Additional Resources for High School Students

Direct from the UC Campuses

  • Berkeley Recruiting Tool
  • UCLA Admission Blog
  • General Catalogs

College Admissions Guides

College Planning Tool

College Reviews

First-Generation College Goers

Detailed College Profiles

Picking a Community College

Non-UC College Options

AB 540/DREAMer Friendly Colleges

Figuring Out What You Want to Do

Gap Year


Direct from the UC Campuses

Berkeley Recruiting Tool

Sign up at Picture Yourself at Berkeley! to get invited to Berkeley admission functions.

UCLA Admission Blog

Check out the UCLA Admissions Blog for the latest admission information directly from the source.

General Catalogs

Access the general catalogs for every UC campus from a central UC campus catalog portal; browse the catalogs for free online or follow the purchase links to buy paper copies.

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College Admissions Guides

U.S. News & World Report, the people who invented the college ranking system, also publishes numerous college admissions articles covering typical admissions related topics such as college choices, test prep, college essays, and financial aid. Keep in mind the articles are very generalized and do not apply to all colleges. As always, take everything you read with a grain of salt and when in doubt, check directly with the college admissions office.

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College Planning Tool

College Board’s college planning website BigFuture.org, with a special focus on low-income students, provides guidance, tools and information to make college planning easier.

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College Reviews

Niche offers FREE college guides online that review all different aspects of the college campuses (academics, health and safety, on and off campus dining, athletics, nightlife, local atmosphere, drug safety, on and off campus housing, parking and transportation, weather, and lots more). Each category is assigned a grade based on student feedback and the grades are backed up by stats and student reviews.

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First-Generation College Goers

Dr. Rebecca Joseph of Cal State LA has pulled together a comprehensive resource guide for first-generation college goers at GetMeToCollege.org. Look for information on developing a comprehensive college plan (including private colleges!) and get tips on writing college essays and applying for scholarships.

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Detailed College Profiles

Check out the fancy College Navigator from the U.S. Department of Education, complete with color graphs and hard-to-find facts. Aside from the usual enrollment and financial aid stats (but in full color bar graphs and pie charts), you can also find stats for retention/graduation rate, size of enrollment for each major, team size for varsity athletics, campus crime rate, and federal student loan default rate.

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Picking a Community College

The UC Information Center provides systemwide and campuswide admit rate by California community college. Simply click on the “Transfer Table” tab and, from the menu on the right, select the UC campus for which you are interested in seeing the admit rate. By default the most current data set for each California community college is displayed in alphabetical order. You also have the option to review data up to 20 years back by changing the “Academic Yr” option.

Choose a California community college that offers an honors/scholars program. Participating students typically receive priority registration at the community college which will allow you to complete your general education and major prerequisite requirements in a timely fashion. UCLA also gives additional consideration to students in the honors/scholars program (Transfer Alliance Program).

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Non-UC College Options

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), allows students of participating western states to attend certain two- or four-year colleges and pay only 150% of the college’s regular resident tuition (instead of nonresident tuition). WICHE member states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

To get the most accurate and up-to-date WUE admissions information, you must call the college’s admissions office and ask to speak to someone who is familiar with WUE. You may need to follow special application instructions in order to qualify for WUE consideration. Some WUE colleges may honor AB 540, you will need to contact the college’s admissions office to verify.

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AB 540/DREAMer Friendly Colleges

Rebecca Joseph, a well-known advocate for the underserved student population, maintains a list of colleges that have generous financial aid policies for undocumented students. An abbreviated explanation of the financial aid policy for undocumented students is included for each college, as well as a link to where you can get more information.

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Figuring Out What You Want to Do

The Career Chronicles (buy the book from Amazon through this link at no extra cost to you and help support this blog!) is a good book to flip through for you to get an idea of what it is like to actually work as a pharmacist, architect, lawyer, accountant, or any of the 24 different jobs included in the book. Use the “Search Inside” function on Amazon to see if the job you are interested in is listed.

Check with your school career center for personality assessments (such as Myers-Briggs) or interests/career assessments (such as Strong Interest Inventory) to help you determine possible college majors.

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Gap Year

Maybe you are not ready for college or maybe your dream school didn’t accept you, but instead of sitting at home, why not take advantage of a gap year program and see the world (and enrich your discussion for your college application next year)? Check the American Gap Association for general information, a gap year planner, a list of accredited programs, additional resources, and financial aid information.

You can also find additional programs through lists compiled by TeenLife, Phillips Academy, and Vistamar School. Other opportunities are available through organizations like Student Conservation Association, City Year, and AmeriCorps. There are also a variety of study abroad and exchange programs available and many offer scholarships to cover part or all of the expenses. One such program is Youth For Understanding.
 
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