San Diego Housing Market News and Analysis
The dire climate of CA public university admissions for freshmen
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Submitted by bearishgurl on October 18, 2014 - 4:49pm
Three of my kid's best friends (all HS Class of 2014) are currently attending Southwestern College (SWC) because SDSU reneged on their "Compact for Success" guaranteed admission promises and they couldn't afford housing out-of-county. All three of them are currently "waitlisted" for Freshman English and Math.
I don't know how these kids expect to transfer to university in a timely manner when they can't even get the core GE's they need at CC in order to transfer to UC/CSU.
From the looks of things, the CA CC budget cuts are only going to get worse with each passing academic year. All those HS students who had a dream of attending CC for two years and then transfer into UC/CSU as a junior (in order to "save money") might find themselves attending 3-5 campuses across the county (2 simultaneously in any given semester) for three years or more in order to obtain an Associate of Transfer (Arts) or Associate of Transfer (Science). Those are the only two specific "Associate Degrees" which the CSU is currently accepting for transfer (not sure about UC). Worthless by themselves, these "degrees" are solely comprised of the core 60 units of GE's needed to transfer into a BA or BS program at the CSU.
All the CSU admission rules have changed since Fall 2011 (remediation at the university level is now dwindling to nil). The last of these changes were implemented Fall 2014.
My advice to CA high-school students (and their parents) who aspire to graduate in 4-5 years is:
-Fvck CC. Do what it takes to get admitted to UC/CSU NOW!
-Spare no expense and apply for 8-12 schools using the common apps (or use app fee waivers if qualified for them) ON OR BEFORE November 30 of your senior year. The earliest apps are given more weight in the admissions process.
-DECLARE A MAJOR .... DO NOT APPLY UNDECLARED!
-Get a 4-year plan up front from the school your student accepts an admission offer from. Try to qualify for a "4-year graduation pledge" with those campuses who offer it (likely less impacted campuses). This will enable your student to register for classes for the next quarter/semester 2-6 weeks prior to the masses registering to ensure they get the exact classes they need which are already laid out on their 4-year plan from their orientation date forward.
-Keep an open mind and make sure some of your apps are to INLAND campuses which are LESS impacted due to "presumed" inferior location.
-Parents, don't think that just because your kid has a ~4.0 GPA that they're going to be automatically admitted to the CA public campus(es) of their choice. 4.0 is now the new 3.3 in CA. Your seemingly perfect HS student snowflake is not that special to the admissions boards and there are plenty of highly-qualified out-of-state/out-of country applicants willing and able to pay the "full freight" at most CA public university campuses (yes, even "inland" campuses).
-Convince your college-bound kid to apply out of state if you can swing it and they are willing and qualified. The WUE grants 20-30% discounts off non-resident tuition at public universities in its member states (in-state tuition to Alaskans and Hawaiians) and in most of the areas of these (out-of-state) campuses, the lower housing costs make the whole annual college expense just as much or less than in-state tuition, fees, room and board at on near CA campuses, depending on their respective locations.
-And of course, if you are a 1-5%er (or your kid has a deep-pocketed benefactor), convince your kid to apply to private schools both in and out of state. They will likely finish in four years and time is money.
-Lastly, if your kid absolutely cannot declare a major while still in HS, have him/her apply to smallish liberal arts public colleges out of state (where they will have up to 3 semesters to make up their minds without penalty) or a private liberal arts college.
FWIW, my last kid has been at their (out-of-county) public university campus now less than a month and already has a 21 hr per week job (off-campus), joined a club related to their major and has been officially "pinned" this week to the Greek organization of their choice. My kid is having the time of their life!
Those with K-12 kids in the pipeline might be interested to learn that the CA public university admissions process has become a very stressful jungle out there! There is no rhyme or reason to it and each campus conducts their three-month "rolling admissions" a little differently (for apps out of their "service areas," which get special consideration for lower qualifications). Contrary to flu's ideas he's posted here previously, I don't think "the system" can be (easily) gamed, that is ... unless an applicant’s parent(s) was an alumni of a particular campus AND a BIG donor.
GOOD LUCK to everyone who has HS seniors applying for college this fall!
Any college admission tips, suggestions, etc are welcome.
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