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Joan B. Weiss and Roberta Lachman
"My son applied to thirteen schools. EVERY letter he received referenced what a great essay he had. I know if he hadn't worked with College Fit 360, that would not be the case! "
     -Shari
     (Mother of William, Wash U, class of 2019)

 
Seniors:  Get Going on Your College App Essays Now.  We Can Help.
California Colleges by the Numbers
113
Number of California Community College campuses

2.1 million
Number of students attending California Community Colleges

30
Percentage of UC undergrads who have transferred from a California community college

15,000
Approximate number of students who transfer to a University of California campus each year

52
Percentage of UC incoming transfers who were first in their families to attend college

55
Percentage of UC transfers from low income families

86
Percentage of transfer students who go on to successfully earn their degree (a rate that slightly exceeds that of incoming freshmen)
UC Streamlines Transfer Process
 
In an attempt to simplify the transfer process, the University of California has introduced Transfer Pathways, an "academic roadmap" for California Community College students who plan to transfer to the University of California.

Transfer Pathways detail a set of community college courses that will prepare students for particular majors at the University of California and help them graduate within two years after transfer.  Initially, UC will provide pathways for 10 majors:  anthropology, biochemistry, biology, cell biology, chemistry, economics, mathematics, molecular biology, physics, and sociology.  Pathways for additional majors will be announced in the near future.

The creation of Transfer Pathways will come as welcome news to the many students who are confused about how to efficiently prepare to enter upper division courses in their major after transfer.  And because the pathways are intended to  help students graduate within two years of transferring, parents will benefit financially from not having to pay additional years' tuition.

Pathways for eleven additional popular majors will be announced later this year.  Once introduced, the 21 pathways will include the majors of two-thirds of all transfer applications UC receives.
Host A College NightInvite a gaggle of your high school parent friends for a night of college info and Q&A.  We'll bring the knowledge and the chips, and thank you with a $100 discount on a consulting package.
If that sounds like fun, click here!
UC's Evaluation Criteria
 
What are they looking for?

Freshman applicants to the University of California are evaluated based on 14 characteristics.  Importantly, each of the nine undergraduate campuses gives different amounts of weight to these factors. If you're planning to apply, look at the selection process used by each individual campus.  It will not only shed light on how your application will stack up at each school, but will also give you insight into the differences in values and culture between them.

The factors considered are:
  1. GPA in a-g courses
  2. SAT/ACT scores
  3. Selection of and performance in other academic courses
  4. Selection of and performance in honors, AP, IB, college courses
  5. Rank in top 9% of your class
  6. Senior year course selection
  7. Academic performance relative to educational opportunities in your high school
  8. Outstanding performance in specific subject areas
  9. Outstanding work in special academic projects
  10. Recent, marked improvement in academic performance
  11. Special talents, skills, leadership potential
  12. Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of your high school curriculum or for special school events/programs.
  13. Academic accomplishments in light of difficult life experiences or special circumstances
  14. Location of your high school and residence

Mark Your Calendar

Christian College Fair
September 29, 2015
Oaks Christian School, Westlake Village


Campus Pride LGBTQ-Friendly College Fair
October 10, 2015
USC


Los Angeles Performing And Visual Arts Fair
Saturday, October 24, 2015
1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
UCLA - Ackerman Union

National Hispanic College Fair
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
9:30-12:30
Los Angeles location TBD
 

Make your child's journey to college a thrilling and stress-reduced trek.


College Fit 360 offers
a choice of services:

 
one-on-one counseling
or
group counseling
via Coll-Edge Counseling Circles


Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
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Dear 9th-12th grade parents:
 
Let's begin with a vocabulary lesson.  Early Action.  Early Decision.  Regular Decision.  As if there weren't enough choices to be made in the college admissions process, your student will need to make an application decision plan for each school she applies to.  So what are the options?

Early Action-Colleges that offer this option allow students to submit their applications and be informed of admissions decisions early.  Early Action applications are usually due in November and decisions are made in January and February. Students may apply Early Action to any number of colleges but have no obligation to attend.

Early Decision-Similar to Early Action except that this option is binding.  If a student is admitted Early Decision, he is bound to accept the offer and withdraw all other applications.  Obviously, this path should only be taken when the student is very certain of his first choice school.

 
Regular Decision-           Regular Decision deadlines typically fall in January, decisions are made in March and April, and students have until May 1 to either accept or decline their offers. 

It is worth noting that neither the University of California nor the  California State University systems (Cal Poly SLO is an exception) offer Early Action or Early Decision options.  Further, the submission deadline for both is November 30.  We like to shake things up in California.  :)
 
Your college sherpas,
Joan and Roberta
12th Grade Checklist
 
Seniors: it's time to kick things into high gearNow is the time to get serious about the following activities:
  • Write your essays.  Rewrite.  Repeat.

Hopefully, you are well into the essay development process by now. Make sure that you're clear about how many essays you will need to write and their specific prompts.  You may not have finalized your college list just yet, but use it to estimate the essay development ahead of you.

  • Visit.

Attend sessions with visiting reps from schools you're interested in, go to college fairs, and take tours of local colleges.  If possible, visit more distant campuses, as well.

  • Finalize your list.

By now your college list should be taking shape.  Research each school and make sure that you have a good reason for wanting to attend any college that ends up on your list.

  • Register for SAT or ACT testing.

Be sure to sign up early for any additional testing you want to do.  Also, check the colleges you're interested in to find out if they require or recommend SAT subject tests.  Check your schools to see which do superscoring.

  • Know the deadlines.

Keep a list of application deadlines for each school you're planning to apply to (Early Decision, Early Action, Regular Decision, as well as FAFSA and CSS).  In addition, make note of the last SAT/ACT test date each school will accept.

  • Set up your website accounts.

This includes college sites (Cal States and University of California, Common App, etc.), as well as FAFSA and CSS.  Be sure to be consistent with the spelling of names and addresses on all accounts.

  • Get recs.

After determining which schools require recommendations, how many, and from whom, start asking for them.  Remember that teachers and counselors will be asked to write a lot of these, so try to get to the front of the line.  Provide anyone you ask with bullet points to remind them of memorable moments you had with them, your achievements, and a general idea of your plans for the future.

  • Gather your app materials.

Have what you need at your fingertips when you fill out your applications:  a final transcript through junior year, a resume of your extracurriculars, honors, enrichment activities, relevant numbers including social security and parent contact info.

  • Talk taxes.

Ask your parents to complete their taxes as early as possible after January 1 in order to file for financial aid.


Topics to Avoid in the Personal Statement
 
We’re all for being positive, but in this case, we feel the need to give you a few don’t’s.   Certain topics, for various reasons, are risky subjects for a college application essay.  So even if a story or event is incredibly important to you, if it’s not going to help your chances for acceptance to the college of your choice, we suggest you look for alternatives.

Avoid the following topics and essay pitfalls:
  • Sports analogies – scoring the winning touchdown can be memorable, but you will not be the first or even the billionth person to write about it.
     
  • A terrible event from which you never recovered – while this event may define you in some way, you don’t want to alarm readers or suggest that you are unstable.
     
  • Illegal, immoral or unseemly actions that you learned from – common sense dictates that you not emphasize poor decision-making.
     
  • Surviving suicide attempts or other serious psychological traumas – the jury is out on this one.  Some folks believe such an essay can be quite powerful.  If you decide to tackle such an issue, you need to provide an uplifting outcome and convince the reader that you are in a solid place now.
     
  • Making someone else the focus – if there is a person who inspires you, and you decide to write about him, make sure the essay is really about you.  Admissions officers are always telling stories about how they’d love to admit Grandpa to their college, but he’s not the one applying.
     
  • Listing your accomplishments – you’ll be able to talk about your activities and achievements in other parts of the application.  Use the essay to provide information that can’t be found elsewhere. 
     
  • Bad taste – your essay is not a good place to display humor that could be considered offensive, stand on a political soapbox or disparage/complain about other people.
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