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UCs and CSUs: A Few Tips

As application season is underway, here are a few tips and notes about the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) applications.

uc_logo coorThe UC Application is open!  It’s one application for all nine undergraduate campuses, with a $70 application fee for each campus.  You can fill it out but you can’t submit your UC application until November 1.  You will need to enter information from your transcript to help them see that you have met the a-g requirements, but they do not want your school to SEND a transcript until after you decide to enroll.  Additionally, there are two required essays for the UCs (prompts here), and a space for additional information if you have an unusual circumstance you feel you need to explain.

You will also need to have your SAT or ACT scores sent directly from the testing agency.  Good news – you only need to send your SAT or ACT scores to ONE UC campus and they will be entered in the UC system and go to all of the campuses to which you apply.

You may have heard (or you may not have!) that UC Berkeley decided this year to allow applicants to have two teachers submit letters of recommendation.  This idea was rolled out in about June, but recently Berkeley changed/clarified this new process, saying that ONLY a limited number of students will be invited to submit teacher recommendations.  Berkeley explains on their website that this is simply an extension of a standing process in which they invite certain applicants to submit additional information after applications are submitted.

None of the other UC campuses require or allow teacher recommendations.

For a fairly detailed explanation of how the UC campuses approach applications, check out this blog post from last year (please note that the workshops linked in this post are last year’s workshops – this year’s can be found here).

California-State-University-logoThe CSU system has 23 undergraduate campuses, and students can apply to one or all of the campuses from the same online application, called CSU Mentor. The CSU application does not open until October 1, and there are no essays or teacher recommendations!  You will need to enter information from your transcript to help them see that you  have met the admission requirements.  You will also need to have your SAT or ACT scores sent directly from the testing agency.

  • If you are sending SAT scores, you can send them to the CSU Mentor, which is code 3594.  All CSU campuses will receive your scores this way.
  • If you are sending ACT scores, you can send them to one CSU campus, and then later you will need to use the ACT Score Manager function within your CSU Mentor account to send those scores to other campuses.

Magellan has a few workshops coming up this month – join us to get a head-start on – or finishing touch to – your college essays and applications!

The image at the top of this post is the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) Pavilion at UC Davis, taken on Evelyn’s visit in 2012.

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