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Does first gen, low income make a difference?

Ella89Ella89 Posts: 753Registered User Member
edited June 2010 in UC Transfers
I am really interested in going to UCLA and UCB. I will be applying in fall this year. I am a first generation college student, who is extremley low income (single parent who makes 12k a year.) I was wondering if these things make a difference. Also if anyone could let me know if they think I have a chance at UCLA or UCB that would be great. If I dont, I want to concentrate at filling the pre-reqs for other UCs.

-Psychology Major
-IGETC done by fall
-Pre reqs for UCLA done by fall, done by spring for UCB
-3.93 CCC GPA
-3.44 GPA from an OOSU
-Probably around a 3.7 transferable (need to figure out exactly what tranfers, it might be higher)
-Worked 40 hours+ per week since 16.
-EOPS student, First gen, low income
-upward trend 3.44 at OOSU --> 0.0 GPA at CCC --> 3.93 (retook all the classes i failed)
-No EC's other than working..

I know my GPA is really borderline for both schools, and I dont have EC's like most kids. So let me know if I've got a shot, and if the first gen status helps.
Post edited by Ella89 on

Replies to: Does first gen, low income make a difference?

  • RileyJonRileyJon Posts: 1,572- Senior Member
    How does one survive on 12k a year.

    Honest question.
  • edelynlyedelynly Posts: 1,379Registered User Senior Member
    1k a month! And some mad coupon clipping skills.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whKIf97fQb8

    Honest answer.




    @ella - I think it does factor in, but if it's been a struggle maybe you should write about it for your personal statement. You should look into TAP for Berkeley; it caters to minority, low-income, first gen students. As for chances, I think you'd actually have a good chance at Berkeley. UCLA is more on the fence, seeing how impacted it is, but you still have a good shot nonetheless.
  • sakuraxsakurax Posts: 1,112Registered User Senior Member
    It does and it doesn't.

    I am currently a Psychology major here at Cal as a first-generation college student and my parents have a low income (the actual amount does not matter).

    What the Admissions Committee wants to see is someone who has surpassed those obstacles for the bettering of their education. At the moment, although your GPA is somewhat average in comparison to the other Psychology transfer admits of Cal, I definitely think you should get some ECs. Honors Program, PTK, volunteering, anything that will make your particular application stand out to the committee. With transfer decisions (and admissions in general) becoming so much more difficult with each passing year, you can never have too many ECs, especially for a major as impacted as Psychology.

    I say this because looking at applicants--both freshmen and transfers, I can tell you that there is an overwhelming amount of students who are both. I'm sure a couple of years ago it used to be easier to gain acceptance just by having these two, but as admissions becomes more competitive and demanding, you can't expect these two to have to much weight. But I do definitely agree with edelynly about writing it in your personal statements if it did affect you in such a way that it proved to be a significant challenge you had to overcome. I personally chose to write about my passion for Psychology, but that was me.

    Hope it helped! Good luck next year!
  • Ella89Ella89 Posts: 753Registered User Member
    Honest answer-

    Thats how much money my mom makes. She doesnt support me AT ALL, not since I was 17, not even birthdays and christmas. I work and support myself and I get fin aid from my CCC.

    Edelyn: Thanks. Yeah I looked into Berkeley TAP and they dont offer it at my CCC. I did email the program director and he told me to fax him my transcripts to see if there was anything he could do.
    I was planning on writing my personal statement on that. I barely graduated highschool(literally) with a 2.5 so I was going to talk about pursuing my goals even though hardships. Hopefully that works!
  • Ella89Ella89 Posts: 753Registered User Member
    sakurax: Thanks for the advice. Yeah I was planning on doing some stuff this summer and joining psi beta and PTK. What was the GPA you were admitted with? I cant find any of the info for Cal's acceptance based on major like UCLA has.
  • sakuraxsakurax Posts: 1,112Registered User Senior Member
    I was admitted with a 3.8 (CCC and Private University up here in NorCal my freshmen year.) I thought it was pretty low to be honest with you, but I seriously think it was my ECs that made up for it.

    Now I'm in Honors, doing research, and have a 4.0.

    Stick to it! Stay motivated and dedicated and it will surely pay off!

    I'll be back on later tonight hopefully. Good luck to you!
  • JC1029JC1029 Posts: 94Registered User Junior Member
    I was admitted into all of the UCs I applied to (Including Berkeley and LA), and I will be attending UCLA this Fall. I am a first-gen. student with low income although I'm also non-traditional. In terms of making a difference, it will all depend on how you sell yourself in your personal statement. By the virtue of having a low-income background, I think the admission officers would want to know the things you have personally done to overcome hardships you've encountered in life. Don't paint a sappy picture; rather, focus on your resiliency, attributes and the lessons you've learned. Also, if you can back them up with some substantial data/evidence, it would be helpful to your application. In terms of your GPA, compare it to this year's avg. admittance, and you'll have a good idea how you stack up. Google this information online...I know UCLA has a site with these stats, but I'm not sure about Cal.

    When it comes to financial aid, it does make a difference. There are some scholarships@UCs that are designed exclusively for students with low-income background. However, off the top of my head, the one you should explore right now at a CC level is definitely the Jack Kent Cooke one.

    Ok, I'm done...Gotta get back doing my paper which is due tomorrow. Good luck!
  • Ella89Ella89 Posts: 753Registered User Member
    Thank you for the advice. Hopefully my GPA from my OOSU doesn't transfer at all, my counselor doesn't think it will, other than one class.
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