Q: What classes should a student take to be eligible for college?

A: MINIMUM of: 4 years English, 3 years Math, 2 years Social Studies, 2 years Science with Labs, 2 years Foreign Language, 1 year of art or music

Q: When should you start preparing for college?

A: Ideally no later than the end of Eighth Grade. That is when you will be asked to select classes for the Freshman year in high school

Q: Is there a difference between being eligible for a high school diploma and being eligible to apply for college?

A: Yes. For example, a foreign language class should be taken for college admission, but not necessarily for high school graduation. Make sure you know what classes you have to take to get into college

Q: Should I take Honors and AP classes?

A: Colleges want to see that you challenged yourself and taken advantage of educational opportunities. If a school offers AP classes and you are able to handle the work load, you should take them!

Q: Is it better to get an “A” in a regular class than a “B” in an Honors/AP class?

A: Colleges want to see that you challenged yourself. Generally it would be better to attempt the Honors/AP class. However, you do need to keep in mind the your academic abilities. A grade of “C” or “D” in any class is not favorable.

Q: If the highest grade is worth 4 points, how can I have a GPA above 4.0?

A: Honors or AP classes are awarded a “bonus” point in the GPA calculation. So an A is worth 5 points, a B is worth 4 points and so on.

Q: What GPA is required for admission to a college?

A: For a particular school, you should check the college’s profile of their most recent acceptance rankings. In general, you should have at least a 3.0 and above.

Q: Do the grades from Freshman year count?

A: Private college: YES. UC and CalState: NO. You should not slack off Freshman year though, because it could make or break your admission.

Q: How important is my GPA in the college admissions process?

A: IMPORTANT! This is because a transcript symbolizes a your long-term efforts. Get help early if you are struggling in any classes!

Q: What is a “recalculated” GPA?

A:Not every class that is required for high school graduation is necessary for college admission. Colleges will often ignore non-college preparatory classes such as Health or PE in favor of academic classes.

Q: Will I always score higher when I repeat a test?

A: 1/3 of students actually score lower when they repeat the test. If you do want to retake, make sure you keep taking classes and practicing!

According to the U.S. News & World Report rankings of America’s Best Colleges for 2010:

  1. Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
  2. Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
  3. Yale University (New Haven, CT)
  4. Cal Tech (Pasadena, CA)
  5. MIT (Cambridge, MA)
  6. Stanford (Stanford, CA)
  7. UPenn (Philadelphia, PA)
  8. Columbia University (New York, NY)
  9. University of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
  10. Duke University (Durham, NC)
  11. Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH)
  12. Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
  13. Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  14. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD)
  15. Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
  16. Brown University (Providence, RI)
  17. Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
  18. Rice University (Houston, TX)
  19. Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
  20. University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN)
  21. UC Berkeley (Berkeley, CA)
  22. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  23. Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
  24. UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
  25. University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)

Q: Not going out of state?

A: That’s okay. There are tons of great public and private universities in California! Cal States, UCs (Berkeley and LA are both of the Top 100 in the nation), USC, and Stanford

Q: How many 4-year colleges are there in the United States?

A: There are over 3,000 colleges in the United States. Choose wisely!

Q: When should I have a final list of colleges that I am going to apply to?

A: You should spend the summer between Junior and Senior years finalizing the list of colleges you want to apply to. It should be ready in time when you start applying.

Q: What is a public college?

A: A public college is funded by tax dollars from a state. Tuition is usually discounted for legal residents of the state. Public colleges usually give preference to students from their own state.

Q: What is a private college?

A: A private college is a college that is funded through private means. They do not have to give preference to students from any particular region.

Q: What is meant by “Ivy League”?

A:The Ivy League was originally created as an athletic conference consisting of eight private institutions of higher education located in the northeastern United States.

Q: What should I look for on a campus visit?

A: Visit while classes are in session. Observe how the teachers and students interact.Visit important places on campus. Check out the library, dorm and dining hall. Try to talk with students you meet on campus.

Q: What is The Common Application?

A: The Common Application is an application form which can be used to apply to over 300 colleges which are members.

Q: How do you access The Common Application?

A: Go to: www.commonapp.org

Q: What is a Supplement?

A: A Supplement an additional form which is specific to their school, aside from the Common Application. Some supplements are easy to complete with just a few blanks. Others request extra essays.

Q: What is Early Decision?

A: Early Decision (ED) is when you apply to one college early. Early decision is “binding” which means that if you are accepted, you will have to go to that school. Students can only apply to one school as Early Decision.

Q: What is Early Action?

A: Early Action (EA) is similar to Early Decision except it is “non-binding.” That means that you do not have to go to the college if accepted. You can apply Early Action to more than one school, but it is not good to do so

Q: How do you send your transcript to a college?

A: Transcripts are obtained from the Counseling Office at a student’s high school. Most Counseling Offices require that you officially request that a transcript be sent to a college.

Q: How do I report my SAT or ACT grades to a college?

A: You can request SAT and ACT scores be sent through the test company’s website.

Q: How important is my essay?

A: Very important! Your essay can reveal your personality behind the grades and test scores. Ask us if you need help!

Q: How do I choose an essay topic?

A: Pick one event or person or situation in your life, not many. Focus on that and show how it shaped you as a person.

Q: When is the deadline for submitting applications?

A: They are all different. Be sure to check! Early Action/Decision deadlines: in November. Regular deadline: from December to February.

Q: What is “Rolling Admission”?

A: Rolling Admissions is basically a first-come, first-admitted policy. Students are accepted until the freshman class is full.

Q: What is a “legacy” student?

A: A student who has a parent or sibling who graduated from that same university. Some colleges give special consideration to these “legacy” students

Q: Can you appeal a rejection?

A: For certain colleges, yes. You should only consider appealing if you have new information to offer the admissions office.

Q: What is a “Spring Admit”?

A: This means that you will begin school in January. Spring Admit is still a guaranteed spot at the college.

Q: How much does college cost?

A:It depends on the college. Community College: less than $1,000 per year. CSU: $20,000 per year. UC: $25,000 per year. Private college: $45,000+ per year.

Q: What is “in state” tuition?

A: Because public colleges are supported with public tax dollars, students who are legal residents of the state pay less to attend.

Q: What is “out of state” tuition?

A: Students who are not legal residents of a state are required to pay higher tuition. This is typically $8,000 to $10,000 more per year.

Q: Do private colleges have in-state and out-of-state tuition rates?

A: No.