Junior Year Preparation
- Take the PSAT in October.
- Take the SAT in April or May. It’s important to take at least one SAT before the senior year.
- Begin to research financial aid programs and scholarship opportunities. Review the document “Fund Your Future.” Fund Your Future is simply the best resource for understanding all forms of public financial aid. Access Fund Your Future at http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id=40
- Most financial aid programs and scholarships (deadlines) begin your senior year.
- Research potential colleges and majors. College Board (collegeboard.org) has programs and databases to assist you. Start with the link “Big Future” and also “Explore College Majors.” or click on the following links to explore various colleges in the…
CSU System https://secure.csumentor.edu/select/
Calfornia’s Private Colleges http://www.aiccu.edu/
Minimum College Admission Requirements
UC & CSU Systems and most Private Universities
- High school classes needed to meet minimum subject requirements must be designated as college prep. (P)), Honors (H/HP) or AP.
- The requirements listed below are requirements for the UC & CSU systems.
- Private colleges may have different requirements. Be sure to check each private school’s admission requirements.
English 4 years
Math 3 years (UC system recommends 4 years)
Lab Science 2 years (UC system recommends 3 years)
World Language 2 years (UC system recommends 3 years)
History 2 years (World History/US History/Government)
Fine Art/Performing Art 1 Year of the same course.
College Prep. Elective 1 Year of the same course.
- Colleges want to see students complete a challenging, rigorous set of classes. For example: In many cases, a grade of ‘C’ in an honors or AP class is considered better than a grade of ‘A’ or ‘B’ in an Academic class.
- When you apply to colleges in the fall semester of your senior year, the colleges you apply to will calculate a G.P.A. based only upon your sophomore and junior year grades. After you have been accepted, they will request your senior year grades to determine if they will still accept you.
- Testing Requirement. The University of California and California State University systems require the SAT or ACT for admission. SAT Subject Tests are no longer required. Private colleges vary in their requirements and may require SAT Subject Tests.
- Even if a school does not require SAT Subject Tests, consider taking a Subject Test in an academic area you feel is a strength. Scoring well on SAT Subject Tests can give you a competitive edge when applying to colleges.
About College (College Prep.) Coursework
- Weighted Classes: UC and CSU will take up to 8 weighted semester long classes (four year-long classes) in grades 10 to 12. 9th and 10th honors classes at Piner do not receive a weighted grade in the calculation of the college G.P.A. Private colleges will vary in how they calculate grades and entrance requirements.
- Grades of ‘D’ or ‘F.’: See your counselor if you receive a ‘D’ or ‘F’ in any class that is required for college entrance. Rules vary, but most grades of ‘D’ or ‘F’ must be repeated. Some grades of ‘D’ or ‘F’ in Math and World Language do not have to be repeated. See below or your counselor for details.
- Online Coursework: Consult a school counselor when considering online coursework to meet college entrance requirements. Not all online classes meet college entrance requirements and students are advised to contact the colleges they are applying to for clarification. In general, it is not recommended to take online coursework to meet college entrance requirements.
- 8th Grade Coursework: Coursework taken in 8th grade in the subjects of world language and math may meet subject/class requirements for admission. See your counselor for details.
- Alternative Methods for Meeting Entrance Requirements. While the best way to gain admission to a UC or CSU college is through meeting the general admission requirements outlined above, these two systems have developed alternative methods for meeting admission requirements in the areas of English, math, science, history, and world language. Examples of alternative methods for meeting the English, Math, and World Language requirements are outlined below. Please see your counselor for information on alternative methods in the areas of math, history, science, and world language.
- Piner Coursework Approved by the U.C. System. The link below describes all of the courses at Piner, including Cyber High courses, that have been approved by the U.C. system. All classes taken at Piner intended for college admission must be approved by the U.C. system and included on this list.
Meeting Requirements by Exam
Specific scores on the SAT Subject, ACT, and AP exams may be used to meet all or part of the subject requirements in math, English, history, science and world language. The link below describes these opportunities in detail. Always see your counselor first when considering meeting requirements by examination.
Meeting Requirements by Validation
All A-G classes taken in high school for college admission must be passed with a ‘C’ or better. Generally, all grades of ‘F’ or ‘D’ in A-G required classes must be repeated. However, classes in math and world language are subject to the rules of Validation. Validation rules state that previous grades of ‘F’ or ‘D’ in math and world language can be validated (accepted) by earning a grade of ‘C’ or better in a higher level class in the same subject area. The link below describes Validation in complete detail. Students should always see their counselor first before considering the rules of Validation.
Basics of Applying/Completing the College Application
SAVE COPIES OF EVERYTHING! SEVERAL YEARS AGO USC (UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA) WAS HACKED AND 20% OF ALL FRESHMEN APPLICATIONS WERE LOST. STUDENTS WHO DID NOT HAVE A COPY (ELECTRONIC OR HARD COPY) OF THE APPLICATION WERE AUTOMATICALLY REJECTED. SO….
1. PRINT/SAVE A COPY OF EVERYTHING YOU SEND TO A COLLEGE. EVERYTHING INCLUDES: THE APPLICATION, HOUSING CONTRACTS, FINANCIAL AID, TRANSCRIPT REQUESTS, ETC. EVERYTHING!
2. APPLY EARLY! Even though applications at many schools are on the rise, colleges are accepting fewer students. Competition is fierce and many schools will offer acceptance letters to students early in the admission application cycle, even before the admission cycle is completed. So….. Apply as early as possible in the application cycle. CSU applications can be submitted beginning October 1st. UC schools allow students to begin completing the application on line October 1st and allow submissions beginning November 1st. Both systems have a final submission date of November 30th.
- While most schools require the SAT to be taken by the first testing date in December, it is wise to take the SAT as early as possible so schools can see a score with your college application.
- Apply as an Early Action student if private universities offer this opportunity.
- Review your Piner transcript for accuracy. Make sure all of your classes are included, that the grades and credits are accurate, etc. Colleges have software programs that detect discrepancies between what a student reports on a college application and what is actually on the transcript or what is in the college’s database.
3. EVERY YEAR THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS ARE REJECTED BY COLLEGES SIMPLY BECASUSE INFORMATION ON THE COLLEGE APPLICATION WAS INNACCURATE OR INCONSISTENT WITH WHAT WAS IN THE COLLEGE’S DATABASE. IF THE INFORMATION YOU PROVIDE ON THE COLLEGE APPLICATION DOES NOT MATCH YOUR HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPT OR DOES NOT MATCH THE COLLEGE’S COURSEWORK DESCRIPTION OF PINER’S CLASSES/WHAT IS IN THEIR DATABASE, YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE REJECTED!
- Ask for help from your counselor if a drop-down menu item on the application does not match your high school coursework or what is on your transcript.
- Private Universities have much more flexibility in admission policies when working with students and their families. If you are rejected from a private college, see your counselor for possible strategies or contact the college and work with the admissions office directly.