2
                                                                                                                                                               Portland State University - 1
                                                                                                             University of Southern California – 3
                            POST HIGH SCHOOL PLANS                                                                                                             United States Naval Academy - 2
                                                                                                                                                               University of Arizona - 5
                                                                                                             2-Year Colleges (106)
                                                                                                                                                               University of Central Florida - 1
                           2-Year            Other Plans,                                                                                                      University of Colorado, Boulder - 5
                                                                                                             Butte College - 1
                          Colleges,             2.70%                  UC, 19.50%                                                                              University of MA, Amherst - 1
                                                                                                             Cabrillo College - 6
                                                                                                                                                               University of Oregon - 8
                           26.20%                                                                            Canada College - 1
                                                                                                                                                               University of South Carolina - 1
                                                                                                             Cuesta College - 7
                                                                                                                                                               University of Washington - 1
                                                                                                             De Anza College - 18
                                                                                                                                                               University of Wisconsin - 1
              Out of State -                                                                                 Feather River College - 1
                                                                               CSU, 20.00%                   Foothill College - 4
               Public, 9%                                                                                                                                      Other (11)
                                                               CA - Private,                                 Mission College - 5
                       Out of State -                                                                        Ohlone College - 1
                                                                 11.40%                                                                                        Military - 3
                                                                                                             San Francisco City College - 1
                      Private, 11.10%                                                                                                                          Travel - 3
                                                                                                             San Jose City College - 2
                                                                                                                                                               Vocational - 1
                                                                                                             Santa Barbara City College – 10
                                                                                                                                                               Work - 4
                                                                                                             West Valley College - 49
                              COLLEGE ADMISSION TESTS

Most four-year colleges (including UC and CSU campuses) require the SAT Reasoning Test or the ACT plus
Writing as part of the application process. The SAT Reasoning Test is a three-hour, forty-five minute test that
produces critical reading, writing and mathematical scores, each recorded on a scale of 200 (low) to 800
(high). The ACT (American College Test) reports a composite score using a scale from 1 to 36 and tests in
four areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. There is an optional Writing Test.
Applicants to the University of California and some independent colleges are required to complete the
writing option. All institutions accept either the ACT plus Writing or SAT Reasoning Test scores equally.
The University of California requires, in addition to either the SAT Reasoning Test or ACT plus Writing, two
SAT SUBJECT TESTS. Students may choose from English literature, foreign languages, mathematics,
science, or history. If mathematics is chosen, only the Math Level 2 test is accepted. Other very selective
colleges may also require SAT Subject Tests. The SAT Subject Tests measure knowledge in particular
curricular areas and ability to apply that information. A single subject test is a multiple choice format and is
approximately one hour in length. Up to three tests may be taken in one sitting. For the UC system, the
subject tests chosen must be from separate subject areas.

In order to facilitate admissions procedures, housing priorities, and financial aid decisions, students who
do not take the necessary entrance exams in May or June of their junior year must be sure to register in
early September for the October SAT Reasoning Test/SAT Subject Tests or ACT and/or the November
SAT Reasoning Test or SAT Subject Tests if needed. Many colleges accept the December test scores for the
SAT and ACT, but prefer that testing be complete by the end of November. To check, see the specific
college website.

                         Which College Admission Test Should I Take?
                                ACT or SAT Reasoning Test

Should I take one test or both? Because research indicates that many students perform quite differently
on the ACT and SAT Reasoning Test, it may benefit you to take both tests. The option is yours. Take one or
both, since colleges use the higher of the two scores for admission, scholarship, and athletic eligibility.

So. . . don’t panic! It’s important to remember that an admission test score is only one piece of information
a college looks at when considering your application. Your grade point average, number and content of
college preparatory courses completed, school and community activities, work experience (if applicable),
and other factors are also considered. There is never a penalty for taking a test again, but two or three
sittings should be the maximum.

                            SAT Reasoning Test and ACT Compared

                                ACT Assessment                                                  SAT
                                    (ACT)                                                   Reasoning Test

 Content        Grammar                                                 Vocabulary
 Covered:       Reading Comprehension                                   Reading Comprehension
                Math                                                    Writing
                Science Reasoning                                       Math
                An optional Writing Test may be taken **
                   (**Required by UC and some other colleges )

  Scoring       Scores based upon the total number of                   Scores based upon the total number
  Method:       correct answers.                                        of correct answers minus a guessing
                (No guessing penalty.)                                  penalty for incorrect answers.

                English, Math, Reading, and                             Math, Verbal and Writing raw scores
                Science scores converted to scaled                      converted to scaled scores between
                scores between 1-36.                                    200-800 each.
                Four-function, scientific                               Four-function, scientific
                or graphing calculator allowed                          or graphing calculator allowed

                                  Concordance Between ACT Score and
                                       SAT Reasoning Test Score

Colleges and universities use this concordance table when an applicant has taken both the SAT Reasoning Test
and the ACT to determine on which test the student scored higher. Typically, it is the higher of the two test
scores that colleges use in the admission formula.

                                                     ACT to SAT Reasoning Test
                                                        Conversion Table*
                               ACT          Equivalent SAT     ACT         Equivalent SAT
                               Score        Reasoning Test     Score       Reasoning Test
                                                Score                          Score

                                  36           2400                23           1590
                                  35           2340                22           1530
                                  34           2260                21           1500
                                  33           2190                20           1410
                                  32           2130                19           1350
                                  31           2040                18           1290
                                  30           1980                17           1210
                                  29           1920                16           1140
                                  28           1860                15           1060
                                  27           1820                14           1000
                                  26           1760                13            900
                                  25           1700                12            780
                                  24           1650                11            750

    *Comparisons are an approximation and will be updated as more information becomes available, this table can also be
                    referenced at

                                              KNOW YOURSELF
Choosing the RIGHT college can seem like the most important decision you’ll ever make. But, RELAX
- with well over 3,000 colleges in the United States, there are many good choices for every student. The
only wrong college choices are uninformed choices.

       Step One:           Know your personal and academic profile

                         Career goal(s)
                         Hobbies and special interests/talents
                         Personal attitudes, traits and needs
                     Academic program (college prep, honors, or AP)
                     Grades and GPA
                     College admissions exam scores
                     Activities related to academics
                     Awards and recognition
                     Academic learning/study skills
                     Self-motivation and discipline
                     Communication skills

                                            Academic Profile
                           What do I need to know about myself before I apply?

                                     1.   _____________________ LGHS weighted GPA
                                     2.   _____________________ CSU/UC weighted GPA

     4. Best SAT Reasoning Test scores
              Best sitting critical reading _______ math ______ writing _____ combined _____
              Best single critical reading _______ math ______ writing _____ combined _____

     5. Best ACT score ____________

     6. Best SAT Subject Test scores
              1. ________________ 2. ______________ 3. _______________
                  (Two needed in different subject areas for the University of California)

     7. Academic Preparation (number of P classes in years, not semesters, at time of graduation)
                           E n g li s h
                            Social Studies
                           Language other than English

                                   Total (P) classes           ___________ Number of Honors or AP classes

Step Two: Know what you are looking for in a college

      Knowing yourself is important when choosing a college. Your abilities, interests, attitudes
      and personality play an important role in your decision. A good way to start your college
      search is to think in broad terms rather than immediately focus on specific schools.
      Completing the chart below will assist you in establishing priorities. Some of the areas
      listed may not be important to you, so they won't be considerations in choosing a college.
      Some may be very important and will help you focus on the type of school in which you
      are interested. Taking the time to set your priorities is essential.
 Geographic Location:                                   Segment (Private or Public):

 Climate:                                               Social Atmosphere:

 Size of College:                                       Prestige/Reputation:

 Size of Classes:                                       Sports:

 Academic Programs:                                     Religious Orientation:

 Academic Atmosphere:                                   Surrounding Community:
                                                        (suburban, urban, rural)

 Cost/Financial Aid:

Step Three: Know where to find the answers
                    The Guidance Office
                    The College and Career Center
                    College tours and visits
                    College students and alums

                         Your final college choices should include
                         a few "reach," four or five "probable,"
                               and a few "safety" schools.

                           College Admission Requirements

  Community                 California                       University
College                        State                              of                         Private
                           University                        California                  (Independent)

 High School           “a-g” Subject              “a - g” Subject Requirements     Varies: See school’s
  Diploma or a          Requirements with no        with no grade less than a C-       College Catalog
  passing score on      Grade lower than a C-       UC GPA eligibility               See individual college
  GED or CHSPE or       CSU GPA eligibility        SAT Reasoning Test or ACT        due date
  age 18                SAT Reasoning Test         plus Writing
 No GPA
  Minimum                only or ACT                SAT Subject Test (2 required,
  Requirement           Application due:            Math Level 1 is not accepted)
 No SAT or ACT
  Necessary             Oct. 1 - Nov. 30            Application due: Nov. 1 - 30

                              College Acceptance Criteria

Community                  California State                   University
College                      University                           of                          Private
                                                              California                   (Independent)

 Accepts all appli-        Academic Index              Academic Index              See School Profile
  cants with a              Grade Point Average         Grade Point Average         Grade Point Average
 1) high school            SAT Reasoning Test          SAT Reasoning Test          Test Scores
  diploma,                  or ACT plus Writing           scores or ACT plus          Level of class work
  or                        No essay required            Writing                     Essay(s)
 2) a passing score        No teacher recom-        SAT Subject Test scores        Teacher
  on GED or CSHP           mendations necessary       Rigor of high school           recommendation(s)
  and/or                                                  class work                  Secondary School
 who are 18 years                                    Level of senior year           Report from Adminis-
  old                                                     classes                     trator or Advisor
                                                      Essay                          Student Activities
                                                      Activities                     Service
                                                      Special circumstances          Achievement
                                                      Achievements                   Other
                                                      Service
                                                      No teacher
                               COMMUNITY COLLEGES
                                       Admission Requirements
      Entrance Requirements:                                   Exam Requirements:
            High school diploma or                                  English placement test
            GED or                                                  Math placement test
            CHSPE or
            18 years of age

              2-Year Program:             A.A. Degree (Career Training Program)
                                          In addition to the multitude of private trade and
                                          technical schools in our area, our local community
                                          colleges offer an extensive program of career
                                          training degree and certificate programs. Usually
                                          after one or two years of community college career
                                          courses, students have obtained skills for the work
                                          world. For information about a particular
                                          program, contact colleges directly.

              2 + 2:
                                          2 years at community college + 2 years
                                          at a 4-year college.

Do you know that . . .

1.     every year approximately 1.3 million Californians enroll in the 108 California community colleges.

2.     the local community colleges provide career training programs in more than 80 fields.

3.     there are many two-year community colleges with residence facilities.

4.     the probability of attaining a 2-year degree and/or transfer to a 4-year college increases based on the
       rigor of the high school program.

5.     community college constitutes the freshman and sophomore years of college.

 Do you know that . . . (continued)
7.      students who are 18 or who have completed high school (or received an equivalent certificate) may attend
        the community college of their choice.
8.      students still in high school may take courses on a community college campus.
9.      foreign students (Students with F-1 visas planning on returning to their home countries upon completion
        of their studies) may attend community colleges but must meet certain requirements. (See the individual
        campus catalogs.)
10.     local community colleges can help students choose the program or courses best suited to their needs,
        interests, and capabilities through an extensive counseling, testing, financial aid, work experience, place-
        ment and information services network.
11.    there is something for every student at a local community college.

1 CABRILLO COLLEGE, Aptos                                          7 MISSION COLLEGE, Santa Clara
   (831) 479-6100                                                      (408) 988-2200                                          

2 CAÑADA COLLEGE, Redwood City                                     8 MONTEREY PENINSULA COLLEGE,
   (650) 306-3100                                                      Monterey (831) 646-4000                                     

3 DE ANZA COLLEGE, Cupertino                                       9 OHLONE COLLEGE, Fremont
   (408) 864-5678                                                      (510) 659-6000                                            

4 EVERGREEN VALLEY COLLEGE, San Jose                               10 SAN JOSE CITY COLLEGE, San Jose
   (408) 274-7900                                                      (408) 298-2181                                               

5 FOOTHILL COLLEGE, Los Altos Hills                                11 WEST VALLEY COLLEGE, Los Gatos
   (650) 949-7777                                                      (408) 867-2200                                          

   (408) 848-4800

2900 31st Street                       30800 Palos Verdes Drive East
Santa Monica, CA 90405-303 5           Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275-6299
(888) 646-4610                         (310) 377-5501   

BROOKS COLLEGE                         REEDLEY COLLEGE
4825 East Pacific Coast Highway        995 N. Reed Ave
Long Beach, CA 90804                   Reedley, CA 93 654-2099
(866) 746-5711                         (559) 638-3641        

625 Polk Street                        11555 Old Oregon Trail
San Francisco, CA 94102                PO Box 496006
(888) 897-3222                         Redding, CA 96049-6006                     (530) 255-4600
7351 Tompkins Hill Road                SIERRA COLLEGE
Eureka, CA 95501-9301                  5000 Rocklin Road
(707) 476-4100                         Rocklin, CA 95677-3397                       (916) 781-0430
800 College Avenue                     TAFT COLLEGE
Weed, CA 96094-2899                    29 Emmons Park Drive
(888) 397-4339                         Taft, CA 93268-42 17                      (661) 763-7700
11600 Columbia College Drive           WEST HILLS COLLEGE
Sonora, CA 95370-85 18                 300 Cherry Lane
(209) 588-5100                         Coalinga, CA 93210-1399                     (559) 934-2000
Hwy 139 PO Box 3000                    YUBA COLLEGE
Susanville, CA 96130-3000              2088 N. Beale Road
(530) 257-6181                         Marysville, CA 95901-7699                  (530) 741-6700

a - History / Social Science - 2 years required
Two years of history/social science, including one year of World History, Cultures or Geography;
and one year of US History or one-half year of US History and one-half year of American
                Course Title                 Honors Type
Comparative Government and Politics AP       AP
U.S. Government/Politics (P)
United States Government and Politics (AP)   AP
United States History
United States History (AP)                   AP
World History
World History (H)

b - English - 4 years required
Four years of college preparatory English. Students may only use 1 year of ESL/ELD English.

             Course Title              Honors Type
English 10
English 10 Honors
English 11
English 12
English 9
English 9 Honors
English Language and Comp. 11 (AP)     AP
English Literature and Comp.12 (AP)    AP

c - Mathematics - 3 years required, 4 years recommended
Three years of college preparatory mathematics that includes the topics covered in Elementary
Algebra/Algebra 1, Geometry and Advanced Algebra/Algebra 2. Approved Integrated Math courses
may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement.

           Course Title         Honors Type
Trigonometry/Advanced Topics
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
Algebra 2 Acc
CalculusAB AP                   AP
Sequential Geometry
Geometry Acc
Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus (H)   H
Statistics AP                   AP
Calculus BC ( AP)               AP
Algebra B

d - Laboratory Science - 2 years required, 3 years recommended
Two years of laboratory science, including two of the three fundamental disciplines of Biology,
Chemistry and Physics. This requirement can also be met by completing the latter two years of a 3-
year Integrated Science program.
        Course Title         Honors Type
Biology AP                   AP
Biology H
Chemistry AP                 AP
Chemistry in the Community
Physics C: Mechanics (AP)    AP

e - Language Other than English - 2 years required, 3 years recommended
Two years of the same language other than English.
            Course Title               Honors Type
Japanese 3
Japanese 5 Honors                      H
French 1
French 2
French 3
French 4 H                             H
French Language AP                     AP
German 1
German 2
German 3
German 4 Honors                        H
German Language AP                     AP
Japanese 1
Japanese 2
Spanish 1
Spanish 2
Spanish 3
Spanish 4 Honors                       H
Spanish Language AP                    AP
Japanese Language and Culture (AP)     AP

f - Visual & Performing Arts - 1 year required

        Course Title           Honors Type
Music Appreciation
Jazz Ensemble 1
Jazz Ensemble 2
Dance Workshop 2
Dance Workshop 3
Art 1
Art 2
Art 3
Art 4 Honors
Ceramics 1
Ceramics 2

Ceramics 3
Concert Choir 1
Concert Choir 2
Concert Choir 3
Concert Choir 4
Dance Workshop 1
Drama 2
Drama I
Jazz Choir 1
Jazz Choir 2
Jazz Choir 3
Jazz Choir 4
Jazz Ensemble 3
Jazz Ensemble 4
Marching/Symphonic Band 3
Marching/Symphonic Band 4
Marching/Symphonic Band 1
Marching/Symphonic Band 2
Orchestra 1
Orchestra 2
Orchestra 3,4
Sculpture 1
Digital Photography

g - Elective - 1 year required
One year (two semesters), in addition to those required in "a-f" above. All courses must be listed
under "a-f" above with the exception of courses marked with a blue diamond ( ) in Mathematics,
Language Other than English, and VPA; plus the following:

        Course Title         Honors Type
Economics Honors
Journalism 1
Dance Workshop 4
Introduction to Law
Advanced Science Research
Advanced Speech & Debate
Computer Science (AP)        AP
Earth/Space Science
Journalism 2, 3, 4
Introduction to Anthropology
European History (AP)        AP
P-Art 4 Honors


                 1    CSU Bakersfield            (661) 654-3036
                 2    CSU Channel Islands        (805) 437-8500
                 3    CSU Chico                  (530) 898-6321
                 4    CSU Dominguez Hills        (310) 243-3696
                 5    CSU Fresno                 (559) 278-2261
                 6    CSU Fullerton              (714) 278-2300
                 7    CSU East Bay               (510) 885-2624
                 8    Humboldt State             (707) 826-4402
                 9    CSU Long Beach             (562) 985-5471
                 10   CSU Los Angeles            (323) 343-3901
                 11   Cal Maritime Academy       (800) 561-1945
                 12   CSU Monterey Bay           (831) 582-3518
                 13   CSU Northridge             (818) 677-3700
                 14   Cal Poly-Pomona            (909) 869-3210
                 15   CSU Sacramento             (916) 278-3901
                 16   CSU San Bernardino         (909) 537-5188
                 17   San Diego State            (619) 594-6336
                 18   San Francisco State        (415) 338-1113
                 19   San Jose State             (408) 283-7500
                 20   Cal Poly San Luis Obispo   (805) 756-2311
                 21   CSU San Marcos             (760) 750-4848
                 22   Sonoma State               (707) 664-2778
                 23   CSU Stanislaus             (209) 667-3070

                         CSU Eligibility Index Table for California High School Graduates
               (a 3.0 or higher GPA meets minimum eligibility requirements with any score below)

               For details see:

  GPA    ACT         SAT                           SAT                                                       SAT
                                  GPA    ACT                         GPA    ACT    SAT    GPA      ACT
                 Reasoning Test                Reasoning Test                                            Reasoning Test
  2.99   10         510           2.74    15       710               2.49     20    910   2.24      25    1110
  2.98   10         520           2.73    15       720               2.48     20    920   2.23      25    1120
  2.97   10         530           2.72    15       730               2.47     20    930   2.22      25    1130
  2.96   11         540           2.71    16       740               2.46     21    940   2.21      26    1140
  2.95   11         540           2.70    16       740               2.45     21    940   2.20      26    1140
  2.94   11         550           2.69    16       750               2.44     21    950   2.19      26    1150
  2.93   11         560           2.68    16       760               2.43     21    960   2.18      26    1160
  2.92   11         570           2.67    16       770               2.42     21    970   2.17      26    1170
  2.91   12         580           2.66    17       780               2.41     22    980   2.16      27    1180
  2.90   12         580           2.65    17       780               2.40     22    980   2.15      27    1180
  2.89   12         590           2.64    17       790               2.39     22    990   2.14      27    1190
  2.88   12         600           2.63    17       800               2.38     22   1000   2.13      27    1200
  2.87   12         610           2.62    17       810               2.37     23   1010   2.12      27    1210
  2.86   13         620           2.61    18       820               2.36     23   1020   2.11      28    1220
  2.85   13         620           2.60    18       820               2.35     23   1020   2.10      28    1220
  2.84   13         630           2.59    18       830               2.34     23   1030   2.09      28    1230
  2.83   13         640           2.58    18       840               2.33     23   1040   2.08      28    1240
  2.82   13         650           2.57    18       850               2.32     24   1050   2.07      28    1250
  2.81   14         660           2.56    19       860               2.31     24   1060   2.06      29    1260
  2.80   14         660           2.55    19       860               2.30     24   1060   2.05      29    1260
  2.79   14         670           2.54    19       870               2.29     24   1070   2.04      29    1270
  2.78   14         680           2.53    19       880               2.28     24   1080   2.03      29    1280
  2.77   14         690           2.52    19       890               2.27     24   1090   2.02      29    1290
  2.76   15         700           2.51    20       900               2.26     25   1100   2.01      30    1300
  2.75   15         700           2.50    20       900               2.25     25   1100   2.00      30    1300


All CSU campuses require a completed application and an official SAT or ACT score report sent
directly from the testing company. The preferred method of applying is

If any campus needs additional information in order to make a decision about your admission, you
will be notified by email of exactly which documents and transcripts you must submit.

Academic coursework and grades provided by you on the application will be verified following
receipt of your final, official high school transcript. (You must request the registrar to send your
transcript in June to the CSU campus you will be entering.)

                        THE NINE CAMPUSES OF
                             (UC) SYSTEM

 UC BERKELEY             • UC LOS ANGELES        • UC SAN DIEGO
Berkeley, CA 94720        Los Angeles, CA 90095   9500 Gilman Drive
(510) 642-6000            (310) 825-4321          La Jolla, CA 92093            (858) 534-2230
 UC DAVIS                • U C M ER C ED
One Shields Avenue        5200 N. Lake Road       • UC SANTA BARBARA
Davis, CA 95616           Merced, CA 95343        Santa Barbara, CA 93106
(530) 752-1011            (209) 228-4400          (805) 893-8000 

 UC IRVINE               • UC RIVERSIDE          • UC SANTA CRUZ
Irvine, CA 92697          Riverside, CA 92521     1156 High Street
(949) 824-5011            (951) 827-1012          Santa Cruz, CA 95064                 (831) 459-0111

   Are you                                       To be eligible to attend the University of California, you must:
                                                       Complete a specific set of 15 college prep courses
                                                        (known as the “a-g”courses) with at least a 3.0 GPA
   eligible                                            Take either the SAT Reasoning Test OR the ACT with its writing exam, AND
                                                        2 SAT Subject Tests in two different subject areas (e.g., science and literature)

   for UC?                                       The grades you earn in your “a-g” courses, along with your test scores, are combined in the Eligibility Index
                                                 that helps determine your UC eligibility.

                                                To find out whether you are eligible,
             Test Score
          Translation Table                     follow these steps:
                                                1. Convert your ACT or SAT scores to UC Scores.*
 ACT     SAT     UC      ACT     SAT     UC
Score   Score   Score   Score   Score   Score
  36      800
                  98      20
                                                    Use the translation table at left to find the equivalent “UC Score” for each of
  35      780     97              470     45        your ACT or SAT scores. Then fill in one or both of the charts below to calculate your
                          19      460
                                                    converted total score.
          750     92      18      440     40
  33      740     90              430     38

                          17      420
                                                         ACT             ACT Score      UC Score
                                                                                                                    SAT             SAT Score     UC Score
          710     85      16      400     33        Reading                                                     Reading                                           1
  31      700
                  82      15
                                          30        Science                                                     Math                                              2
  30      680     80              370     28        Math                                                        Writing                                           3
          670     78      14      360     27
  29      660
                  75      13
                                                                UC Score Subtotal                              Converted SAT Total                             (1+2+3)
  28      640     73              330     22        UC Score Subtotal x(.667)                           1
          630     72      12      320     20                    ROUND UP .5 AND ABOVE
  27      620
                  68      11
                                          17        Eng./Writing                                        2
  26      600     67              290     15
          590     65      10      280     13        Converted ACT Total                              (1+2)
  25      580     63              270     12
          570     62       9      260     10
  24      560     60              250     8
          550     58       8      240     7
  23      540     57              230     5           Enter your highest converted                                                                                     A
          530     55       7      220     3
  22      520
                  52      1-6
                                                                                                                                 ACT or SAT total
  21      500     50

                                                2. Convert your two highest SAT Subject Test scores to UC
         UC Eligibility Index                       Scores.
            Minimum GPA =3.0                        Use the translation table at left. Remember, your test scores must be from two                                     B
                                                    different subject areas.                                                                          SAT        UC
        CALIFORNIA RESIDENTS                                                                                                                         SCORE     SCORE   C
                                                                           Enter your best SAT Subject Test score
   “A–G” GPA              UC Score Total
   3.00 – 3.04                  223                                        Enter your second-best SAT Subject Test score
   3.05 – 3.09                  210
   3.10 – 3.14
   3.15 – 3.19
                                                3. Add all three converted scores (A+B+C) to get your UC SCORE TOTAL
                                                4. Find your GPA** in the Eligibility Index at left.
   3.20 – 3.24                  175
   3.25 – 3.29                  165
   3.30 – 3.34                  157                 If your UC Score Total meets or exceeds the minimum score shown for
   3.35 – 3.39                  152
                                                    your GPA range, you meet the Scholarship Requirement for UC eligibility.
   3.40 – 3.44                  147
   3.45 & above                 143                 *If you took both the ACT and SAT, or if you took either exam more than once, compute your UC Score for
                                                    each sitting to ensure you've identified your best result. Note that you cannot mix and match scores
                                                    from separate test dates.
                                                    **UC calculates your preliminary GPA based on the grades earned in the “a-g” courses taken in the 10th &
   “A–G” GPA              UC Score Total            11th grades.
   3.40 – 3.44                  147
   3.45 & above                 143

                                                The online preliminary eligibility calculator may be accessed at


 ADMISSIONS: Admission to an independent college or university is not based on a mathematical
 index. Rigor of courses, test scores, individual qualities and personal potential are all considered.
 Since admission requirements differ significantly among independent colleges, take as many
 rigorous college-prep courses as possible, earn good grades, and be involved in school and
 community activities. Visit the College and Career Center to obtain specific information about
 the wide span of independent colleges available in all ranges of selectivity.

                                      Independent Colleges (in California)
Los Angeles Basin                                                            Sa n F ra nc is co Ba y A re a
American Academy of Dramatic Arts West                                       California College of the Arts
Art Center College of Design                                                 Cogswell Polytechnical College
Azusa Pacific University                                                     Dominican University of California
Biola University                                                             Golden Gate University
California Baptist University                                                Holy Names University
California Institute of Technology                                           John F. Kennedy University
California Institute of the Arts                                             Menlo College
California Lutheran University                                               Mills College
Chapman University                                                           New College of California
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science                           Notre Dame de Namur University
Claremont McKenna College                                                    Patten University
Concordia University of California                                           Saint Mary's College of California
Harvey Mudd College                                                          Samuel Merritt College
Hope International University                                                San Francisco Conservatory of Music
La Sierra University                                                         Santa Clara University
Laguna College of Art & Design                                               Stanford University
Loma Linda University                                                        University of San Francisco
Loyola Marymount University
Marymount College                                                            San Diego Metro Area
Master's College, The                                                        Alliant International University
Mount Saint Mary's College                                                   National University
Occidental College                                                           Point Loma Nazarene University
Otis College of Art and Design                                               San Diego Christian College
Pacific Oaks College                                                         University of San Diego
Pepperdine University
Pitzer College                                                               Outlying Cities
Pomona College                                                               Fresno Pacific University
Scripps College                                                              Humphrey's College
Soka University                                                              Pacific Union College
University of Judaism                                                        Simpson University
University of La Verne                                                       Thomas Aquinas College
University of Redlands                                                       University of the Pacific
University of Southern California                                            W es t mo nt Co ll e ge
University of West Los Angeles                                               William Jessup University
Vanguard University of Southern California
Whittier College
Woodbury University

    Visit the College and Career Center for college catalogs and information on entrance requirements,
                              applications, important dates, and financial aid.

                        AVERAGES OF 2.0-2.99

ARIZONA                                             CALIFORNIA (Continued)                      UTAH (Continued)
Arizona State University 29%                        University of Redlands 15%                  University of Utah 12%
Arizona State University West 28%                   University of San Francisco 8%              Utah State University 12%
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical                           University of the Pacific 13%               Utah Valley State College 37%
    University/Prescott 18%                         Vanguard Univ. of                           Weber State University 27%
Northern Arizona University 21%                        Southern California 21%                  Westminster College 11%
Prescott College 42%                                Westmont College 3%
                                                    Whittier College 40%                        WASHINGTON
CALIFORNIA                                          William Jessup University 24%               Central Washington University 37%
Azusa Pacific University 12%                        Woodbury University 14%                     Eastern Washington University 27%
Biola University 11%                                                                            E v e r gr e e n S t a t e C o l l e g e 4 3 %
California Baptist University 17%                   COLORADO                                    Gonzaga University 2%
California College of the Arts 34%                  Adams State College 47%                     Northwest University 27%
California Lutheran University 22%                  Colorado Christian University 19%           Pacific Lutheran University 7%
Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo 4%                        Colorado State University 9%                Seattle Pacific University 5%
Cal Poly, Pomona 29%                                                                            Seattle University 4%
                                                    Colorado State University, Pueblo 40%
CSU Chico 37%                                                                                   University of Puget Sound 7%
                                                    Fort Lewis College 47%
CSU Fresno 29%                                      Mesa State College 43%                      University of Washington 2%
CSU Fullerton 32%                                                                               Washington State University 12%
                                                    Naropa University 38%
CSU Long Beach 14%                                                                              Western Washington University 7%
                                                    University of Colorado, Boulder 10%
CSU Monterey Bay 45%                                                                            Whitman College 1%
                                                    Univ. of Colorado/Colorado Springs 23%
CSU Sacramento 33%                                  University of Colorado at Denver & Health   Whitworth College 6%
CSU San Bernardino 33%                              Sciences Center/Downtown
C S U S a n M a r c o s 36 %
                                                       Denver 23%
CSU Stanislaus 27%
                                                    University of Denver 7%
Chapman University 6%
                                                    University of Northern Colorado 36%
Concordia University 10%
                                                    Western State College of Colorado 51%
Dominican University of California 25%
Holy Names College 37%                              NEVADA
H u mb o l d t S t a t e U n i ve r s i t y 4 3 %   University of Nevada-Las Vegas 22%
La Sierra University 30%                            University of Nevada-Reno 16%
LIFE Pacific College 35%
Loyola Marymount 3%                                 OREGON
Master’s College 13%                                Eastern Oregon University 20%
Menlo College 48%                                   Lewis and Clark College 3%
                                                    Linfield College 2%
Mount St. Mary’s College 14%                        Multnomah Bible College 25%
Occidental College 3%
                                                    Northwest Christian College 24%
Otis College of Art and Design 35%
                                                    Oregon Institute of Technology 8%
P a c i fi c U n i o n C o l l e g e 2 9 %          Oregon State University 10%
Pepperdine University 3%
                                                    Pacific Northwest College of Art 38%
Pitzer College 5%
                                                    Pacific University 11%
Point Loma Nazarene University 8%
                                                    Reed College 1%
St. Mary's College 28%
                                                    University of Oregon 10%
San Francisco State University 37%                  University of Portland 3%
San Jose State University 37%
                                                    Western Oregon University 27%
Santa Clara University 5%
                                                    Willamette University 7%
Scripps College 1%
S i mp s o n C o l l e g e 2 5 %                    UTAH
Sonoma State University 42%                         Brigham Young University 1%
Thomas Aquinas College 6%                           Southern Utah University 17%
University of La Verne 19%

                                       A SAMPLING OF
                                  SOME COLLEGES BY SUBJECT
                                       International Studies                  Private Universities Strong in
Environmental Studies
                                       (continued)                            Engineering
Allegheny College
College of the Atlantic                Hiram College                          B o sto n U ni v er si t y
Bowdoin College                        The Johns Hopkins University           B rad le y U ni v er sit y
UC Davis                               Kalamazoo College                      Brigham Young University
                                                                              Brown University
UC Santa Barbara                       Lewis and Clark College
Clark University                       Mary Washington College                Carnegie Mellon University
Colby College                          University of Massachusetts-Amherst    Case Western Reserve University
                                       Middlebury College                     Catholic University of America
University of Colorado-Boulder
                                       Mount Holyoke College                  Columbia University
Dartmouth College Deep
                                       Occidental College                     Cornell University
Springs College
                                                                              Drexel University
Eckerd College                         University of the Pacific
                                                                              Duke University
The Evergreen State College            University of Pittsburgh
                                                                              George Washington University
Hampshire College                      Pomona College
                                                                              Johns Hopkins University
Hiram College                          Princeton University                   Northeastern University
Hobart and William Smith Colleges      University of Puget Sound              Northwestern University
McGill University                      Randolph College                       University of Notre Dame
Middlebury College University of       Reed College
                                       Rhodes College                         Olin College of Engineering
New Hampshire University of New                                               University of Pennsylvania
Mexico                                 University of Richmond
                                       St. Olaf College                       Princeton University
Univ. of North Carolina-Asheville                                             University of Rochester
Univ. of North Carolina-Greensboro     Scripps College
                                       University of South Carolina           Rochester Institute of Technology
Oberlin College
                                       S we et B riar Co ll e ge              Santa Clara University
Prescott College
                                       Tufts University                       University of Southern California
St. Lawrence University
                                       Wesleyan University                    Southern Methodist University
Tulane University
                                       College of William and Mary            Stanford University
University of Vermont
University of Washington                                                      Syracuse University
Williams College                       Top Technical Institutes               Tufts University
University of Wisconsin-Madison        California Institute of Technology     Tulane University
                                       Ca l P o l y- S a n Lu i s Ob i sp o   University of Tulsa
International Studies                  Colorado School of Mines               Va nd erb il t U n i ver s it y
American University                    Cooper Union                           Villanova University
Austin College                         Florida Institute of Technology        Washington University in St. Louis
B rand ei s U ni ve r s it y           Georgia Institute of Technology
University of British Columbia         Harvey Mudd College                    Public Universities Strong in
Brown University                       Illinois Institute of Technology       Engineering
B uc k n el l U n i ver si t y         Massachusetts Institute of Tech.       University of Arizona
Claremont McKenna College              Michigan Technological University      UC Berkeley
Clark University                       Montana Tech of the Univ. of           UC Davis
Colby College                                Montana                          UCLA
Connecticut College                    New Jersey Institute of Technology     UC San Diego
Dartmouth College                      New Mexico Inst. of Mining and         University of Cincinnati
Davidson College                           Technology                         Cl e ms o n U n i ver s it y
Denison University                     Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute       University of Connecticut
University of Denver                   Rochester Institute of Technology      University of Delaware
Dickinson College                      Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology    U ni ver s it y o f F lo rid a
Earlham College                        Stevens Institute of Technology        University of Illinois-Urbana-
Eckerd College                         Worcester Polytechnic Institute             Champaign
Geo r ge to wn U ni v er si t y                                               Iowa State University
George Washington University                                                  University of Kansas
Goucher College                                                               McGill University
                                                                              University of Maryland

Public Universities Strong in            Private Universities Strong in          Major Private Universities
Engineering                              Architecture                            Strong in Business
University of Massachusetts-Amherst      Cornell University (NY)                 American University
University of Michigan                   Drexel University                       Baylor University
Mic h i ga n St at e U n i ver si t y    Hobart and William Smith Colleges       Boston College
University of Missouri-Rolla             Howard University                       Boston University
University of New Hampshire              Lehigh University                       Carnegie Mellon University
College of New Jersey                    Massachusetts Institute of Technology   Case Western Reserve University
North Carolina State University          University of Miami (FL)                University of Dayton
O hio St ate U n i ver si t y            New Jersey Institute of Technology      Emory University
Oregon State University                  Northeastern University                 Fo rd ha m U ni v er si t y
Pennsylvania State University            University of Notre Dame                Georgetown University
Purdue University                        Princeton University                    Howard University
Queens’ University (CA)                  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute        Ithaca College
University of Rhode Island               Rice University                         Lehigh University
Rutgers, The State Univ. of New Jersey   Temple University                       Massachusetts Institute of Technology
SUNY/Binghamton University               Tulane University                       New York University
SUNY/Buffalo                             Tuskegee University                     University of Notre Dame
Texas A&M University                     Washington University in St. Louis      University of Pennsylvania
Texas Tech University                                                            P ep p erd i ne U ni v er si t y
University of Texas-Austin               Public Universities Strong in           Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
University of Toronto                    Architecture                            University of San Francisco
Virginia Polytechnic Inst.               University of Arizona                   Sa n ta Cl ara U ni v er sit y
University of Virginia                   UC Berkeley                             University of Southern California
University of Washington                 University of Cincinnati                Southern Methodist University
University of Wisconsin                  Clemson University                      Syracuse University
                                         University of Florida                   Texas Christian University
Small Colleges and Universities          Georgia Institute of Technology         Tulane University
Strong in                                University of Illinois/Urbana-          Villanova University
Engineering                                   Champaign                          Wake Forest University
Alfred University                        University of Kansas                    Washington University in St. Louis
Bucknell University                      Kansas State University
Butler University                        University of Maryland                  Public Universities Strong in
Calvin College                           Miami University (Ohio)                 Business
Clarkson University                      University of Michigan                  University of Arizona
Dartmouth College                        University of Nebraska                  UC Berkeley
La fa ye tt e Co l le ge                 State University of New York-Buffalo    University of Cincinnati
Le hi g h U ni v ers it y                U ni ver s it y o f Or e go n           University of Connecticut
Loyola University (MD)                   Pennsylvania State University           University of Florida
University of the Pacific                Texas A&M University                    University of Georgia
Rice University                          University of Texas-Austin              University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
Smith College                            Virginia Polytechnic Inst.              Indiana University
Spelman College                          University of Washington                James Madison University
Swarthmore College                                                               University of Kansas
Trinity College (CT)                     A Few Arts-Oriented Architecture        University of Maryland
Trinity University (TX)                  Programs                                University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University of Tulsa                      Barnard College                         Mia mi U ni ve r s it y ( O H)
Tuskegee University                      Bennington College                      U ni ver s it y o f M ic hi g a n
Union College                            Pratt Institute                         University of Missouri
                                         Rhode Island School of Design           Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Private Universities Strong in           Savannah School of Art and Design       Ohio State University
Architecture                             Wellesley College                       University of Ohio
Carnegie Mellon University               Yale University                         University of Oregon
Catholic University of America                                                   Pennsylvania State University
Columbia University
Cooper Union

Public Universities Strong in              Top Schools of Art and Design            Small Colleges and Universities
Business                                   Art Center College of Design             Strong in Art or Design
University of Pittsburgh                   California College of the Arts           Randolph College
Rutgers, The State Univ. of New Jersey     California Institute of the Arts         Univ. of North Carolina-Greensboro
U ni ver s it y o f So u t h Car o li na   Cooper Union                             Sarah Lawrence College
SUNY-Albany                                Kansas City Art Institute                Scripps College
SUNY-Binghamton University                 Maryland Institute, College of Art       Skidmore College
SUNY-Buffalo                               Massachusetts College of Art             Smith College
SUNY-Geneseo                               Moore College of Art and Design          Southwestern University
University of Tennessee                    North Carolina School of the Arts        Vassar College
Texas A&M University                       Otis Institute of Art and Design         Wheaton College (MA)
University of Texas-Austin                 Parsons School of Design                 Willamette University
University of Vermont                      Pratt Institute                          Williams College
University of Virginia                     Rhode Island School of Design
University of Washington                   Ringling School of Art and Design        Top Music Conservatories
University of Wisconsin                    San Francisco Art Institute              Berklee College of Music
College of William and Mary                Savannah College of Art and Design       Boston Conservatory
                                           School of the Art Institute of Chicago   California Institute of the Arts
Small Colleges and Universities
                                           School of the Museum of Fine Arts (MA)   Cleveland Institute of Music
Strong in Business
                                           School of Visual Arts (NY)               Curtis Institute of Music
Agnes Scott College
Babson College                                                                      Eastman School of Music
Bucknell University                        Major Universities Strong in             Juilliard School
                                           Art or Design                            Manhattan School of Music
Calvin College
Claremont McKenna College                  American University                      New England Conservatory of Music
Clarkson University                        Boston College                           North Carolina School of the Arts
                                           Boston University                        Peabody Conservatory of Music
Eckerd College
Fairfield University                       Carnegie Mellon University               San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Franklin and Marshall College              University of Cincinnati
F ur ma n U ni v er si t y                 Cornell University                       Major Universities Strong in Music
Gettysburg College                         Drexel University                        Baylor University
Guilford College Hendrix College           Harvard University                       Boston College
Lafayette College                          University of Michigan                   Boston University
Lake Forest College                        New York University                      UCLA
Lehigh University                          Univ. of North Carolina-Greensboro       Carnegie Mellon University
Lewis and Clark College                    University of Pennsylvania               Case Western Reserve University
Millsaps College                           U ni ver s it y o f t he Ar ts ( P A)    University of Cincinnati
Morehouse College                          Syracuse University                      University of Colorado-Boulder
Muhlenberg College                         Washington University in St. Louis       University of Denver
Oglethorpe College                         U ni ver s it y o f W a s hi n g to n    De Paul University
Ohio Wesleyan University                   Yale University                          Florida State University
Presbyterian College                                                                Harvard University
Rhodes College                             Small Colleges and Universities Strong   Indiana University
University of Richmond                     in Art or Design                         Ithaca College
Rip o n Co ll e ge                         Alfred University                        Miami University (OH)
Skidmore College                           Bard College                             University of Miami (Florida)
Southwestern University                    Brown University                         University of Michigan
Stetson College                            Centre College                           University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Susquehanna University                     Cornell College                          New York University
Trinity University (TX)                    Dartmouth College                        Northwestern University
Washington and Jefferson College           Furman University                        U ni ver s it y o f O k la ho ma
Washington and Lee University              Hollins University                       University of Southern California
Whittier College                           Kenyon College                           Southern Methodist University
                                           Lake Forest College                      Vanderbilt University
Wofford College
                                           Lewis and Clark College                  Yale University
Worcester Polytechnic Institute            Manhattanville College
Xavier University of Louisiana             Mills College

Small Colleges and Universities           Small Colleges and Universities      Small Colleges and Universities
Strong in Music                           Strong in Drama                      Strong in Dance
Bard College                              Beloit College                       Juilliard School
Bennington College                        Bennington College                   Kenyon College
Bucknell University                       Centre College                       Middlebury College
Butler University                         Colorado College                     Mills College
DePauw University                         Connecticut College                  Muhlenberg College
Furman University                         Drew University                      North Carolina School of the Arts
Gordon College                            Ithaca College                       Princeton University
Illinois Wesleyan University              Julliard School                      S a r a h L a wr e n c e C o l l e g e
K no x Co l le ge                         Kenyon College                       Smith College
Lawrence University*                      Lawrence University                  SUNY-Purchase
Loyola University-New Orleans             Macalester College
Manhattanville College                    Middlebury College                   Major Universities Strong in
Mills College                             Muhlenberg College                   Communications/Journalism
Oberlin College*                          Occidental College                   A mer ica n U ni v er si t y
University of the Pacific                 Otterbein College                    Arizo n a Sta te U ni v er si t y
Rice University                           Princeton University                 Boston University
St. Mary’s College of Maryland            Rollins College                      UCLA
St. Olaf College                          Sarah Lawrence College               UC San Diego
Sarah Lawrence College                    Skidmore College                     University of Florida
Skidmore College                          SUNY-Purchase                        University of Georgia
Smith College                             Vassar College                       Univ. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
University of Southern California         Whitman College                      Indiana University
Stetson University                        Wittenberg University                Ithaca College
SUNY-Geneseo                                                                   U ni ver s it y o f Ka n s as
SUNY-Purchase                             Major Universities                   U ni ver s it y o f Mar yl a nd
Wesleyan University                       Strong in Dance                      U ni ver s it y o f M ic hi g a n
Wheaton College (IL)                      Arizona State University             University of Missouri-Columbia
                                          UC Irvine                            University of Nebraska
*These two schools are unusual because
                                          UCLA                                 Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
they combine a world-class conservatory
with a top-notch liberal arts college.    UC Riverside                         Northwestern University
                                          Case Western Reserve University      Ohio University
                                          Florida State University             U ni ver s it y o f Or e go n
Major Universities Strong in Drama
Boston College                            George Washington University         Pepperdine University
                                          Howard University                    St. La wre nc e U n i ver s it y
Boston University                         I nd ia na U ni v er si t y          University of San Francisco
UCLA                                      U ni ver s it y o f Io wa            University of Southern California
Carnegie Mellon University                University of Minnesota              Stanford University
The Catholic University of America                                             Syracuse University
DePaul University                         New York University
                                          Ohio University                      Texas Christian University
Emerson College                                                                University of Utah
Florida State University                  Southern Methodist University
                                          Texas Christian University           University of Wisconsin-Madison
Fordham University
                                          University of Texas-Austin
Indiana University
                                          University of Utah                   Major Universities Strong in
University of Iowa
                                          Washington University in St. Louis   Film/Television
Ithaca College
University of Minnesota                                                        Arizona State University
New York University                       Small Colleges and Universities      B o sto n U ni v er si t y
Northwestern University                   Strong in Dance                      UCLA
                                          Amherst College                      University of Cincinnati
Univ. of North Carolina/Chapel Hill       Barnard College
University of Southern California                                              Drexel University
Southern Methodist University             Bennington College                   Emerson College
Syracuse University                       Butler University                    University of Florida
                                          Connecticut College                  Ithaca College
Texas Christian University
University of Washington                  Dartmouth College                    University of Kansas
Yale University                           Goucher College                      Memphis State University
                                          Hollins University                   University of Michigan

Major Universities Strong in            Small Colleges and Universities
Film/Television                         Strong in Film/Television
New York University                     Bard College
Northwestern University                 Beloit College
Quinnipiac University                   Brown University
Pennsylvania State University           California Institute of the Arts
University of Southern California       Columbia College (CA)
Syracuse University                     Columbia College (IL)
University of Texas-Austin              The Evergreen State College
Wayne State University                  Hampshire College
                                        Hofstra University
                                        Hollins University
                                        Occidental College
                                        Pitzer College
                                        Pomona College
                                        Sarah Lawrence College
                                        School of Visual Arts
                                        Wesleyan University

 Major Universities with Strong Support for Students with Learning Disabilities
  American University
  University of Arizona
 Clark University
 University of Colorado-Boulder
 University of Connecticut
 University of Denver
 DePaul University
 Fairleigh Dickinson University
 University of Georgia
 Hofstra University
 Northeastern University
 Purdue University
 Rochester Institute of Technology
 Syracuse University
 University of Vermont

 Small Colleges with Strong Support for Students with Learning Disabilities

 Bard College
 Curry College
 Landmark College
 Lesley University
 Loras College
 Lynn University
 Manhattanville College
 Marist College
 Mercyhurst College
 Mitchell College
 Muskingum College
 New England College
 University of New England
 St. Thomas Aquinas College (NY)
 Westminster College (MO)
 West Virginia Wesleyan College                                                   Source: Fiske Guide to Colleges 2008

                          COLLEGE TOURS AND VISITS
Whenever returning graduates are asked, “What one thing MOST helped you in deciding WHERE to go
to college?” they always give the same response: “Visiting the campuses.” Graduates will tell you that
the visits made to campuses were more important than reading the catalogs, talking with college repre-
sentatives or attending the College Fair Program. They emphasize the importance of visiting the Admis-
sions Office, taking a tour, and talking to both college officials and students in attendance. Why is visiting
campuses so important? It is vital because no one should make a decision as important as where to
attend college merely on the basis of pictures in a pretty booklet or on someone else’s opinion.

It takes effort to determine how well a college fits you. Spending quality time on campus is the best way to
measure fit. Quality time means more than taking the tour and attending a football game or campus event.
You’ll want to spend a night or two in a residence hall, sit in on some classes, eat in the dining halls and
spend time talking to students and faculty. Sophomores and juniors considering a particular college might
choose to take part in a summer program for high school students offered at that university. These programs
provide a preview of the life of a college student at that institution. While you might not be able to visit
every campus you’re considering, the ideas that follow may help you to get an inside scoop without making
that initial visit.

Click on the university’s website - this seems obvious, but you’ll want to take the “virtual tour” and also
fully explore the resources available at the college site. Some sites offer online chats so you can talk with
current students and admission officers.

READ the college’s printed material - the course catalog can be especially helpful. It outlines the college’s
philosophy and mission statement, as well as providing information about majors, course requirements
and offerings. When reading the glossy brochures, however, keep in mind that the university representatives
are seeking to portray their school in the best possible light.

Check out the student newspaper. You’ll find links to the college newspaper at Pay special attention to the issues that seem important to
students on that campus - would these be important to you? You’ll also learn about student peeves and
activities on campus.

Take the student-led campus tour via videotape. At you can order a copy of the
campus tour filmed by college counselors visiting each campus. While none of these will substitute for a
campus visit, they will help you learn more about the colleges you’re considering.

                                          Source: The College Advisor Newsletter, January 2004

               Three important steps in setting up a college visit:

Step 1: Visit local colleges to get experience handling a college visit.
   Our local colleges include all major types of campuses: • UC-UC Santa Cruz
    CSU - San Jose State University • Private - Santa Clara, Stanford, Menlo
    Community College - West Valley, De Anza • Technical - Heald Business College

                         COLLEGE TOURS AND VISITS (Continued)
Step 2: Plan ahead for your tours and visits.
      Before you visit the campus, consider some of the options below and create questions in advance of your visit.
        Schedule an interview in the Admissions Office, if available.
       Review admissions requirements (tests, high school grades, etc.) and get a realistic view by looking at
        profiles of the previous graduating class.
       Obtain a school calendar and fee schedule.
       Discuss your chances for success. Also, ask about the percentage of students who graduate in four or five
        years and the number of returning sophomores. Ask why students choose to leave.
       Ask about the amount of study necessary for success.
       Investigate your academic program or major of interest.
       Take a campus tour.
       Learn about the college (departmental strengths, research opportunities, facilities, parking, ease of registra-
        tion, crime statistics, etc.)
       Investigate types of student support available (academic, personal, psychological and physical) and special
        programs (education abroad, work-study, intercampus exchange, etc.)
       Ask about financial aid opportunities (deadlines, forms required, merit scholarships, percentage of students
        receiving aid, etc.)
       Schedule a visit with a financial aid officer, if appropriate.
       Investigate career planning and placement programs. Determine the percentage of graduates who go on to
        higher education and admissions rates of medical/law/business school applicants. Also, ask about employment
        rates directly out of college, internship and recruitment programs.
       Visit the library.
       Meet with faculty. Determine whether professors or assistants teach undergraduate classes.
       Talk with students. Ask what they like and dislike most about the college.
       Sit in on one or two freshman classes - witness class size, teaching style, academic atmosphere, respect
        accorded to students and teachers, comfort level in classes, etc.
       Find out how students use their out-of-classroom time.
       Become aware of student activities (clubs, organizations, intramurals, etc.).
       Inquire about campus life (in terms of dating, social activities, fraternities/sororities, etc.).
       Check the residence halls and dining facilities. Envision yourself in the living environment. Try the food.
       Check the adequacy of computer facilities and technology available.
       Examine the surrounding community, determine what cultural and social enrichment opportunities are available
        and inquire about safety issues.
       Make a list of six or more campuses to visit with your parents or with a friend.
       Call ahead for an appointment with an Admissions Officer and, if possible, with someone in your major
       Stay overnight in a residence hall, if time permits.
       Be prepared with questions.
       Do your “homework” on the college.
Step 3 Make a “Quick-Check” list for each college visit. If you don't, the schools will become a blur
after visits to several campuses. Include the following type of information to personalize your list or
use the sample on the next page.
       Name of college, date of visit, address and phone number
       Size of student body, tuition/fees and admission requirements
       Personal ranking of location, academics, atmosphere, housing, facilities, class sizes, social life, reputation,
        financial aid, school size, size of surrounding community, religious affiliation, athletics, special programs,
        special services, sororities/fraternities, prestige, rigor of programs.

                                            College Comparison Worksheet
Comparative Criteria            College A   College B   College C   College D   College E   College F   College G   College H
Name of College

Admission requirements

Tests required

Average SAT/ACT scores
Average GPA

% who graduate

% going on to a higher degree
Majors of interest

Faculty/Student ratio

Typical aid package

% of students receiving aid

Size of student body
Housing availability

% of commuters

Urban - Suburban - Rural

Distance from home
Extracurricular activities

NCAA - athletics

“Personal Fit”

Your order of preference
Likelihood of admission
                         QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK ON A TOUR

The campus tour is the ideal time to ask questions of your student guide that you don’t want to ask an admissions
department interviewer or to which you feel you would get a more “up front” answer from a student. Often it’s a
good idea to ask the same questions of your guide and your admissions interviewer to see how the answers compare.
Questions to ask can be divided into four areas: academic, social, surroundings and general.

Academic Questions
Do professors teach most freshmen courses or do graduate students do much of the teaching? What is the attitude of
most professors toward students? Are they friendly? Accessible? Willing to give extra help? How hard do you have
to work to be successful? How is access to advisors for assistance and/or mentoring? How difficult is it to change
majors? Is the learning environment cooperative or competitive?

Some colleges are doing a lot these days in the area of career counseling. How does this college stack up? (One
college, for example, devotes certain weekends to exploration of different careers with graduates coming back to tell
about what they do and talk about salary, advancements, etc.). Is there a Career Planning and Placement Center on
campus? How many graduates does it help place? What percentage of graduates got jobs last year? What percent-
age of graduates go on to professional or graduate schools?

Other questions in the academic area: Does the school have adequate computer facilities? Are you expected to bring
a computer or are there computers in the residence halls?

Social Questions
What do students do on the weekends? Do many of them go home? Is the campus lively or empty? What is the
situation with regard to drinking and drugs? Are there good places to eat, aside from the official dining halls? If the
school is not co-ed, what kinds of social arrangements are made? How important are fraternities and sororities in
campus life? Does most social life depend on them? Do theatrical companies, orchestras and other musical groups
or outside lecturers come to the campus? If not, are such activities available in town? Are groups in the college
community involved in what’s going on in the outside world - politics, international relations, community service?

Questions about the surrounding area

For non-urban schools, find out what the surrounding community is like. How are relations between residents and
students - the so-called “town-gown” relationship? What’s the transportation like between campus and town? Is any
large urban area accessible? For urban schools, how safe is the neighborhood? Is housing available in the surrounding
area? Is adequate parking available on campus?

General Questions

What kinds of help are available - academic, personal, psychological? How are personal problems handled? What
can you do if you hate your roommate? Are there a lot of rules and regulations on dress, conduct, etc. that must be
observed? Are there special restrictions on freshmen? How safe is the campus? Always ask what students like
most about the college. Dislike most? Also ask, “What’s wrong with this place?” as well as, “What’s the
greatest thing about this college?”

Finally, what is the general attitude toward students by the college admissions officers, registrar, residence hall
managers, assistant deans and academic advisors?

                          ACING THE COLLEGE INTERVIEW

An interview may be your chance to bring your private college application to life. Contact individual
private colleges for their interview policy. The success of a college interview may depend on your

Arrive at the interview prepared to discuss:

      Five questions you want to ask during the interview.
      Five facts you want the interviewer to know about you.
      Five well thought-out reasons you are considering the college.

Frequently asked questions:
      Why are you considering this college?
      Why is this college a good match for you?
      How would you describe yourself to someone who does not know you? What makes you
      What magazines and newspapers do you read?
      What books that are not required by your courses have you read recently?
      How do you spend a typical afternoon after school? Weekend?
      What extracurricular activities have you found the most satisfying? Why?
      If you could talk with any one living person, who would it be and why?
      What has been your proudest achievement?

Tips for a successful interview:

      Research the school and surrounding area.
      Show that you are able to think critically and creatively; avoid superficial answers.
      Be enthusiastic. Show yourself at your best.
      Accept the interview time proposed by the interviewer. Change other plans, if necessary.
      Dress to show that the interview is important to you.

         A portion of the information above is adapted from Parent’s Guide to College Admissions, 2nd Edition, by Marjorie

                   SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT . . .

Veteran admission professionals from Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University,
Lewis and Clark College, MIT, Pomona College, Reed College, St. Mary’s College of California,
University of Chicago, University of Washington and Vanderbilt University, among others, have
collaborated to create the guidelines below. This guidance is offered by the Education Conservancy,
a group committed to calming the commercial frenzy by affirming educational values in college
admission. Please consider this information carefully as you begin your college search. The advice
is important in helping you go through the college application process in a sensible manner.

Applying to college does not have to be overwhelming! The following principles and guidelines can
help make the college admission process more manageable, more productive, and more educationally

Student Guidelines:

An admission decision, test score, or GPA is not a measure of your self-worth. Most students are
admitted to colleges they want to attend. Knowing this, we encourage you to:
   Know that what you do in college is a better predictor of future success and happiness than
       where you go to college.
   Be confident. Take responsibility for your college admission process. The more you do for
       yourself, the better the results will be.
   Be deliberate. Applying to college involves thoughtful research to determine distinctions
       among colleges, as well as careful self-examination to identify your interests, learning style
       and other criteria. Plan to make well-considered applications to the most suitable colleges.
       This is often referred to as “making good matches.”
   Be realistic and trust your instincts. Choosing a college is an important process, but not a life
       or death decision. Since there are limits to what you can know about colleges and about
       yourself, you should allow yourself to do educated guesswork.
   Be open-minded. Resist the notion that there is one perfect college. Great education happens
       in many places.
   Use a variety of resources for gathering information. Seek advice from those people who
       know you, care about you, and are willing to help.
   Be honest; be yourself.
   Limit your applications to a well-researched and reasonable number.


                     FOR SENIORS
                                          Special Reminders
 CSU’s and UC’s do not need Secondary School Reports or teacher recommendations.
 Almost all four-year colleges require either an SAT or ACT test.
 UC’s and some private colleges require 2 SAT Subject Tests. CSU’s require none.
 Community colleges do not require the SAT or ACT.
 Application filing dates –
  October 1 - November 30 is the CSU priority filing period.
  November 1 - 30 is the UC priority filing period
  Private college regular deadlines generally fall between Dec. 15 – Feb. 15.
  Check individual applications or Naviance for exact dates.
 Inform colleges in writing of any change in senior year courses.

                                                 How to:

Sign up for an SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Tests or ACT test.
     a. Sign up online ( or (
     b. Complete the applications and send by the deadline date.
     c. Complete all testing by December test dates.

Order a transcript ($3.00 for each).
    a. Go to the Guidance Office and fill out a transcript request form.
    b. Pay the appropriate amount of money and provide school-addressed and stamped envelopes
        for each college requested.
    c. Provide a transcript only if requested. Some schools require only a final transcript by July 15.

Get private college or university application(s). (Do this as early as possible.)
     a. Get addresses and/or phone numbers of schools from Naviance. Most applications may be
        completed online.
     b. Also request other information (housing/catalog/special services/athletics/financial aid/etc).
     c. Consider using The Common Application for member schools.
     d. For more detailed information, go to the “Independent (Private) College Application Process
        Instructions and Materials” section.

Send colleges your SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Tests, and ACT scores
     a. Send up to four free (SAT) and pay for additional score reports at the time you register for what
        you expect to be your last testing session.
     b. To order additional score reports, go to for SAT or for

Apply for financial aid and scholarships.
     a. Find the CSS Profile online at
     b. Find the FAFSA online at
     c. FAFSA’s filing period begins January 2. The CSS Profile can be filed immediately.
     d. Check “financial aid” and/or “scholarships” for a Cal Grant on your college application forms
        as well as completing the above financial aid forms.
     e. Have your parents attend the financial aid workshop in January, 20010.

Register with the NCAA Clearinghouse if you plan to play Division I or II college athletics.
     a. Complete an eligibility form online. The address is
     b. Complete the form and send to the Clearinghouse with the application fee.
     c. Bring $3 for a transcript that must be sent now and $3 for a final transcript in June to the
        Guidance Office.
     d. Make sure to mark “9999” on the SAT score report section for scores to be sent directly to
        the Clearinghouse.
     e. Learn about NCAA rules and requirements at
        >Academics & Athletes>Eligibility & Conduct

Meet all deadlines for college and scholarship applications. THIS IS EXTREMELY
     a. Make a copy of every completed application and all documents for your records.
     b. Get a Certificate of Mailing from the post office as proof of the date sent if applying on paper
     c. Apply as early as possible and always before the deadline, especially to those colleges with
       rolling admissions.

                                                COLLEGE APPLICATION ORGANIZER
                   The college application process has many steps with various deadlines. This chart will help you keep track of your progress.
    *Applicable only if you are applying to an independent college.

                                                 College 1    College 2      College 3      College 4     College 5      College 6     College 7   College 8

               College Applications
     Application deadline

*   Asked teacher(s) to write

* Gave Secondary School envelope
    Report envelope counselor

    Gave Teacher Recommendation Report
* envelop to teacher

* Application form completed
    (student portion)

     Essay(s) completed
    Portfolio or other additional information
    completed, if applicable

     Application submitted (student portion)

     Sent thank you note(s)

* High School Transcripts

    Gave mid-year school report form to
    counselor (during finals week in
*   January) if applicable


                                                     *Applicable only if you are applying to an independent college.

    College                                           College 1     College 2     College 3      College 4     College 5   College 6   College 7   College 8
                     Test Scores
    Last date to take
    SAT Reasoning Test or ACT

    Last date to take SAT Subject Tests
    Request to send score reports to colleges:
       SAT Reasoning Test - from College Board

         SAT Subject Tests - from College Board
         ACT - from ACT

              Financial Aid Applications
    FAFSA application deadline
    FAFSA form submitted

* Completed CSS PROFILE registration
    process (if applicable)
    CSS Profile application deadline
* CSS PROFILE form submitted
    Individual college's financial aid application
    Application deadline for any other required
    financial aid forms (i.e. GPA Verification)

    Any other required financial aid forms

                  Final College Choice

    Deadline for informing college of acceptance
    Deadline for submitting
    AP test scores if applicable
    Deadline for sending final transcript (request
    during finals week in June from registrar)
How Many Applications Are Enough?
As with many aspects of the admissions process, there isn’t one single answer that satisfies everyone.
Applications are costly in terms of both time and money; filing fees range from $25 to $60. There’s no
advantage to applying to an excessive number of colleges--students can attend only one college at a time.

It’s important that students apply to colleges with varying degrees of selectivity: “reach,” “probable” and
      Reach colleges are the most selective among the choices and often represent a student’s first choices.
      Probable colleges are those that usually accept students whose academic credentials tend to match
        those of the applicant.
      Safety colleges are those that will almost always admit applicants with profiles like the student’s.
        They should embody all qualities that the student wants from college, even though the school is less
                                                     --Modified from A Parent’s Guide to College Admissions
Should I Apply Early Decision?

Early decision plans are designed for students who have evaluated their college choices at an early date,
have determined which school is their first choice, and want to settle their college decision relatively early
in their senior year of high school. The rule for early decision is simple: Use it only if you’re certain of the
college that you want to attend. If students decide to apply for early decision, they should understand that
they are entering a binding agreement with the college. If they are admitted, they must attend and pay a
non-refundable commitment deposit up front. Therefore, if students are not absolutely certain that they
want to attend a particular college, they may be able to opt for early action (they will find out early, but it’s
non-binding) or regular decision.

Some colleges will say that students have a better chance of admission if they apply early using early
decision, but it really depends upon the applicant pool and how selective the college is overall. If students
are sure that this college is the one, it shouldn’t hurt their chances if they let the college know that they care
enough to make this early commitment.

A couple of caveats: If students’ senior grades or SAT/ACT scores from the senior year will help their case,
early decision or early action probably isn’t for them. If financial aid is a major consideration, students will
only be able to get an estimate of their financial aid package--rather than a firm offer--if they apply for early
decision. Students should keep these factors in mind when making their decision.
Advantages of Early Decision:
     You don’t have to wait as long to find out if you’re admitted.
     You don’t have to spend time and money filling a lot of applications.
     You have more time to plan how to pay for college.
Disadvantages of Early Decision:
                       If you’re accepted, you’re obligated to attend.
                       You may discover a more suitable college later.
                       The earlier deadline may force you to submit a less-polished application, unless you
                        begin your application well ahead of time.
                                                         --Adapted from Kaplan’s Guide to College Selection

Using the Internet to Search for Colleges?

Knowing how to do a college search through the Internet will help you to use your time more effec-
tively. Start with websites that allow you to locate colleges that have the characteristics you desire.
You can locate these by searching for “college search” at websites like Google or visit some of the
websites listed below which offer free customized college searches.

Try several of these sites because some only include colleges that have paid a fee.

Los Gatos High School has purchased a site license for Naviance, a program that allows for easy-to-
use, tailor-made college searches. A personal registration code and more information have been
provided. Naviance is a web-based planning and advising system for higher education institutions
which simplifies the process of providing up-to-date information to secondary school counselors
and students. Naviance offers a platform for alerting counselors, students, parents, and other
stakeholders about changes in deadlines, mailing addresses, and other information critical to the
admissions process.
Once you have an initial list of colleges, you’ll need to spend time visiting each of the college’s
websites. Don’t judge a college by the bells and whistles available at its website, but use the site to get
more information about how well that college fits you. You generally can link directly to college home
pages through the search sites you used to create your list, or go to
blus.htm to link to all American colleges and universities. At each college’s site, search out basic
information about college characteristics, look for a profile of accepted students, read through the
information for prospective students (if you’re really interested in a college, print out this section for
your files), and check out parts of the site that tell you about student organizations, college majors,
course of study, and/or housing options. If you have specific questions, e-mail the appropriate department
- admissions office, financial aid office, department heads, activities offices, or campus religious
organizations. Many colleges also offer a virtual tour on their website - this is not a substitute for a
campus visit, but it will let you get a general idea about campus facilities. You might also want to
browse a number of editions of the campus newspaper to find out what issues are important to
students at that school.

The Internet is a great resource for college searches but it’s vital to remember that not all information
is accurate. As you do with other Internet information, think about the source, the site sponsor, and
whether you can confirm information elsewhere. Some students and parents may be concerned about
maintaining their privacy on the Internet. Applicants are advised to review the site’s privacy state-
ment before using its services and to ensure that secure servers and proper encryption methods back
the site. Prior to submitting an application over the Internet, look for a lock or key icon to indicate
data encryption.

                    WRITING A COLLEGE ESSAY

Thoughts of a College Admissions Officer as she reads her 40th application essay in one

“...I’m tired. It’s one a.m. I’ve read 39 applications in six hours, and it’s time to quit.
But just to even things out, I’ll read one more. I open the folder, close my eyes, and skip
over pages 1 – 3. I don’t really care about all those lists. I want to know about the “real
you.” In what ways are you different from those other 39 I just looked at? I find your
neatly typed essay. So far, so good. I begin at the top...”
       “Lisa, you think too much! say my friends. And perhaps I do. They say that I am
       too busy analyzing to ever relax and enjoy things, that I should stop thinking and
       just do. They may be right. I guess I tire them with my theories and revelations. I
       was talking to a friend at a party several weeks ago, and I told her that in a way the
       party symbolized Pascal’s theory of the duality of man. She laughed. I blushed.
       She went to get another handful of chips and pretzels.

       I find myself pondering at the strangest times. In my sophomore year, I
       remember forming an idea about my own insecurity as I stepped onto the field
       before a soccer game. At a rock concert this summer I remember seriously trying
       to determine why I had to stand up and sing to enjoy the music while my brother
       only needed to sit back and listen. Of course, most of the concert had slipped by
       unnoticed as I thought these things! Sometimes I find myself gliding in a trance
       through stop signs or walking in entirely the wrong direction. They get in the
       way sometimes, these thoughts, but I can’t help it; I love to think. I derive more
       pleasure from thinking than from almost anything else. It’s the traffic tickets for
       going through stop signs that I could do without...”

“I’m already chuckling, but more important, I’m learning about you. You’re witty, not
afraid to look foolish, not afraid to share what you’re really like. You didn’t give me a
“shopping list” that says you play soccer, like rock concerts, enjoy doing things with your
friends as well as your brother – you showed me those things in an interesting,
economically written, humorous paragraph or two. I hope you really want us. I know we
want you.”


       The essay is an essential and sometimes all-important factor for both public and
        private college admissions and scholarships.
       It provides information about you that is not apparent in other parts of the
       It provides an invaluable opportunity for you to “present yourself.” You become a
        “personality on a page”; show yourself as an individual and write about what you

  The essay is carefully composed.
   Follow directions carefully.
   Take time to understand and address the topic.
   Give yourself plenty of time to write your essay in stages.
   Cluster or outline your thoughts. (Consider putting your thoughts on a tape recorder.)
   Write a first draft and share it with family/friends.
   Write a second draft, one more focused and improved.
   After two or three days, reread the second draft. Pretend you are the admissions officer and ask
     yourself, “What have I learned about this person? What will this student add to the intellectual
     and social climate of the school?”
   Revise and sharpen the essay. Look for misspellings as well as typographical and grammatical
   Be sure you have followed all directions.
  The essay is interesting.
   Write about a subject familiar and important to you. It should convey who you are above and
     beyond what the application shows.
   Write the essay yourself. The admissions officer is listening for your voice. Speak from within.
     Don’t use words and phrases you would not ordinarily use.
   Use the active voice; avoid overuse of the “to be” verb.
   Show, don’t tell. Vividness creates interest.
   Make the first sentence count. Make it an eye-opener.
              “Even though I look like I stepped off the cover of GQ, the inner me is really Field and
               “If I were given the option of being either a well-renowned intellectual giant or a Cy
              Young Award-winning baseball player, I would instinctively choose the latter.”
      Stay organized and focused.
      Remember to have an effective conclusion, one that has impact.

Show us what you are like:
This is the most common and often the most difficult to write because you must decide on the focal
point of the essay. You must decide what best shows who you are. The focus of your essay may be a
commitment to a hobby or a cause, being a champion debater, growing intellectually through an
experience or activity, or bouncing back from a setback. Remember, your purpose is to show, not tell
who you are. Avoid the “Shopping-List” format that tells your life story in chronological order.
Discuss an idea or interest:
This question might ask you to discuss an interest that has had a profound effect on you, or it might ask
you to discuss an idea about which you feel strongly. Sometimes it will present you with a quote, e.g..
“For sleep, health, and wealth to be fully enjoyed, they must be interrupted” – Jean Paul Richter.
Discuss the quote and support a position. Your answer must reflect who you are, your outlook and
aspirations. Do not make it an essay on Jean Paul Richter.

Tell us why you want to come to this college:
Respond to this essay topic with specific reasons this college is particularly right for you. You find such
reasons by carefully reading the college catalogue, talking to a student or alum, or possibly visiting the
“Imagine that you...” or “What if...”:
This type of essay gives you a specific topic, e.g., “If you could spend a day with any one person, whom
would you choose and why?” or “Imagine that you could create a new holiday, what would it be and
why” Remember that you, not the person or holiday, are the focus of the essay. Discuss why you would
choose that person, why you would create that particular holiday. This is your chance to show off your
originality/creativity as a writer and person.

Shopping List Essay:
The information included in this type of essay is found elsewhere in the application. Commonly titled,
My Life, it reads:
       “My name is Reginald Koa and I was born in the state of Massachusetts 18 years ago. I left the
       snow and cold of New England for the sunny skies of California at the age of 8. In elementary
       school, I won the Junior Service Award ...”
Predictable and One-Dimensional Essay:
Usually titled, My Summer Trip, it reads:
       “I went to Japan this summer. I ate a lot of different kinds of food (like sashimi-raw fish),
      learned to speak a little Japanese, and was introduced to a lot of different customs. It changed my
      life in so many ways. Everything was totally new to me ...”
Analogy Essay:
The analogy essay is titled, I Am Like the Busy Ant and reads:
       “I am the hard working ant ...” (or “the dedicated and faithful dog ...” “the busy working
Too General Essay:
This essay lacks focus and/or is too broad. It has breadth, but no depth. Usually titled, The Evolution
of My Character, it reads:
       “My childhood left a great impression on my life. I was the youngest of five children. My father
       was a pilot for a major airline. I looked forward to his returning home for many, many
       reasons ...”
Over-Used Essay:
This essay is usually titled, The D’s, and reads:
       “ I have the dedication, determination, and desire to do well in your college ...”
Wrong Focus Essay:
This essay is usually titled, My Grandfather (or My Favorite Teacher). If you choose this topic, you
need to make sure you tell us how you were affected by this person. This admission essay is about you,
not your grandfather.
Humorous/Gimmicky Essay:
This is an essay that uses forced humor or is written in a gimmicky style. Perhaps it is written in the
shape of a piano, an hourglass, or in collage form. Such an essay might be titled, Return of the Piano:
Keys to Success.

Los Gatos High School
      Fall 2010

This material pertains to independent (private) and some out-of-state public colleges.
Schools in the California State University (CSU) and University of California (UC)
systems DO NOT accept teacher letters or secondary school reports.


It is your responsibility to obtain your college applications and follow all instructions. All
applications are available online.

However for most independent (private) colleges and universities, an application consists
of five distinct parts:
    1. Student Application and Essay
    2. Secondary School Report Form (SSR) or Counselor Report Form
    3. Teacher Letter of Recommendation Report Form
    4. Mid-Year Report
    5. Final Transcript

To better understand the application process, please refer to the chart below:

                                                                                    Application Process
                                                      2       Secondary School Report (SSR) or
                                                                                                                             3                                                       4
                                  1                     1
                                                                   Counselor Report Form

                                                            The school is responsible for completing the

                      Student Application and
                                                             SSR and mailing it to the college. In most
                                                                 cases, a letter of recommendation
                                                              describing your personal and academic
                                                                                                                 Teacher Letter of Recommendation                                       1
                                                                                                                                                                                Mid-Year Report
                                                                                                                                                                              (7th semester grades)
                               Essay                           characteristics is sent with this report.                   Report Form

                         You are responsible for        1                                                     The teacher is responsible for completing the
                                                                                                                                                                          Some selective colleges require
                                                                                                                                                                          the Mid-Year Report Form that
                        following the instructions
                            and completing the
                          application forms and
                                                                                                              letter of recommendation form and mailing it
                                                                                                                   to the college. Letters describe your
                                                                                                               particular academic skills and attitude about
                                                                                                                                                                           includes an official transcript
                                                                                                                                                                            through the first semester of
                                                                                                                                                                             senior year (7th semester).
                        essay(s) requested. Most         Complete all steps for the Secondary                     learning in the teacher’s class. When
                       colleges ask you to file the       School Report counselor envelope,                   deciding whom to ask to write a letter, be sure
                       application before the due       which includes a student questionnaire                    you ask a teacher who knows you well.
                                date stated.               and actions in Naviance and The
                                                                Common Application
                                                                                                             Complete all steps for the Teacher                 Give former to counselor by
                                                                                                            Letter of Recommendation envelope                            Jan. 30
                                                                                                           and submit to the teacher at least three

                                                                                                           weeks prior to the first application due
                      Send application via internet                                                                         date
                      or through the mail (be sure
                     to get a certificate of mailing)           Submit to the Guidance Office
                                                                 Early Action Due: Sept. 23
                                                                   Regular Due: Oct. 27
                                                                                                                                                Counselor completes
                                                                                                                                                     and files

                                                                       Counselor completes
                                                                                                                                                      Provide each
                        Send SAT/ACT scores to                                                                                                       teacher with a                            Final transcript
                         every school to which                                                                   Teacher mails or                  handwritten thank
                                                                                                                       files                                                                   request due to
                            you’ve applied                        School submits report                                                                 you note
                                                                                                                  electronically                                                            registrar during final
It takes at least four weeks for teachers, counselors and administrators to complete the school’s portion of your admission packet. It is critical that you
meet the due date for submission of Letter of Recommendation forms and Secondary School Reports by the Guidance Office on the designated due

EARLY ACTION/EARLY DECISION – September 22, 2010                                                                                                                            Note: For Rolling Admission, a
REGULAR OR ROLLING – October 26, 2010                                                                                                                                    minimum of one month is needed from
                                                                                                                                                                             date of submission to mailing


                                    College Application(s)                                 Transcripts                    Test Scores                             Financial Aid

 Spring of       Start asking teachers to write a letter of recommendation on your     Register with
  junior        behalf                                                                 NCAA and request an
                 Attend private school application workshop                           official transcript to
   year                                                                                send in if interested in
                                                                                       Div. I or II sports
   August        Purchase application packets from Guidance                                                       Register for October
                                                                                                                  SAT/ACT test if needed
 September  Turn in Early Decision/Early Action application materials in the                                      Register for November             Complete CSS Profile form for private
                Guidance Office on September 23                                                                   SAT/ACT test if needed             colleges if applicable
                 Ask/confirm teacher letter writer(s)
                 Attend private college application workshop (workshop is
                repeated from spring meeting)
  October        Turn in regular Decision and Rolling applications materials in the    For colleges only         Register for December
                Guidance Office on October 27                                          requiring transcripts,     SAT/ACT test if needed
                                                                                       submit requests to          Submit all SAT Reasoning,
                                                                                       Registrar                  SAT Subject Tests, and ACT
                                                                                                                  scores to Early Decision/ Early
                                                                                                                  Action schools
 November        Submit Early Decision/Early Action applications to colleges by
                due date
                 Write thank you notes to teachers completing letters for you
 December        Submit Regular Decision and Rolling applications to colleges by                                  Submit final test scores to       Complete individual college financial aid
                due date                                                                                          all schools if you have not        forms for Early Decision/Early Action schools
                                                                                                                  already done so                    if applicable
  January        Submit Regular Decision and Rolling applications to colleges by       If appropriate, turn                                         Begin to file FAFSA electronically
                due date                                                               in Mid-Year report to
                 Write thank you notes to teachers/counselor/administrator writing    counselor by January
                a letter on your behalf                                                20
   March                                                                                                                                              FAFSA deadline – March 2, 2010
                                                                                                                                                      GPA verification deadline – March 2,
   April/        Submit your Statement of Intent to Register (SIR)
   May           Let your letter writers know which college you will attend
   June                                                                                Submit final transcript
                                                                                       request to Registrar
                                                                                       during finals week
  Summer         Juniors: Check SAT/ACT testing dates and plan ahead for senior                                   Submit AP test scores to
                year                                                                                              your college when all scores are
                                                                                                                  received (if applicable)

                                     SCHOLARSHIP SCAMS

                                      Recognizing the Scammer
                                 How can you tell the good from the bad?

A scammer:
     States you’ve won an award for which you didn’t apply.
     Does not supply valid contact information.
     Guarantees you will win an award.
     Requires personal financial information (such as credit card numbers or checking account
      numbers) to “verify” or “hold” a scholarship.

A legitimate scholarship service:
       Sends information about awards when you request it.
       Makes contact information available upon request.
       Does not guarantee you will win an award.
       Should not direct you to a fee-based provider because the company knows that financial aid
        information is readily available for free.
Quick Scam Warning Signs:
     A fee.
     A “money-back guarantee.”
     Requests for your credit card or bank account.

What If You Suspect a Scam?
1. Save all forms you receive from the suspect company. Keep copies of written details about the
   offer and any correspondence, e-mails or other paperwork. Make sure all materials are dated.

2. Take notes during any seminar or phone conversations. Record the date, time, phone number and the
   person’s name with whom you spoke. Also include a detailed account of your conversation.

3. Report the suspected scammer to any of the following organizations:
     National Fraud Information Center (NFIC) Ph: 800-876-7060 Web:
     Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Ph: 877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) Web:
     State Attorney General’s Office - Call information or visit California’s Web site: to obtain state attorney general’s contact information. Ask about filing a complaint
     with the Bureau of Consumer Protection in California.
     Better Business Bureau (BBB) Ph: 703-276-0100 Web:
     United States Postal Inspection Service (USPS) Ph: 800-654-8896 Web:

Vanity Press Publications
There are organizations that claim they will honor nominated students by placing their name, picture, and
biography in a book of “distinguished” high school students. When families are asked to purchase this
book in which their son or daughter is “honored,” many will pay, not realizing that the selection process
is not as prestigious as claimed.

                                        Popular (But False!) Claims

“For a small fee, we’ll give you a list of scholarships.”
Never spend money on a fee-based matching service. The biggest and best award databases are available
for free on the Internet, including Fast Web:

“$6.6 billion in scholarships went unclaimed last year.”
Statements about unclaimed awards are misleading. They generally refer to tuition reimbursements that
aren’t available to the public. Scholarships are competitive and are awarded.

“You are guaranteed a minimum of $1,000 in awards.”
A service can’t guarantee any scholarships because it has no control over the scholarship judge’s deci-

“We have a 96% success rate.”
These false success rates indicate the percentage of students they’ve successfully matched with the
database, NOT the number of students who actually receive money.

“We’ll need a bank account/credit card number to verify your information.”
Your bank account and credit card information is confidential. A legitimate scholarship provider won’t
ask for this information.

“We will do all the work for you.”
To win a legitimate scholarship, you must submit your own applications, write your own essays and
solicit your own letters of recommendation. There is no way to avoid doing the work.

                                Creative Scams: What to Watch For
                        Some companies find innovative ways to take your money.
                        Know what to look for when trying to tell friend from foe.

Financial Aid Fees: Worth the Price?
Paying a fee to help you apply for financial aid may be an unnecessary expense. Here’s why:
Claim #1: “We’ll help you complete complicated forms.”
A. Information about the FAFSA and other forms is available for free from your academic advisor,
library and the Department of Education: Toll-free help line: 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243).
B. You still have to fill out the same basic information for a fee-based service that you would for the
FAFSA. How else would they get your information?

Claim #2: “We’ll find different ways to report your assets and obtain more aid.”
While these services can be legitimate, remember that colleges can request additional documentation
about your finances. Also, not reporting tax information accurately is against the law (punishable up to a
$20,000 fine, prison or both).

Note: While financial aid services may provide useful information, know your options before deciding to
use these services. Financial aid shouldn’t cost you, especially when free resources are available.

                                                       55                                                    9/07
                         A New Kind of Scam: Financial Aid Seminars
A seminar may or may not be legitimate. What are the warning signs?

      While the presentation might be free, the services aren’t: You may be pressured to give them a
       checking account number or a credit card to sign up for the service.
      You are told that the program can adjust your income and/or assets to make it seem like you earn less
       money, thereby qualifying for more aid. Such practices are often illegal.
      You are asked for a credit card number to “hold” the scholarships for you.
      The service tells you that it can only answer specific questions after you have paid the fee.
      The service tells you anything that conflicts with what a financial aid office tells you.

Reminder: A company with an official-sounding name that includes words like “national,” “education”
or “federal” in its title does not necessarily mean it is legitimate. Check with your counselor if you
question a company’s legitimacy.

FastTip: If a seminar is held at a local school or community center, it doesn’t mean it is legitimate.
Anyone can rent space and give a presentation. Check with your advisor before you attend if you have

Los Gatos High School has a site license for Naviance, a program that allows for easy-to use, tailor-made college searches.
Included in Naviance is a personal survey to help assess strengths, blind spots, recommended career paths and college majors.
Students have established their own account at http://

                                                 College/Career Search College database with LGHS-specific information Information about applying to colleges in California The College Board official website Career, college and scholarship databases College database and financial aid links College search and financial aid The Princeton Review official website College and financial aid search engines The Association of American Medical Colleges website The official ACT website Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities website California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office website

                                                   College Application Sites Link
to UC Personal Statement (Essay) The University of California’s undergraduate admission information and
application network How to plan for and apply to the California State University The Common Application official website. This application form is used by approximately 400
colleges and universities for admission to their undergraduate programs.
                                                     College Athletics NCAA Official Website (necessary site for NCAA registration) National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics official website Sports scholarship, financial aid and college search resources for students and student athletes

                                              Financial Aid/Scholarship Sites Obtain a PIN, learn more about the FAFSA, file online and check the status of your FAFSA CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, the financial aid application service of the
College Board. Many colleges, universities and scholarship programs use the information collected on PROFILE to award
nonfederal student aid funds. Basics about Cal Grants Free Cash for College workshops to assist in filling out the FAFSA An overall look at financial aid as well as where and how to get it The U.S. Department of Education website Free scholarship and college searches The Foundation Center website The College Board official website Information about college savings programs Information from the U.S. Department of Education Information about scholarship scams
                                                       Testing Sites ACT registration SAT registration and SAT preparation Free SAT and ACT preparation

                         COLLEGE PLACEMENT TESTS
College placement tests are not admissions tests. They are used to determine level placement in college
subject areas such as English and mathematics. All freshmen who will enroll in the fall must take the
tests unless they are exempted by submitting proof of one of the following:

University of California System
      Exemptions for Analytical Writing Examination
               3 or higher on Advanced Placement Exam in Language/Composition or
                      Literature/Composition test
               C or better in a transferable college course in English (4 quarter or 3 semester units)
                      taken prior to enrollment
               680 or higher on the writing skills section of the SAT Reasoning
               30 or higher on the ACT Combined English Writing test

California State University System
       Exemptions for English Placement Test (EPT)
               3 or higher on Advanced Placement Exam in Language/Composition or
                      Literature/Composition test
               550 or above on SAT Reasoning Test – Critical Reading
               680 or higher on the writing skills portion of the SAT Reasoning
               24 or above on ACT English test

       Exemptions for Entry Level Mathematics (ELM)
              3 or higher on Advanced Placement math – Calculus or Statistics
              550 or above on math section of SAT Reasoning or SAT Subject Test in math
              23 or above on the math section of the ACT

Private Colleges
       (See individual college catalogs.)

                               UNIVERSITY OF _________________________

Office of Admissions and Records

March 20010

John Q. Student
1234 Any Street
Anytown, Anywhere

Dear John:

Let’s put a disclaimer right up front: this letter is going to every student who has been admitted
to ___________________________ , and not everyone is going to like it. In fact, some will be
downright turned off. Don’t take it as offensive but rather as defensive – a kind of insurance policy for
your success at _________________ . Read on.

Each year, some students, even some whose academic records meet the rigorous competition for
admission to _________________________ , realize they have college admission offers in hand and
decide they needn’t worry about their last semester courses or grades. After all, the senior year of high
school comes only once, so why not enjoy it? Courses are dropped or just blown off, classes ditched –
anything to lighten the academic load. The time to buckle down will come next August.

I do not assume that you are looking at your senior year this way, but I have known students with exactly
your kind of record who did. For that reason, we remind everyone of the obligation that goes with our
admission offer: “Your senior year courses are part of the admission decision. A final high school
transcript is required unless you have already graduated to verify graduation and successful completion
of courses in progress.” We will see your final transcript, and we do rescind admission when our high
expectations for our students are compromised by a bad senior year.

But don’t miss the real purpose for this letter: The main reason I put so much significance on this year is
the impact it will have on your success next year. Yes, the qualit y o f the work you do
at __________________________ will be determined in no small part by your tremendous talent, but it
will also be determined by the strength of your academic habits. Just as you would want to be in top
condition for the start of an athletic season, so you want to be in top condition for the academic season
that begins in August. The habits you form now – your academic strength conditioning – will either help
or hurt you in your transition from high school to college. Keep in shape for the rest of the year. We’re
counting on your success – next fall – and beyond.


Anytown Undergraduate Admissions Officer

             UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA. SAN DIEGO                                                              UCSD


                                                                                       9500 GILMAN DRIVE_ DEPT. 0021
                                                                                       LA JOLLA. CALIFORNIA 92093-0021
  (619153 -31(i) FAX: 1619) 534.5723
                                                                                              August 10, 1995

Thank you for your final high school transcript verifying completion of twelfth grade courses and
your date of graduation.

You were provisionally admitted for Fall 1995 based on your grades, test scores, courses above
the minimum "a-f" subject requirements, honors courses and twelfth grade courses as listed on
your application. It was expected that you would complete all the twelfth grade courses listed
on your application with a minimum 3.00 gpa and no grade lower than C as specified in the
Freshman Contract included in your original admission packet
I am disappointed to discover that you did not meet the conditions stated in your contract and
that your twelfth grade record is not comparable to your previous performance. An evaluation
of your final transcript indicates that you are now considerably below our freshmen selection
Under these circumstances, UCSD must cancel our offer of admission for Fall 1995. We will be
happy to consider your reapplication for admission to UCSD after you have completed sixty (60)
transferable semester units at a community college or some other institution.

Richard L Backer
Assistant Vice Chancellor
for Enrollment Management/Registrar


cc: Muir College
                            COLLEGE AND CAREER CENTER
                                WAYS WE CAN HELP

   Registration information and applications for the SAT and ACT

   A list of SAT and ACT preparation programs

   Course catalogs, brochures and DVDs for California and out-of-state colleges,
    both public and private

   Scheduled visits by college representatives who talk about their schools and answer specific questions

   Applications for community colleges, various public and private colleges and universities, and the
    Common Application

   Application workshops in October for UC and CSU

   Reference materials on careers, colleges, scholarships, and test preparation.

   Financial aid/scholarship information and resources

   A file of summer programs and opportunities

   Computers for student and parent use to research career and college databases and student planner

   Resources available for check-out to students and parents

   A file of volunteer opportunities

   Speaker series for Colleges and Universities, see updated Speaker Calendar and sign-up in the College and
    Career Center

                         Marie Rector, College and Career Center Coordinator
                                        (408)345-2730 x258

                  Los Gatos High School Guidance Department
            Hints and Reminders for the College Application Process

   California Community College System
       o Filing Period: Generally, March – August for fall enrollment
       o Testing Requirements: Placement for English and math; completed after the application has
           been filed; results will determine scheduling
       o A transcript needs to be sent to evidence your high school graduation
       o and for more information

   University of California and California State University Systems
       o Filing Period: UC, November 1 – 30; CSU, October 1 – November 30
       o Testing Requirements: UC, SAT Reasoning/ACT with Writing + two SAT Subject Tests (in
          different subject areas); CSU, SAT Reasoning/ACT with Writing (strongly recommended)
       o No letters of recommendation or transcripts need to be sent
       o and for more information

   Private/Independent and Out-of-State Colleges and Universities
       o Filing Period: Each school will set its own application period and deadline; you should
          consult the undergraduate admissions section of the particular school’s website for the
          application and procedures to follow.
       o Testing Requirements: SAT Reasoning/ACT with Writing is generally required; SAT Subject
          Tests may be required
       o A Secondary School Report with at least one letter of recommendation is generally required
          for private/independent colleges and universities; transcripts are ordered and paid for as
          part of your completed SSR envelope. Deadline for early application SSRs is September 22;
          Deadline for regular application SSRs is October 26
       o (California private/independent) and
          (out-of-state public and private/independent) for more information

   Entrance Testing
       o SAT Reasoning and SAT Subject: October 10 and November 7 are the remaining available
          dates; registration deadlines are generally five weeks before the test date;
 for more information
       o ACT with Writing: October 24 is the remaining date; registration deadlines are also
          generally five weeks before the test date; for more information
       o Order score reports, inclusive of all tests taken, to be sent directly to the colleges and
          universities where you are applying

   General Guidelines
      o Meet all deadlines and apply early
      o Proofread all application materials for accuracy, legibility, and clarity
      o Ask an adult to proofread your essays and personal statements
      o Your “voice” is the one that needs to be “heard” through your application – your written
         works must be your own to make this happen
      o Use an email address with a formal, appropriate name; email communication should also be
         formal in nature
                                      Requirements by Institution Type

                          SAT I/ACT +
 Institution Type         Writing              SAT Subject Tests    Application Timeline
 Community College        Not required         Not required         March-August
 California State                                                   October 1 - November
 University               Recommended          Not required         30
 University of                                 Two required (Math   November 1 -
 California               Required             1 not accepted)      November 30
                                               Generally not        Determined
 Out-of-State Public      Required             required             Individually
                                               Determined           Determined
 Private/Independent      Required             individually         Individually

                          Personal                                  Teacher
 Institution Type         Statement            SSR                  Recommendation
 Community College        Not required         No                   No
 California State
 University               Not required         No                   No
 University of            Personal
 California               Statement            No                   No
 Out-of-State Public      Individually         Possibly             Possibly
 Private/Independent      Essay(s)             Yes                  Generally, Yes

                                 Senior Year College Application Calendar
                                   (also see monthly calendar on p.4)

      September 15             Private College Application Meeting – 2:00 Comm. Rm.
      September 11             ACT test date
      September 10             Registration deadline for October ACT
      September 22             Early application/early decision SSR envelope due
      October 1                CSU application period begins
      October 8                Registration deadline for November SAT
      October 9                SAT test date
      October 6                CSU application workshop – 7:00 LGHS Library
      October 12               UC application workshop – 7:00 LGHS Library
      October 20               “How to Pay for College” workshop – 7:00 LGHS Library
      October 26               Regular Decision SSR Envelope Due to Guidance
      October 23               ACT Testing Date
      November 1               UC Application Period Begins
      November 6               SAT Testing Date
      November 30              Application deadline for CSU and UC
      December 15 – January 15 Private Applications due
      January 5                Financial Aid Workshop – 7:00 pm LGHS Library
      March 1                  FAFSA submission deadline
      March 1-31               Admissions decisions mailed to students

f87d65da-2ebd-4101-a97d-4c68cf46ca45.doc                                    Revised 11/19/2011

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