Diamond Bar High School
SENIOR BULLETIN #3
Scholarship and College Information
· Online applications are now open for both the CSU at www.csumentor.edu and UC at www.universityofcalifornia.edu. Students who need help on their application can call the UC Application Center at 800-207-1710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can work on applications and submit any time within the month of November, but, again, we always recommend submitting before Thanksgiving. Students who wait until the November 30th deadline run the risk of something going wrong and missing the chance to apply to the UC or CSU. They don’t give second chances. Put down the cranberry sauce and fill out that application!
· The Personal Statement is a great way to show the UC more of who you are. You don’t need to list your academic achievements because those are evident in your transcript, and you don’t need to itemize your extracurricular experiences because those are listed in another part of the application. Take your time, revise and proofread, and above all, be honest and sincere in your response. Don’t waste time trying to write what you think someone wants to read, and don’t get too overwhelmed trying to follow someone else’s rules for these essays. If you truthfully share thoughts about your world and your life experiences, you’ll provide the UC admissions counselors with exactly what they want – a better sense of the person behind the application.
· ELC or Eligibility in Local Context is a program from the UC which guarantees the Top 9% of every high school’s graduating class admission into the UC System. While these students are offered a spot in the UC System, there is absolutely no guarantee of an offer of admission from any particular UC school. The UC sent a letter to approximately the Top 15% of our senior class in September or October, and ELC status will be determined using self-reported grades after students submit their applications. Students can log in on the My UC Application website about six weeks after they have submitted their applications to view their ELC status.
· You do NOT need to send official transcripts to the UC or CSU. You only need to send one to the school you’ll be attending, and that isn’t sent until after graduation. Have your transcript next to you as you fill out your online application because all the grades you put in must match exactly with the final transcript you’ll be sending. Remember, as we cautioned in the last Senior Bulletin with your self-reported extracurricular activities, if the UC determines anything has been falsely reported, you will NEVER be allowed to enter the UC system for the rest of your life.
· Foreign Transcripts – If you transferred in the last three years to DBHS from a school outside of the country, the UC’s will need to have your official transcript from your former school. It may take a while to get them so they suggest that you begin ordering them now.
· Choose a major that’s right for you. Even if it’s an impacted major, if that’s truly what you want to study, you should apply to that major, regardless of how impacted it is. A UC admissions counselor said, “There’s no secret way to get into our school, like choosing an easier major. If you are admitted as a less selective major and try to transfer to an impacted major, you probably won’t be able to transfer unless you’re a great student. And if you were a great student, you should have applied directly to that impacted major anyway.” While it’s good to apply to the major of your dreams, many universities encourage you to list an alternative major as well.
· SAT and ACT scores need to be sent directly to all schools to which you are applying through www.collegboard.org or www.act.org respectively. DBHS does NOT send any scores. To send the SAT to multiple Cal States, use the CSUMentor institution code of 3594 so any CSU campus can retrieve your score. For the UC’s, if you report your scores to one campus, they will be shared with every campus to which you’ve applied.
· December scores can be rushed to schools for a fee. If the schools to which you are applying say they’ll accept December scores, like the UC’s have stated, you should be fine with the regular process. The UC’s and most CSU’s will accept December scores, but San Jose State, San Diego State, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have stated that they are NOT accepting December SAT scores. Additionally, Cal Poly SLO prefers the ACT.
· Your SAT/ACT score is just one of many pieces that admissions officers consider when looking at your application. If you’re disappointed with your scores, remember that they won’t necessarily hold you back from your goals. You did your best, and now you need to move on and finish well in the classroom. We have a tendency to fixate on certain numbers in this community, but most of that unhealthy anxiety is self-induced and not a real reflection of the college admissions process. As many admissions officers acknowledge, what you’ve done in the classroom for three years is a much better indicator of your future success on a college campus than what you did in a three hour test. Hofstra University just announced that SAT or ACT scores are now optional and no longer mandatory because “we have concluded that standardized tests are not the most important predictors of academic success at Hofstra.”
· Do NOT send reminders to your GLC’s or teachers about deadlines for letters of recommendation. Worry about your own deadlines and make sure your pieces to your applications are turned in on time, and trust your GLC’s and teachers to take care of their respective parts.
· Transcripts are sent with the School Report. If you asked your GLC to fill out the School Report through the Common Application, that covers the letter of recommendation, official transcript, and school profile, and you don’t need to request transcripts from the registrar for that school. If you have any questions, contact your GLC.
· Open houses are taking place on several college campuses. The open house experience usually involves staying overnight, meeting with college representatives, and attending an actual class in the hopes of helping you appreciate what that school has to offer. Many schools offer open houses for admitted students who are trying to make a decision, but some offer open houses for prospective students even before they apply. See if any of the schools you’re considering offer this type of opportunity and apply to see if you can go. Here’s an example at George Washington University - https://undergraduate.admissions.gwu.edu/your-gw.
· The Financial Aid Workshop on our campus will take place sometime in early December. This informative evening will help you understand how the financial aid process works and how you’re going to pay for school so you and your folks should plan on attending. Keep an eye out for specific date and time.
· You never know what kind of financial aid package you’ll be offered from each school that accepts you. After you’re accepted, each school will look at your financial information from the FAFSA (more on this whole process in next month’s bulletin) and their financial aid office will tell you what they can offer you. Sometimes schools can offer much more than you would guess, and many schools offer merit-based financial aid regardless of your financial need so we always tell students to apply to the schools they love and hope for the best.
· CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile – Don’t forget the CSS Profile mentioned in last month’s bulletin - this is a form provided by College Board for high school seniors who are looking for financial aid, and it’s required by many private colleges and universities. The UC and CSU systems use only the FAFSA (more info on that later) and don’t need the CSS, but several private schools want this form prior to the FAFSA to determine the level of financial aid they will offer you. The CSS Profile is available beginning October 1st at https://profileonline.collegeboard.org/prf/index.jsp, and the sooner you fill it out the better. Unlike the FAFSA, there is a cost per school for the CSS, but considering it could lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of financial aid, it’s probably worth it.
· National Security Agency – Stokes Educational Scholarship – This is a very unique scholarship. Scholarship winners receive up to $30,000 per year for tuition and mandatory fees paid to the college of their choice, reimbursement for books, and a year-round salary. In exchange, Stokes recipients work summers for the NSA, and upon graduation agree to work for the NSA for at least 1 ½ times the length of study. Apply at www.NSA.gov by November 15th, 2014.
· Boston University Trustee Scholarship – Each winning scholar receives a renewable scholarship covering full undergraduate tuition plus orientation and undergraduate student fees for four years. Essays and applications must be submitted by December 1, 2014 at www.bu.edu/admissions/trustee. A nomination form is also required by 12/1/14 so see your GLC by 11/15 if you are applying for this scholarship. BU also has a renewable $20,000 Presidential Scholarship that you’ll automatically be in the running for as long as you apply to BU by 12/1/14.
· Cal State Long Beach President’s Scholars Program – This is a tough one to qualify for – students must be either ranked #1 in their class, National Merit Semifinalists, National Achievement Program Semifinalists, or National Hispanic Recognition Scholars. Recipients are awarded full tuition and fees, priority registration, meal plan, book allowance, and even parking. To apply, you must submit an application to CSULB by November 30th, 2014 and submit a President’s Scholar application at http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/students/presidents_scholars/students/application/ by January 2nd, 2015.
· Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship – This scholarship provides up to $6,000 a year for four years to attend a university! Also each March, Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars travel to New York City for four days of developmental workshops, career exploration seminars, meetings with key public and private sector leaders, cultural and recreational outings and practical life skills classes. Applicants must be “minority high school seniors,” who show leadership potential, demonstrate a dedication to community service, present evidence of financial need, and have a minimum SAT of 1,000 (math and reading) or an ACT of 21. For more information and applications, go to www.JackieRobinson.org. Applications must be submitted online by February 15th, 2015.
· GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship – “Exceptional student leaders” are invited to apply for this scholarship honoring the legacy of President Ronald Reagan. The program awards up to 20 college bound students who demonstrate “the attributes of leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship” with $10,000 renewable scholarships (up to $40,000 per recipient). For more information and applications, go to www.reaganfoundation.org/GE-RFScholarships.aspx. Applications must be submitted online by January 8th, 2015.
· Ronald McDonald House Charities Scholarship – The RMHC scholarship program features four separate scholarships, including awards for students with at least one parent of Asian-Pacific heritage, African-American heritage, or Hispanic/Latino heritage. For more information, go to http://www.rmhc.org/rmhc-us-scholarships. Application deadline is January 20th, 2015.
· Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarship – Named for the founder and former president of Sodexo Foundation which fights hunger, this $5000 scholarship recognizes “students who have made a significant impact in the fight against hunger.” Scholarship recipients receive $5000 toward their education and a matching $5000 grant is made in their name toward the hunger-related charity of their choice. For more info & to apply, go to http://www.sodexofoundation.org/hunger_us/scholarships/scholarships.asp. Applications must be submitted by December 5th, 2014.
· Beverage Industry College Scholarship – This scholarship is for a student whose parent or grandparent is a full-time employee with a company holding a valid liquor license. Examples given are restaurants, stores, breweries, wineries, distributors, etc. Awards range from $2K - $5K. Apply at www.christermon.com – applications must be submitted online by February 1st, 2015.
· California Association of Collectors – This scholarship is based on an application and an essay on the “importance of establishing and maintaining good financial credit during your college years.” Awards are $2500 for first place, $2000 for second, and $1500 for third place. See Mr. Desmond for an application or go to www.cacesf.org. Applications must be postmarked no later than January 15th, 2015.
· Miss any scholarships from the last Senior Bulletin? Go to the Guidance Office – all past scholarships will remain on display until their deadlines have passed.
· Don’t forget that you can research scholarships on your own!