Did you see the article in today’s LA Times about the effort out-of-state colleges are putting into recruiting the nearly half million graduating California high school seniors this year? The Times’ reporter attended a college fair hosted by a group called the Regional Admissions Counselors of California. This is a group of over 150 people representing about 120 colleges across the country – and the world. These colleges pay for admissions counselors to live in California, meet California high school and independent counselors (like us – p.s. we attended their breakfast this week!) and most importantly, to meet California students and families to talk to them about going to college out of state.
Their job is to help California families see the vast number of options for college out there. There are 2,200 four-year colleges in the United States!
We’ve sort of been pounding this drum for awhile now: California graduates over 430,000 high school students every year – and there are only 200,000 seats in the freshman class of all 9 UC campuses and all 23 Cal State campuses combined. That means there’s space for less than half of California’s graduating high school seniors in the UC and Cal State systems. (Here’s our blog post on this from January, 2019.)
So what can families do? Look outside California.
The problem is that California parents have themselves convinced that our in-state public universities are the best value financially – but it’s not always true. Many private colleges and universities offer MERIT scholarships – those are based on grades and test scores – and when we tell you that our clients get millions of dollars in merit scholarship offers directly from colleges, we’re not kidding. Our clients in the Class of 2020 have racked up over $6 million in scholarship offers so far – and we’re not even in February yet. More to come!
The bottom line is this: you need to make your college list bigger before you narrow it down. You need to look at all of the options. You can’t consider any of the UC campuses “safe” for your super-star, high GPA, high test score student, because the UCs are looking beyond grades and test scores to build an interesting student body for each of their campuses, and that means nothing’s a guarantee.
The college admission process can be frustrating. And it can feel like it’s impossible to get in anywhere! But if you look at the hundreds of other colleges and universities out there who are literally paying someone to recruit California high school students, you’ll discover it’s not impossible at all. And you’ll probably get amazing results. Let us know if you need some help with that.