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Applying to college after a gap year

masihuimasihui Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
So I am in quite the predicament... I was a high school senior in 2017. I am from Arizona and I was accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UCSD. I SIRed for UCB and attended for about two weeks, but my dad couldn't get approved for the parent PLUS loan or a private loan large enough to satisfy my financial aid needs, so I was forced to withdraw. I do not have any units from UCB, so I can still apply as a freshman to universities. I applied to 24 common app schools my senior year and was rejected by all of them ( I strongly suspect I got a bad letter of recommendation, am most of them had much higher acceptance rates than the UCs). I plan on applying to many of these same colleges again, but this time I cannot go through my school. I left kind of on very bad terms and will not be getting (good) recommendation letters from any teachers there.

My questions are: How do I get recommendation letters in the 4 months before apps are due and from whom do I get them? Is there any way I can get an application fee waiver (I had one senior year)? What are tips for applying to colleges that have already rejected me? Where can I get help with essays now that I don't have a guidance counselor? How do I explain my gap year on common app?

Thank you
Any help is appreciated

Replies to: Applying to college after a gap year

  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    Go to community college, do well, and get letters from those teachers.

    Or, do what you did the first time: apply to huge state schools that don't want to deal with letters at all. Only this time, apply to schools where you get in-state tuition or are somehow realistically affordable.

    Don't bother with the schools that rejected you last year. They keep records.
  • masihuimasihui Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Would it be worth applying to the colleges at which I was waitlisted?
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    Not unless you have some story or accomplishment that makes you a stronger candidate than the first time you applied.
  • MusakParentMusakParent Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    Have you been working or volunteering during your gap year? Taken any kind of class?

    Honestly, if you really cannot get a good reference I'd seriously be looking at starting with a CC or a state school with a simple application process. Especially if the issues of finances has not changed for you.
  • masihuimasihui Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Well I literally just withdrew from UCB on Tuesday... so nothing of worth to mention in my involuntary gap year. I have worked for a mineral dealer for the past five years and will likely do so again this February. I also worked in a lab over the summer. Could these people be references?
  • AroundHereAroundHere Registered User Posts: 3,045 Senior Member
    Either could be an extra reference, but schools will notice that you aren't submitting a counselor or teacher letter.
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