Start Preparing for College NOW!

No matter what grade/year you are in, it’s never too early to start planning for college! Find out what you should be doing RIGHT NOW:


High School Seniors

  • Research/review your college choices.
  • Start prep work such as compiling your brag sheet (here’s an example of what you should include).
  • Check with teachers about recommendation letters (for private colleges and in case Berkeley requests them).
  • Begin researching financial aid/scholarship information.
  • Come up with a back up plan (never too early to be prepared!).
  • Work with your parents – they will hover one way or the other, might as well put them to work for you!


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College Students Ready to Transfer

  • Research/review your college choices.
  • Start prep work such as compiling your brag sheet (here’s an example of what you should include).
  • Check with teachers about recommendation letters (for private colleges).
  • Begin researching financial aid/scholarship information.
  • Come up with a back up plan (never too early to be prepared!).
  • If your parents are trying to get involved, work with them – they will hover one way or the other, might as well put them to work for you!


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High School Juniors

  • Cram as many AP courses as you possibly can into your schedule. If taking more AP courses is not feasible at school, look into taking community college courses or UC-approved online AP courses.
  • Balance your extracurricular activities with your AP courses during the school year to maintain excellent grades while working toward leadership positions.
  • If you received any D or F grades, be sure to repeat the course(s) before the start of senior year. This will replace the bad grade(s) in your GPA calculation (but remember that you are still required to report all non-passing grades on your UC Application!).
  • Get your parents involved with your college planning. Ask them to meet with your school counselor and show concern for your college plans. Your counselor is more likely to pay attention to your schedule if he or she knows your parents will be showing up at school if anything goes awry.


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Current College Students

  • Talk to your counselor (at the counseling office AND the transfer center)! Not all counselors are created equal and you may not find anyone helpful right away. Keep trying until you get someone who will go to bat for you.
  • Familiarize yourself with the transfer admission evaluation process for each UC campus by reviewing the UC Campus Policies and Procedures for Evaluating Transfer Applicants, which starts on page 35 of the PDF file.
  • Look into the Transfer Admission Guarantee early so you can plan your schedule to meet the requirements (an updated version should come out in September 2017).
  • Participate in transfer programs at your community college campus, like the UCLA TAP which gives you additional consideration for majors in the College of Letters & Science. Visit your community college transfer center to learn more about the available programs!
  • Consider cross-enrolling at multiple community colleges to get the courses you need to transfer promptly!
  • Participate in extracurricular activities that are related to your major, such as school clubs, jobs, internships, and/or volunteer opportunities. This will help you generate content for your UC Personal Insight Required Question (which is all about your interest in your major).


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High School Freshmen & Sophomores

  • Make sure the majority of the honors courses you are taking are UC-approved so you get the benefit of the extra grade point (check at the UC A-G Course List website; sometimes a school may require you to take honors courses that are not UC-approved before you can take AP courses in the same subject, learn and understand your school’s policy to better plan your curriculum).
  • If you are not able to take AP courses at your school, look into taking community college courses or UC-approved online AP courses.
  • Start extracurricular activities early! I recommend that you pick two to three areas of interest (in case some don’t pan out, there are couple backups) and make long-term commitments (three to four years) in three to five extracurricular activities. Developing leadership experience and skills in your extracurricular activities is essential!


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Middle School Students

  • Work toward taking the highest math and foreign language courses available at your middle school; these are the two subjects you can begin satisfying prior to high school (make sure your future high school will recognize and appropriately place you based on courses you completed in middle school).
  • Begin exploring different extracurricular activities. Don’t be afraid to try different activities or fail at something; now is the time for you to experiment and find or develop your passion.
  • Develop essential academic skills such as studying or note-taking. You will need them in high school!


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Need Professional Help?

Not sure if you are on the right path toward successful UC admission? Looking to gain a competitive edge? Wondering how to best spend your time preparing for the UCs? Sign up for my Admission Preparation Service and I will evaluate your academic and extracurricular strengths and weaknesses, and provide recommendations to help you better prepare for admission to your top choice UC campuses.
 
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