COURSES YOU NEED TO TAKE
The below courses, known as `A-G' requirements, must be passed with a grade of `C' or better to be eligible for UC/CSU admission. Note: Not all classes in the below subjects are A-G-approved. Find out if yours are.
*A = U.S. History and Social Science - 2 years
*B = English - 4 years
*C = Math (Algebra I, Geometry and Intermediate Algebra) - at least 3 years, UC recommends 4
*D = Laboratory Science - 2 years, UC recommends 3
*E = Foreign Languages - 2 years, UC recommends 3
*F = Visual and Performing Arts - 1 year
*G = College Preparatory Electives - 1 year
WHAT TO DO IN MIDDLE SCHOOL (CHECKLIST)
√ Meet with your school counselor (and a parent), and tell her your goal is to attend college. Take pre-algebra and, if possible, Algebra I and/or a world language.
√ Find out if you qualify for your school's Gifted and Talented Program
√ Join clubs or teams at your school
√ Read something every day
√ Try to earn an A or a B in all of your classes
√ Put extra effort into English, math and science.
√ Review your ninth-grade schedule with a parent or guardian. Make sure it includes Algebra I or geometry, college preparatory English and other `A-G'-approved classes.
√ Find out whether your future high school has an AVID program.
√ Map out a four-year class schedule with your counselor
√ Take Algebra I or geometry, college prep English and other `A-G' approved courses. To be on track to graduate with the UC/CSU required classes, you need to take three to four A-G courses each school year.
√ Most English language development classes don't meet the university English requirement. If you're an English learner, find out how you can catch up.
√ Strive for As and Bs, and seek out extra help as soon as you need it
√ Consider enrolling in the AVID program, if it's offered at your school
√ Get involved in sports, extracurricular activities, or volunteering
√ Start a college information folder
√ Find out about summer enrichment or tutoring programs available at your school or in your neighborhood. You can get help with subjects that you find challenging, or get ahead
IN TENTH GRADE
√ Review your four-year scheduling plan to be sure that you are taking enough college prep courses
√ Take geometry or Algebra II, college prep English and other `A-G' approved courses, such as biology or a world language
√ Sign up for the Preliminary SATs (PSATs)
√ Find a study guide for the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), which you'll take in February or March.
√ Research colleges - Consider their programs, admissions standards, tuition and location. Call, write, or email to request information.
√ Visit at least one college campus
√ Find out about summer enrichment or tutoring programs you can take part in
IN 11th GRADE
√ Make sure you are still on track to graduate with the 15 `A-G' course requirements. By this point, you should have completed about six to eight A-G courses.
√ Consider taking honors or Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
√ Take advanced math and college prep English and other college prep courses, such as laboratory science (chemistry or physics) or social science (U.S. History). Maintain As and Bs.
√ Sign up to take the PSAT in October
√ Narrow your list of colleges
√ Attend a College Night or a college tour.
√ Register for the SATs and/or the ACTs 6-8 weeks in advance. SAT schedules can be found at www.collegeboard.com. ACT information is at www.actstudent.org. Ask your counselor if you're eligible for an SAT fee waiver.
√ Meet with college representatives that come to your school
√ Continue college visits
√ Take the SAT, but be sure to take a practice test first
√ Start looking for scholarships. Ask your counselor and contact community organizations (Rotary, churches/synogagues, etc.)
√ Review your senior class schedule with your counselor. Consider additional honors, AP and community college courses
√ Look for summer jobs, courses and volunteer opportunities
√ Organize list of colleges into three categories: safe, realistic and reach.
√ Make a checklist of what each college needs (personal statement, transcript, letters of recommendation)
√ Write a draft of your personal statement.
√ Mark a calendar of important dates and deadlines for the upcoming year.
√ If you plan to re-take the SAT or ACT in the fall, register for the test as soon as possible
√ Meet with a counselor to make sure you are still on the right track
√ Ask your English teacher to review your personal statement/entrance essay and provide feedback on how it might be improved
√ Double-check deadlines for college applications and financial aid
√ Last chance to take - or re-take - the SATs and ACTs
√ Request letters of recommendation ASAP. They can be from teachers, community leaders or other adults who know you well. Give each writer a stamped, addressed envelope and the recommendation form
√ November: Apply to CSU and UCs. Many private colleges also have deadlines, or priority deadlines, in November and December.
√ Send SAT or ACT scores to each college, as well as a preliminary transcript
√ Ask three or four people you trust to make sure that your applications are complete
√ December: Some scholarship applications are due
√ January: Apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with a parent or guardian. Need help? Go to a Cash For College workshop in your area.
√ February: Most financial aid deadlines
√ Sign up for summer orientation or summer bridge program
√ March 2: Cal Grants deadline
√ April: Check the mail for college decisions and financial award letters!
√ May: Tell each college (that has accepted you) whether you plan to attend
√ If you're wait-listed, let admissions officer know you're still interested
√ Send a deposit to the school of your choice
√ Look for follow-up financial aid forms from your college
√ Keep up your grades and attendance
√ Need to take placement exams?
√ Apply to community college, if you plan to attend in the fall
√ Make sure your transcript is sent to the school you've chosen
Checklist sources: UC Berkeley's College Tools site, CSU Mentor and Oakland school district's College and Career Readiness Office