Welcome back fellow students. Fall is here and with that comes cooler weather, pumpkin spice everything, scarves, boots and of course the dreaded college application process. If this is your last year at Yuba then the most important question in your life is where are you going next? There are so many options from CSU’s, UC’s or private colleges, choosing to stay in state or adventure out across the country. Each one of these requires a different process at different times so it can get quite confusing so I am here to give you a few tips.
Check the date
You might think you know when the application process is due but it’s always best to go to each individual colleges website that you are applying to and double check. Make sure you mark it on the calendar(with multiple reminders) and try to start at least a week before its due so if you have any questions you can get in to see a counselor about it. The first date is only the start. The college you apply to will have other important dates for you such as transcript dates, a date to accept their offer, orientation dates, etc. If you miss these dates you’ll have wasted your time and money because they college will take your lack of response as a rejection of their offer.
Save up your money
When you put in your application you will be required to pay a fee unless you can get a waiver. This fee can fluctuate from approximately 50 dollars to 100 dollars depending on the school system. These aren’t your only costs though. When sending your transcripts to schools you are given two free copies but if are applying to more than that you will pay about five bucks a piece. Those are the more direct costs but it’s important to think also in advance. This is the time to make sure that you are making a choice that will not put you in detrimental debt. If you are going out of state looking into the programs they offer that may allow you to get in-state tuition or at least a reduction, is crucial. You can always get student loans but just remember student loans are the largest debt behind mortgages so be wise that this money you will have to pay back with interest. College will only proceed to get more expensive the further along you go so start saving now.
Meet with a counselor
Although the best counselor to meet with is the one representing the college you are applying to (CSU Chico, CSU Sacramento and UC Davis at our campus) meeting with one of our own is just as good and they also offer workshops covering all your transferring needs. You want to double check that you have completed all the classes necessary to transfer and that your G.P.A. is high enough to even be applicable to the major you’re wanting. Certain years different majors at different colleges can be impacted causing the necessary G.P.A. to rise. Stay up to date on any new changes by getting in to see your counselor.
For those of you who are applying to UC’s and private colleges they don’t just want to know your G.P.A. They want to know you. So allowing with your application you must submit an essay. This is your time to shine and make them realize why they should want you over the other person who has 0.2 better G.P.A. So be vulnerable, make them break out the kleenex and if you need help you can always head over to the Writing Center in the Library.
Make a plan
This is such an important piece in your next step. You need to plan out where you’ll live and if that varies depending on where you go. Think of how you will afford all of your expenses and if you will need to find a job (if so brush up your resume). If you get into all your college choices you need to have them prioritized (do research) so that when it comes time you can make the right choice and if the opposite happens and you don’t get into any what will you do? Making a plan keeps you from feeling lost or overwhelmed in the future.
So take some time to sit down in Starbucks, order your favorite fall drink, and get cracking on those applications. May the odds be ever in your favor.