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UC workshop prepares hopefuls for Nov. 30 registration deadline

There was an aura of uncertainty and anxiety as seniors crowded into the Ground Zero lounge for the UC application workshop on Oct. 7. Students had abandoned their reqular schedules to attend the event, which promised to help in applying to a University of California.

Choosing a college may be one of life’s most important choices. The event’s host, Dan Munshower, expressed the importance of the application process, and the importance of keeping options open.

“One thing that I want to say to anyone thinking of going to college,” Dan Munshower said, ” is to keep your options open. If a door opens for you try to keep it, you don’t want to leave it and later have it closed because you decided not to have it at the time. I’ve seen too many seniors put all their plans on one college and are shattered when they don’t get in.”

Munshower, a graduate of Roosevelt High School, and later UC Davis, went on to explain the main points of the UC system and the pros and cons of each of the system’s 11 schools.

“I can see a great opportunity of going to a UC campus and getting a good education,” Amanda Pjerrou, ’02, said. “My aunt has been pushing me to go to a college and I think that the UC system is one of my main opinions. The cost is affordable and I think I have the required classes and grades to get in.”

According to Munshower, the key getting into a UC is a combination of having prerequisite classes completed, high exam scores, and completing the application process itself.
To be accepted into a UC, the applicant must first have completed a series of high school courses. These include two years of history, four years of English, three years of math, two years of laboratory science, two years of foreign languages, two years of college preparation classes.

The UC requirements for the 2003 graduating class and beyond will be changed from two years of college preparation classes to one year of college preparation and one year of visual and performing arts. Failure to have completed these classes with a C or higher will result in immediate disqualification from the UC.

Secondarily, the applicant’s exam scores are examined. Scores on the SAT I or ACT, and SAT II math or writing is reviewed as part of the college application. Additionally, a third test in literature, foreign language, science or social studies is reviewed.

Thirdly, the student’s application itself is examined. According to Munshower, the personal statement section of the application is examined very closely. Honors and awards that the student has received are taken into consideration, as well as participation in student government.

“I’ve been visiting some of the UC campus,” Roshan Patel, ’02, said, “and I enjoyed the atmosphere of the campus. The campuses that interested me the most were in Southern California. The students I met at the orientations were the type of people I would want to study with in college.”

Munshower recommended visiting a UC campus would be beneficial, as well as examining the ethnic demographics of the campus. Munshower’s final suggestion was to practice careful planning and meeting deadlines, especially in regards to the application. The filing period for the UC system starts on Nov. 1 and ends Nov. 30.

“Do not wait until Thanksgiving to fill out your application.” Munshower said, “Every part of the application must be taken seriously, so that the staff reading your application will have a better picture of you and if you are the right person for a UC.”

For more information on preparing to attend a University of California school, please go to the UC preparation for college and careers Internet site. This site has information on academic support, admissions requirements, student preparation and UC links. The UC Pathways site is for UC undergraduate admissions.

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