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What colleges would you suggest someone like me look into

pdvxpz20pdvxpz20 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
I'm in California. I go to a school with no AP classes, but I took concurrent enrollment classes at community colleges until this, my second semester of Junior year. I could still sign up for classes now, but lost steam.

I've taken about 40 units through community college. My gpa through those classes is 3.71. I have a 3.5 gpa through my high school, but I didn't do well last semester. I dropped Spanish 3, got an incomplete for English 3, got a C in Biology, and Bs in Pre-Calculus and American History.

I stopped doing my extracurriculars because my heart wasn't in it and I was just going through the motions.

I got my PSAT results back and I only have a 960. I'm not going to do test prep, so that's probably the score I can expect on the SAT.

I'm going through some personal stuff. I found out last year my dad was homeless, at least he was then. And this year we think he might have died because he made a goodbye world post in October and never posted on Facebook again. That's not an excuse. I'm just trying to explain my mindset.

I prefer schools my mom calls hippie schools, bit really they're just liberal leaning. I like the idea of a place with kickbacks and social opportunities, but I doubt I'll want to get involved or be excited by sports related festivities.

I'm beneficiary of a trust, so I probably won't qualify for FA. But I am considered a first generation student, if that matters.
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Replies to: What colleges would you suggest someone like me look into

  • dreamclouddreamcloud 7 replies7 threads New Member
    I don't know too many California schools, but perhaps look into UC Riverside or Merced? Even without formalized test prep, Khan Academy has some great online free practice resources that could be of use to you. Definitely mention that you are a first gen and that you have gone through some difficult circumstances these past few years when you apply. It definitely does effect your mindset. Make sure to discuss how this has affected you on your common application. Best of luck to you in the admissions process.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom 29119 replies247 threadsForum Champion UC Forum Champion
    First, I would to say that it must be a difficult situation not knowing what happened or what is going on with your father and can understand why school is not a priority right now. You need to come to terms with the situation before you can move on.

    You might want to consider a GAP year after graduation to get things in order.

    Since you have done DE in California, you should maximize the transferability of these courses by targeting California schools.

    An SAT below a 1000, will make any of the UC’s a difficult admit. As suggested in the above post, UC Riverside and Merced may be an option but your SAT is still below the 25th percentile. If your UC GPA falls within or above their averages, you have a chance at these schools.

    2019 SAT w/out essay 25th-75th percentile range:
    UCR: 1130-1400
    UCM: 1020-1290

    UC GPA calculator link and your DE courses will be given extra weighting (1 point for each semester class taken during 10-11th grades):


    2019 UC capped weighted GPA averages along with 25th-75th percentile range:
    UCR: 3.90 (3.69-4.11)
    UCM: 3.73 (3.45-4.00)

    The UC’s allow you to write about your struggles through their personal insight essay prompts so these 2 schools could be options.

    I would also look at the Cal states especially your local in-service area CSU where you get priority. Cal states admit by CSU capped weighted GPA = UC Capped weighted GPA and test scores which is calculated into an Eligibility index.

    You are then ranked based on local vs. non-local, Eligibility index and major. A higher CSU GPA can make up for a lower SAT.

    EI= (CSU capped weighted x 800) + (SAT Math + EBRW).

    CSU local service areas: https://www2.calstate.edu/apply/freshman/documents/csulocaladmission-serviceareas.pdf

    For example if your CSU Capped weighted GPA is 3.6 and your SAT is around 1000, then your EI is (3.6 x 800)+ (1000)= 3880.

    This EI would make you a competitive applicant for the majority of Cal states except for CSU Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Poly SLO, San Diego State along with some specific majors at San Jose State and CSU Fullerton.

    Another option is to continue at your community college and apply as a transfer student to a UC, Cal state, Private CA college or even an OOS college.

    UC’s and Cal states require a minimum 60 semester/90 quarter units to transfer and will not consider SAT/ACT scores in their transfer evaluation.

    6 UC’s offer TAG (transfer admission guarantee) where if you complete the required courses with a specific GPA, you are guaranteed a spot at one of these 6 UC’s (UC Riverside, Merced, Santa Cruz, Davis, Irvine or Santa Barbara). Some majors are excluded from TAG.

    The Cal states also have ADT degrees which guarantees a CSU campus if you complete the requirements.

    There are many options out there so take some time for yourself and figure out what would work best for you.
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  • QtinfoQtinfo 52 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Yes, I would absolutely look at doing community college and transferring to a UC or CSU, especially if it feels too overwhelming at the moment to think about test prep and apps. Humboldt might have the hippie vibe you're looking for. Or maybe Santa Cruz. (hippie's not really the word, but both campuses are in beautiful locations and plenty left leaning.)

    I'm very sorry about your father and I hope that you have a support system in your life to lean on during what must be a very sad and difficult time. Wishing you the best.
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  • firmament2xfirmament2x 364 replies2 threads Member
    @pdvxpz20 . . . someone like you would be the type who would cleanup in community college with a 4.0 once things become more settled in your life, and then you could have any choice of the CSUs or possibly the UCs in a wide array of majors, provided you place yourself on the correct prereq track. All the best.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9876 replies536 threads Senior Member
    How much funding is available for your education?

    Unless the colleges you apply to require test scores, I honestly see no point in you taking the SAT. If you apply to test optional colleges that you can afford, that might be one less stress factor for you.
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  • pdvxpz20pdvxpz20 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
    My trust has $143,793.49 in it right now.
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5984 replies1 threads Senior Member
    Depending upon what school you attend, $143,800 can disappear quite quickly. For some universities this is not quite enough to pay for the first two years. On the other hand, for some universities this would pay for four years and you might have something left afterward.

    It is hard even for adults to get a handle on how expensive university really is. The big numbers seem like an abstract concept. Do not assume that $143,800 is the same as "loaded", it isn't.

    I think that you should wait and not attend university until you are ready to do so. You have to be ready to attend all classes, always pay attention, keep ahead in your homework, and fully commit emotionally to your education. Given your situation, it is very likely that you just are not ready yet. When you are ready, the schools will still be there. There is no hurry for any of this.

    I do agree with other comments that the CSUs are something to look at very seriously, but only when you are ready.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9876 replies536 threads Senior Member
    edited January 26
    I urge you to consider seeing a therapist, who can help you come to terms with your father’s absence. It seems as though you haven’t been in contact with him, and I suspect it’s not knowing what might have happened that is eating away at you. A therapist can help you understand that you can’t control what happens to others, only what happens to yourself.

    You seem to have a particular type of college in mind. While it’s amazing that you have enough money to fund your education, be aware that the money is likely only going to be enough to send you to a public university, rather than a private school. At a minimum, most private schools are going to cost at least $50,000 a year. Do research into the various CSU’s and find one that sounds like a place you can see yourself at. Your test score, or lack of, if you don’t take it, is probably going to restrict your options.

    @Gumbymom , any advice for this student in CA?
    edited January 26
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  • aquaptaquapt 2281 replies47 threads Senior Member
    Your trust is a general trust fund, right? Not a 529 account that can be spent only on educational expenses?

    Just because that money is there doesn't mean you should blow it all on your undergrad degree. Also, there's a lot less pressure if you go to a less expensive school where you wouldn't run out of money if you needed some extra semesters/quarters to graduate.

    I'm sorry about what you've been going through with your family. Do you feel like it would be a healthy situation for you, to live at home and start in community college? Or do you feel like a four-year residential experience is what you need, to put some distance between yourself and the difficult family issues? I agree with the above advice that, all things being equal, starting in CC could be your best path. But, there could be reasons why becoming part of a single college community, away from home, for the duration of college could be the healthiest thing emotionally. If so, just be smart about choosing someplace affordable.

    I agree that, in the CSU system, Humboldt State might have the vibe you're looking for. Sonoma could also be worth a look.

    If you want something *really* hippie/alternative, look into Evergreen State in Washington. They just joined the WUE tuition reciprocity program, but you would have to hold onto your 3.5 high school GPA to get the discount. Evergreen is too unstructured for some students - it requires a certain amount of self-motivation and discipline to take advantage of the amount of freedom students have here - but others are more inspired and motivated by the opportunity to design their own education. https://www.evergreen.edu/admissions/wue

    Another more *artsy*-hippy school, if that appeals, that is affordable through WUE is Southern Oregon U in Ashland. Theater is huge here, both at the college and in Ashland, home of the famous annual Shakespeare Festival - if you would like a school where the arts are a focus in the way that sports are at many other colleges, SOU is worth a look. They also have a lot of cool outdoor-oriented programs.

    It's hard to say without knowing what you like, and the way you describe yourself at the moment sounds somewhat detached from interests and passions that you've had in the past. Do you have any sense of what kind of environment would help you to get back in touch with yourself? Any idea what might interest you as a college major?
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  • pdvxpz20pdvxpz20 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @DadTwoGirls The community colleges here use DegreeWorks. I just processed the "What If" function. It says I'm already 53% done with an IGETC-UC Certification, 56% done with a CSU GE Certification, and 58% done with an AS in Computer Science. I could have all three done before I graduate high school, because I get 11 units for free each semester, and the only class I really need to take for graduating high school next year is English. The IGETC is probably the most important to get, because over 80 colleges accept it. So, do you think I should focus on which colleges I can enter at junior standing, to save money? I know college is not a magic bullet, and it's unlikely there's one that's going to make me start caring again. So maybe I should just think about what's cheapest instead of what would be the best fit.
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  • pdvxpz20pdvxpz20 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @Lindagaf $50k could be okay if it was the right school. I know University of Oregon would be about that. The trust is my money, so my mom wants to help out, too. She's had me in therapy for years. Therapy doesn't really do much for me. Focusing on school used to be my escape. I would still rather be at school than home, but it's been a lot harder to feel anything but numb. And that's not great for my grades.
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  • pdvxpz20pdvxpz20 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @austinmshauri I will be done with 2 years worth of community college classes by the time I graduate. So I'd rather just apply somewhere as a first time freshman and get out.
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9876 replies536 threads Senior Member
    Time for a new therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist. You need to not feel numb. It goes without saying that recreational drugs and alcohol aren’t the solution, not that you’ve mentioned that. It’s possible that a combination of antidepressants and therapy might be.

    College is an amazing opportunity to improve your life outlook, meet new people, learn new ideas, and explore options for your future. You seem like an intelligent student who has let circumstances beyond your control get the better of you. You can do something about that.

    If you are prepared to spend $50k a year, I suggest that there are probably better fits for you than U of O. Consider smaller colleges where you might be able to easily form close relationships with professors and other students. Smaller class sizes where you can engage in discussion-based lectures might be a good idea. If a liberal and “hippy” feel is important to you, consider schools like Lewis and Clark and Evergreen State. There are plenty of others, but if your grades continue to slide, they may not be options for you.

    There’s a list on Princeton Review called Best Colleges for Tree Hugging Clove Smoking Vegetarians. The name is tongue in cheek, but the colleges listed might be great fits for you. Start looking at some college guide books, such as Fiske, to get some ideas. Find something to get excited about.

    Meanwhile, don’t give up. I strongly encourage you to keep up your grades. The way you feel now is temporary. Don’t live a life of regrets. Good luck.
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  • pdvxpz20pdvxpz20 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @Lindagaf I am trying an antidepressant and have a psychiatrist. It doesn't feel like it does anything, but my mom was late getting my refill and I couldn't stop crying. So it must be doing something.

    I agree that a smaller school could be good. I don't think I would be able to get into Lewis-Clark, but there's small colleges I might be able to get into. I just don't know much about them. Do you know anything about Puget Sound, Willamette, Austin College, Bard College, and Juniata? I haven't checked on schools in the southeast yet, either.
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  • firmament2xfirmament2x 364 replies2 threads Member
    I will be done with 2 years worth of community college classes by the time I graduate. So I'd rather just apply somewhere as a first time freshman and get out.

    @ pdvxpz20 , so your community-college courses will only be high-school equivalent ones? There's no college credit among your courses there, nothing like calculus?

    Community college is all about enablement: small classes, less competition. I just figured you could have used that as support and continued in that environment until you were ready for a four-year.

    The trick as others noted would have seemed to have been to try to save as much of that $144k as possible for grad school or a house downpayment. But by your responses, funding doesn't seem to be a large problem.

    All the best.

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  • LindagafLindagaf 9876 replies536 threads Senior Member
    So what is your GPA exactly? 3.5? That’s good enough for a lot of schools, including Lewis and Clark. However, it seems they require the SAT or ACT.

    You probably need to apply to test optional schools. There is little point in submitting a very low test score, because it won’t add anything positive to your application. Look for colleges on this list:

    Look at Goucher College and some of the other Colleges that Change Lives (CTCL). If you’re willing to leave CA, you will have more options. Check out Clark U.

    Bard appeals to a particular type of student. Be sure you want that environment. Use the website Niche, or get a Fiske guide to investigate colleges further. Puget Sound might be good, Juniata too. I don’t know anything about Austin, and I think you could get into Willamette.

    I suggest you get involved with something again. Colleges want to see that kids are going to enhance campus life by being active at college. That doesn’t mean joining 7 clubs. It could just mean, for example, that you really enjoy the local community garden and so you spend time there weeding and planting, and showing little kids how to garden. Or you are interested in law, so you join Mock trial. Or you want to save money, so you get a part time job after school. Withdrawing from life isn’t going to be helpful in any way, so find something, anything of interest and make yourself try it for a while, even if it seems forced at first.
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  • pdvxpz20pdvxpz20 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @austinmshauri I get 33 more units of community college free before I graduate high school.

    The math sequence I'd been taking at community college was: path to calculus, calculus with analytic geometry 1, discrete matehmatics, and calculus with analytic geometry 2. That's 20 units.

    The trust was from a settlement for a lawsuit, so I'm not sentimental about it. If there's money left, there's money left. If there's not, there's not.
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  • pdvxpz20pdvxpz20 12 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @Lindagaf My UC GPA is 3.67/3.8. Last week, my high school just merged my community college grades with their grades. They have my GPA as 3.71/4.13, but they count every grade from every class and weight every college class.

    Thanks. I'm going to the college fair for CTCL. Some of the "tree hugging clove smoking" colleges were on there, too.

    Bard was on a couple of those lists you talked about, and I read that they have an alternative application process where I just submit essays. Thanks so much for your time and insight. And links. :)

    I know I should get involved in something again. I like the idea of getting a job, because I know I'd treat it like a higher stakes venture compared to volunteering or a club. Something in customer service where I'll be forced to smile even if it feels fake.

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  • kirkhavenkirkhaven 34 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @pdvxpz20 Austin College (which is actually outside of Dallas, and NOT in Austin, TX) is a great small LAC. Only 1500 students and very tight open community, that encourages study abroad, and working directly with professors.
    It is not hippy, but that said, is much more liberal that most of Texas.

    It is fairly selective though, so you may want to work on SAT score to ensure consideration and/or tuition merit aid.

    Without aid, it is quite expensive, like most private LACs.
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