DBHS Junior Bulletin
Spring Break Edition 2022
Spring Break is 4/9 - 4/18
Spring is upon us, and that means loads of people will be taking college tours in the next several months. Many of you have already taken tours of a few campuses, and you know that this is a wonderful way to really learn about what a campus has to offer and determine how good of a fit it is for you.
· Spring Break is a great time to set up visits for schools that are a bit further away, so now is a good time to look into that sort of trip. You can often book tours for two different schools in the same area for the same day, but more than that gets pretty exhausting.
· Booking an official tour is simple with most universities – just Google something like “San Diego State tours” and you’ll see how to sign up. Signing up in advance is key, especially if you’re planning on going at a popular time like Spring Break. If you can’t get an official tour, you can still walk around a campus and get a sense of what it’s like, but you’ll get more out of a tour.
· Think ahead about what you’re looking for in a university so you’ll be able to look for whatever matters to you most and ask the right questions. Here are some things to think about – your possible major, dorm life, what types of activities you’re interested in pursuing, the weather, the surrounding areas, impacted classes, the places in which you’ll be studying and learning, and Mom and Dad’s favorite – actual cost of attendance.
· It also helps to have a form to fill out or at least paper for each family member to take notes on immediately after you complete the tour. If you all write down aspects of the school that you like or dislike, it’ll help when you’re discussing possible schools next year at application time.
Late March, the California State Universities finally made their announcement about the use of SATs and ACTS. You no longer need to take the SATs/ACTs for the CSU system. The UC schools and now the CSU will no longer look at them for admission purposes. If you take the SAT/ACT you can still submit them after you are admitted to help with your placement into courses. For example, let’s say you accepted to CSUF and your grade in your senior year english course doesn't meet the pre-requisite to take their college English course, your SAT score can help if you scored well on the English portion. Depending on your score, it could help meet that pre-requisite and it coupld opt you out of taking a placement test. That goes for math as well.
Private Schools and SATs: Many of them still have it as “test optional” or “test recommended” but some have said you no longer need it and some still require it. You should go on their individual websites and see which school require the SAT/ACT and which do not. You can also use the bigfuture.collegeboard.org website and look at their school profiles. Our advice is to take the SAT this spring if you are considering private schools, it definitely won’t hurt you. As you continue your college research, you can create your list of who still requires it and if it is worth your time studying for it this summer and taking it in the Fall.
Private Universities & Letters of Recommendation
MANDATORY MEETING! Students that plan on applying to a private university next year (USC, Stanford, Pomona Pitzer, etc), MUST attend an informational meeting at lunch time on WEDNESDAY APRIL 27th in the theater. The GLCs will be presenting all the information you will need in preparation of requesting a letter of recommendation (LOR) senior year. Information regarding Private School admissions and the Common Application will be discussed as well.
College Board is great for researching GPA’s and SAT ranges for students who actually got into different schools you’re considering. Each school’s College Board page also provides tons of information regarding setting, number of undergraduates, cost of attendance, etc.
· College Board also has a great tool for finding schools you possibly hadn’t considered previously. If you go here, you’ll find a search engine that lets you narrow down the range of schools by location, major, type of school, and many other factors. You begin with over 3700 schools, but if you’re realistic about what’s really important to you, you can pare down that range dramatically and maybe find some new schools to consider.
· Another great research tool is www.unigo.com. This website provides much of the same information, but they also provide ratings from current students on subjects like food, housing, academics, class size, along with multiple reviews that provide insight into how students really feel about their school. Here’s a sampling of some of the student threads: What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year? Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate? Describe your favorite campus traditions. What do you brag about most when you talk about your school?
College Admission Process- Holistic Review
This is a quick video that we found on the Holistic Review process used for many schools for College Admissions. This short video covers so much of what many colleges are looking for. This is one that John Hopkins University admission’s office put together to give you an idea of how they review your application. This is for JHU but it gives you and idea of what most colleges are looking for. You can google specific colleges and many have made their own videos as well. This one covers so much! Enjoy!
When you’re researching potential universities to apply to, it’s a good idea to research GPA ranges for students that actually got into that school last year. A good place to see this information is www.collegeboard.org. For example, the information for Cal Poly Pomona is here.DBHS doesn’t weight our GPA’s, but that won’t hurt you at all. Every university to which you apply knows that we don’t weight the GPA, but they all weight your honors and AP classes themselves so they actually prefer that we don’t. Every year people tell us they heard that some universities don’t care about AP courses, but that’s incorrect. University admissions officers are smart people looking for other smart people, so of course they weight your tough classes because they want to see who is challenging themselves with rigorous work. They know students who have pushed themselves will do better in college, and they recognize that it takes more effort to earn a B in AP French than an A in French IV. And for those of you hoping that A in PE looks really good, sorry, but it isn’t factored into your academic GPA.
To calculate your GPA for the UC system, take all of your A-G approved academic grades from the summer before 10th grade to the summer after 11th grade, give 4 points for A’s, 3 points for B’s, 2 points for C’s, 1 point for D’s, and divide by the number of classes. For weighted GPA, give an extra point for all AP classes as well as English, French, Korean, Chinese, and Spanish III Honors (so an A in English III H would count as 5, a B would count for 4). You can do this – the majority of you are in Higher Level Math classes.. this is simply calculating the average :-)
Other GPA Concerns?
Should I make up that D? If it’s in a class like English, biology, chemistry, or US or world history, yes, definitely. Your GLC has already spoken to you about making it up because you will NOT be eligible for CSU/UC with a D in any semester of one of those classes.
If you earned a D in a class like math or foreign language but then earned a C- or better in the second semester, then you actually don’t need to make it up because the second semester grade validated the first semester grade. If you want to, you can still make up the grade, but you should know that 1) the original D will never disappear from your transcript, and 2) the impact to your overall GPA would be minimal. A student with a 3.04 who made up the D with a B would then have a 3.12. It’s improved for sure, but your time might be better spent elsewhere.
· No one should feel compelled to go to a summer program at a college or find an internship at a university, but if you have the time and interest, there are definitely great opportunities. You can Google for opportunities based on your interests as far as both programs and schools, and you can also look at opportunities we’ve heard about here on our website -
· Sometimes people are able to find internships via family friends, so talk to your parents about anyone they might know who would be interested in taking on a summer intern. Several resourceful students in the past have also taken the initiative to email professors at different universities until they found someone willing to take a chance on them as an intern.There are many wonderful opportunities available to students during the summer, but if you’re looking for summer programs at universities, you need to get a move on. Several programs have already begun taking applications and some have already closed