In the last year alone, the California State University system received a record 790,000 applicants by the twenty-three campuses. These numbers are up substantially from the previous year and continue to increase each year.
Admission to a college in California is extremely competitive and preparing for college is a daunting task. It is no longer enough to obtain a college degree (in fact, some students can even obtain a degree through online courses without ever having to step onto a college campus).
What employees are interested in is where a student receives his or her degree. Students and employers are more attuned to where a college ranks on the scale of prestige. Previously, a college degree was something to be proud of, and while this is still the case, where a student goes to college is a lot more important than it was a decade ago.
The campuses of the University of California have always had a prestigious ranking among colleges and now the secret is out. Students from across the country and around the world are applying to the University of California in record numbers. Last year, UCLA received 112,000 applications and UCI received 96,000 applications.
Then, how, with so much rivalry to enter top schools how can a student compete? Here are three tips to stand out to the top California universities.
#1 – Start in Middle School
Changing factors over the past few decades have made it necessary for students to begin preparing for college admissions to the University of California as early as middle school. Middle schools offer classes in math, science, and foreign language, giving the students the opportunity to complete prerequisites for advanced high school classes. Students can complete courses in math through geometry, honor-level English and science, while also completing first and second year foreign language classes all before entering high school.
#2 – Excel Academically
Students can now begin high school qualified for honors courses, AP courses, and courses in International Baccalaureate where offered. The students will also be better prepared for the rigors of a demanding academic curriculum through high school, which includes preparation for the SAT and ACT exam.
However, it is not enough to just take these classes. It is imperative that students stay focused, work hard, and excel in these classes. If a student is struggling to keep up with the challenging work load high division classes require, he or she should look for outside help.
#3 – Get Involved
In addition to a strong academic curriculum, students must also be involved in their communities and school. Consecutive year involvement in clubs on campus, community outreach, sports both on and off campus, and other activities are not only desirable, but necessary.
The University of California remains an exclusive system that requires years of preparation. The application process will continue to become more selective and the application pool will continue to grow. Unless UCLA, or another campus, miraculously doubles in size, the road to admission will continually grow more and more challenging. In order to keep up with the competition, it is essential to make the most of academic opportunities and begin preparing for college as early as possible. There is no “secret formula” to ensuring admission. Hit the books and practice diligently, because the path to college admission is steep and demanding.
College Consulting with Oxford Tutoring
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Credit for photo: Dowtowngal
About the Author
As a reader for UCLA and UCI and an educator with more than 25 years of experience, Bob Trudeau understands how college admissions officers read and score student applications. By applying his knowledge of the 2000 plus applications he reads each year, Bob can help each student present him or herself as vividly and professionally as possible, while helping mom and dad make tough planning and advising decisions necessary to stand out to top universities.
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