It’s Oct. 9 – have you started your UC and Cal State applications yet?
Both California public university systems – the UC system (nine campuses) and the Cal State system (23 campuses) have their own online applications, separate from the Common Application. Both opened on Oct. 1, and you can submit your Cal State applications right now! UC applications can be submitted starting Nov. 1. The final day to apply to both the Cal States and UCs is Nov. 30. (Please don’t wait until November 30th to submit!)
But before you apply, do your research! The campuses are very different, and some might be right for you, while others may not. Are you looking for a large campus with tons of school spirit, sports and arts? UCLA could be great for you. UC Santa Cruz, maybe not. If you’re interested in UC San Diego, you will need to review each of the six colleges and rank them in order of interest to you, when you apply. And the newest campus, UC Merced, has just over 5,000 students and a center for the study of minority health issues.
The Cal States differ tremendously as well: CSUN is the largest of the 23 campuses, with over 34,000 students, but just a few miles away is Cal State Channel Islands, the newest campus, with just over 4,000 students, is one of the smaller campuses.
For a real change, take a look at the California Maritime Academy in Vallejo – fewer than 1,000 students, just six majors and a 94 percent job placement rate after graduation, because these students are heavily focused on business administration, goods movement and management and other highly practical, logistics-based studies.
And Sonoma State University is the only college in California with a program in wine marketing.
As an independent college counselor, I work with high school students and their families to research colleges, and help find the best match for students. Start early! I’ve just mentioned a few of California’s public universities above, and there are over a hundred private colleges in California as well – not to mention the other 2,100 in other states! There is a right college for every student.
The more searching you do in 10th and 11th grade, the less stressful senior year will be, as you start applications.