The application deadline for UCs and CSUs is November 30, 2018.
Tips for Applying
Applying to Cal State Schools (CSU)
Applications are available online at www2.calstate.edu/apply beginning October 1st. The deadline to apply is November 30th.
Applying to UC Schools (Sample Application attached below)
Applications are available online at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/apply. Beginning October 1st you can access the application but you cannot submit it until November 1st. The deadline to apply is November 30th.
Applying to private and out-of-state colleges and universities
These colleges vary in their application procedures and deadlines. Applications are available at www.commonapp.org or visit the college’s website for further information. Private schools often require letters of recommendation and other forms to be completed by teachers and/or counselors. Organize your paperwork and give your teacher/counselor a minimum of 2 work weeks to complete them. If you ask less than 2 weeks in advance, you are not guaranteed to get a letter of recommendation. Most private schools also require essays or personal statements. The questions vary from school to school, but the strategies for the UC Personal Statement listed below will help you compose your private school essays as well.
Applying to community colleges
Community colleges begin accepting applications in October. Applications are available at http://home.cccapply.org/apply.
The UC Personal Insight Questions
This year the UC Personal Insight questions require you to respond to four out of the eight prompts. Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words. All questions are given equal consideration and there is no right or wrong way to answer the questions.
Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about your accomplishments and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities?
Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?
Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?
How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?
Things to consider: If there’s a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it. You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about, feel free to do so). Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you?
Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?
Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that’s geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you — just to name a few.
If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today?
Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?
If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends, or with my family?”
Things to consider: Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom — such as volunteer work, summer programs, participation in student organizations and/or activities — and what you have gained from your involvement.
Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)?
Things to consider: Think of community as a term that can encompass a group, team or a place – like your high school, hometown, or home. You can define community as you see fit, just make sure you talk about your role in that community. Was there a problem that you wanted to fix in your community?
Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?
Things to consider: Don’t be afraid to brag a little. Even if you don’t think you’re unique, you are — remember, there’s only one of you in the world. From your point of view, what do you feel makes you belong on one of UC’s campuses? When looking at your life, what does a stranger need to understand in order to know you?
What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge, or opportunity that you think will help us know you better? We’re not necessarily looking for what makes you unique compared to others, but what makes you, YOU.
Suggestions for Writing the Personal Insight responses
1. Answer the question – Take time and think about each prompt before you start writing. Use details and examples. Write to add context and depth, not to fill space.
2. Give yourself time to edit – Start writing to answer each prompt, then go back and consider word count, content, and overall message.
3. Be you – Remember to talk about yourself so that they can get to know you and your potential to succeed at their school. Use plenty of “I” statements.
4. Stick to one topic per response – Making a list of accomplishments will lessen the impact of your words. Expand on a topic by using examples and facts.
5. Think outside the box – Consider including: personal triumphs or challenges (do not forget to explain what you learned from the experience), leadership opportunities, experiences outside the classroom, disabilities, and culture.
6. Stay focused – Avoid common mistakes such as: inappropriate use of humor, creative writing (poems, clichés, scene setting), quotations (they want to know your thoughts and words, not someone else’s), repetition, lists of accomplishments or activities, philosophy (don’t ask questions without answers).
*** The Personal Statement is meant to compliment your application and is your one opportunity to add clarity, richness, and meaning to the information you present in other parts of your application. Use it to help the Admissions Office get to know the real you. ***
COMMUNITY COLLEGE INFORMATION:
FULLERTON COLLEGE (College Readiness Program)
- Fullerton College will come to help students through the application process. Please visit the College and Career Center to sign up. (Students will need their Social Security number (if applicable) when applying.) Students will then be given several forms to fill out so they can enroll in Counseling 140.
- At this time students will be eligible to apply for Counseling 140. Counseling 140 covers students' College Orientation and will provide one free transferable unit. This will allow students to register before new students with 0 units in the Fall 2020.
- For students interested in Fullerton College and did not make it into the Counseling 140 class, VHS will be offering an Early Commitment option. Please sign up in the College and Career Center to receive more details.
SANTIAGO CANYON COLLEGE
- A representative from Santiago will be on campus periodically to answer any questions.
- Santiago Canyon College will be on campus to help students through the application process. Please visit the College and Career Center to sign up. (Students will need their Social Security number when applying.)
- Students who have applied and taken the test at VHS will be eligible to attend a field trip to Santiago Canyon College. Students will be put through their orientation and will be given assistance in registering for classes at this time.